Talking JavaScript with Yahoo!

I spent a few days last week up in London at the offices of Yahoo Europe. They were having an internal developers’ conference but they were kind enough to ask me along to speak.

It was a great conference and kudos must go to Murray Rowan for organising it. You can see pictures of the event on Flickr.

I spoke about DOM Scripting, unobtrusive JavaScript and Ajax. I found myself speaking to a receptive audience of very clued-up developers. I had the chance to meet some North American Yahooites like Nate Koechley and Eric Miraglia, gentlemen and scholars both.

On the subject of gentlemen, I had the very great honour of listening to Douglas Crockford, a larger than life figure in the world of JavaScript. He gave an amazingly in-depth talk on the syntax of the language, as well as outlining good coding style. He also spoke about JSON. Despite the fact that JSON was being used, developed, and standardised over the past few years, this was the first time Douglas had ever done a presentation on it.

JSON is way of transmitting data, much like XML but less verbose (perhaps sacrificing readability for terseness). It could prove to be very, very useful in Ajax apps. Rather than going into detail here, I’ll just point you to Simon Willison’s description of the technology and Peter-Paul’s Koch’s comparison of the various formats you can choose for receiving data.

If you poke around Douglas Crockford’s website, you’ll also find a handy tool called JSLint, a JavaScript verifier. It checks the syntax and style of your code.

JSLint is also available as a widget. Speaking of which, the very brave Mark Norman Francis did a live demonstration of writing a widget. It looks like fun. I may try my hand at cobbling one together.

Finally, if you’d like a taste of the kind of JavaScript development going on at Yahoo, check out the newly launched JavaScript Developer Center. This is just the start - expect to see lots of cool JavaScript stuff coming out of Sunnyvale.

Posted by Jeremy on Monday, December 19th, 2005 at 9:22pm


JavaScript at Y! is becoming very big. I can only hope that it’s maintained well and standardized in a way that allows us Yahoo! to streamline our applications.

When I met with Eric Meraglia we went over some basics with our Y! tools which make for ease of development. Funny story though when we set up a meeting, I was waiting for him in a conference room and when he showed up he told me he had the room booked and I would eventually need to leave….to his surprise, I was the one he was meeting. Humbly I told him "Hi, I’m Dustin". Heh. First impressions are fun.

As for simon willison, we had plans for grabbing a drink together when he was in Sunnyvale, but it was his first week at Y! and he had quite a few things to do so we never got to meet up. I’m sure we’ll find each other at SxSW.

Lastly, look for some very cool widgets coming out of Y! - I’ve played with a few and they’re quite slick.

# Posted by Dustin Diaz on Tuesday, December 20th, 2005 at 1:54am

Dustin: How charming of me! Sorry to be such a goober.

Jeremy: It was such a pleasure meeting you and a wonderful opportunity, too, for us at Yahoo to have reinforced in person many of the ideas and patterns with which we’ve become familiar in your book. Each of your several presentations was unique and thoughtful and your perspective added great deal to our gathering.

Can’t to hear more from you when you make your way to conferences in CA; in the meantime, good luck with your Principia! I will be reading with interest….

# Posted by Eric Miraglia on Tuesday, December 20th, 2005 at 5:54am

Eric, just wanted to give you a hard time. You were a huge help for what I was trouble-shooting. Hopefully one day we’ll all find each other at the same place.

# Posted by Dustin Diaz on Wednesday, December 21st, 2005 at 8:32am

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December 2005

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