22.5.06

XTech 2006 - The End

Building Software With Human Intelligence: What Amazon Mechanical Turk Can Do For You and Your Customers
When we think of interfaces between human beings and computers, we usually assume that the human being is the one requesting that a task be completed, and the computer is completing the task and providing the results. What if this process were reversed and a computer program could ask a human being to perform a task and return the results? What if it could coordinate many human beings to perform a task? Jeff Barr will explain how Amazon Web Services has made this possible with the introduction of the Amazon Mechanical Turk API, which allows computers to integrate Artificial Artificial Intelligence directly into their processing by making requests of humans. Developers use the Amazon Mechanical Turk web services API to submit tasks to the Amazon Mechanical Turk web site, approve completed tasks, and incorporate the answers into their software applications. To the application, the transaction looks very much like any remote procedure callâ€"the application sends the request, and the service returns the results. In reality, a network of humans fuels this Artificial Artificial Intelligence by coming to the web site, searching for and completing tasks, and receiving payment for their work. Find out how you can use Amazon Mechanical Turk to build a new business or change an existing one. JavaScript 2 and the Future of the Web vaScript is back in fashion, with Ajax libraries and applications redefining the web-based user experience. The JavaScript programming language standard is also finally receiving significant investment, both to fix bugs and to address the demands of “programming in the large” that inevitably arise in building modern browser-based applications, all while preserving compatibility with the mountains of JS on today’s web. The long-awaited next version of JavaScript, ECMAScript Edition 4 or “JavaScript 2”, is being specified this year by an ECMA group including representatives from Adobe, Apple, Microsoft, Mozilla, and Opera. The specification should be wrapped up in the first half of 2007, and I will present some of the new features of the language, demonstrated via a prototype implementation in Mozilla Firefox. Even with aggressive commitments from Mozilla, Opera, and Adobe to finish and ship implementations of Edition 4, many users will not be able to run applications that take advantage of the new capabilities of JavaScript 2 for some time to come. In order to bring the power of JS2 to bear more quickly, and to aid migration, an open source JS2-to-JS compiler is in development, and will be presented here. We intend that this tool will make JS2 a viable choice for developers soonâ€"this year, in fact. JavaScript has been a crucial part of the web for over ten years, and it will be around at least that much longer, so the ECMA group is designing for the longer haul. The aim is to support not only “programming in the large”, but also metaprogramming, so that future evolution of the language can happen above the core ECMA specification, in the standard library ecology. These design decisions, product commitments, and tool developments all contribute to one key goal: making web applications better and easier to build, for tomorrow and the next decade alike.

JavaScript 2 and the Future of the Web


JavaScript is back in fashion, with Ajax libraries and applications redefining the web-based user experience. The JavaScript programming language standard is also finally receiving significant investment, both to fix bugs and to address the demands of “programming in the large” that inevitably arise in building modern browser-based applications, all while preserving compatibility with the mountains of JS on today’s web.

The long-awaited next version of JavaScript, ECMAScript Edition 4 or “JavaScript 2”, is being specified this year by an ECMA group including representatives from Adobe, Apple, Microsoft, Mozilla, and Opera. The specification should be wrapped up in the first half of 2007, and I will present some of the new features of the language, demonstrated via a prototype implementation in Mozilla Firefox.

Even with aggressive commitments from Mozilla, Opera, and Adobe to finish and ship implementations of Edition 4, many users will not be able to run applications that take advantage of the new capabilities of JavaScript 2 for some time to come. In order to bring the power of JS2 to bear more quickly, and to aid migration, an open source JS2-to-JS compiler is in development, and will be presented here. We intend that this tool will make JS2 a viable choice for developers soon—this year, in fact.

JavaScript has been a crucial part of the web for over ten years, and it will be around at least that much longer, so the ECMA group is designing for the longer haul. The aim is to support not only “programming in the large”, but also metaprogramming, so that future evolution of the language can happen above the core ECMA specification, in the standard library ecology.

These design decisions, product commitments, and tool developments all contribute to one key goal: making web applications better and easier to build, for tomorrow and the next decade alike.

What now?

Well, it seems that my posts about XTech are (almost) at their end... I still intend to do two post-mortem posts: one with pictures and videos (but I still have to download them from my mobile phone and post them on the web), and one other with a presentation about XTech: seems that I'll have to do a presentation about it here for work, so I'll try to do (after it) a more general (and in English) version of it and post it here.

Now, back to work...