PCjs Machines

Home of the original IBM PC emulator for browsers.


PCjs Blog

Heading to New York

Lots of tinkering has been going on here at pcjs.org the past couple of weeks, but with nothing substantial to show for it. Fixing lots of little problems requires only small bits of time, whereas buckling down and tackling “the next BIG thing” for PCjs requires a much more serious time commitment, with limited interruptions.

And I certainly can’t start on “the next BIG thing” now, because I’m heading to New York tomorrow, for EmpireJS, my first JavaScript conference and my first trip to New York in about 20 years.

I’m going to the conference partly because it was a great excuse to finally visit New York again (and with the whole family, since all three of us are computer nerds), but also to get a more up-close-and-personal sense of where this whole JavaScript renaissance is headed.

Is it headed for a fiery crash? This recent blog post (“you have ruined javascript”) suggests it already has for some people. Is it drowning in the Sea of Endless Proliferation, as this still-relevant two-year-old parody implies? Excerpt:

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the endless proliferation of responsive grids, adaptive images, HTML boilerplates, CSS frameworks and JavaScript whirligigs then what you need is the HTML9 Responsive Boilerstrap JS.

To install HTML9 Responsive Boilerstrap JS just “attackclone the grit repo pushmerge, then rubygem the lymphnode js shawarma module — and presto!”

If you’re wondering what H9RBS.js actually is, well, you can abandon any hopes of one day being hip. But if you must know, H9RBS.js is a “flexible, dependency-free, lightweight, device-agnostic, modular, baked-in, component framework MVC library shoelacestrap to help you kickstart your responsive CSS-based app architecture backbone kitchensink tweetybirds.”

Seriously, I’m concerned about how the JavaScript language (rather than the endless procession of frameworks) is going to evolve, and whether it even can. Two examples: at a high-level, we have Microsoft pushing TypeScript, and at a much lower level, we have Mozilla pushing asm.js. And while I like aspects of both those efforts, I’m relunctant to go very far down either of those paths right now, because I don’t want to get suckered. Inevitably, someone will see a different shiny object along another fork in the road, and everyone will chase after that instead.

Will EmpireJS answer any of these big questions? It doesn’t really matter. I just expect to learn stuff, and learning is fun!

Jeff Parsons
Apr 30, 2014