10. Japanese WoodBlocks
9. The Bocoup Crew
EmpireJS disrupted traditional conference offerings by forgoing Starbucks and serving coffee from companies like Blue Bottle and Stumptown. They also served iced coffee on tap, which further proved that the conference took Java seriously and literally.
— Mark Wunsch (@markwunsch) May 6, 2014
6. Mini Cupcakes
There was no shortage of food during the two-day event. The snacks and meals included kimchi tacos, bagels, Doritos and pitas – but the mini cupcakes stole the show. Using Baked by Melissa’s Cupcake Art tool, The EmpireJS crew made delightfully nerdy arrangements of cupcakes in the shapes of the Empire and JS logos.
— Nathan Rajlich (@TooTallNate) May 6, 2014
— PubNub (@PubNub) May 5, 2014
Nodejitsu’s Arnout Kazemier flew all the way from The Netherlands to announce the launch of BigPipe. BigPipe is a web framework for Node.js. Kazemier explains that “BigPipe allows you to slice up your side in reusable components called pagelets, which are flushed to the page fully async. These components can be released into npm and re-mixed, creating a full front-to-back npm experience.” BigPipe was originally released by Facebook and explained in this blog post. What’s great about BigPipe is that you can send your data directly to the browser, so that it can download the required elements and render, which compliments the asynchronicity of Node.js. To learn more, check out bigpipe.io.
4. Facebook Flo
Facebook Flo was also announced at EmpireJS. Flo is a Chrome extension that lets you modify running apps without reloading; it can be integrated with your build system and dev environment and can be used with the editor of your choice. Amjad Masad, an engineer at Facebook, created Flo.
“The problem we were trying to solve is long development cycles,” said Masad. There’s a long delay between writing Code and seeing the result in the browser. If you’re writing in C++ or Java it’s going to be a lot longer, but web developers are used to immediate feedback. So, coming from smaller companies, I’m used to that immediate feedback so I really wanted to bring that to Facebook.” Masad primarily works on Facebook photos but will continue to improve Flo. His initial plans include integrating it with other tools like Gulp and simplifying the configuration process.
3. Web Components
1. Domenic Denicola’s Final Frontier
“Native apps are capturing a lot of developer and user mind share, but there’s a lot of disadvantages – like being locked into one ecosystem and not being able to move your data around, or, if you’re a developer, [having] to pay 30% of all your profits to Google or Apple,” said Denicola. “The web doesn’t have these problems, the web is open and it’s developed and it’s a pretty unique developer experience and user experience. That’s the reason I want to advocate for Mobile Web, but it’s not there yet. It’s missing a bunch of capabilities; it’s missing integration, user experience, developer experience and most importantly, the user engagement features.”
By day, Denicola is a consultant at Lab49, and by night, he serves on W3C’s Technical Architecture Group (TAG). His presentation included mentions of several tools and resources that can help developers create web apps that provide similar experiences as native apps, including Service Worker and Mozilla’s Servo. He also encouraged the crowd to develop a web app whenever possible, to help contribute to the future of web app development.