SXSW Day Two – Future of JavaScript

Aaron Gustafson (Easy Designs) and Andrew Dupont (Prototype core team) gave a  very developer focused, brief presentation on “The Future of JavaScript.”

It was crammed into one of the 25-minute sessions SXSW had in the afternoons (a 3:30-3:55 spot and a 4:05-4:30 spot each day) so the rapid-fire nature of it made good sense.

They showed a lot of code demonstrating features in JavaScript 1.6,and 1.7, but the time limit meant that the examples are typically fairly simple, standalone examples which show the syntax but not necessarily the value -  that is, they show you how an iterator works, not necessarily the best practices of how to use one.

I also wish they’d been able to spend more time talking about JavaScript 2.0, though perhaps that’s too in the future, or even the upcoming improvements in Prototype.js. (I know, just because Andrew works on prototype doesn’t mean I should I assume the talk will be about it).

That said, it’s a very clear, easy to understand tutorial on some of the language goodness in 1.6 and 1.7 – and the slides are available on Aaron’s blog.


  1. I’m glad you enjoyed the session. We tried to pack as much in as we could and keep the examples understandable to the DOM Scripting crowd (i.e. generating nodes, etc. as opposed to the more esoteric Fibonacci sequence generation demonstrated in Moz’s own documentation). All told, I think it worked well for the rapid-fire “Power Session” format, though I obviously would have liked a bit more time.

    As for JS2… that’s a whole can of worms that could easily take up a full hour, if not a day.

  2. Definitely a session I’d recommend people check out (download the slides from Aaron’s blog).

    Just found myself wishing you and Andrew had at least an hour.

    Maybe a longer session at OSCON this summer?

  3. Like many, I was conflicted about the 25-minute sessions. We could’ve covered a bunch more, but for a broadbased conference like SXSW it’s likely best to keep things bite-sized.

    As for Prototype: if you’d like to know what’s in the pipeline, read the prototype-core mailing list ( We’re always open to requests, suggestions, and other guidance.

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