Friday, April 6, 2012

JSConf 2012

This week I had the opportunity to attend JSConf. I've been trying to make it to one of these conferences in the past without success and I now realize I was missing a lot! Chris and Laura Williams deserve special credit for the excellent job they are doing here. Even though I missed all the parties (because jetlag), the venue, the speakers, the tracks, and the conversations were all top class. Highly recommended.

If I had to pick the highlights of the conference, an undoubtedly difficult undertaking due to the sheer number of awesome talks, my personal favorites would be these two:

The B2G phones given out by Mozilla to all attendees, a gesture that sparked the creativity of quite a few people, culminating in a few B2G apps after a few hours of hacking. Yes, it's that easy.

The chance to meet and listen to Dan Ingalls, in my humble opinion one of the greatest programmers of our time, giving his inspirational talk on the Lively Kernel. It would be a failure of our profession if the ideas in Lively Kernel do not find a way to reach mass market at some point. This system, like its predecessors Squeak and Dynabook, represent a more humane way of programming computers that could be a game changer.

My own Debugging B2G talk was well-attended, even though a malfunctioning video cable threatened to kill it before it even began. I received lots of comments afterwards and requests for access to the debugger build that I demoed, and even though I pointed people to the patches, I think that the best thing to do for those interested is to wait a few more weeks, until we get all of that work in nightlies. After getting back at the hotel I recorded a screencast of the talk for those who couldn't attend, but unfortunately you will miss me mumbling while frantically plugging and unplugging a video cable and cursing at thunderbolt ports. Hands down the highlight of the talk.

All in all it was a great opportunity to meat people, have conversations on the present and future of Firefox developer tools and ride a bull. Too bad I missed that last one.

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