The Name of the Name

Brendan Eich brendan at mozilla.org
Thu Aug 2 10:26:34 PDT 2012


Allen Wirfs-Brock wrote:
> On Aug 1, 2012, at 3:44 PM, Brendan Eich wrote:
>
>> Allen Wirfs-Brock wrote:
>>> I suspect we will get around to having some level of syntactic support for defining these things so I'm more concerned about how we talk about them (ie, the name of the language feature)  then I am about what what has to be typed in source code and possible source code name conflicts.
>>>
>>>  From that perspective, a fairly unusual noun that is unlike to be confused with application domain concepts would be ideal.
>>>
>>> One possibility is :  moniker
>> /n./ /Slang/
>> A personal name or nickname.
>>
>> Nope.
>
> string /n./
> 1. a thin length of cord, twine, fibre, or similar material used for typing, hanging, binding, etc.
> 2. a group of objects threaded on a single strand
> 3. a series or succession of things, events, acts, utterances, etc.
> ...

Sorry, this is not analogous. Strings are in JS, everyone knows that 
term in context. Coming late to the party with Monicker (or Gensym, I 
agree) is the challenge.

> In appropriating nouns for reassignment to technical concepts we aren't looking for words whose every-day meaning is an exact match to the technical concept. Instead we look for words whose common meaning has enough conceptual relationship to the concept such that it aids in learning and communicating about the technical concept.  Otherwise, we could just uses unique gibberish words.

We might do better to use hacker jargon. "Moniker" is uncommon enough in 
modern English to sit awkwardly on most tongues and all keyboards and 
screens. Just say no :-|.

>>> Microsoft COM
>> You lost me right there :-P.
>
> Arguably, JS's object model is closer to COM's then it is is to a lot of other things...

No, COM is standardized vtbls and vptrs and calling conventions, plus 
IUnknown etc. built on top.

JS's model is much higher-level. The the extent that COM (or rather, C++ 
or even C) nominal typing infects built-ins and "host objects", JS and 
its users suffer.

/be




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