Menu

Colin Devroe

Reverse Engineer. Blogger.

Attending the August NEPA.js Meet up

The NEPA.js Meet up is really hitting its stride. Each meet up is pretty well supported – even in the summer – and the camaraderie and general feeling around each event is pretty great. Also, the Slack channel is pretty active.

If you’re within an hour or so of Scranton I’d recommend joining the meet up group, jumping into the Slack channels from time-to-time, and attending at least a few events per year. If you need help with any of these things send me an email.

Also, within the past few weeks we’ve seen a new group spin out of the NEPA.js group. A more general meet-and-work-on-stuff type of group created by Den Temple. This event fills the gaps for when there isn’t a NEPA.js group event.

This month’s presentation was by Ted Mielczarek. Ted works at Mozilla on build and automation tools for Mozilla’s primary product Firefox. He has, though, dabbled in a variety of other things at Mozilla like crash reporting and the gamepad web API. It was his experience building this API that spurred this month’s topic; Web APIs.

I remember jumping onto the web in the 90s and being blown away when I was able to put animated GIFs of X-Wing fighters on my personal Star Wars fan page. Today, web browsers support a variety of Web APIs that make the open web a true software development platform. There are APIs to control audio and video, to connect to MIDI-enabled devices, to connect to Bluetooth, VR and – of course – to allow for game controller input. There are lots of others too.

Ted did a great job showing demos of many of these APIs. Just enough for us to get the idea that the web has matured into a powerful platform upon which just about anything can be made.

Thanks to Ted for the work he put into creating the presentation and to all the attendees for helping the NEPA.js community thrive.

The Outline

Joshua Topolsky:

What’s most exciting about the platform is that we’re able to break apart and atomize story elements into forms that are sized for what we want to communicate. So our ability to point you toward some interesting data, or key facts about a story, or context about where a story is coming from is vastly expanded. But our system also provides an incredible way of building intricate, deep, creatively varied stories that can be a single narrative or a sum of parts. In short, it’s a complex new piece of tech: a real-time, highly extensible, extremely modern way of making things on the internet.

I applaud Josh and his team for trying to make something new with regards to publishing stories online. That is long, long overdue. But I think he’s overhyping it.

John Gruber seems to love it. 😉

My take? Pop news for the Snapchat generation. Not a bad thing to exist. Let’s revisit this to see where they are in 24 months. I have a feeling this one will be a flash in the pan due to the management of the thing not the thing itself.

Oh… one other bit; they do that whole “URL-changes-as-you-scroll-thing”. Hate that. But I’m old.