I spent September 11-14 in Boston for jQuery Conference 2009. For $150, this conference was probably the best value I've seen in a conference. Packed with great speakers on great topics, it was more than I was expecting.
I spent most of my time tweeting the event using the #jQCon tag, but I wanted to collect some thought here in a slightly more robust way than I could using Twitter. Here it goes:
- jQuery 1.3.3 looks really sick; John and the whole core team have done some fantastic work. I really appreciate that these guys are really committed to making jQuery competitive in the running for "fastest" JS library. A 3.5x speed increase overall in 1.3.3 is nothing to sneeze at. I can't wait for the release!
- There are a lot more implications selectors being parsed right-to-left in jQuery than you might imagine. As always, specificity plays a big role; but not necessarily in intuitive ways. I'll probably write a more full post on this topic as my mind really got swirling around this one.
- People are totally stoked about jQueryUI and jQueryUI Labs. That's a good thing as I see absolutely huge potential for jQueryUI and I've been developing some widgets that I plan to release on github relatively soon.
- ARIA is fantastic technology that people should really, really be looking into. An interesting project would be to make all jQueryUI widgets ARIA-compliant.
- People who use and preach jQuery love Event Delegation. I was in really good company with these guys and I was happy to see it getting so much press. jQuery's $.live() handles delegation for you which is just slick.
- Steve Souders is even more passionate about front-end performance than I expected him to be. Also, big ups for doing his presentation on less sleep than I had the night before.
- There's a lot of talk about how to organize your code with jQuery. It seems that the fact that jQuery doesn't enforce some type of structure is both a blessing and a curse. I've often said that for ATC, a big barrier has been that prototype's class functionality gives us something that we haven't been able to replace in jQuery. The good news is that a lot of people are thinking about it and there are some great solutions out there.
I also have some thoughts about the social aspects of the conference
- The question I was asked most: "how about the ratio?" It had to be at least 25:1; but it could have been 30:1
- There's an iPhone version of the drinking game "Circle of Death" out there. That made for every bit as much fun as you might imagine.
- After enough adult beverages, John Resig's "smooth-jazz" voice does lighten a bit. :)
- It was great to find so many people there who were truly social. I was expecting to have a harder time getting people to open up--but there were others there that shared my mindset.
- Off the top of my head (and if you're not on the list, it's because I simply didn't think about it very long or we only talked briefly) it was great to meet and spend time with @bobholt, @jeresig, @voodootikigod, @rmurphey, @snookca, @bitofgrace, @bpartridge, @binary42, @Cowboy, @defunkt, @dainbrain
- I still wish I'd met even more.
Great time; more to come from me on the conference. But that's an early round-up!
For those that weren't there, @bobholt set up a site to aggregate the slides.