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Cascadia.js Day One Notes

December 20, 2018

10 min read

CascadiaJS was a single track conference of 24 amazing speakers discussing the cutting-edge of JavaScript, web development and engineering culture over the course of 2 days in mid November. These notes are from the first day of the event and the accompanying talks are now online.

#Reclaiming the Web with peer-to-peer protocols

Tara Vancil

  • Beaker browser is a p2p browser
  • p2p.taravancil.com
  • Does every computer need to store everyone’s data? Or does only my computer serve my profile?

#Augmenting the Internet with Browser Extensions

Shannon Capper

  • From textio
  • Cross platform api by w3c apparently
  • Very good example of a presentation, nice slides, gifs, animations, “memes”, examples
  • Don’t write site specific conditionals
  • config object per site that lets you describe how a single site looks and gives a uniform api for the rest of your code base
  • Don’t break the host page
  • Be careful modifying the dom, could be especially bad for SPAs
  • Use shadow dom to help with this???

#Hitchhiker's Guide to Web Standards

Dominic Farolino

  • Tc39 and ecma standardizes only JavaScript the language
  • W3c and WHATWG are the people who standardize the actual web APIs

#Why I chose to Modularize the Ducks in my React App

Lauren Lee

  • Universal redux stores lets you move components anywhere in the application without breaking prop chains passing down state
  • Demoed organizing your redux architecture by type (the common, standard way)
  • Ducks is another way of organizing your code by redux module instead of file structure (group action, constants, and reducer for each pairing into a single file)

#Lessons in WebAssembly: Client Side Video Editing

Megan Slater

  • Built client side “native” video recording/editing app for ChromeOS
  • Not possible in Native JS, what language to use instead? Wasm?
  • Can convert rust as well as c/c++ to wasm
  • Why to use WASM? Performance, adding other functionality not present in web
  • Emscripten is the buildtool for WASM that does c/c++ to wasm. Similar to Babel.
  • Emconfigure is a cli tool that lets you substitute emscripten to replace standard C++ build pipelines so that we can create a wasm compiled c library
  • Check emscripten website and other experts to build wasm libraries for you, we’ll probably just import wasm libs and wrap them in JS

#SPA at Scale

Patrick Woo

  • AWS employee
  • Applications need to consider how actual users will use the app, slow machines, old OS, slow network, etc
  • Lighthouse chrome extension!
  • Documentation is pivotal and hard!
  • Used typescript to help with documentation, made code “self-documenting”
  • Storybook functions as a single source of truth for the design team to work with the developers, rather than random files bouncing around
  • Use tests! Confidence, faster onboarding, prevent regressions
  • testingjavascript.com
  • Monitors and alarms allow you to ensure production is working as intended (deployments, dependencies, other things you rely on outside of your tests)
  • YAGNI - you ain’t gonna need it
  • Get feedback early and often

Be kind, rewind

  • consider the people who are going to be following after you. Show empathy for the people you work with.

#Building a Culture of Learning and Growth

Tre Ammatuna

  • Cultural learning - how groups of people pass info to each other faster than lone individuals
  • Only 31% of employees only actually engaged in work, this number increases to 65% if people learn something same day

What happens if we train them and they leave? What happens if we don’t and they stay?

  • Lunch & Learns! Lightning talks! 3rd Party Talks! Learning Stipends! Libraries! Mentorship programs! Conferences! 20% time! Deep dive days!
  • Consume > Build > Teach - Kent c Dodds

#Down the Rabbit Hole with WebVR

Shannon Foster

  • AR art gallery demo
  • WebXR is the thing now, not WebVR
  • Lots of cool XR demos

#Creative Coding & Opening Up Open Source

Elgin-Skye McLaren

  • Child computer interaction and tangible computing (computing and its relation to physical objects)
  • Creative coding - arts-based and inclusive

You don’t need to be an artist to be an artist.

  • D3.js, three.js, p5.js
  • P5.js Community statement - “everyone is welcome here”
  • Friendly machine learning for the web website
  • Very cool machine learning/p5 demo

#Creative Collaboration: Building a Universal Design System

Julie Busch

  • Built a large system to support all brand sites of Condé Nast, but gave each individual brand site a configuration file on JSON
  • How???
  • JSON! Compiled JSON files of “style tokens” into SASS functions that dynamically build your css
  • Atomic design!
  • Had designers create a tokenized template instead of a single .psd. They’re the ones building all the brands anyway!
  • Gave a single team access to the JSON files, and only let consumers use an API or SASS functions

#Open Source and the Volunteer Workforce

Michale Lange

  • From CIVIC (Hack Oregon)
  • Org Charts keep contributors organized
  • Conways Law - anything your organization makes is a product of your org
  • If you build it, they won’t come
  • Hindsight bias makes popular projects seems like they’re destiny
  • Recruiting!
  • Ask what your community offers the members?
  • Autonomy, mastery, and purpose
  • Product management is for everyone
  • Vanishing point as a product management goal, things nearby mist be clear and well defined, but what you see in the distance is small and hazy and might change
  • Lower your expectations!

Slow and steady is so much faster than not moving at all.

  • Write the docs, docs are asynchronous and don’t block volunteers while they wait on you
  • Be proactive with your Diversity and Inclusion
  • Be open about your values
  • Write rubrics for all assessments beforehand
  • Have 1:1 meetings with people and listen
  • This is ongoing work
  • Apologize, reflect, and be better

#Secret Talk

Yehuda Kats

  • In 2009 Specs are written for people who write specs, not for web developers using them.
  • How to fix this? Try to give standards team a ton of feedback that web devs want more. 200+ more responses
  • Among first web developers (who actually build websites) to join tc39 via being registered jquery non profit.
  • Joined w3c technical architecture group
  • Moved documentation of specs onto GitHub
  • The extensible web manifesto - tighten feedback loop between standards writers and web developers
  • Lots of developers from all sorts of parts of the ecosystem on tc39 now
  • Chrome is now involving framework developers in intent to implement features in the browser

We must enable web developers to build the future of the web.