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JerseyScript: hacking your car plus understanding and using the magic of #react.js

Posted on January 29th, 2015

@JerseyScriptUSA on twitter

01/28/2015 @Indie Grove, 121 Newark Ave, Jersey City, NJ

After Jenn updated the audience on upcoming #JavaScript events, three speakers gave lightning talks


In the first, John Feminella @jxxf spoke about JavaScript under the Hood (or ruining your car with JavaScript). John gave a short history of how Federal air pollution standards stimulated development of computer monitoring of all functions in your car. The #OBD interface is a portal to error diagnostics and sensors.

Every recent car has a port near the driver’s steering wheel into which a reader can be attached. Using a BLE adapter and the Torque app, one can monitor car functions.

Using the 5 character diagnostic and sensor codes one can interpret the shared coded for 9 of the 16 pins in the interface such as is the gas cap open to what is the motor speed. It’s enough to make driving my car a spectator sport.

Other useful links are:


The next two talks were about react.js. Bert Muthalaly @stijlist spoke about the motivation for using react.js and how it does it magic React js is a library for building the user interface. What distinguishes it is it’s ability to speed up the interface. How does it do it?

To explain this, we first need to consider when the domain object model (dom) is slow. This can happen when we are making changes to the display within a tight video loop. In this case, we make the change and the dom needs to update every detail within knowing what has been changed.

React.js speeds this update since we dictate to a virtual dom what has been changed, so the dom only needs to update what has changed. This process is accomplished by organizing the display into a tree data structure, so the changed branches can be quickly identified.

The links below provide further information: also react.js, immutable.js

Lastly, Justin Falcone @modernserf showed the speed and design advantages of using react.js by creating a whimsical create-your-own-breakfast site. Here he showed how one can easily create a graphical interface to select and place eggs, tortilla, cheese, salsa, etc. on your virtual plate. The code uses svg graphics and is compact and modular as well as fast.

To get the code go to modernserf/huevos-rancheros

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