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Re: [Bindings] stringify

From: Garrett Smith <dhtmlkitchen@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 30 Dec 2007 18:39:52 -0800
Message-ID: <c9e12660712301839k6a6366au4fad68935a6ac05b@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Web API WG (public)" <public-webapi@w3.org>
On Dec 30, 2007 5:49 PM, Cameron McCormack <cam@mcc.id.au> wrote:
> Anne van Kesteren:
> > Maybe the draft already says something about this, but I couldn't find it.
> > I think it would be good if there was a way in the IDL to say what an
> > object stringifies to. The Window object becomes "[object Window]" and
> > Location stringifies to its href attribute value. The tricky part here is
> > objects implementing multiple interfaces, such as Document and
> > DocumentSelector, but in those cases the specification editors should
> > probably ensure there are no strange things.
> Jim Ley:
> > Could you describe the use cases for defining this at all?  I can't see any
> > benefits.
> Boris Zbarsky:
> > Interoperability.  Specifying that Window stringifies to [object Window]
> > is probably unnecessary (and not true in all UAs anyway).  But
> > specifying that, Location stringifies to its .href property is needed
> > (and is interoperably implemented).
> It would be interesting to know if there are scripts that rely on
> extracting the [[Class]] of DOM objects from that output of
> Object.prototype.toString.  I've added a [Stringifies] extended
> attribute to handle the Location case.
Checking an object's toString return value to try and determine what
it is is not a reliable way to check what type of object it is:
toString() says nothing about an object's interface, other than the
fact that, if no error is thrown, it supports toString().

For example:
"[object Window]".toString()

Method toString is useful for providing a readable representation of
an object's state. In ES, as David said, it's "[object " + [[Class]] +

Prototype's "inspect" provides the type of functionality that I
advocate in a toString. They probably called their method "inspect" as
a way of avoiding the problems with their extend() in JScript (extend
is really a cross-cut).

Here's an interesting one:

In Mac IE, I think they did something like "[object HTMLBLAHElement",
if I remember correctly.
Firefox..........."[object HTMLUnknownElement]"
Safari............."[object HTMLElement]"

I wouldn't mind if the toString did something more than that, for
example. providing something like what Firebug does for nodes.



>   http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/member-webapi-cvs/2007Dec/0009.html
> liorean:
> > I've been meaning to address this (or a related issue, anyway) in a
> > mail to both ES4-discuss and to WebAPI.
> > Wouldn't it be best to specify which interface is the main interface
> > for objects? ECMAScript assumes a strict single inheritance scheme.
> That's probably a good idea, and could help simplify some other things
> in the spec.
> --
> Cameron McCormack, http://mcc.id.au/
>         xmpp:heycam@jabber.org  ▪  ICQ 26955922  ▪  MSN cam@mcc.id.au

Monkey, so they say, is the root of all people today.
Received on Monday, 31 December 2007 02:40:00 UTC

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