JSConf US2013

Video recording and production done by JSConf

Frustration, a rant, a test suite, a gist. Then, community awesomeness. Boom! Promises/A+ was born. Promise are an old idea for abstracting asynchronous code, but have only recently made their way into JavaScript. We'll look at the power they provide via two striking examples that go beyond the usual "escape from callback hell" snippets. First we'll show how, with ES6 generators, they can act as shallow coroutines to give us back code just as simple as its synchronous counterpart. Then we'll look at how they can be used as proxies for remote objects, across , worker, or web socket boundaries. However, the most interesting aspect of Promises/A+ is not just the code it enables, but how we worked to create it. We didn't join a standards body, but instead formed a GitHub organization. We had no mailing list, only an issue tracker. We submitted pull requests, made revisions, debated versions tags, etc.—all in the open, on GitHub. And, we succeeded! Promises/A+ is widely used and implemented today, with its extensible core forming the starting point of any discussions about promises. Indeed, this community-produced open standard has recently been informing the incorporation of promises into ECMAScript and the DOM. I'd like to share the story of how this happened, the lessons we learned along the way, and speculate on the role such ad-hoc, community-driven, and completely open specifications have for the future of the web.

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