New York Tech Journal
Tech news from the Big Apple

#HTML5: #web tools, exquisite corpse, web #accessibility

Posted on September 2nd, 2015


09/01/2015 @GoldmanSachs, 200 West Street, NY

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Three speakers talked about a range of topics including: web-development tools, exquisite corpse, and improving web site accessibility.

In the first talk, Glenn Hinks @Kiswe mobile urged the audience to rethink the tools they use to develop web sites and showed how modern tools (I don’t mean ‘vi’) can speed development and improve maintainability. He recommended the following:

Editors: Atom, sublime

Code testing: JSHint,JSLint, ESLiint

Testing the back end code: Supertest, Mocha, supersamples

For more details see:

In the second talk, Jane Kim @janecakemaster spoke about her site which displays a line of poetry and asks the viewer to text in the next line of the poem (a.k.a. exquisite corpse). She used the following tools to create the site:  hapijs, firebase, nodeJS

Justin Pachter @ebay spoke about improving web site accessibility for those with disabilities.  He spoke about ARIA – accessible rich internet applications –how to ad navigation guidelines, etc and how they have implemented many of the WCAG 2.0 guidelines.  One of the main goals is to provide information in tags so systems such as Jaws (Windows) and voice-over (Mac) can access and vocalize the page contents.

Justin talked about many best practices using html5 tags. These include having only one h1 elements to provide a focus for the page and displaying all images so users to tab through visible images on a page.

He recommended testing your site using the accessibility compliance tool

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#Flux as a #StateSpaceModel of user interactions and #LocalStorage options for #WebBrowsers

Posted on August 11th, 2015


08/11/2015 @Goldman Sachs, 200 West St. NY
Taylor Hakes spoke about Flux and Geraldina Alvarez Garcia spoke about local browser storage.
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In the first talk, Taylor Hakes gave an introduction to Flux, an approach to organizing web development. Taylor spoke about the problems of purely programming the dom. One is that user interactions can be conceptualized by creating models in the virtual dom,  but the two-way interactions between models and the UI offers little structure and the possibility of a complex web of interactions.  For example, a user input can trigger many outcomes that may be hard to conceptualize or debug.

He then offered a view in which user interactions flow through a single dispatcher that coordinates all action requests, updates a state space, which in turn drives views. User interactions are routed through action requests, which then restart the state space update process coordinated by the dispatcher.

Taylor presented code examples showing that

  1. Actions are now functions
  2. The history of interactions is stored in state variables
  3. Debugging is easier since the state variables can be monitored vs. the user actions
  4. Flux is verbose, but useful when the logic is complex, but the number of states is manageable
  5. React complements Flux

To learn more, Taylor recommended the book: Evaluation of Flux Frameworks – by Dan Abramov


In the second talk, Geraldina Alvarez Garcia @Kickstarter discussed methods for storing data from a web browser on the local computer. The four methods are

  1. Cookies
  2. Local key-value store
  3. Session storage
  4. indexDB

Cookies are the most prevalent form of local storages, but they are limited to 4k of information. Geraldina talked about an application needing more storage and showed a code snippet implementing a key-value store. It can store up to 5MB of data, but cannot transfer the data directly to a server and is a synchronous operation which may interfere with other operations such as real-time interactive video.

posted in:  Html5 NYC, javaScript, NYCHTML5, Programming    / leave comments:   No comments yet

HTML5: #tools for web developers and using #Ajax for real-time updates

Posted on June 2nd, 2015


06/02/2015 @Lab49, 1345 Ave of the Americas, NY

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Three speakers talked about a variety of tools for developers.

Live updating DOM elements without a framework – Rose Weixel

React and React Native – Mayank Patel

Markup workflow and snippets- Kirill Cherkashin

The first speaker, Rose Weixel, spoke about using Ruby and #Ajax to provide real-time web updates. Her nail-polish sharing site ( requires updates whenever anyone in one’s network updated their status. This means, that unlike in many examples, the user does not initiate the update, so updates of the back end information signal a need to update the display since the trigger event is on another client.

