31-Mar-2014 by Allison McMillan

Read Time: Approx. 2 minutes

Final Keynote

And here we are… coming to a close at Emberconf. The final keynote was given by Dave Herman about evolution. He started with a cool little video about putting the source code for the internet online. He used that to talk about evolutions versus revolutions. Revolutions are good but only when there is a need for one, otherwise evolution is great. He talked about some of the current Javascript issues of speed, jit compilation, etc. A revolution might be a new byte code language but an evolution is talking about the current and improving it. He spoke about formalizing patterns, closing the gaps to make things better, building a JS compiler, and studying it to optimize the code.

There is a process to evolve Javascript. He then spoke a bit about echoschript and es6 modules. Adding features that were backwards compatible. All this can lead to 1JS. It leads to focus, consistency and adoption. Consistency meaning orthogonal, composable, etc. and adoption meaning that it is easy to adopt and comes with as few evolutionary issues as possible.

He spoke a bit about “use strict” which fixes some compiler issues (although I’m not completely sure I grasp what and where “use strict” is used for). ES6 modules are strict by default which means a more smooth path. He talked about how features were better than forks and that to pave better paths for the future, we need features that can be adopted into existing code bases. Based on that idea, modules are a better programming model than modes.

He then went a bit into the extensible web manifesto and how that is the process of how we can work together to evolve the platform. Basically, good design is motivated by use cases and work flows. Good design is built from small, orthogonal, and composable primitives. We need to think about the end-to-end system and how it all works and then build those in small pieces. His main point was that developers need to be a part of that process to help iterate, evaluate and create standards. So, in three steps, extensible web works like this:
1. Add missing primitives
2. Enable userland polyfills and compilers
3. Work together (browser vendors and developers)

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