Fronteers — vakvereniging voor front-end developers

Fronteers 2009 sessions

A Web of Confusion by Douglas Crockford

The browser is generally regarded as an incompetent blunder, crafted with horrendous security vulnerabilities which, 14 years on, still have not been repaired. Yet, despite the browser's lousy reputation, when it comes to security, it is significantly better than everything else. By understanding what the browser got right that everyone else continues to get wrong, we can see where the web needs to go to ultimately become a dependable platform.

Video and slides

Building and maintaining a complex frontend codebase - A case study by Martin Savelkoul

In this presentation Martin Savelkoul will show you how he set up the frontend code base for a big corporate website. He'll discuss, among other things, issues like collaboration on big complex projects and optimization while developing versus final performance optimization.

Even Faster Web Sites by Steve Souders

Steve Souders discusses web performance best practices from his second book, Even Faster Web Sites. These time-saving techniques are used by the world's most popular web sites to create a faster user experience, increase revenue, and reduce operating costs. Steve provides technical details about reducing the pain of JavaScript and CSS, as well as secrets for making your page load faster in emerging markets where network connectivity is a challenge. You'll learn how to make your web sites 25-50% faster using techniques such as splitting the initial payload, loading scripts without blocking, and coupling asynchronous scripts.

Video and slides

Object Oriented CSS by Nicole Sullivan

How do you scale CSS for millions of visitors or thousands of pages? What happens to the size of your CSS file as more pages and modules are added? The answer, for most sites, is that it grows out of control and becomes an unmaintainable tangle of spaghetti code. Perhaps more importantly, our sites are too brittle and require guru-level abilities to make even simple changes.

CSS is a powerful, beautiful, and expressive language, but deeply misunderstood and often poorly written. Now is exactly the right moment for it to get a dose of software engineering best practices. Object Oriented CSS allows you to write fast, maintainable, standards-based front-end code. It adds much needed predictability to CSS so that even beginners can create beautiful websites. OOCSS is not a framework or a tool (though in this session Nicole will demo both), it is a better, saner way to write and maintain style sheets.

In this session, Nicole will demonstrate how to build templates, grids, modules, and other objects. After attending, you will be able to:

  • Apply programming best practices to style sheets
  • Extend CSS objects to create unique skins
  • Calculate complexity, use mixins, and avoid singletons (Yup, all CSS)
  • Model design patterns in UML
  • Take advantage of the cascade (rather than letting it take advantage of you!)

Video and slides

Of hamsters, feature creatures and missed opportunities by Chris Heilmann

In this session we'll discuss the Yahoo! Query Language and the way in which this powerful tool gives us the opportunity to load data from basically any site and display it in your own interface.

Video and slides

Roll Your Own Effects Framework by Thomas Fuchs

Ever wondered what it takes to write an internationally notorious visual effects library? Now's your chance to find out. There's no need to feel like you're constrained by what's already out there. Learn how to build your own custom micro-framework for CSS animation from nothing, zilch, scratch.

In this code-intense talk, we'll start with the real-world fundamentals of animation: timing, frames per second, easing functions and transitions. Next, you'll learn about the best (and most efficient) ways to read & write CSS properties to create the changes you want to see. Finally, rounding it out, we'll cover the details that make your animation code a framework: structure, callback, timers, and optimizations.

You'll leave this talk leveled-up, no longer hitched to pre-existing solutions. You'll be able to write your own, or tweak the ones you use to suit.

Video and slides

The challenges and rewards of writing a 100K line JavaScript application by Laurens van den Oever

Xopus is a browser based XML editor written in JavaScript and XSLT. As any application it grows in size and complexity with every release.

The scale of the Xopus project pushes browsers to their limits in term of performance, stability and standard compliance. We will demonstrate those limits and what we've done to push browsers even further.

We will show our development framework: the Xopus Application Framework (packages, namespaces, dependency resolution, inheritance, event handling, unit testing and obfuscation/compression). And the core platform including a (semi)threaded scheduler, the Functional Reactive user interface framework based on that and our contentEditable replacement.

The Future of Web Applications by Dion Almaer and Ben Galbraith

Ajaxian Founders, Google and Mozilla Alumnis and now Palm WebOS gurus Dion Almaer and Ben Galbraith will present on The Future of Web Applications.

The Ajax revolution saw a sea change in web application development. By taking advantage of long-dormant browser capabilities, we were able to take our craft to new levels—reinventing well-established genres, challenging desktop applications, and jump-starting a renaissance in web start-ups.

So what happens when we have new browser features to exploit? This session explores some of the latest shiny toys we can play with—potentially disruptive technologies that just might upset the status quo once again.


The future state of layout by Stephen Hay

Stephen dives into the CSS3 layout modules, places them side-by-side and explores the pros and cons of each. He takes a layout for which floats and positioning would be less than ideal, pulls it apart and builds it three times: once for each of three CSS3 layout modules, exploring how we will finally be able to create true grid-based layouts.

With much of recent CSS3 attention directed toward decoration and typography, it's time to focus our attention on that which has caused developers the most problems: layout. You'll leave this session with a firmer understanding of what the layout modules have to offer.

Video and slides

The Mobile Web, or the masochist’s guide to gleeful self-flagellation by Peter-Paul Koch

In this session we'll take a look at various practical problems that surround the creation of mobile websites and W3C Widgets. Although web developers are well prepared for many of the browser incompatibilities they're sure to encounter, there are some special problems that occur only on mobile devices. We will discuss these problems.

We'll also take a look at producing interoperable W3C Widgets and the problems vendors have created for us.

If the mobile web is new to you you'll be shocked by the sheer size of the problems mobile devices create, and the sheer depth of our ignorance. Nonetheless, there is a thin ray of light at the end of the tunnel, and we'll end on a more positive note by looking to the future.

The Type We Want: Using Fonts on the Web by Jonathan Snook

Using your choice of fonts on the web is coming of age. Historically, we've had to make do with a small, safe list of font choices or use images to get more imaginative. From there, we've seen the rise of Flash-based and canvas-based font embedding. CSS3 holds new promise and browsers are implementing the features we need to accomplish easier font embedding on the web. There's still plenty of obstacles and confusion and this session will shed some light on the dark art of font embedding on the web.

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Understanding JavaScript Testing by John Resig

This talk will be a comprehensive look at what you need to know to properly test your JavaScript code. Numerous testing frameworks will be discussed and examined together with an encompassing analysis of the general families of testing techniques. If you haven't tested your JavaScript code before - or if you're looking for a better way to test your existing code - this is the talk for you.

Video and slides

Using HTML5 Features In Internet Explorer 8 by Pete LePage

Internet Explorer 8 has support for many HTML5 features, but do you know what they are or how to use them? We'll do a quick overview of those features, see how they're supported and then dive into the code and see real examples of how they work. We'll take an existing website, and implement HTML5 features to make the website more performant, and powerful in Internet Explorer 8, and other browsers that have support for HTML5 features.

What's New With the Mobile Web by Molly Holzschlag

As we become more and more device oriented, our jobs as designers and developers are truly looking at a new frontier. Whether we choose to create widgets for both desktop and mobile use, or focus on CSS media queries for offering the best quality experience on all devices, there's no doubt that the Web, and subsequently our jobs, are changing. Molly will share some of the current hot topics the design, development and testing of mobile applications and Web site delivery.