Fwd: ECMAScript license question

Forwarded, with Robin's permission.

Begin forwarded message:

> From: ext Robin Berjon <robin@robineko.com>
> Date: March 15, 2010 1:36:34 PM EDT
> Subject: Re: ECMAScript license question
> On Mar 15, 2010, at 11:47 , Arthur Barstow wrote:
>> Is this something the HCG should discuss? There were no followups  
>> on public-script-coord?
> I am not at all against discussing this further, or what I'm  
> guessing the intent is, but I would like to get a better sense of  
> the use cases and how whatever solution emerges is intended to be  
> deployed. One important consideration is that JS developers pride  
> themselves the size of their code after minification, so that  
> anything that increases that is unlikely to be popular. Another is  
> that there is no reason that this ought to be limited to JS, for  
> instance CSS is often used as a key software component (for  
> instance if you have a JS lib that does notebook tabs, the CSS will  
> be *required* for it to function, otherwise the tabs won't show  
> right).
> Looking only at licensing information may be too restrictive, it  
> might be better to provide a link to metadata so that not only the  
> license but also the author, the uncompressed version, funny  
> pictures of the author's cats, etc. can be found.
> Further, you can't change the ES syntax (that would never fly).  
> That leaves two options (that I can think of):
>   - Comments. Minifiers currently kill those, but it might be  
> possible to convince them to be smart enough to recognise magic  
> comments and keep them, e.g.:
>   //@meta http://ta.gd/
>   - Strings. ESed5 introduces something called strict mode which is  
> introduced with a pragma. Since they didn't want to break the  
> existing syntax (or cause older implementations to balk), strict  
> mode is turned on with the following string (including quotes — it  
> really is a string, it just happens to be a statement on its own,  
> and therefore to affect nothing else):
>   "use strict";
> So based on that we could have:
>   "meta http://ta.gd/";
> Which has the benefit that no one needs to change their minifiers.
> I'm not saying that this is necessarily a good idea (I have to  
> think about it more, and would like to hear more input), but I'm  
> trying to get some clarity on the proposal and how it would work.  
> Does the above make sense given what you had in mind Liam?
> Note that none of the above requires the blessing of the ES TC or  
> anyone in W3C — they can be implemented independently. It's a  
> debate that could be held inside the community, e.g. on Ajaxian  
> (or, if you don't mind shameless plugs, perhaps as a test for one  
> of these: http://www.w3.org/2010/03/outposts-proposal- 
> snapshot.html). I was going to say that this is the sort of  
> proposal that could start with a blog post and catch fire when I  
> realised that the FSF link you provide is indeed just that. It  
> might be that it would stand a better chance if it weren't  
> something proposed by RMS though ;-)
> Alternatively (and I'm thinking out loud here, if you hadn't  
> noticed) perhaps the @source option (either in comment or in  
> string) is better. It might allow the added value of having  
> developer tools load the uncompressed version when an error occurs  
> and try to match the source line (with horrible heuristics). I  
> doubt that can be done in a general way though.
> --
> Robin Berjon
>   robineko — hired gun, higher standards
>   http://robineko.com/

Received on Sunday, 28 March 2010 12:18:13 UTC