Cross language discussion

Benjamin Gruenbaum benjamingr at
Wed Jul 1 18:41:37 UTC 2015

An annual conference sounds like a great opportunity to discuss design
goals of languages and long term goals - I am a much less ambitious man
than you. I'm just thinking of small scope examples, to name 3 on top of my

 - The iteration protocol (PHP had a similar lengthy discussion about
something like our `return` - talking to the relevant people there would
have helped).
 - RegExp.escape's escape set, other languages had to make that choice and
speaking to people involved could help bring in insights.
 - async functions, C#, Hack, Dart and Python all had to solve similar
design issues to what ES does and probably have a lot of interesting

Most of the new features we're discussing have other language parallels.
I'm aware that champions and other people involved do a lot of research and
it takes a lot of time - but as Bob from PHP internals said, very often the
delicate detail is lost in the documentation and speaking to the people
involved is immensely useful.

I think setting up a conference is a lot more work then getting 3 people
from each side on IRC every now and then, but I'm not very experienced with

Another alternative brought up is a closed mailing list or discourse board.

On Wed, Jul 1, 2015 at 9:35 PM, Allen Wirfs-Brock <allen at>

> On Jul 1, 2015, at 5:37 AM, Benjamin Gruenbaum wrote:
> So, this is something that has been bothering me for a while now.
> The TC, and the mailing list is full of some really smart people. However,
> smart people can overlook things too and smart people can spend months in a
> debate that other people already thought about.
> Other languages have open processes too, other languages have mailing
> lists and working groups and much of the same discussions we do.
> -----
> I think it would be really awesome if a small subgroup of the TC could do
> a monthly or bi-monthly chat (hangouts, skype, in person, whatever) with
> working groups from other languages.
> I have talked to several PHP-Internals people and they are generally in
> favour. Knowing some of these people they have a ton to contribute - if we
> could save just a single debate or understand a domain better it'd be worth
> it IMO.
> It sounds to me that a better fit would be a small annual conference whose
> attendees are primarily working language designers and implementors. Today
> most conferences either are exclusively academic (most ACM conferences) or
> are commercial (or at least semi-commercial) performance venues where
> "experts" talk to a non-expert audience. This hasn't always been the case,
> once upon a time there were subject area conferences where (mostly)
> non-academic practitioners  in some computing subject area could gather to
> talk about recent experiences  and share knowledge that advanced the
> practical state of the art of the subject area.
> There probably are still some conferences like this, but the only one I
> can think of relating to programing languages is Microsoft's
> / ( ).  I helped
> organize the first conference and one of it's goals was to try
> to working language designers/implementors.  While I recommend attending a
>, if the opportunity arises, I think it's organization is a bit
> too Microsoft-centric, the conference a bit too small, and its occurrence a
> bit too infrequent (will there be a 2016??).  But perhaps it
> could be liberated from Microsoft's dominance if there were additional
> interested sponsor organizations.
> Allen
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