the entrance of Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, with a banner that says 'Welcome Nebraska Javascript'

Most of the tweets embedded in this article are threads; click them if you want more of my in-the-moment thoughts.

Fredd K Schott on Pika Package Manager

I had heard about Pika before, but was very fuzzy on the details. Pika has a search engine and CDN for "modern web packages", and also something called Pika Web that lets you import JavaScript modules in the browser, without needing a build step for your site.

From the docs:

@pika/web installs npm packages as single .js files to a new web_modules/ directory.

This seems like potentially a convenient solution to the problem of how to install one or two packages from npm in a simple way in a Glitch project, that is easily consumable by a website. The creator of Pika (and giver of the talk) has an example using @pika/web on Glitch already!

Looking at it more closely, I'm not 100% sure on the merits of using Pika over my usual approach for Glitch projects of remixing my favorite Parcel starter, but it is always good to have options!

Home Automation

This was a nice little talk on home automation and hardware hacking for JavaScript developers.

Storytelling in Tech

I appreciated this talk on how the elements of storytelling can go in to making a conference talk great. Since I don't give a ton of talks at this point, I would have liked to see some tips on how I can use storytelling in regular (smaller scale!) presentations in the workplace, but it was still a great talk.

Responsible JavaScript

This talk is based on a series for A List Apart (Responsible Javascript Part 1 and Responsible Javascript Part 2). It was about how developers have a responsibility to make sure we're only shipping the code we really need to our users, to account for things like slow connections, data caps, and slow/non "top of the line" devices.

The talk went into some techniques for creating smaller bundles and more performant JavaScript, but I'd like to read the accompanying articles to get more info on this.

This talk made me realize more deeply why as an advocate for marginalized users, I should also care a lot about performance of the sites I help build.

Web Assembly

This talk was a great introduction to Web Assembly, a tool that I've heard a lot about but never really understood. My takeaway is that Web Assembly is a compile target for the web, and browsers will support Web Assembly and that lets you write code in lots of other languages, which you compile to the Web Assembly target and ship to the browser. I'd like to see more about what the toolchains for doing so look like, and understand more about the effects on the user. (Can you view source to see what Web Assembly code is running, or is it all hidden away?)

Generate Art Everywhere, And Fast

This talk was a delightful introduction to what generative web art is and how people create it. It mentioned both raw approaches like manipulating <canvas> elements as well as libraries like p5.js that can help you make generative art. The talk included several Glitch project links so you could see the code that was running and remix them to experiment yourself. You can find those generative art demos/starters on Glitch.com.

The talk wasn't just about art though - it also touched on some principles for making your art perform quickly (using Web Workers) and appear snappily (using Offscreen Canvas). Offscreen Canvas is a newer API and it can be kind of confusing, so the talk giver (Trent M Willis) has created a package to make it simple as well as a demo Glitch app that uses that package.

Tatiana Mac on Privilege

This was a very good talk on the intersecting nature of privilege and how it affects our lives as developers and as humans. When the video comes out, y'all should watch it.
Another good thing to read to learn from Tatiana is "Canary in a Coal Mine: How Tech Provides Platforms for Hate".

Jokes