In previous video roundups, we’ve collected together some interesting videos and presentations from a variety of speakers discussing topics covering usability, graphic design, CSS frameworks, web standards, and more. In this small roundup, we’ve included seven videos that we think would be of great interest to web app developers in particular, with less focus on design and standards.
These presentations are a little more technically heavy than ones we’ve featured in the past, but we think they’re worth every minute. Check them out, and be sure to comment to include links to any related videos that you feel are worth mentioning.
Speaker: Nicholas C. Zakas
"Really the issue is, browsers aren't going to help you with your code. They don't care that your code is running slow, they're not going to do anything to adapt for it. So really, if something has to be done to speed up your code, it pretty much has to be done by you."
Series of articles by the author on the same topic:
- Google Tech Talks YouTube Channel
HTML 5 and Internet Explorer 9
Speaker: Giorgio Sardo
This is a humorous presentation that will be of interest to front-end developers who want to create cutting-edge applications while keeping up with the latest developments in web standards.
"How many of you are still on IE6? You're more than welcome to leave the room now."
"Microsoft is committed to web standards. And I'm very serious when I say this. [audience laughter] It's not a joke!"
"Our job as browser vendors is to make sure that we give you a professional implementation of HTML5, something you can rely on, something that, if you start building your application today, in one year from now it will not break just because the standard changes."
Introduction to HTML 5
Speaker: Brad Neuberg
If you want to know what's new in HTML 5 but haven't had a chance to do much reading on the topic yet, this video by Brad Neuberg provides a solid introduction to HTML 5's most powerful capabilities and features. In this presentation he discusses five aspects of the HTML5 spec: (1) Canvas and SVG; (2) HTML5 Video; (3) The Geolocation API; (4) The HTML5 database and application cache; and (5) Web Workers.
This is a great video and a must-see for anyone that wants to start building powerful web apps using HTML5's newest features.
"One of the things that's really unique about HTML5 is it [allows you to] drop SVG right into a normal HTML page, so it really makes SVG a core part of HTML."
"Currently, video is complicated, and it's outside your control... In 2009 video really should be a part of the browser... HTML5 now gives you a video tag that really works very similar to the image tag, so you don't have to have very complicated objects or plugins — video just works."
eCSStender: the 'jQuery of CSS'
Speaker: Aaron Gustafson
"You can use [eCSStender] for patching older browsers... basically standardizing implementations across browsers."
"What the extension in the case of border-radius is doing is actually figuring out what it is that it needs to do and then building the implementation that the browser wants... It greatly simplifies the design process."
10 Things I Learned From the jQuery Source
Speaker: Paul Irish
"Everyone... considers jQuery this black box, and this black box is this magical box that just works — it has this great API, we use it, we don't have to worry about how it actually works internally, we're not going to look inside the source and figure it out. But I'm here to say, if you do, I think you're going to benefit from it."
Steve Huffman on Lessons Learned at Reddit
Speaker: Steve Huffman
A presentation from Future of Web Apps Miami 2010 by reddit co-founder Steve Huffman. Huffman explains some of the most important lessons he and his development team learned while reddit was growing. This is a highly technical presentation that concludes with some audience Q&A.
"If this talk had existed when we were starting reddit, I think it would have saved me a lot of time, so I hope something in here isn't obvious to you now and you can learn from it."
"I dreaded my phone ringing. Nobody would call me for any other reason than to tell me Reddit was down. Even my mother would call me and say, 'Steve, your website’s not working.' Thanks mom."
"Wasting disc and memory is totally fine if you’re not making your users wait. Discs and memory are far cheaper than annoying your customers."
The Paradox of Choice
Speaker: Barry Schwartz
This video, on the surface, is not about web development in any way, but provides an interesting viewpoint on "freedom of choice" and may well remind app and website designers to avoid bombarding users with choices and complicated options. Some very controversial insights are given here into what makes people happier, providing some food for thought for those concerned about usability.
"The way to maximize freedom, is to maximize choice. The more choice people have, the more freedom they have, and the more freedom they have, the more welfare they have. This I think is so deeply embedded in the water supply, that it wouldn't occur to anyone to question it."
"[Having too much choice] produces paralysis rather than liberation. With so many options to choose from, people find it very difficult to choose at all."