007 Forrest Norvell on ES6 and our community's role at JSConf 2014


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Episode Info

  • Episode: CW 007
  • Published: June 24th, 2014
  • Tags: nodejs, js,es6,jsconf
  • Duration: 38:33

Episode Notes

  • 01:36 - Forrest explains his new position at npm Inc.
  • 02:20 - Discussion of Forrest’s JSConf 2014 talk
  • 03:30 - Rise of community standards, Douglas Crockford’s the Good Parts, John Resig jQuery, Promises A+ standard
  • 05:50 - Standards committees, an inside look
  • 08:00 - ES4, ES5, Harmony, ES7 (champion for each feature)
  • 10:00 - test262 - conformance test suite
  • 11:58 - Our community has the power to figure out what features in ES6 are useful. Sort out the parts that are genuinely useful. Figure out the good parts now.
  • 14:48 - Module proposal benefited from critical discussions from the community
  • 16:00 - Tools for using ES6 features now
  • 17:26 - Development community needs to get on top of things and teach how we use the features with emphasis on the compelling parts.
  • 18:50 - Forrest no longer recommends Crockford’s Good Parts to new developers because half is scar tissue and dogma, instead Dave Herman’s Effective JavaScript which gives them a mental toolkit to determine their own style
  • 20:55 - Don’t concentrate on what’s cool, but concentrate on what’s stable and effective. As an educator be conservative.
  • 21:29 - Warnings from Java, Perl history
  • 24:00 - Typescript and Coffeescript bring things to the table but they could fragment the community
  • 24:40 - ES timeline
  • 26:30 - Features need enough examination to ensure they are finished
  • 28:00 - Keeping some things in user land to see what community comes up with. Developers as leaders in this transition.
  • 29:00 - npm growth, npm Inc dev ops, addressing pain points in npm CLI
  • 34:30 - All software languages have something that is terrible. Community is something that makes Node.js special.
  • 35:45 - Node.js in the enterprise is happening very rapidly. A very interesting time to be in the middle of this evolution.


  • Forrest Norvell, npm product maker at npm Inc. twitter
  • npm Inc. - npm, Inc. supports the JavaScript community by providing the registry where developers publish and share packaged open-source modules.
  • traceur - Traceur is a JavaScript.next-to-JavaScript-of-today compiler. Compile ES6 code into JS which can be used by today’s browsers.
  • es6-shim - Provides compatibility shims so that legacy JavaScript engines behave as closely as possible to ECMAScript 6 (Harmony).
  • es6-module-transpiler - ES6 Module Transpiler is a JavaScript library for converting JavaScript files written using the ES6 draft specification module syntax to existing library-based module systems such as AMD, CommonJS, or simply globals.
  • sweet.js - Macros for javascript which can be used to add in ES6 features.
  • es6ify - browserify v2 transform to compile JavaScript.next (ES6) to JavaScript.current (ES5) on the fly.
  • ES6 compatibility table - ES6 compatibility table, comparing browser versions, Node.js. Links to ES6 feature descriptions.
  • Spider Monkey - Firefox JS engine written in C++. Currently Spider Monkey is leading in the number of ES6 features that are implemented. (56/66 according to Kangax)
  • Effective JavaScript - David Herman’s book
  • Jeff Barczewski, Founder, CodeWinds twitter
  • CodeWinds twitter


15 episode