Strict mode eval

Mark S. Miller erights at
Fri May 13 18:18:02 PDT 2011

I think this is the kind of incremental refinement of the details of
existing features that we can legitimately consider after May without
setting a bad precedent. Would you be interested in turning these ideas into
a strawman for, say, the July meeting?

Unless there's a problem with this approach I'm not noticing, I think it
would be a welcome cleanup of a messy part of the language -- conditioned on
an ES-next opt in of course.

On Fri, May 13, 2011 at 2:05 AM, Andreas Rossberg <rossberg at>wrote:

> On 13 May 2011 01:50, Mark S. Miller <erights at> wrote:
> >> Assume that
> >>
> >> - we distinguish two variants of the eval function, strict and
> >> non-strict -- let's call these values EVAL_s and EVAL_ns.
> >> - initially (in global scope), the identifier `eval' is bound to
> EVAL_ns.
> >> - in a strict mode scope it will be considered rebound to EVAL_s
> >> instead (unless it has already been shadowed by user code anyway).
> >>
> >> (In addition, at least in strict mode, the only calls to `eval' that
> >> are considered _direct_ calls would be those where `eval' statically
> >> refers to the initial binding or one of the implicit strict-mode
> >> rebindings -- i.e., where it has not been shadowed by the user.)
> >
> > I think the core insight here is good, and had it been made in time,
> could
> > have led to a better semantics than what we adopted into ES5. I like the
> > idea that ' "use strict";' effectively inserts a
> > DeclarativeEnvironmentRecord binding 'eval' to EVAL_s, though I'd put
> this
> > record on the stack at the strict/non-strict boundary rather than just
> above
> > the global object.
> Yes, my previous description of "shadowing" `eval' at the point of
> "use strict" was meant to describe just that.
> > Even better, since 'eval' cannot be rebound by ES5/strict, ES-next, or
> > code, and since "eval(str)" is effectively a special form anyway, why not
> > remove the dynamic "and if 'eval' is bound to the original global eval
> > function" condition from direct eval? Why not just treat "eval(str)" as a
> > direct eval special form independent of what 'eval' is bound to in that
> > scope?
> That's what I tried to suggest in the parenthesized paragraph above,
> and it was the reason for my question to Allan.
> The difficulty in ES5 would be that scoping is not really static --
> not even in strict-mode code, which might still be surrounded by
> non-script scopes shadowing `eval' dynamically (esp `with'). But for
> Harmony it'd be nice.
> Thanks,
> /Andreas

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