One of the big topics at JSConf this year was around modules. Modules are self-contained, interchangeable pieces of code that can be used and reused across projects. As well as being a great way to promote reuse, the ability to modularize has been an issue with client-side performance geeks for a while now. In that context, the ability to package reusable code and deliver it in a fast (preferably asynchronous) way to the browser while also handling any dependency issues that may arise (i.e., modules depending on modules) is a big problem to solve. There are lots of patterns for modularization that were discussed (with Node implementing the CommonJS module system) but nothing has ever been formalized at the language level.
Ryan Dahl, the creator of Node, delivered a great keynote. As someone that has created something with so much hype Ryan is a very humble and gracious presenter (and perhaps a little quirky) – his talk on creating the next version of Node to natively support Windows was absolutely fascinating and highlights how low level Node actually is. It actually bordered on captivating (in an extremely geeky kind of way). I totally appreciate all the efforts of the core contributors of Node to make the JS layer of Node completely platform independent – it’s truly amazing work.
The great thing about NodeConf was the fact it was one of the first conferences specifically on Node – a project that was only started in 2009. I’m pretty sure almost all the people developing Node in the world were in that room (apologies if you weren’t ) – it’s a small but vibrant community.
It was a great week. Thanks again to Chris Williams and Mikeal Rogers for organizing JSConf and NodeConf and thanks to all the sponsors for the amazing parties. And a specical thanks goes out to Meno Abels and Malte Ubl, two crazy and unbelievably talented German developers who have managed to invent a solution for conference WiFi that runs on Node and actually works! I had fast, constant, perfect WiFi all the time and on every device – there aren’t many conferences (especially tech conferences) where you can say that, so kudos to them for coming up with a solution to what is actually a very hard problem. Maybe Owen could use them for WDCNZ?