how to create strawman proposals?

Brendan Eich brendan at
Thu Jun 2 18:24:30 PDT 2011

On Jun 2, 2011, at 5:56 PM, Kyle Simpson wrote:

>>> Is it available for general public members to register for an account to create strawman proposals for ES?
>> No, it's an Ecma TC39 resource. Ecma needs IPR handoff per its patent covenant so this can't be a free-for-all, for better or worse.
> So if a non-TC39 member wants to create suggestions and proposals and ideas for the community to discuss, am I to understand that not only this list, but also the wiki that this list so frequently references, are not really intended for that?

I didn't say anything about this list. Discussion on all kinds of ideas goes on here. (Yes, people including me get grumpy about overciting, filibustering, padding with rehashed motivation, etc. -- so what?)

So, dismount that high horse, please.

> There've been several times on this list in various discussion threads where it was clear that only official-wiki-based strawmans were things people wanted to seriously discuss. And now to find out that such strawmans cannot even be authored by any of us non-committee members, it seems like it further reinforces the desire that there be some other forum for the "Rest of us"T to use to talk about *our* ideas, not just the ideas of the committee members.

Yeah, pay-to-play standards bodies suck, news at eleven. This applies to just about all the big ones. Ecma is far better than some, and TC39 is healthier by many measures than most standards bodies I've seen and participated in.

In theory we could use an open ended contract among arbitrary people, a kind of Creative Commons for standardization, with patent protocols and so on, to create standards. I've talked about this with Mozilla and open source types, a few even lawyers. Two quick thoughts:

(a) Such a standards framework is not going to happen quickly, not with big companies all buying in before the standard goes anywhere.

(b) You'd still end up with winner-take-Pareto-80% effects favoring or a replacement. The winner would not tolerate uncurated and wide-open wikis, endless discussions, etc.

My best model for standardization is de-facto, in fact. So please don't envy us Ecmanauts. At best we are codifying de-facto standards.

> What's the best way for such informal and non-committee-sponsored discussions to proceed?

Talk here. What is stopping you?

You want a wiki instance, there are many.

Now on to discussion:

>> Is there any precedent for this in other perl-based regexp packages?
> Perl6 regular expressions have introduced [ ] as a non-capturing grouping operator (instead of (?: ) operator). They moved character classes to <[ ]>. I'm not saying I like that decision (or dislike it), but it's definitely nice (and prettier code) to have a single character (on either side, of course) operator for the common task (highly common to me anyway) of non-capturing grouping.

Yes, it's great Perl 6 broken compatibility. Wish we could. Not likely, at this point.

> But more to the point of my intended proposal, .NET has the /n flag for turning off capturing for ( ) -- I'm not sure if it then turns on capturing for (?: ) or not, someone more familiar with .NET would have to inform here.

That's interesting. I found

There is no sign of non-capturing syntax (?:...) here at all. This n flag seems a bit different from what you propose.

I agree with you (and with lwall, who wrote about it when designing Perl 6) that the default is wrong here. An n flag or similar to address this is worth discussing. So let's do that.

As with all things RegExp, I wonder what Steve thinks.

>>> 2. a "@>" (or something like it) operator for what I call statement-localized continuations
>> We've been over continuations at length on this list. There is a harmony:generators proposal already in, and a deferred functions strawman as well. Dave Herman's shallow continuations  strawman was intentionally deferred.
> I am well aware of the discussions on this list about continuations, as well as the existing strawmans. I am also well aware that my views on that topic aren't particularly popular.

So why in the world do you think jamming your views into is going to do any good?


More information about the es-discuss mailing list