Function Syntax

Brendan Eich brendan at
Wed May 11 09:12:08 PDT 2011

On May 11, 2011, at 8:52 AM, Claus Reinke wrote:

>> ECMAScript has a large set of problems. I think that the fact that 'function' has eight letters is at the bottom of the priority list. 
> - fixing ECMAScript's oddities would be worth a language revision,
>   even without adding anything new

This is a mistake. The Web does not permit "stop the world and fix all known bugs". Neither users nor competing browser or server-side software vendors will stop.

Worse, this is a big, defiant, boastful, and at the limit palpably false claim, against our own fallibility and partial knowledge, that we can "fix ECMAScript".

We do not all even agree on what the problems are. The ones that we agree on, we are successfully working on (modules, e.g.). Classes have had a rough time because we don't even agree on premises or problems, never mind conclusions or solutions.

I'm working on better syntax, to present at the next TC39 meeting. I don't think "perfect" is an option in this life. I'm aiming at "better".

> More concise function syntax is important, as long as the deeper
> issues get resolved, too.

What deeper issue beyond |this| binding (lexical, dynamic, soft, etc.) do you mean, precisely?

We've already rejected lambdas, several times.

I'll keep it short by stopping here. Precision in stating problems would be appreciated.


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