Comments on Sept Meeting Notes

David Herman dherman at
Thu Sep 26 16:43:00 PDT 2013

On Sep 26, 2013, at 4:22 PM, Mark S. Miller <erights at> wrote:

> I am saying collision is an issue, but that it only seems that Symbols solve it because we haven't yet designed the registry. So we should do so first, and then re-examine this question in the context of a concrete registry design.

I don't think a registry design is necessary for symbols to be useful today.

But I agree it's a fine thing to consider for future-proofing. Design-wise, it would probably be cleanest to have a single function with a test-and-set semantics. Something like:

    Symbol.register(stringKey[, friendlyName])

which registers in cross-realm shared state a new shared symbol registered under the given key, or returns the existing registered symbol if one already exists. This avoids any observable race conditions (except for competing friendlyNames, but that's pretty harmless) in the semantics but allows coordination across realms.

(Specification-wise, it's probably hard to specify the shared state precisely without having constructs like workers in the spec. But maybe it could be given an informal specification that speaks hand-wavily about being "thread-safe.")


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