I had the pleasure of attending Connect-JS in Atlanta this past weekend and had a great time speaking, attending talks and meeting some very talented people. Connect-JS totes itself as being a low-cost, community conference that brings in recognized experts from around the world. They did a great job this year and I’m glad I had the opportunity to be there!

My talk focused on the benefits of TypeScript and ES6 and the experience gained by our team in working on Dojo 2, Mayhem, and several ongoing consulting and development engagements that are readying our customers for the fun landscape of ES6 and their consideration of using TypeScript in their web applications. I’ll post the video of my talk when it becomes available but in the meantime, I encourage you to check out a number of the resources mentioned in the talk, including our recent dojo/Compose proposal, dts-generator, and remap-istanbul!

While I really enjoy speaking at conferences, I find it equally rewarding to attend talks with the goal of discovering what’s currently making developers tick, understanding tech perceptions and trends at a particular event, and, of course, learning new things. There was no shortage of talks about React and Angular, at least three talks delving into Promises, several talks focused on ES6 and TypeScript, and many other interesting topics of note.

I really appreciated Javan Makhmali and Sam Stephenson‘s talk about Trix, the new open source rich text editor from the team at Basecamp. It had been nearly eight years since Sam and I last met at Apple’s WWDC 2007 and it was great to catch-up and see what they’ve been doing. Trix takes an interesting approach to solving the painful problem of RichText editing:


A few quick points:

  • everything is represented as a character (they do not rely on iscontenteditable)
  • immutable documents, making undo/redo easy
  • lossless round-trip through HTML
  • the editor is a custom element, offering various lifecycle events
  • their approach to drag-and-drop for attachments looks very useful
  • improvements in copy/paste, mutation observers, and drag-and-drop APIs has helped their efforts significantly
  • works on desktop evergreen browsers and on iOS (they’re getting close on Android!)

I also really enjoyed a pair of talks by Jakub Jedryszek, an engineer at Microsoft. Jakub talked about test driven development (TDD) with TypeScript, and also about the Aurelia framework. I had a great follow up discussion with Jakub about TypeScript in general, and about testing with Intern.

Sadly, there were a few talks I missed including Brian Mann on his new testing platform, and a lessons learned talk on Enterprise JavaScript. I’ll be looking forward to the videos!

The conference wound down at the Edgewood Corner Tavern. It’s no small feat to pull off something like this so here’s a big THANK YOU to Pratik Patel and Vincent Mayers for organizing a great event and inviting me to be a part of it. Looking forward to the next one!