My experience at JSFoo & Meta Refresh 2016

Last Month, I attended JSFoo and Meta Refresh conferences held on 15, 16 and 17 of September. They are India's premier JavaScript and Web-design conferences respectively. At JSFoo, they covered topics pertaining to JavaScript performance. Meta Refresh covered topics for creating rich web experiences over mobile, wearable, and the desktop. From my first ever conference talk to networking to BOF (Birds of a feather) sessions to conference talks, this post narrates some of the best memories.

(Thoughts & opinions are my own and not affiliated with any organization, including organizers of the conference.)


Most Interesting Talks from JSFoo This year

(The list is curated by me, considering the context of the things I work on. There were many other talks which were equally interesting and perspicacious).

Aziz Khambati - Perceived performance with tips for React

Aziz spoke about CSS Containment , CSS will-change property , optimising RAIL performance and Passive event listeners in JavaScript.

Paul Bakus - A modern mobile web journey: from AMP to PWA

Abhinav Rastogi - Handling performance for Progressive Web Apps at scale

Ankur Sethi - Web performance case study: the making of

Prasenjit Sharan - Immutability and JavaScript

Birds of Feather Sessions

Here are some of the points discussed during the BOF sessions held on the second day of the conference. (Some of the points are opinions of attendees and experts. Since everyone can have an opinion of their own, these should not serve as pure facts.)

Topic: JavaScript frameworks

  1. Choice of Framework/Library should depend on project requirements. Although, this does not necessarily happen as some of the clients are obsessed with fad words.
  2. As stated above, the choice of the framework depends on its popularity. One more reason for this could be developer-familiarity. For a popular framework; it becomes easy for a developer to find resources, tutorials, and videos on the same.
  3. React is more like a library, whereas Angular is more like a framework. Most of the framework related discussions these days tends to move in a direction around "Angular VS React", but sometimes, the use cases for both of them can be different. There are many ways to get started with a React Project. Whereas, Angular is more opinionated and offers fewer ways to initialize a project.
  4. Ember does not have as much hype and developer resources as React and Angular, but it is slowly taking up its pace.
  5. React has a function by the name shouldComponentUpdate. This gives developers a greater control over DOM performance as they get to choose whether a component should update or not.
  6. There are many companies that still have their platforms on Angular 1.x and they are not planning to shift sooner. This could be due to the fact that system is already in its place.

Topic: Progressive Web Apps(PWA)

  1. Progressive Web Apps are websites that deliver native-app-like user experiences over web browsers. Since "Progressive Enhancement" is one of the core ideologies taken into consideration while building PWAs, they are named as "Progressive" Web Apps.
  2. PWAs are installable and can take advantage of service-workers to create offline first experiences which even work seamlessly over low networks.
  3. Progressive Web Apps hardly take about 100-200kb of an initial load as opposed to a native app which has a minimum initial download size of over 10MB. So, the time it takes for a user to see the first screen/information for a PWA is much lower than a native app.
  4. A progressive web app fully utilises the potential of latest Web APIs like service workers, local-storage, etc without compromising on speed, performance and support for older browsers.
  5. One of the best things about having a PWA is that developers can quickly push an update and make sure that most of the users auto-update themselves with the latest experience.
  6. PWAs are built using service-workers and service-workers do require HTTPs. There is no reason why a website should not have an SSL Certificate. Other than handshake latency(which again is not a major issue for most of the websites), having an SSL certificate should be considered for every website (even if the website is not a PWA).

My JSFoo Flash Talk

JavaScripting Animations- On Stage

On the first day, I registered myself for a flash talk on "Greensock Animation Library". The content of the talk was partially inspired by one of my unconfirmed conference proposals.

(I will be writing a brief post very soon on this blog, explaining the very basics of Greenock Library)

Also, Aziz Khambati referred me in his talk. We met during the BOF sessions and I thanked him for the same.

Meta Refresh

Meta Refresh is a web design conference and topics covered this year were User Experience, Information Architecture, and Content Strategy.

Souvik Das Gupta - Architecting Content Driven Websites

Souvik made a strong point during his keynote that the concept of pages has become irrelevant in Web Design. Also, one-page scrolling and endless scroll websites are becoming more and more popular these days, which further proves his point.
Also, clients use it sometimes as a tool to reduce the cost.

Noopur Varma - What I wish I knew as a newbie designer

My Meta Refresh Flash Talk

For Meta Refresh, I gave a brief impromptu talk on optimizing SVGs during the design process itself.

Some of the ways it could be achieved is as follows:

  1. Reducing number of points in paths
  2. Not using gradient meshes, blending-modes or any complicated tool that creates a raster image and links it (in SVG) with a <link> tag
  3. Combining paths using path-finder
  4. Using Simple shapes to create illustrations
  5. Last but not the least, stroke and fills are one of the most interesting ways one can animate SVGs


I was able to indulge myself in interesting conversations with other attendees during breaks.

It is during the break, I had an insightful conversation with one of the speakers, Paul Bakus on AMP for Ghost (the platform on which this blog is based upon). Turns out that Ghost Team did release a version of Ghost with the AMP, but the team still needs to work on ways it could make the entire blog as an AMP, here's the whole conversation:

Welcome Kit & Sponsor Goodies

HasGeek welcomed us with a fancy folder,a pen and a book on the first day.

JSFoo & Meta Refresh 2016 Conference Swag

All attendees(except those who had bought "No-frills" tickets) got food coupons worth Rs.350 each day, which could be redeemed through the food stalls.

The sponsors also pampered attendees by giving them goodies and cupcakes.

Codeschool offers free one-month premium membership to all JSFoo attendees.

Thank You HasGeek :)

Just a week before the conference, the city of Bangalore faced a tense situation concerning the Kaveri dispute. Nevertheless, the city was back to normalcy within a couple of hours. The organizer of the event Hasgeek made sure that they kept updating all the attendees on the situation and gave much-needed support. They made necessary security arrangements by coordinating with the local police and ensured full safety of the attendees.

It takes a lot of teamwork and effort to create a conference at this level and I want to congratulate & thank the organizer HasGeek for all the hard work put for the Indian JS & Web-Design community.