SXSW Recap (1 of 4): New Tools
Doug Avery, Former Senior Developer
This year’s SXSW was the first for Dan and Blair, and the umpteenth for Jason and me. Everyone had a good time, met interesting people, and enjoyed (too much) great food. Over the next week or so, we'll be posting a few notes and takeaways from the conference. Here are mine:
State of Browser Dev Tools had a very high “whoa, I had no idea” factor. Opera and Chrome in particular are creating some really fantastic in-browser resources for devs, with great new tools for JS and CSS profiling. There are even some upcoming cross-device tools that let you debug phone JS from your desktop. If the talk deck ends up online, I'll add them to this post.
Andy Hume made a great case for self-imposed constraints in CSS for Grown Ups (some good notes here), arguing that the power CSS provides demands a structured approach like OOCSS or SMACSS. He took it even further, suggesting a JS classing alternative to media queries, which weirded me out just enough to make me want to try it on my next project.
The Future15 talks were pretty fun this year; lots of quick, unpolished ideas compacted into little microtalks. Especially enjoyed talks about group improvisation, “multiplayer work”, and near-future tools for brain/computer interfaces.
Best new stuff:
I’d never really thought about WebGL (the technology behind Ro.me and a good chunk of Mr. Doob's portfolio) as something I could actually do before — it seemed like a tool only understandable by 3D wizards and game devs. The WebGL panel changed my mind, though, and I definitely want to play around with it this year.
Frank. Stop reading this article and go read that menu. Done? Welcome back.
Start messing around with WebGL, subscribe to the the CSS WG mailing list, get a consumer-grade EEG to play around with.
As a beginning birder, I enjoyed the chance to ID birds in a new city on my own. Picked up swan goose, pie-billed grebe, muscovy duck, and cliff swallow for my life list. Did not see any caracaras, which was a disappointment...maybe next year.