Who cares about syntax?


The ECMAScript discussion list (es-discuss) has a thread(s) running on future proposals for lambda syntax with several hundred posts. A similar thread on class syntax has, by comparison, gone largely ignored.

Some others have noted the potential significance of this. Does it demonstrate a trend in JavaScript? Is it indicative of where programming languages in general are headed?

As Guy Steele has put it:

A closure is an object that supports exactly one method: “apply”.

On the other hand, there’s this, usually attributed to Norman Adams:

Objects are a poor man’s closures.

Still, there really isn’t that much distance from one to the other… granted, that is relative to context.

From my point of view, classical OO has sometimes trended towards being overbearing, particularly for UI development. This is probably why everybody is excited about finding a more elegant lambda syntax for JavaScript and less interested in class syntax, which simultaneously feels more like bookkeeping and also is likely to have a mental association with an heavy-feeling ontology that many JavaScript coders would want to avoid.



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