For starters, a few words about the organisation of the conference : The first talks started at 10:30, which is quite late, and finished at around 19:15. The hour of the end of the conference was not stated clearly, which was a bit problematic for some expecting it'd end earlier (checking my mails, I realize though that they did announce that the after-party would start at 19:30), and a lot of time during the conference was given to participants for networking (two 45 minutes breaks and a two hour lunch break). It's not my first dotConference so I expected it, but I still feel those breaks are too long, and would like to have more (or longer) talks instead.
I have no complains, however, on the absence of explicit schedule for the talks, as I feel it's nice to not know what's coming next... even if it was quite obvious that Brendan Eich was going to end the day!
As for the venue, the Théâtre de Paris was bigger than last years' Théâtre des Variétés, but... there is still not a lot of space for legs when sitting on the seats of those Paris theaters, so even though the venue's bigger, you couldn't feel it that much.
Quick summary of the speakers and the talks (each talk being 20 minutes long) :
- Addy Osmani talked about Polymer, and about tools to work efficiently like Yeoman
- John K. Paul talked about code quality (syntax errors, linting, beautification) then proceeded to introduce TypeScript
- Remy Sharp, creator of jsbin, talked about... iframes black magic. I have no better words to sum it up.
- 5 lightning talks (4 minutes each):
- Nuria Rui talked about hybrid (native & web) apps
- Matt Schneider talked about integration testing and proposed a solution https://github.com/MattiSG/wertai
- David Bruant talked about tools to test the memory use
- Hongli Lai talked about how to make node.js deployment enjoyable and presented the tool his team is developing, Phusion Passenger
- Nicolas Belmonte talked about "growing a language for graphics", in a quite complicated talk about operator overloading
- Guillermo Rauch talked about "the need for speed" and the importance of reactive to user inputs in optimistic ways (changing the layout in the style of the next page even before getting data, like what Google does when we start typing a request)
- James Burke talked about EcmaScript 6 modules. The most complicated talk of the day.
- Nicolas Geoffray talked about Dart. He was replacing Lars Bak and his talk was, after a nice but lengthy anecdote, mostly a standard introduction of the language
- Alex Sexton talked about "practicing safe script". Favorite quote of the day about security : "You have no hope, you should give up!". Special mention for Evercookie and "don't mess with XSS".
That sums it up!
I actually have mixed feelings about dotJS this year.
I liked it. I liked being there, the speakers were all interesting people and most of them gave good presentations. Having Brendan Eich present was amazing for the second edition of the conference.
This dotJS was in my opinion inferior to the first one, despite the more technical focus.
At the other end of the spectrum, I also kind of missed the TED-like talks of last year. Yes, I know that dotJS 2012 was light on the JS side, but it was what made it special. If dotJS continues with the same focus, I don't think there'll be again a talk like last year's What's the open source and why do I feel so guilty about it, and that's a shame because it was great.
Anyway, practice makes perfect, so I guess dotConferences will strive to organize an even better dotJS next year. Even if it's a conference which has its flaws, I wouldn't want to miss it.