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jQuery Conference: Boston

A couple weeks ago, I had the privilege of crossing the country to attend the jQuery conference in Boston.  It was a unique opportunity for me.  While we use jQuery extensively at work, I haven’t done much with it lately.  However, since we have a few projects coming up that will be web focused, so it was a timely occurrence.  I went with my good friend and coworker David (I’d link to his blog, but he doesn’t have one yet, cough) and another coworker, Erin, who had been to Boston before.

First off, Boston was awesome.  When we arrived on Friday night, we popped over to the conference venue to register before David and I headed into north Boston.  Erin was off to meet some local friends, but not before giving us a quick overview of the city.  We headed up to Hanover Street near North End Park, where we expected to find good Italian food.  We weren’t in the mood for Italian when we reached the area, so we wandered a while before ending up at the Green Dragon Tavern, an establishment that claims to have once been the “Headquarters of the Revolution” for a while.  After starting with a couple beers, we feasted on a Hot Corned Beef (with Mustard Horseradish Sauce) sandwich and some Boston Bangers and Mash.  It was a meal to write home about (or, you know, blog about).  We hadn’t even started the conference and it was already a great trip.  We continued to go out each night after the days festivities, but that first meal was easily the best.

The conference itself was great too.  My lack of recent experience with jQuery meant that almost all the talks were interesting and usually resulted in me adding to my list of things to learn.  Here are some of the highlights (in roughly chronological order):

The jQuery Mobile keynote - Todd Parker & Scott Jehl

I’m quite interested in the mobile web at the moment, and so everything in this talk was fascinating.  They support a whole host of devices (not just iOS) and are very close to releasing 1.0.  Also, there’s an awesome demo of jQuery Mobile’s slide transitions (click here to load the demo directly on your phone).  It’s just regular html with links to images and jQuery Mobile transforms it into a sliding image gallery.

Plugin Authoring Best Practices - Ben Alman

I haven’t created any plugins (yet) for jQuery, but after this talk I not only have the tools and templates to get started quickly, I understand what some of the line noise is when looking at existing plugins.  Also, I learned the term IIFE.

Event Improvements in jQuery 1.7 - Dave Methvin

This was, by far, the most entertaining talk of the weekend. Not only did I learn about the cool new unified event declaration model that’s coming in jQuery 1.7, I got a refresher course on all the memes I have and haven’t seen.

There was quite a bit more from the weekend.  Here are my raw notes, with many many URLs to explore.

All in all, it was a great trip.