On ECMA International

Andrea Giammarchi andrea.giammarchi at gmail.com
Fri May 17 15:46:51 PDT 2013

Thanks for the answer Brendan.

Without names, since apparently nothing final has been decided yet, it
happened recently that everyone agreed here but one single TC39 member
didn't manage to participate that thread so, while everyone else thought it
was a "thumbs up" agreement, this person that missed the discussion, seems
to strongly disagree about the decision.

AFAICT this person, with surely reasonable arguments behind the
disagreement, is able to move this already overall agreed decision that
made everyone slightly happy back.

If TC39 works like this I personally think that whenever something that's
aiming to be or not to be into ES specifications is discussed here, every
member should be present or agree **here** or the discussion, and any
outcome, becomes kinda pointless since everything will be re-discussed from
the scratch in the next TC39 meeting regardless.

This is not necessarily a bad thing but makes the usage of this ML a bit
different in terms of potential influence to the future of the language and
it's probably fair, at least it is for me, to properly understand how
things work there.

Thanks again and best regards

On Fri, May 17, 2013 at 3:21 PM, Brendan Eich <brendan at mozilla.com> wrote:

> Andrea Giammarchi wrote:
>> I've tried to find something like ECMA constitution or "how things work
>> here" page in what I think is the official ECMA website:
>> http://www.ecma-international.**org/ <http://www.ecma-international.org/>
>> I could not find what I am looking for, which is an answer to this
>> question:
>> Does TC39 make decisions based on majority or unanimity?
> We work by consensus (ISO and Ecma both do, in general). Consensus means
> general agreement. Unanimity at every instant is not possible or desirable,
> but by the end of a spec cycle we need everyone to agree.
> In human terms, this means some members of the committee may be happier
> than others, but no one is fatally unhappy about anything, or about the
> whole thing.
>  I believe it's essential to understand this so that any time there is
>> some discussion in this ML, if some member of TC39 is not aware/involved,
>> we can eventually hold or point the discussion if the answer is: unanimity
> You are mistaken. es-discuss is free to discuss things (without rehashing,
> trolling, beating dead horses, escalating to tl;dr -- oops, that happened
> recently :-/) without any concern about how TC39 works, unless TC39 has
> heard appeals and rendered some kind of "final verdict".
> We are not inclined to do a "final verdict" often. Never say never. What
> you may have herad, which is not the same thing, is "we're not going to
> revisit for ES6", if not "please stop rehashing."
> What is not rehashing, and has been crucially helpful at times: re-opening
> an issue that was settled by ended up with problems someone found later, or
> where there was weak consensus and someone thought later of a way likely to
> get stronger consensus, or variations on those themes.
>  Thanks in advance for the answer.
> I think you are overthinking things. If es-discuss has to worry about Ecma
> or ISO process too much, everyone loses.
> /be
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