An array destructing specification choice

Brendan Eich brendan at
Mon Nov 7 13:39:50 PST 2011

On Nov 7, 2011, at 2:18 AM, Andreas Rossberg wrote:

> On 5 November 2011 17:44, Brendan Eich <brendan at> wrote:
>> Destructuring is "irrefutable" in that it desugars to assignments from properties of the RHS. It is not typed; it is not refutable
> I don't think that's true, at least not in the usual sense of
> "irrefutable pattern". Because you can write
>  let {x} = 666
> which will be refuted, by raising a TypeError.

Nope. You get undefined. That's why it's irrefutable -- you can't build refutable matching on this (you'd need an OOB value other than undefined, or exceptions).

js> let {x} = 666
js> x

> Of course, the real question is, what does this do:
>  let {} = 666

No-op. We worked this out for ES4, I had originally made it an early error, but Lars Hansen argued for the 0-identifier basis case:

js> let {} = 666

This can simplify code generators slightly. It's not a big deal but I agree with Lars, there should be no error case here.

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