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Re: Web IDL Garden Hose

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Mon, 28 Sep 2009 23:22:08 -0700
Cc: Robin Berjon <robin@berjon.com>, Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>, public-webapps WG <public-webapps@w3.org>, "Mark S. Miller" <erights@google.com>, es-discuss <es-discuss@mozilla.org>
Message-id: <DF4663BC-9769-4F5A-A9D9-0A3E1899F23B@apple.com>
To: Allen Wirfs-Brock <Allen.Wirfs-Brock@microsoft.com>

On Sep 28, 2009, at 10:12 AM, Allen Wirfs-Brock wrote:

>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: es-discuss-bounces@mozilla.org [mailto:es-discuss-
>> bounces@mozilla.org] On Behalf Of Robin Berjon
>>>
>>> There is no old version.
>>
>> Right, this is v1. What previous W3C API specifications had relied on
>> was either OMG IDL, or the common lore understanding that people were
>> familiar with this way of expressing APIs, so they'd get it right.
>> We're trying to do a bit better than that.
>>
>
> The primary concern of TC39 members is with the WebIDL ECMAScript  
> bindings.  I haven't yet heard any particular concerns from TC9  
> about WebIDL as an abstract language independent interface  
> specification language. Since W3C seems committed to defining  
> language independent APIs, I would think that the language  
> independent portion of the WebIDL spec. would be the only possible  
> blocker to other new specs.
>
> It seems like this might be a good reason to decouple the  
> specification of the actual WebIDL language from the specification  
> of any of its language bindings.

Defining the Web IDL syntax without defining any language bindings  
would not be very useful:

1) The syntax is to a large extent designed around being able to  
express the right behavior for language bindings, particularly  
ECMAScript bindings. So we can't really lock it down without knowing  
that it can express the needed behavior in the bindings, which  
requires the bindings to be done.

2) To actually implement any spec using Web IDL, implementors need at  
least one language binding, and most implementors will consider an  
ECMAScript binding to be essential. Without the bindings being  
defined, it will not be possible to build sound test suites for the  
specs using Web IDL.

3) The whole point of Web IDL was to define how DOM and related Web  
APIs map to languages, and especially ECMAScript. Previous specs used  
OMG IDL where the mapping was not formally defined, and implementors  
had to read between the lines. Removing language bindings from Web IDL  
would return us to the same bad old state, thus missing the point of  
doing Web IDL in the first place.

Regards,
Maciej
Received on Tuesday, 29 September 2009 06:22:49 GMT

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