Modules: Curly Free

Brendan Eich brendan at
Mon Apr 22 08:03:45 PDT 2013

Andreas Rossberg wrote:
> On 22 April 2013 15:56, Brendan Eich<brendan at>  wrote:
>> Andreas Rossberg wrote:
>>> Just to be clear, what I suggested was having a single global
>>> convention for the name of the 'anonymous' export in every module, say
>>> ,"it". No need to know the "internals" of anything. Your Node example,
>> You are imposing a tax on everyone using modules and anonymous export, today
>> a large base of users (modules are predominately anonymous export by
>> counting NPM modules).
> Learning extra syntax is a tax, too. As far as Dave's proposal is
> concerned, it seems higher to me, without any added value.

We need competitive syntax with the NPM approach, I agree. Dave's 
proposal may entail about the same number of characters (I didn't count) 
but it can be tuned.

>> You may be used to "it" conventions in ML, but we're talking about JS here.
>> It's not ML and the communities using modules have already voted, and they
>> will vote with their feet (run away from ES6) if it comes to it.
> There are substantial differences between legacy modules and what will
> be in ES6. People will have to adapt, whatever we do. Drawing the
> "people running away screaming" card is unhelpful rhetoric as long as
> no valid technical argument is involved.

What would a valid technical argument look like?

We're talking about usability and convention vs. syntax here. This 
argument is mostly about developer ergonomics. No proofs.

> The logical conclusion of
> your argument would be to just adopt the union of the existing
> systems, so that nobody has to change their habits. There is good
> reason why TC39 didn't choose that route.

Please, no reductio ad absurdum.

> The more convincing argument would be interop with those legacy
> modules. But the magic for that will be in custom loaders, and AFAICS,
> the problems (and solutions) will likely be the same in either
> approach.

Yes, custom loaders can interop but as you say, people will have to do 
something if they want to rewrite to ES6 modules (and Node people may do 
this soon because they don't have downrev browsers to contend with).

When all those (majority share NPM modules) authors rewrite, what should 
they have to say? "it", really?

> /Andreas

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