strawman for the := operator

Brendan Eich brendan at
Thu Aug 9 21:02:46 PDT 2012

Allen Wirfs-Brock wrote:
> I certainly don't have any objection to have the procedural forms. 
>  Personally, I think Object.define and Object.assign would be a good 
> names for the two concepts we have been talking about.  Having such 
> functions would actually make it easier to explain corresponding 
> syntactic forms.
> Object.define(Point,{
>     fromPolar(rho,theta)  {
>        return  new  this(rho*Math.cos(theta), rho*Math.sin(theta))
>     }
> });
> is not as readable or writable as:
> Point :={
>     fromPolar(rho,theta)  {
>        return  new  this(rho*Math.cos(theta), rho*Math.sin(theta))
>     }
> };
> (note how "Point" gets visually lost in the procedural form. The eye 
> focuses on "Object.define" rather than the more important "Point")

Agreed, as noted I think the class statics use-case is strong (but if we 
added class static declarative syntax, then maybe there's no strong 
use-case for := left).

> If := wasn't available I'd certainly want to have the procedural form 
> available.

Here I think we still disagree. := is not enough, it requires a 
compiler. We want the API and it will see use including polyfills. Given 
that projection, I'm not sure how much := use we'll see in the short 
run, but I contend that := does not relieve us from having the API form.

>  All names are bikeshedable...

We were making progress, don't back off. Object.assign and Object.define.


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