Anonymous methods

John J Barton johnjbarton at johnjbarton.com
Wed Jan 11 10:10:54 PST 2012


The blog post  http://yehudakatz.com/2012/01/10/javascript-needs-blocks/ makes
the case for blocks that act like functions when passed as arguments but
have loop-up rules more like nested blocks.

Of course these are called 'block lambdas', and I suggest that this is a
problem. Given that very few programmers understand lambda calculus (and
this will not change), the word 'lambda' is equivalent to "too difficult to
understand".

When I looked up lambda on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lambda I read

  In mathematical logic <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematical_logic>
 and computer science <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_science>,
lambda is used to introduce an anonymous
function<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anonymous_function> expressed
with the concepts of lambda
calculus<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lambda_calculus>
.

and then "Oh that is what they meant with all that 'block-lambda' stuff".

If the discussion here were on a new ES feature "anonymous methods", then I
guess many more developers would be interested. If this feature had the
properties outlined in the blog post, then I think many developers would
understand the value of this potential feature. As it is I guess they stop
reading as soon as they see the word 'lambda'.

jjb
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