thoughts the (re)organization of the specification?

David Herman dherman at mozilla.com
Sat Nov 3 09:44:23 PDT 2012


On Nov 3, 2012, at 12:16 AM, Michael Dyck <jmdyck at ibiblio.org> wrote:

> David Herman wrote:
>> - The spec is not in any machine-readable form, meaning it's neither
>> testable nor formally verifiable in any way.
> 
> I'm working on transforming the spec into a machine-friendly form.
> (That's how I come up with most of the bugs I submit.)

Nice!

Do you do this transformation by hand? There have been several research projects that formalized the spec. I'm not saying it can't be done, I'm saying that the normative spec itself is not machine-readable, so you can't easily compare the before/after of a refactoring to check for bugs.

Now, even with hand transformations, if we were to take a formalized version of ES5 and formalized version of ES6 we could conceivably try to check them. But it's just not worth blocking the progress of the spec on these kinds of things. My feeling is, I'm fine with whatever changes Allen thinks are reasonable to make, but it's not worth doing more serious reworking of the spec if it means we either incur higher risk or block progress on formalization and testing/verification work.

> Eventually, it
> could be testable. I don't think it'll ever be formally verifiable (what
> would you verify it against?),

Verification in the context of a language semantics just means proving properties you want to be true. But specifically, I'm talking about testing or verifying equivalence between the ES5 and ES6 version of things that have been refactored.

Dave



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