three small proposals: the bikeshed cometh!

Alex Russell alex at
Thu Apr 29 20:06:30 PDT 2010

On Apr 29, 2010, at 7:55 PM, Douglas Crockford wrote:

> On 11:59 AM, Brendan Eich wrote:
>> On Apr 29, 2010, at 4:33 PM, Mark S. Miller wrote:
>>> On Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 2:40 PM, Brendan Eich <brendan at  
>>> <mailto:brendan at>> wrote:
>>>    The JSConf audience poll did provoke someone to suggest "fun",
>>>    and I mentioned "fn" (the ML family languages have both). Two
>>>    letters or three might be few enough, and avoid the line-noise
>>>    and can't-type-Greek issues.
>>> Neither "fun" nor "fn" are reserved identifiers. They are short  
>>> ascii identifiers, so conflicts are virtually guaranteed. I don't  
>>> see any realistic way to make them keywords without either  
>>> breaking the web or (in your terminology) raising the opt-in  
>>> migration tax too high. Am I missing something?
>> No, you're not missing anything, except possibly this: the same  
>> objection applies to lambda (λ) and florin (ƒ).
>> On the other hand, with opt-in versioning, developers might find  
>> that the migration tax is not that bad, for any of these including  
>> "fn" and perhaps even "fun".
>>> If there is a painless way to introduce short keywords that  
>>> weren't previously reserved, I'd love to understand that.
>> It's all about the low odds of ƒ or (I have to go copy and paste  
>> now) λ or fn being used as an identifier. The odds are worse for  
>> fn, even worse for fun, but possibly still low enough.
>> But again, any Unicode identifier however short (if not already  
>> reserved) is an incompatible change from ES1-5.
>> /be
> I think we should be focused on solving real problems. We have some  
> significant problems to solve, and 'function' being 8 letters isn't  
> one of them.

I'll take that as a rubber-stamp +1 then ;-)

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