Module naming and declarations

Jason Orendorff jason.orendorff at gmail.com
Wed May 8 13:53:19 PDT 2013


On Tue, May 7, 2013 at 7:01 PM, Anne van Kesteren <annevk at annevk.nl> wrote:

> On Tue, May 7, 2013 at 4:39 PM, Jason Orendorff
> <jason.orendorff at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Set aside absolute-url imports. Suppose we just dropped them. Would you
> > still think that module names are URLs? If so, do you think about other
> > languages in the same way?
>
> I think it's weird to try to equate JavaScript with those languages.
>

Not weirder than trying to equate it to HTML and CSS, surely!

They operate on multiple platforms that do not share a universal
> addressing system and therefore a layer of abstraction had to be
> invented to make it easier to work those languages across multiple
> platforms.


I don't think that's the reason those systems have abstract names for
packages/modules. All of these systems were designed for use on systems
with hierarchical filesystems supporting absolute and relative paths. Any
one of them could all have chosen to implement `import` by mapping the
package/module name directly to a filename in a dead-simple, one-to-one
way; but none did.

(Even C, a language designed 40+ years ago by people whose key technical
virtue was their willingness to eliminate unnecessary abstractions, lets
you configure #include paths at compile time.)

Are the different environments where people will deploy JS code really
*more* uniform than where people deploy Java? I don't know. But surely not
so much so that third-party packages should just go ahead and embed the
locations of their dependencies.

I guess that's another point I had not really thought of, the web
> platform will get a way to execute some script at "fetch", which is
> basically a low-level version of the module loader.
>

Yeah, these two efforts should meet and talk before long. Related ideas
going around, for sure.

-j
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