New ES6 draft (Rev23) now available

Allen Wirfs-Brock allen at
Fri Apr 11 09:08:42 PDT 2014

On Apr 10, 2014, at 9:45 PM, Michael Dyck wrote:

> On 14-04-06 11:41 AM, Allen Wirfs-Brock wrote:
>> The April 5, 2014 ECMAScript 6 Draft Specification (Rev23) is now
>> available at
> I just noticed something odd.
> If you open up the PDFs for rev22 and rev23, and compare section 7.3.16
> "GetPrototypeFromConstructor", you'll see that the sub-steps that used to
> be 5.{a,b,c} are now top-level steps {6,7,8}. It's pretty clear that this
> wasn't an intentional change, because now step 5 is an if-then with no
> consequent. To make matters worse, if you open up the PDF with change
> markup, you'll see that this change isn't called out at all. (The only
> marked change in the whole algorithm is a minor deletion in step 3.)
> Also, the Note that used to follow the algorithm is now step 10 of the
> algorithm. I'm guessing this is also unintentional, though it's less
> obviously so. But it too has no change markup.
> (I don't have MS Word, but if LibreOffice is anything to go by, these
> changes aren't marked in the Word document either.)

The markup was generated after the fact by having Word compare clean copies of rev22 and rev23.  Formatting change (which including numbering level changes) were intentionally not included in the markup as they are so numerous (and mostly reflect no meaning change) as to be useless.

In order to get with an internal Word limit relating to lists I had to reapply the list style of essentially all algorithms and there are no doubt a few bugs in the processes.  The internal limit is on what Word calls a "numId".  The limit is 2047 and we had been bumping against it for several editions.  Rev23  uses about 1500 numIds (ie 75% of the limit) so we appear to be in pretty good shape through the completion of ES6.  I don't foresee the need for another round of changes of this sort before final publication.

> It's odd and somewhat worrying that algorithm steps can change their level
> seemingly spontaneously, and without any resultant change markup.

It's not really spontaneous and the exclusion from the markup is intentional.  It is possible to generate markup that includes such formatting changes is anyone really things they can extract useful information form it.

> Allen, you did say that all the algorithms have new internal styling, but
> the only side-effect you mentioned was that some might not start at step 1.

The starting number issue is the closest to being "spontaneous" (they really aren't, but sometimes it feels that way). Things like 7.3.16 is just an error on may part and are easily fixed when they are identified.

> Of course, I'll file a bug for this case, and any other I see, but (a) I'll
> probably miss some, and (b) this seems like something that I (or any other
> reviewer) shouldn't have to be doing -- shouldn't the spec-production
> process be more resistant to silent unintended changes?

These are the result of the normal production process, but of one-time (hopefully) massive manual edits.


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