eval operator with != 1 arguments

Brendan Eich brendan at mozilla.com
Fri Jan 15 19:11:09 PST 2010

On Jan 15, 2010, at 5:49 PM, Mike Samuel wrote:

> 2010/1/15 Brendan Eich <brendan at mozilla.com>:
>> On Jan 14, 2010, at 6:27 PM, Mike Samuel wrote:
>>> Any thoughts on whether (eval(a, b)) should be an invocation of the
>>> eval operator?
>> What do current browsers do? It's an eval operator in Mozilla-based
>> browsers. Seems to be eval (dynamic scope, not global scope) in  
>> Safari too.
>> What would be the benefit of changing a future edition to make such  
>> an eval
>> "indirect"?
> I am not advocating changing eval in a future edition.
> What I found confusing was that the previous section started with
>    "When the eval function is called with one argument x, the
> following steps are taken:"
> and whether that was assumed by the following section.
> But somebody here read and concluded that eval with other
> than one argument was the function.
> I concluded otherwise.  I still don't know what the answer is?

" Direct Call to Eval" does not care about number of actual  
arguments, only about the two conditions:

"The Reference that is the result of evaluating the MemberExpression  
in the CallExpression has an environment record as its base value and  
its reference name is "eval".

The result of calling the abstract operation GetValue with that  
Reference as the argument is the standard built-in function defined in"

So ES5 says eval(s, x) is a direct call.

"When the eval function is called with one argument x, the following  
steps are taken" is misworded -- it wants to introduce the  
metavariable x but it overspecifies for the case of exactly one  
argument. In fact eval() returns undefined per the specified  
semantics, and so does eval(undefined, {}). And at least Firefox and  
Safari eval(s, {}) where s is a string as a direct eval call.


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