April 22, 2011 in Writing
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April 22, 2011 · Writing

MIX: the talks

JavaScript’s future; what Lord of the Rings has to do with design, and more

Douglas Crockford on JavaScript

With MIX’s focus on the web, who better to invite than Douglas Crockford, the brains behind JSON, author of Javascript: The Good Parts (and someone we invited to speak at CUSEC 2010))


He started off: “I’m Doug Crockford. I’m sorry to inform you that for the next hour, I’ll be talking about JavaScript.”

In particular, he spoke about the next version of Javascript. ECMAScript 3 is the basis for the JavaScript we use now; ECMAScript 4 fell through; version 5 is what everyone is finalizing right now.

The goals of ES5?

  1. Don’t break the web
  2. Improve the language for the users of the language
  3. Third party security
  4. protect stupid people from themselves (can’t do that “because that’s just too hard”)
  5. No new syntax.

Crockford is particularly disappointed on how little effort the W3C has put towards fixing HTML’s security model, especially before embarking on HTML5. He went as far as calling it “criminally irresponsible.”

A video of the talk is available here.

Crockford was on stage again on the second day of the conference, this time with a better self-introduction: “I’m Doug Crockford and I discovered that javascript has good parts.”


Left to right: Tomasz Janczuk, Douglas Crockford, Allen Wirfs-Brock, Luke Hoban

Also on the panel:

The panelists’ thoughts on the future of JavaScript:

  • TJ: biggest fear is bifurcating the language. Javascript currently has a big advantage in the size of its community programming against a single language.
  • DC: wants to see JavaScript get more simple. Worried about security of language and simple is easier to think about.
  • AWB: JS is the next ubiquitous language.
  • LH: every browser now has a fast and new JavaScript engine and there’s a lot of support for HTML 5.

Fellowship of the rings

“Great design is a fellowship of roles,” says Rick Barraza in a talk called “What Brains, Football and Hobbits teach us about Designer & Developer.”

Designers and developers both want to ship a great product; design is too important to be left only to the designers. Design is both a noun and a verb but we usually talk about design as the noun.


Instead, we should think of great design as a “fellowship of roles”:

  • The very elegant Orland Bloom graphic designers
  • The hobbit-y new UX role
  • The royal legacy that is the developers. They’re kings — a project stands or falls on the technical lead
  • The server guys (who are kept in the back)

(The amount of facial hair increases from right brain to left brain.)

Most importantly, Barraza says, we need a Gandalf-like character to act as Experience Architect, working to integrating everything.

It’s available to watch on the Channel 9 site (third talk in the video).

And some photos from others:

Designer and Developer: A Case for the Hybrid (Jeff Croft)


Jeff Croft of Lendle fame.

Should designers code? Or is is okay for one to specialize in visual design and expect others to build their vision? As we get farther and farther away from the days of the “webmaster,” and become an industry of specialists, are we losing some of the beauty, efficiency, and innovation that can be found at the point where design and development intersect? Jeff Croft, hybrid designer and developer, makes the case that the best web products will always be created by designers who understand the building blocks of the web: the code.

Robby Ingebretsen: “Farming for Ideas: How to Be The Most Creative You”.


Data in an HTML5 World (Asad Khan, Marcelo Lopez Ruiz)


What Exactly Are We Doing on the Web? (DL Byron)


Nearly 20 years into this industry — one that we mostly just made up as we went along — it’s time to ask, what exactly is our craft? What do we do and how well do we do it? Byron will ask questions about a professional ethos, values, and ongoing growth from the early days to now and the future. He’ll also share inspiration, throw out some challenges, and engage in a conversation about our careers on the Web.

Next up

A post about IE at MIX.


This entry was written by Andrew Louis on April 22, 2011 and posted in Writing. It's tagged with , , , .