A Sliver of What I Learned at JSConf 2013
I was lucky enough to snag a ticket to JSConf this year. As a reasonably self aware person, I know that I don’t multitask very well and decided not to use my laptop during the sessions. Instead, I decided to take notes.
Without further adieu, here is a brain dump of things I found interesting from JSConf 2013.
The Evolution of Language
There are (less than ideal) mechanisms (some less ideal than others) for working with Responsive Images today which probably plays a role in why we haven’t gotten any traction from Browser Vendors on the issue.
The UI of Privacy and WebRTC
This seems related to the problem in desktop web browsers of determining which of hundreds of tabs is playing audio. Google has attempted to solve this problem on Chrome. But what about finding the tab that is currently broadcasting your webcam? Seems like it should be given some visual indicator in the browser.
Software is Literacy
Carter Rabasa made the claim that software is as important as literacy (of course, I agree). Surprisingly, we have fewer people graduating with undergraduate degrees in Computer Science than we did ten years ago. Carter argued that the lack of good tooling and confusing unfriendly APIs cause frustration. Beginner Frustration is devastating to our field.
Looking back on JSConf, I had a ton of fun playing around with the NodeCopters—and I’m a hardened, somewhat apathetic adult. Just imagine hosting NodeCopter events at schools for 7th or 8th graders. Kids would go mental writing code that controls a quadcopter.
A More Natural User Interface
In this same vein (but at a lower level), NodeCopter introduced me to the OpenCV library. If you’re interested in doing face detection or interpreting the contours of an image, there is an npm package for that.
Ben taught me that there is a
continuous option on Chrome’s speech recognition API? This will allow the API to run continuously without stopping, even after the user has finished talking.
Other Excellent Presentations
Jed Schmidt on Mass Hysteria, Clients & Servers Living Together: Jed put on a clinic about how to mix perfect comedic timing with good information. The winner of “Most Approachable Speaker JSConf 2013.”
Steven Wittens on Making WebGL Dance: I had the pleasure of sitting and chatting with Steven before I knew that he was a presenter or even realized that he was THE acko.net guy (woops!). His slide deck was so beautiful that I heard audible gasps during Steven’s presentation. You’ll definitely want to revisit this video when it comes out. The winner of “If every teacher I’ve ever had was as good as this I’d be a genius JSConf 2013.”