iteration order for Object

David Bruant bruant at
Fri Mar 11 13:33:11 PST 2011

Le 11/03/2011 21:49, Charles Kendrick a écrit :
> Yes Allen, hence the urgency.  If IE9 final ships that way, the "goose
> is cooked":
Let's face it right now: IE9 will ship that way. They're on RC phase,
it's completely irrealistic to consider they would change object
>From the spec point of view, there is no urgency since Harmony won't
ship for couple of years I think.

> 1. we will have a new de facto standard iteration order for Object
> that does not match any known use case - it is purely an
> implementation detail leaking through
As said by someone else, the iteration order has never been
standardized. It was dangerous from the developers to base their code on
an implementation detail even though this one was at some point
consistent accross browsers. Standards aren't only for implementors.
For the record also, a loop looks into the prototype. It you
have an object and shadow a prototype property, how is the order affected ?
If for two objects o1 and o2 which share the same prototype, how are the
prototype properties iterated? what happens when you play with prototype
properties and object properties afterward?

Fixing loops is a dead-end in my opinion.

It doesn't stop the discussion for own properties.

> 2. the majority of real-world applications will be slowed down because
> developers will need to re-implement the very commonly needed
> LinkedHashMap behavior in JavaScript
> 3. developers will waste a bunch of time doing this when the language
> could have provided it
I agree on 2 and 3.

> 4. developers will waste a bunch of time upgrading old sites and
> applications
They shouldn't have relied on a non-standard behavior in the first
place. They spared time in not taking the time to know the standard,
this comes at a later cost.

> 5. JavaScript code will forever be more verbose than it needs to be
> wherever ordered maps are needed
> 6. JSON messages will forever be more verbose than they need to be,
> and result in larger JavaScript allocation and GC loads when
> eval()d/parsed
Apparently, JSON has been standardized as unordered. Maybe that the good
decision if the order really matters to you is to use another
interchange format. Interchange formats are created with a purpose in
mind, with use cases. Maintaining an order comes with an in-memory cost
and a cost from the serialization implementation point of view. JSON was
certainly thought to not have this cost. Is Douglas Crockford around to

If your use case doesn't fit the interchange format use cases, change of
interchange format (XML fits your need even though it's a bit more
verbose). Or create one?

The idea of using value proxies
( to
override object initialization syntax sounds like a good compromise to
keep unordered objects as they are now and being able to fix backward
compatibility. It will require a bit of work, but it sounds realistic.



> Against all this, we have various misunderstandings (thinking the
> iteration order of Array is being affected, etc), but finally only:
> 1. for certain unusual use cases, implementers of code that use lots
> of integer indexes will need to use Arrays for best performance - a
> perfectly reasonable optimization technique to require, in my opinion
> 2. there may, in the immediate term only, for some unspecified use
> cases which may well be very synthetic, be an advantage for JQuery,
> which may well vanish as JQuery evolves
> On 3/11/2011 11:37 AM, Allen Wirfs-Brock wrote:
>> On Mar 10, 2011, at 5:44 PM, Charles Kendrick wrote:
>>> This behavior was perfectly consistent across all browsers until
>>> Chrome 6.  I think it's more appropriate to say that Chrome is not
>>> interoperable with thousands of sites than to define interoperable
>>> behavior based on a minority browser's very very recent break from a
>>> de-facto standard that stood for 15 years.
>> Note that it isn't just Chrome.  IE9 also has similar behavior (at
>> least in its late platform previews, I don't have the RC installed yet)
>> On IE9 preview 1.9.8023.6000 standards mode:
>> var a={x:'x', 3:3, 2:2,1:1}; a.a='a';
>> print(Object.keys(a));   //-->  1,2,3,x,a
>> print(JSON.stringify(a); //-->   {"1":1,"2":2,"3":3,"x":"x","a":"a"}
>> var k=''; for (var e in a) k+=e+" ";
>> print(k);  //-->  1 2 3 x a
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