Fallback

François REMY fremycompany_pub at yahoo.fr
Fri Feb 10 03:22:21 PST 2012


A block starts and ends with a bracket pair. The parser should just continue 
to parse tokens (strings, identifiers, operators, ...) until it reach the 
final bracket of the group. All of the newly introduced syntax will not 
break the principle of {} parity, expept quasi-literals that could, in 
theory. But, if they does, they'll make the next block broken, until the 
core program block will break, too.

/*script block*/ {
    module A {

        function getBracket() {
            return convert`}`;
        }

    }
}

would compile, in a browser that don't support quasis, as

/*script block*/ {
    throw new InvalidProgramException();
}

Function B ends just before the second `, which is invalid in the module; 
the module then ends where the function should have ended, and is replace by 
a throw-block given the ` error. Then, the closing statement of the module 
is reached and found invalid, so the whole script is marked invalid and 
replaced by a throw-block.

This can't solve all problems but we can reasonably think that any newly 
introduced syntax after quasi-literals will not break the bracket parity by 
introducing a context where they not delimiters. A parser that recognizes 
all tokens where brackets are not delimiter will have no problem to find 
where the blocks are ending.

In order to avoid the web to break, this would however need to be an opt-in 
behavior (ie: "use block-syntax").




-----Message d'origine----- 
From: Peter van der Zee
Sent: Friday, February 10, 2012 12:01 PM
To: François REMY
Cc: es-discuss
Subject: Re: Fallback

On Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 11:51 AM, François REMY
<fremycompany_pub at yahoo.fr> wrote:
> The idea would be that each time the parser hit an issue, it replaces the
> current block by a { throw new InvalidProgramException(); } but continue 
> to
> parse. It may also write a warning into the console. This is roughly how 
> CSS
> is working. The idea is not of me, but from Ian Hickson if I remember
> correctly.

I can appreciate the try-catch block (vs functions or modules). But
you can't just replace a block of unknown code because you won't know
where it ends. So you'll need some kind of delimiter, regardless.

- peter

>
> -----Message d'origine----- From: Peter van der Zee
> Sent: Friday, February 10, 2012 11:27 AM
> To: es-discuss
> Subject: Fallback
>
>
> There's currently no way of introducing anything new into the language
> that breaks syntax. I think that point has been made very clearly with
> harmony/es6. Can we introduce a way to make these transitions easier
> in the future?
>
> CSS has a very simple way of gracefully ignore rules it doesn't know.
> In CSS you can specify rules and features and whatever the engine
> doesn't understand, it will ignore gracefully and continue. While this
> obviously won't work out of the box for js. But I think we can work
> around it. In CSS this is scoped to individual rules. In js there's no
> notion of rules (and "lines" won't work either) but you could talk
> about functions or modules (or blocks?) in the same way. I think
> modules are a bit too big scoped for this but I'd like to discuss the
> generic idea first. We can always bikeshed over the syntax later. I'll
> work with function-like syntax for now.
>
> Say a browser wanted to support a new keyword. Right now, that's
> impossible to even experiment with unless you write an entire engine
> in js and have a duplicate source code for fallback. You simply can't
> do something like
>
> x ||= y;
>
> without breaking the code permanently and without exception. We can
> only add stuff that fits perfectly within the existing grammar.
> There's also no way for a vendor to implement this as an experiment
> because it will still break in older versions of the browser or other
> vendors. So what if we could do something like this?
>
> function foo(x,y){
>  "if es7";
>  return x ||= y;
>  "/es7";
> } // the "/directive" serves as a delimiter because otherwise you'd
> never know where to stop parsing when you don't support it
> if (!foo) {
>  var foo = function(){
>   x = x || y;
>   return x;
>  }
> };
>
> So now you have a way to experiment with the new extension and a
> simple way of extending the language permanently, while still having
> backwards compat (at least up to the point that we introduce this
> system), graceful failures and a proper way of figuring out a
> fallback. If a vendor did not support the feature asked for it could
> declare `foo` as null or something allowing easy support detection.
>
> The declared function should work within the existing js language of
> course and should be callable from within js with the regular
> mechanics. This includes stuff like call, apply, and bind. Whatever
> the function itself does with the arguments or the context is up to
> the implementation. Whatever it returns should again be a proper js
> value. This allows you to easily fallback to an "es5" function because
> the fingerprint would be the same (and besides, I have no idea how
> else this could work otherwise anyways).
>
> This also could allow introduction of vendor prefixes. However, for
> now I'd like to focus on the general principle though and leave the
> prefix discussion for later.
>
> Some syntax possibilities:
>
> function foo(){ "es7"; x ||= y; }
> function foo(){ "es7"; x ||= y; "/es7"; }
> condFunction foo(){ "es7"; x ||= y; }
> condFunction "es7" foo(){ x ||= y; }
> condFunction "es7" foo(){ x ||= y; } "es7";
>
> Personally, I'd prefer a function-scoped capability over a
> module-scoped capability because I think I'd like to apply this to
> smaller snippets rather than an entire module. Or maybe both.
>
> Open things for me:
> - How to efficiently specify the (scope of) things you want to opt-in to?
> - How to limit the problem with interoperability this would
> undoubtedly cause (even with prefixes).
> - Proper keyword/syntax for this, would still like to keep this js-ish
> - Is nesting desirable? Reasonably feasible? Especially wrt the delimiter
> - This system would also allow for non-js extensions (like
> coffeescript or even ruby/etc), is that a problem?
>
> If we think such a system is viable and we can find a simple way of
> introducing it to the language, we should do it sooner than later. The
> sooner it's in, the less "stuck" we will be in the future.
>
> - peter
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