Function syntax

Bob Nystrom rnystrom at
Thu May 19 10:53:44 PDT 2011

On Thu, May 19, 2011 at 8:46 AM, David Griffiths <dxgriffiths at>wrote:

> For all the talk about what's "usable" and "readable", I haven't seen much mention of empirical testing done with ordinary people... (My sincere apologies if there's some usability test lab for middlingly intelligent JavaScripters that I'm not aware of).
That data is out there in the context of C#. C# 2.0 used this syntax for
local functions:

  delegate(int x, int y) { return x + y; }

In C# 3.0, they added:

  (x, y) => x + y

Aside from the type annotations, those almost perfectly mirror the current
discussion for JS. A motivated person could do some archeology of open
source code to find out how much each is being used. I was doing a lot of C#
when 3.0 came out and watched a number of people learn the new syntax. It
generally went like:

1. Lambdas? Never heard of them.
2. What is this weird arrow thing? I don't like it.
3. Eh, I kind of understand what's going on, but it seems fishy.
4. Hey this is pretty terse.
5. OMG, working with collections is a breeze now! I just chained five maps
and filters!
6. How did I ever live without this?

- bob
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