Web IDL Garden Hose

Yehuda Katz wycats at gmail.com
Mon Sep 28 23:34:02 PDT 2009

It would be pretty nice if the language bindings of WebIDL were
available in pure ES, where possible. To some degree, that is not
currently possible (in ES3), but it will be a lot better in ES5. I
think it might actually be possible to get a large degree of
completion just using the JavaScript available in Spidermonkey.

This might also be a useful step in the direction that I was hoping
for in some earlier postings.

-- Yehuda

On Mon, Sep 28, 2009 at 11:22 PM, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs at apple.com> wrote:
> On Sep 28, 2009, at 10:12 AM, Allen Wirfs-Brock wrote:
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: es-discuss-bounces at mozilla.org [mailto:es-discuss-
>>> bounces at mozilla.org] On Behalf Of Robin Berjon
>>>> There is no old version.
>>> Right, this is v1. What previous W3C API specifications had relied on
>>> was either OMG IDL, or the common lore understanding that people were
>>> familiar with this way of expressing APIs, so they'd get it right.
>>> We're trying to do a bit better than that.
>> The primary concern of TC39 members is with the WebIDL ECMAScript
>> bindings.  I haven't yet heard any particular concerns from TC9 about WebIDL
>> as an abstract language independent interface specification language. Since
>> W3C seems committed to defining language independent APIs, I would think
>> that the language independent portion of the WebIDL spec. would be the only
>> possible blocker to other new specs.
>> It seems like this might be a good reason to decouple the specification of
>> the actual WebIDL language from the specification of any of its language
>> bindings.
> Defining the Web IDL syntax without defining any language bindings would not
> be very useful:
> 1) The syntax is to a large extent designed around being able to express the
> right behavior for language bindings, particularly ECMAScript bindings. So
> we can't really lock it down without knowing that it can express the needed
> behavior in the bindings, which requires the bindings to be done.
> 2) To actually implement any spec using Web IDL, implementors need at least
> one language binding, and most implementors will consider an ECMAScript
> binding to be essential. Without the bindings being defined, it will not be
> possible to build sound test suites for the specs using Web IDL.
> 3) The whole point of Web IDL was to define how DOM and related Web APIs map
> to languages, and especially ECMAScript. Previous specs used OMG IDL where
> the mapping was not formally defined, and implementors had to read between
> the lines. Removing language bindings from Web IDL would return us to the
> same bad old state, thus missing the point of doing Web IDL in the first
> place.
> Regards,
> Maciej
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Yehuda Katz
Developer | Engine Yard
(ph) 718.877.1325

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