Read more…

posted in:  javaScript, NYCHTML5    / leave comments:   No comments yet

Html5NYC: #FunctionalProgramming, #GeneticAlgorithms, #Geolocation in #HTML5

Posted on November 12th, 2014


10/12/2014 @CondeNast, 4 Times Square, NY

Three presentations on things #JavaScript.


In the first presentation, Nathaniel K Lee talked about how functional programming differs from many of the standard programming paradigms in a language such as JavaScript.

He talked about how functional programming emphasizes nesting of function calls in preference to loops, reusability of functions, avoiding use of global variables within functions, passing functions as function arguments, and returning functions as function outputs.

Two examples of the efficiency of functional programming are in a recursive calculation of factorial and a recursive solution to the Tower of Hanoi problem.

He talked about some of the challenges in incorporating these concepts into JS due to calls by reference when passing objects to a function. He showed how looping through a list can be replaced by recursive calls to process the first item of a list.

He said the main challenges were adopting a new mindset when programming and developing methods to handle a larger number of user-defined functions.

As an aside, those who are familiar with R will recognize the difference between using ‘for’ loops and applying the apply(), sapply() and aggregate() functions. In the case of R, these functions provide a massive speedup in execution.


In the second presentation, Kirill Cherkashin talked about genetic algorithms by showing how

  1. The Mona Lisa can be reproduced by randomly generated triangles
  2. improved the design of schematic cars by randomly mutating the shape, the wheels, and the weight of cars
  3. Google’s use of random search to find an optimal path between two points

Finally, Scott Luptowski @Handy described the HTML5 geolocation API. The API is locationed in window.navigator.geolocation (referred to here as ‘geo’)

Geo.getCurrentPosition() is the function which will ask you if the program can use your location and does the initial setup. The API returns accuracy, longitude and latitude with altitude and other returns optional. Scott said that even though the locations were coded using 12 digits, 5 seemed sufficient as they gave an accuracy of 1 meter (GPS is accurate to within 10 meters).

He recommended coding for the three error cases: 1. Permission denied 2. Timeout, 3. Position unavailable (unlikely).  There are few callbacks in the API, the most important is geo.watchCurrentPositon, which indicates the position has changed since the last report.

posted in:  Html5 NYC, javaScript, NYCHTML5    / leave comments:   No comments yet

Everyone likes Brisket, rJS a love story, Google Closure

Posted on October 16th, 2014

NYCHTML5, #nychtml5

10/15/2014 @ Conde Nast, 4 Times Square, NY

Three presentations on tools for web development using #JavaScript


Google Closure: an overview – Erik Schmidt – @3rikschmidt

Erik described Google Closure ( a set of #JavaScript tools that optimize performance, improve the appearance of pages etc. The library is open source and used in Google products. Erik showed how sample code is compiled into JavaScript code.

r.js A love story – Joel Kemp @mrjoelkemp at @Behance:

Joel described how Behance/Adobe developed tools and procedures to speed the building of web pages. Behance uses RequireJS + Grunt. The goal was to speed JavaScript builds which original took 2 ½ minutes. The JS code was grouped in 75 bundles so each page need only load the code needed rather than the entire suite of code. However, a single piece of code is often contained within multiple bundles each of which need to be Uglified.

The process was sped up by uglifying the code chunks first and then loading the compiled chunks into the 75 bundles. Further speed ups were obtained by not only compiling vendor code when new versions were used. Eventually the bundle creation process will be designed so bundles are only reassembled when new code has been updated.


Everyone likes Brisket – Wayne Warner @wawjr3d

Brisket is isomorphic framework that works like backbone. It is used to power new Bloomberg websites. Perceived loading speed is it’s key advantage. Brisket optimizes its perceived loading speed using several techniques including the ability of user’s to see images and click on links before JS is fully loaded and the duplication of execution by the server and clients sides.

posted in:  javaScript, NYCHTML5    / leave comments:   No comments yet