The Tragedy of the Common Lisp, or, Why Large Languages Explode (was: revive let blocks)

Mark Volkmann r.mark.volkmann at gmail.com
Fri Jun 19 17:42:42 UTC 2015


It sounds like you are advocating for a larger standard library in JS. I
think many on this thread are focusing on whether more syntax features
should be added.

On Fri, Jun 19, 2015 at 12:29 PM, Alex Russell <slightlyoff at google.com>
wrote:

> I do not share Mark's view. Contra his sentiment, I was using the "small"
> version of JS for many years and noted that most non-trivial uses required
> finding or building a library. That choice of library (which exist to fill
> in platform and language deficiencies) leads to a a split in common use
> that's just as pernicious as "choosing a subset".
>
> Writing JS in the large continues to need more help.
>
>
> On Thu, Jun 18, 2015 at 11:27 AM, Andrea Giammarchi <
> andrea.giammarchi at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> I like Mark's post too, and if I might ...
>>
>> > Features like classes and `let` are very often criticised and often
>> languages that did not add these features and are considered 'well
>> designed' are given in comparison (Python's lack of block scoping for
>> instance).
>>
>> thing is, ES6 brought in many things that took years to explain in the
>> "JS way" and when finally developers started knowing and appreciating
>> `prototypal` inheritance and started understanding the `var` behavior, to
>> name just few, "we" started promoting ES6 as the universal problem solver
>> for every dev so that `let` is the new `var` (most developers still don't
>> even know what does it mean) and `const` is the better `let` and `class`
>> finally is in the language, something that desugar anyway to prototypal
>> inheritance, something developers still need to understand.
>>
>> So I agree we should really stop going fancy with syntax, probably think
>> about sweet.js like approches, and fix all the things that will need to be
>> fixed in ES6, improving and finalizing classes bringing in composition like
>> it has always been possible before through prototypal inheritance. I really
>> do hope traits will be highly prioritized and binary/typed data/shapes too
>> 'cause I don't think JS needs many more changes as it is today.
>>
>> Just my lil'rant and keep up the good work.
>>
>> Best Regards
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> On Thu, Jun 18, 2015 at 6:26 PM, Benjamin Gruenbaum <benjamingr at gmail.com
>> > wrote:
>>
>>> First of all, brilliant post Mark.
>>>
>>> > As a community, we need more of a shared sense of panic about the size
>>> that ES6 has already grown to. Ideally, that panic should increase, not
>>> decrease, with further growth from here as our size approaches the point of
>>> no return.
>>>
>>> As a community, we do - if you look at HackerNews or Reddit or
>>> StackOverflow people are constantly hating on JS getting larger. Features
>>> like classes and `let` are very often criticised and often languages that
>>> did not add these features and are considered 'well designed' are given in
>>> comparison (Python's lack of block scoping for instance).
>>>
>>> This is a mailing list comprised of people who typically have a much
>>> better understanding of the language and its corners than most (even
>>> professional) developers have (and dare I say, are interested in or care
>>> about having). With ES6 the language already got a *lot* bigger and I'd
>>> argue that it's now harder to learn the whole. The tradeoffs were
>>> worthwhile but it's definitely an issue.
>>>
>>> It's easy to forget here what traps the average user might fall into,
>>> and it's easy to forget what they care about and what confuses them.
>>>
>>> Fwiw, there are examples of big languages that are well liked, the
>>> "canonical" example of a big but very well liked (and well designed imho)
>>> language is C#. It has a lot of cruft now (delegates and events, array
>>> covariance etc) but it is still a very well liked language in general.
>>>
>>>
>>>
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>>> es-discuss at mozilla.org
>>> https://mail.mozilla.org/listinfo/es-discuss
>>>
>>>
>>
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>
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-- 
R. Mark Volkmann
Object Computing, Inc.
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