Spread and non objects

Brendan Eich brendan at mozilla.com
Fri Nov 5 08:23:31 PDT 2010

On Nov 5, 2010, at 7:56 AM, Jon Zeppieri wrote:

> Second issue: Erik suggests (plan B) that null and undefined are specifically special cased. I can't tell whether Brendan agrees with that or wants spread to be legal on any input whatsoever, because he writes that spread "should return an empty array on mismatch." 

No, that was about feedback over the years on regexp.exec's return value!

Back to spread: the general case of ... is to spread an array-like (ES5 hasn't quite defined this, but it is getting there) into positional parameters or positional array initialiser elements. Any non-array-like could be an error (plan A), but for the reason John Lenz cited, ...undefined as a special non-throwing case that is equvalent to [] seems better (plan B).

I dislike the null == undefined taint, useful though it is in real-world JS that does not abstain from == altogether. So I wonder whether ...null should not throw.

Function.prototype.apply is, as Erik's o.p. pointed out, the counter-argument, since ( step 2 in ES5) it turns null or undefined into [].

What about other primitives? ...42, ...true, and ..."foo" could throw, as Function.prototype.apply would do ( step 3).

I think matching Function.prototype.apply is best, having reviewed all this. Comments?


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