Since last year, the DotConferences team has progressed a lot. The Théâtre de Paris has more comfortable seats than the smaller Théâtre des Variétés, the networking space was large enough to contain the 500+ attendees in good conditions between talks, and the food/beverages were great. All that with a tight budget (registration was below 80€, which is a bargain), which allowed some companies (like marmelab) to bring all their developers along.
Great lights and sound (except for the second talk), no downtime between talks in a given session, no time spent waiting for questions from the audience (Sylvain asked all the questions, and the speakers were accessible after their talk in the lobby): all that was great. I can't talk about the Wi-Fi, because I didn't use it - the conference tries to be wireless-less, and I love this idea of spending time actually listening to speakers rather than doing code reviews on Pull Requests between slides.
The organizers designed the schedule so as to keep large empty intervals for networking. When I say large, I mean VERY large. The first conference started at 10:45am, followed by a two hours break at lunch, then another 80 minutes break at 4pm. I love to meet new people and share opinions, but this was too much. Especially since I don't live in Paris and had to take a train (but I think it was worse for non-French attendees). Please, next time, start much earlier (9:30am is probably late enough), stop earlier, too (6pm), and leave plenty of networking time after the conference for those with more time.
Here is an extract from my notes for the speeches.
<blink> tag). Addy made a demo of a video player using AngularJS and new polymer elements. He also bootstrapped a Polymer application with Yeoman.
I'd like to try out Polymer in the future, but I wonder why two different teams at Google work on similar subjects with different libraries (since Angular has a similar approach with Directives). Anyway, great talk.
5 lightning talks (4 minutes each) followed, dealing with hybrid mobile apps, integration testing, memory leak investigation in the browser, HTML5 audio synchronization, and NodeJs deployment. I like the lightning talk format: speakers have to be very well prepared, they have to pack only the most valuable information, and make the audience laugh to convince. Many good ideas to investigate, including using Passenger for Node.js deployment, exploring the heap using d3.js, or bundling behavior tests with web components.
Although famous for his data visualizations, Nicolas chose to focus on a very prospective subject, the ability to overload operators (like
I have learned a few things about the WebGL stack, but I'd have preferred a more inspiring talk than an exploration of a tiny technical niche without any implementation in sight.
After a quick introduction about client-side performance, Dave, who is now the jQuery Lead Developer, focused on solving the problem of forced layouts. "Premature optimization is the root of all evil", as we all know, and we already have the tools to detect and fix frontend performance bottlenecks (in Google Chrome and IE11).
Dave was a good speaker, used plenty of examples to illustrate his concerns, and overall did a good job at raising the audience's awareness of web performance topics. I had already watched a talk on the same subject from the Velocity Conference, so I didn't learn anything new, but I guess it was an interesting subjects when you're new to WebPerf.
Another talk about frontend optimization of one-page webapps, illustrated by real-world examples taken from the cloudup service, where Guillermo works. Guillermo is famous for his work on socket.io, Mongoose, and mydb. He's also a good teacher. He showed a few tricks to give the impression of speed, get rid of spinners, and improve reactivity of data synchronization. I missed some kind of perspective from his talk - a compilation of tricks doesn't make a doctrine.
The involuted talk of the day. If you're not developing a RequireJS/AMD clone, you probably didn't miss anything from James' exploration of the future module standards of EcmaScript 6 (not yet finished, not yet implemented, imperfect, and abstract). I must admit I didn't follow half of the talk - too arcane for me.
The performance of Nicolas was to improvise a 25 minutes talk in a single week-end, despite having to watch his kids and being a substitute for the creator of the V8 engine, Lars Bak. I know that I need an approximately one hour of preparation for one minute of talk when I'm on stage, so kudos to Nicolas for that.
An informative and entertaining talk about web security, how important and how hard it is. Some of the great quotes I heard from this talk: to reach a good security level, "all you have to do is never make a single mistake", which is impossible since security specialists "discount the probability of perfection".
Alex illustrated a few of the common security pitfalls in (frontend) web development, including Content Injection (via XSS), and CSS hacks. Content injection is impossible to detect using regexps (don't even try), and CSS hacks are impossible to mitigate because of timing attacks.
Too bad I couldn't see the conclusion of this talk because of the late hour, it was one of the best talks of the conference.
Did you enjoy the conference as much as I did? Feel free to comment below to share your view about the talks and organization.
Published on 03 Dec 2013