That hash symbol

Wes Garland wes at
Sun Mar 27 06:25:16 PDT 2011

On Sat, Mar 26, 2011 at 10:44 PM, Brendan Eich <brendan at> wrote:

> This es-discuss group sounds exactly like that "ES Tech" group -- why make
> a new one?

I've always considered this group to be about super-fine nit-picky points of
ES, clarifications about recent changes, and well-thought out standards
proposals.  My thought in proposing "ES Tech" was that there is probably
room for something with a slightly more casual tone, where ideas could be
bounced off people as part of the formation process, and less advanced
questions could be asked and answered. But not full of spam.

If there's too much noise in any group, new or old, the group becomes
> useless. Asking for some simple ambiguity checks before posting syntax
> strawmen, and pleading to avoid one-line followups that overcite, etc. is
> *not* "wrath". It's part of the well-known netiquette standard, but not
> enforced much these days.

True that.  Turning back my own mental clock, I remember getting flamed once
for posting untested code in ... comp.unix.programmer?  The flamer was
right, and I didn't do it again, but I kept participating.

> And to be fair, the JS grammar is subtle enough that it's fine to propose
> somehting that *might* work, only to have grammarians debug it.

> Non leading-char solutions have the disadvantage of using some other kind
> of bracketing -- e.g.  `a,b { return a + b; }`
> This is ambiguous too. A comma expression followed by a block (if in an
> outer function, the return is legal).

Not that this was a serious proposal -- but am I missing something, or did
you miss the trailing back-tick in my example?  Specifically, I don't think
this is ambiguous:

 FunctionExpression :
function Identifieropt ( FormalParameterListopt ) { FunctionBody }
 `Identifieropt  FormalParameterListopt  { FunctionBody }`

..although my "native thought pattern" is definitely LALR(1).  I find LL(k)
ambiguities hard to spot, not having worked with a top-down parser-generator
since I was in school!  Argh, now I'm not sure if that grammar is
unambiguous for small k due to nested FunctionExpressions.  I don't think
there is a comma-expression hazard there, though.


Wesley W. Garland
Director, Product Development
PageMail, Inc.
+1 613 542 2787 x 102
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