Anonymous methods

Brendan Eich brendan at
Thu Jan 12 10:19:00 PST 2012

I named block-lambdas and wrote the proposal that Yehuda's blog is 
about, and I'm with Nathan and David here. If we approve block-lambdas 
then in clear contexts, most users will probably just say "block" and 
not "lambda".

But lambda is pretty well-known and I do not agree that John's dichotomy 
between language design interest groups (design in abstract vs. in 
practice by millions of developers) is a hard-edged and overriding 
split. Block-lambdas will be learnt by people moving between the two 
groups (if such groups really exist as segregations of people, instead 
of modes or "hats" many people can wear interchangeably or even at the 
same time).

Callable block is awkward (the ll-ble combination in the first word), 
and likely to be shortened to "block" in context anyway. Block 
statements are second class anyway, so not often mentioned by name (and 
then sometimes called compound statements or block statements in full).

I chose block-lambda to have a clear and pithy handle that would not be 
confused with either block statements or other lambda sketches or 
proposals, and I suggest we stick with it for now.


> Nathan Stott <mailto:nrstott at>
> January 11, 2012 3:19 PM
> Are we in 2012 seriously saying the word "lambda" is scary to 
> developers? This sounds ridiculous. The word lambda is widely used by 
> programmers in a variety of communities.
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> es-discuss mailing list
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> David Bruant <mailto:bruant.d at>
> January 11, 2012 3:14 PM
> Le 11/01/2012 22:42, John J Barton a écrit :
>> On Wed, Jan 11, 2012 at 1:04 PM, David Bruant <bruant.d at 
>> <mailto:bruant.d at>> wrote:
>>     From your e-mail, it seems granted that "more developers
>>     interested" is a good thing. I can't really say whether I agree
>>     or not. So I guess I should ask the question: is more developers
>>     interested a good thing?
>> If your interest in language design ends with design, then No, it 
>> does not matter how many developers are interested.
>> If your interest in language design extends to seeing that design in 
>> practice by millions of developers, then Yes it does matter how many 
>> developers are interested.
> I think I disagree with the approach with which you're taking this 
> issue. From your response I understand that JavaScript language 
> maintainer are responsible for bringing more developers to the discussion.
> To some extent, I agree and they actually do too apparently. There is 
> an open mailing-list, a wiki. Some of the TC39 folks go at 
> conferences, present what will be, present open questions, and 
> do Q&A. So far, I have probably seen 10 40-60 minutes-long videos of 
> this kind over the last 3 years.
> But this is not enough? Features would also need to have cute names to 
> not scare developers? I'm sorry, but I think it's asking too much. I 
> think there is also an effort on the developers side to show interest 
> in the evolution of the language, understand its history, its flaws, etc.
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