The Fluent Online Conference Preview

JavaScript power on display

As JavaScript and the Web connect more and more technologies, conversations grow broader and broader. While the Fluent conference is large enough to cover a broad range, we created a sampler of topics for the two-hour online conference I hosted with Peter Cooper last Thursday. They’re all very different talks, showing many paths you can explore.

Martha Girdler opened the show with a pure JavaScript talk, “this” in JavaScript: How It Really Works (at 6:38). She isolated the headaches I’d given myself the last time I used “this” with her discussion of sorting out the scope chain (at 14:34).

Next up was Wes Bos, demonstrating Hardware Access and Device APIs with JavaScript and HTML5 (at 23:30). As new APIs let JavaScript connect more deeply with the capabilities of the mobile devices we carry, he’s finding opportunities that go well beyond what we thought of as “the Web” even a couple of years ago. He demonstrated how access to the camera and microphone can let you treat the device as a motion detector, an unusual task for a web browser (at 44:07).

Pam Selle visited the server side, demonstrating Prototyping a la Node with Express (at 1:02:41). She showed how to quickly build a simple application for user testing, explaining how the testing worked as well as the code (at 1:14:17, though I really liked the discussion of anger in testing at 1:17:20).

Given the intense activity in JavaScript frameworks, we had to explore at least one. Brad Green and Shyam Seshadri, who just finished our AngularJS book, explored the Principles of AngularJS (at 1:23:35). The shift toward a model in which a framework “allows you to teach the browser how to understand these new components that you create” (at 1:27:08) reminded me that JavaScript isn’t just working with the browser lately. In many ways, it’s becoming a tool for adding capabilities to the browser instead. As they put it later (at 1:42:03), AngularJS is in many ways a meta-framework.

The video doesn’t quite capture the interactivity of the event, though you’ll get to see the questions speakers took from the audience over chat. For a much more intense encounter with JavaScript and the Web, please consider coming to the live version of Fluent, May 28th to 30th in San Francisco. We’ll have coverage of all of these topics and many many more.

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