Improving ECMAScript as a compilation target

Brendan Eich brendan at
Fri Feb 13 13:34:56 PST 2009

On Feb 13, 2009, at 11:42 AM, Allen Wirfs-Brock wrote:

>> Can you get off the fence on adding goto? How about call/cc?
> For now, I only have problems, not solutions.

Me too :-).

> However, I think it is debatable whether call/cc is more  
> approachable to beginners (who admittedly don't write compilers)  
> than goto. Call/cc is probably less of an attractive nuisance as  
> many simply don't understand it. It also is likely to have a larger  
> impact upon implementations.

I agree with you on the relative costs of goto and call/cc. But I  
still say neither should go in, never mind implementation burden,  
because neither is appropriate to the human target audience, which is  
going to remain very large for the Harmony timeframe.

Don't mind me, I'm eager to avoid unconstrained Harmony design. If  
there's one thing I've learned from ES4 and 3.1 (if not other  
projects), it's to make early cuts and deferments.


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