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Full Frontal 2014

Kyan were at Full Frontal 2014 on Friday, and once again Remy and Julianne Sharp proved their commitment with an excellently curated set of speakers.

I liked Scott Jenson’s talk about breaking through the ‘thin crust’ of custom apps for specific services by having physical objects broadcast their functionality was certainly thought-provoking. Like all good ideas, his examples of rental cars and vending machines were both obvious and compelling in retrospect. With the right set of circumstances I really wouldn’t be surprised to see his system (or something similar) become part of the infrastructure in a few years time.

Andy Wingo’s talk on self-hosted JS had serious pace and a manic presentation but I really enjoyed it. I have to admire anyone who’s willing to live-code extra features into a set of JS interpreters and still present that in an intelligible way. It’s not something I do on a day-to-day basis (frankly, I probably never will) but it’s satisfying to know that I, theoretically at least, could.

Tobias Ahlin’s talk on the way CSS is written at Github was encouraging as that matches for the most part our approach at Kyan. Sometimes you don’t necessarily want a talk to teach you new approaches but to reinforce your existing build decisions. Although having said that our stylesheets generally don’t have the ~6,700 selectors Tobias mentioned (so many that they have to split it into two files to get it to work at all in IE).

A good demo is always nice, and Soledad Penadés filled her talk with a great set of interactive demos of the new WebAudio APIs. Generative audio isn’t something that most of our clients want, but maybe some day it’ll happen. When it does, the OpenMusic project she introduced will absolutely come in handy.

Finally (and talking about good demos), Ben Foxall’s talk was a pretty amazing set of demos showing what’s possible with the cutting edge technology that has made its way into browsers over the last 6-12 months. The centrepiece of a Websocket-synced screen and speaker array was immensely impressive, and it really hammered home just how many features we have available in modern browsers. I’ll definitely be happy to see him on a speaker list again.

All in all, another successful year and if I’m lucky enough to buy tickets in the five minutes after they go on sale next year I’m very much looking forwards to see what’s in store for 2015.