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Discussion on: Bringing it all together: Copy With Style

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lionel-rowe • Edited on

Ahh I see, yeah I'm showing my lack of familiarity with Python here — I only knew about **kwargs, not arg=val.

I'd still argue that named arguments that can be supplied in any order are an additional concept to learn on top of positional arguments, whereas passing an object literal to a function is understandable as long as you understand positional arguments + objects (or call them "dictionaries", "hash maps", etc if that helps nomenclature-wise. JS objects are not Java objects.)

It's true that accepting default values can be a little confusing in JS:

function fn({ foo = 1, bar = 2 } = {}) { /* ... */ }

// or...
const defaults = { foo: 1, bar: 2 }

function fn(opts) {
  const { foo, bar } = { ...defaults, ...opts }
  /* ... */
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However, the unintuitiveness here is only from the implementer's point of view. The consumer still has a simple and intuitive API they can use:

fn() // supply no arguments, fallback to defaults
fn({ bar: 7 }) // supply an `options` object with partial or full options
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Bernd Wechner Author

the unintuitiveness here is only from the implementer's point of view

Spot on! In fact two important distinctions here:

  1. Intuitiveness exists in the user and developer realm completely independently. They are two very different things. And historically developers inability to role play the intuitiveness of a user (use case definitions and such) led to developer-centric UIs.

  2. All intuitiveness is a personal experience and hinges on ones experience base and what, thanks to that, feels familiar and "intuitive" (meaning little more than guessable form the base of familiarity I suspect). It is only then and when someone again is able to role-play the "average" newcomer say to a language that it has any meaning to claim intuitive or not.

On 2. it is simply the case that yes I made the claim (and still would) that for a newcomer to JavaScript with almost nay other or now coding experience the x = y({ ... }) syntax engenders a "huh?" feeling which is my general gauge for "not intuitive". Intuitive features I imagine engendering more of a "oh, yeah" feeling when encountered. They just sit well. But one thing that runs counter to intuition is a pattern such as the exemplified one in which I see one set of braces immediately inside another of a different type. So I was left, reading and learning to try and work what on earth, that actually means. Of course as confessed in the article learning it came with a "Doh!" feeling as I was of course familiar with the basic object instantiation syntax options already, it was ot a discovery, the discovery was that I hadn't noticed this very subtle implicit anonymous (unnamed) object instantiation in a list of arguments.