Compared to last year's mloc.js conference, where the main theme was a desperate search for anything that would get rid of JavaScript's aftertaste, 2014 was about reconciling with the language. Maybe it will never be as hip or as robust or as pure as your favorite other language, but it is here to stay, so we should take it as seriously as we do with other languages.

The implicit 'other' here being serverside languages, for soon, like at PayPal, having JavaScript propagate there too through node.js won't be an exception to the rule, and our apps will live in both places at once, with projects like Kraken, which enable large enterprise groups to be nimble with using node.js, being the David to their Java systems' Goliath, beating it in both development speed and performance.

But taking it seriously does not mean putting up with its limits. Yes, ES6 will finally give us a lot of things we've wanted for a long time, and node's streams are being standardized for the browser as well, but we shouldn't stop there. There are some interesting ideas we could explore with asynchronous code in StratifiedJS, maybe that will get us out of callback hell.

But in any case, JavaScript is no longer going to be limited to a single thread, so we can soon cross this off from our Christmas list: Intel's River Trail implementation is already in Firefox betas.


It's always interesting to learn about what is going on underneath the hood of a JavaScript engine, even if as a lowly frontend engineer, the most I can summarize from the lectures about recent V8 optimizations, how objects are handled in SpiderMonkey, or an experimental JIT compiler is, is "don't try to do anything clever with your code, especially concerning memory management, trust the GC and nobody will get hurt."

When talking about diversity in a development environment, transpiled non-js languages aren't in the top 3 things that come to mind, but yeah, sure, why not try Haskell in the browser, or even C++? Although to me it doesn't feel right to use non-native tools like this (could it be the scripter in me talking?), if we can create a new system where new learners especially can be shielded from such arcane knowledge as what a stack overflow is, among other things, we can use the browser as playground to experiment with new things. (Shriram Krishnamurthi's talk, while not the most immediately applicable to our work here, was definitely the most entertaining and motivating for me).


But you don't need any special compiled language, you can use straight JavaScript to build surprisingly detailed games (not AAA-level, but definitely beyond the looks of an average indie game), as David Galeano showed us.

And React is something I'm really itching to try soon after this conference, even as I'm still not totally convinced about the spaghetti-soupish bits of HTML inside the Components.

On a final note, Prezi's new auditorium is an amazing venue, well with thought-out spaces and beautiful details everywhere (power plugs in the seats!) – but all this shouldn't be surprising from such a design-driven company.