Bait taken: Arguments about arguments

Brendan Eich brendan at
Fri Jan 9 14:05:58 PST 2009

On Jan 9, 2009, at 1:58 PM, Brendan Eich wrote:

>> Probably much current aliasing is more of a source of buggy  
>> behavior than a feature used intentionally.
> Another guess/assertion, but browser vendors cannot compete without  
> supporting aliasing. This suggests (but of course doesn't prove)  
> that "use strict" should not ban it.

I really mean this: strict mode should ban things we know cause bugs,  
where we can cite the bugs. Not just corner cases you or I find  
unaesthetic. There's an element of "good taste" to strict mode's  
design, for sure, but it is not the only consideration. We went around  
the block on this point with respect to 'with', and I gave in.

Parameter aliasing is not a source of bugs in my experience. Even  
'with' is not, compared to undefined properties being typo'd. I'm  
concerned about disproportionate means being used (with opportunity  
costs) by those of us working on the language, as well as with making  
strict mode unusable on legacy code without too high a tax. I hope my  
turd-polishing language doesn't offend, but it would be a shame if we  
lingered over arguments at the expense of rest and spread.


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