array like objects

Brendan Eich brendan at
Tue Dec 15 11:31:09 PST 2009

On Dec 15, 2009, at 11:18 AM, David-Sarah Hopwood wrote:

> Brendan Eich wrote:
>> In ES specs and real implementations, internal methods and various
>> corresponding implementation hooks are called based on [[Class]] of  
>> the
>> directly referenced object, in contrast.
> In ES specs, there's no indication that [[Class]] can or should be  
> used
> for internal method lookup; I don't know where you got that idea.

Sorry, I wrote "called" where I meant "defined".

In the ES specs, [[Class]] and internal methods are matched in  
invariant fashion, and the spec counts on this. ES1-3 throw TypeError  
from certain built-in methods if the |this| parameter's [[Class]] is  
not "RegExp", e.g. ES5 Array.isArray of course checks [[Class]]  

ES doesn't use [[Class]] much other than for TypeErrors and  
Object.prototype.toString, but it's aligned with the internal methods  
intentionally. This was a topic in ES1 days, based on C++ and C  

> As for implementation, [[Class]] could be derived from some other  
> type tag
> that gives sufficient information to do such lookup, but [[Class]] by
> itself is not sufficient.

I'm not sure what you mean. Sure, [[Class]] in the spec is string- 
valued, so it can't be a vtable pointer. But in implementations that  
use C++, there is not only a class name-string associated with every  
instance, but a suite of internal methods or hooks.


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