ArrowFunctionExpression VS CallExpression Ambiguity


#1

Hello,

I am creating new concurrent systems for JavaScript, and I’m using Acorn as part of a compiler pipeline. I’ve added a new keyword named “spawn” as a contextual keyword, but I’m running into a paradox in the Acorn parser which I have had difficulty overcoming. Specifically, consider the following two cases:

spawn("hello");
spawn ("hello") => {...};

The desired AST nodes would be CallExpression for the first line, and SpawnExpression (my own custom node) for the second line. I have found source code within Acorn which differentiates between these two lines, however I have found it quite difficult to implement in the specific area I’m adding code. I have found that my difficulty lies in the fact that my SpawnExpression wraps the righthand expression, using it as an argument, while a similarly functioning keyword named “async” only marks the righthand expression. The paradox is that while the parts of the parser using “async” move to the righthand expression relatively quickly via “this.next()”, I am not able to use those parts because they are waiting on the results of my SpawnExpression code. Right now, “spawn” behaves much like “yield” except it does not have the benefit of being a reserved keyword (and thus un-callable), and I’d like to preserve existing source code which makes calls to functions named “spawn”.

If anyone could offer some insight into how I could differentiate between the two lines of code up there, I’d greatly appreciate it. I have poured a massive amount of effort into this project and I’d hate for a tiny issue like this to stop it now.

Here’s the “plugin” I’ve written so far: