arrow syntax unnecessary and the idea that "function" is too long

David Herman dherman at
Sat May 7 17:06:11 PDT 2011

> But, JSConf has just 150-200 JavaScript developers in attendance.

Right. The JS community has no borders, no government, no constitution, no membership cards, no census... We welcome everyone. So we have no way of instituting democratic institutions.

> they are definitely not a representative sampling of the overall community. Making language decisions based on the vocal support of JSConf alone is not sufficient.

I can only repeat what I said before. There's no magic way to figure out accurately what most people want. The best we can do is publicize, solicit feedback, discuss, and make a decision. As we have always done.

> I was merely responding to Andrew's insinuation that the majority of the community (including him) had already voiced support for ->.

You have no way of knowing Andrew was insinuating that. I saw only the eminently reasonable point that we will never be able to please everyone, and will have to *try* to please as many people as possible.

> I take issue with the assertion that shorter==better unequivocally.

I don't know whether anyone actually made that assertion. But in the case of function literals, there is a *ton* of precedent for languages with very concise syntax, and lots of experience to show that the conciseness is a win here.

> From the tone of this thread, and from many other recent postings regarding reactions from JSConf this week, it sounded like all of a sudden we'd gone from "yeah coffeescript has some interesting short-hand syntax" to "the community has spoken, and coffeescript will be adopted into ES.Harmony/Next as-is".

Hey, take a deep breath.

1) If you read the draft strawman, you'll see it's not exactly the same as the CoffeeScript syntax.

2) Brendan has been describing a strawman he is proposing at the next face-to-face meeting.

3) The strawman has not yet been promoted to Harmony status.

4) We *always* go to great pains to make it clear that nothing is final until the standard has been approved, which is slated for 2013. So even if it were at "Harmony status," it wouldn't be final.

You're reading into perceived "tone" and "insinuation" (your words) things that are directly contradicted by verifiable facts. Syntax discussions are difficult and controversial. If you want to contribute productively, please assume good faith on the part of your interlocutors. I think you'll find the assumption holds up.


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