Reminiscing about EmberFest 2014

05 September 2014

EmberFest 2014 ended a week ago and I already feel nostalgic. It was a great event with great people and you could feel the excitement about Ember in the air and in all conversations. It was almost single-handedly organized by Joachim Haagen-Skeie for which he deserves huge kudos.

It was really great to associate real people with twitter avatars and have fascinating conversations about various topics that included the Ember Inspector, the difficulties in building a build tool and even Firefox OS.

The functional paradigm making a headway into Emberland

One thing that struck me about Ember initially is that it seems to rely heavily on (shared) state. Some (most?) of that is inevitable given Ember being a performant framework that runs in the browser and is written in Javascript. None of these facilitates ditching (or minimizing) state and go with a functional, stateless approach.

On the other hand, I really came to cherish the simplicity of the functional paradigm and have been gravitating towards languages that allow this (Clojure was, and still is, my favorite). So I added a mental note about my two favorite things being at such a great distance from each other and moved on.

One theme of the conference and the hallway talks, however, is how Ember embraces the functional, immutable approach where it makes sense to. It might have something to do with my confirmation bias, but let me cite the examples nevertheless. Paul Chavard had a talk on his using immutable data structures in Ember. Jo Liss revealed how Broccoli uses a “rebuild-from-scratch” approach instead of trying to find out which assets to rebuild at each modification. Finally, Alex Matchneer, aka. machty, prolific Ember and router.js contributor had a presentation on React vs. Ember at EmberNYC which you should go read. His last slide has a bullet-point that states: “Don’t be surprised if Ember adopts DOM-diffing”.

It would be an understatement if I said I’m happy to see the functional world coming to Ember.

Promises

I had a talk at the conference called “Don’t call me back - How Ember uses promises and how you can, too”. As it usually happens, in doing research for the talk, I learned a lot not just about promises but about other topics, too. This time, it was the (in)famous run loop I stumbled across on several occasions so I am really happy I know a lot more about that beast now. You can find the slides of my presentation below.

I might even do another talk “How Ember uses the run loop and how you should probably not”, or something to this effect.

EmberFest 2015

The greatest thing about EmberFest was its vibe. I saw the tweets coming in from EmberConf this March and the post-conf blog posts about the awesome community and how one could feel the excitement that we are building apps with a tool that is new and hot now but is probably going to be the framework of choice for many in a few years. It is definitely a fascinating world to live in.

I’ll certainly be there at EmberFest 2015, so hopefully see you there!