Chris C, Veronika H and I attended jQuery's 2014 conference in Oxford. Between the three of us, we could cover quite a lot of different talks that were available on the day. This blog post is just a slice of some of the talks we attended that day.

Jen Simmons began the conference by presenting A Love Letter to HTML, a recap of the Internet's and World Wide Web's history. It was a nice reminder to have in thought throughout the conference.

After this, Veronika went to one of the side track talks: Building a basic WYSIWYG editor.

Did you know that building an editor isn't as hard as you might have thought? So if you don't fancy using rangy.js or just want to have a look under the hood of web editors, check out the tutorials we went through with Kerry Gallagher - it's fun!

Meanwhile, Chris and I stayed in the main room for an animated presentation by Paul Lewis: Build for the Future.

Paul started by showing us some really useful tools for benchmarking and testing how optimised your website is (or isn't). Network Link Conditioner was one tool for Mac users, which allows you to throttle your internet connection so it's unbearably slow.

He also introduced us to Google's PageSpeed Insights, a tool that allows you to test the speed of a given website and gives you some information about how to improve it. Web Page Test is a similar tool, but with more emphasis on benchmarking.

You can read up about the "best practices for modern web development" here.

After a short break, Veronika went to a workshop about 'automated testing of mobile apps using' by Jonathan Lipps:

Appium lets you test your compiled mobile applications by writing test code in a language of your choice. (Choose JavaScript, you know you want to!) Sadly it took me pretty much the whole workshop to set up the Android SDK on my machine so I didn't benefit from it too much. If you want to try out Appium, take a look at the Appium homepage.

Back in the main track, Lea Verou introduced us to colourful things. She presented some interesting demos about The Chroma Zone: Engineering Color on the Web and showed us how useful CSS colour names can be:

Gray, dark gray

The demos she showed us can be seen on her GitHub account, but here are handful I think are definitely worth checking out:

  • Dabblet: an interactive CSS playground and code sharing tool.
  • Luminance != Lightness: enter a colour and see its luminance and lightness values.
  • Contrast Ratio: see the contrast ratio between text and background colours.

In summary, conferences are awesome because...

1) You get to hang out with your workmates

Pubbage in Oxford

(Pubbage in Oxford)

2) You see people speak who's name you're used to reading on API docs

Yehuda Katz talking about Why you should use Ember

(Yehuda Katz on Ember.js)

3) You meet like-minded people

Nerdvana: the Retro Gaming lounge

(Nerdvana: the Retro Gaming lounge)

4) Last but not least, you learn cool new things like developing apps with PhoneGap and find out some more tools to pack in your web developer toolbox.