super.prop assignment can silently overwrite non-writable properties

Allen Wirfs-Brock allen at
Tue Apr 21 01:18:40 UTC 2015

On Apr 20, 2015, at 12:39 PM, Jason Orendorff wrote:

> On Mon, Apr 20, 2015 at 12:44 PM, Allen Wirfs-Brock
> <allen at> wrote:
>>> In the spec, 9.1.9 step 4.d.i. is where `super.prop = 2` ends up, with
>>> O=X.prototype.
>> 4.d.1 doesn't set the property, it just comes up with the property descriptor to use, if the `Receiver` does not already have a corresponding own property.
>> 5.c+5.e checks if the corresponding own property actually exists on the `Receiver`.
>> If it already exits then it does a [[DefineOwnProperty]] that only specifies the `value` attribute. This should respect the current `writable` attribute of the property and hence reject the attempt to change the value.
> I agree with all of this, except I don't see where the attempt is
> rejected. Since the property is configurable, I think
> [[DefineOwnProperty]] succeeds.
> The property is still non-writable afterwards. Only the value changes.
> So this isn't breaking the object invariants: the property in question
> is configurable, so it's OK (I guess) to change the value. It's just
> surprising for assignment syntax to succeed in doing it.

I think it's bogus and needs to be corrected.  Not only does it allow (in weird cases for [[Set]] (ie, assignment) to change the value of a non-writable property.  It also means there are cases where [[Set]] will convert an accessor property to a data property.

In combination, I think this is a serious bug that needs to be fix in the final published ES6 spec.  The fix I propose is in 9.1.9 to replace Set 5.e as follows:

5.e If existingDescriptor is not undefined, then
       i.   If IsAccessorDescript(existingDescript), return false.
       ii.  If existingDescriptor.[[Writable]] is false, return false.
       iii.  Let valueDesc be the PropertyDescriptor{[[Value]]: V}.
       iv.  Return Receiver.[[DefineOwnProperty]](P, valueDesc).

Lines 5.e.i and 5.e.ii are new additions.

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