Month: October 2018

TC53 Meeting

TC53 Meeting

Those following my blog will know that I was in Boston last week for ECMA TC53.

ECMA is a standards group, and TC53 is the 53rd Technical Committee, being established to produce standards for JavaScript on wearables and other resource-constrained devices. Some of you may already be familiar with TC39, who are the creators of modern JavaScript as a standard, of which TC53 is in some sense an offshoot. This meeting in Boston was the inaugural meeting, and I was invited as a guest to participate and to present on MetalScript.

Thanks to Lizzie from Moddable for taking photos.

I’m sitting on the end of the table because the meeting started at 10:00 AM and I arrived at 9:59 AM, while everyone else arrived closer to when they were told to arrive (9:30 AM)1. I hurried into the room with everyone already sitting and no space for me until everyone shuffled up. Great start!

The MetalScript presentation went well, aside from some technical glitches that were out of my control. For anyone who wants to see it, here it is:

(Or here’s a PDF that includes the notes for each slide)

If you look at the presentation, you may notice that I actually have some bare bones code compiling, which I managed to get working just the week before the event. This is an amazing milestone, albeit somewhat hacked together, but I’ll talk more about this in an upcoming post.

In addition to the presentations and discussions, there were also a number of demos. Here’s a representative from Johnny Five giving a demonstration using Tessel 2 (there were also other demonstrations, but I’m including this one because it’s the only photo where I look like I’m paying attention).

Another notable player in the room was Moddable with their XS JavaScript virtual machine for embedded devices, and some really cool demos using JavaScript in home automation, rendering fluidly to graphics displays, and the ability to download “apps” to an embedded device by partially flashing it.

It was amazing to be in a room full of people who are actually in the same technical space as what I’m doing — in the general population of programmers, there isn’t a very high proportion of people in the JavaScript firmware space!

Of course, spending 50 hours in an airplane for 14 hours of meeting is no good unless I also go “touristing” and check out some of the sites in Boston. Take a look at Facebook to see more of that side2. I’m not interested in arts and history, and I spent most of my time after TC53 sleeping, so the photos are sparse. But the squirrels are cute!


  1. To be fair, I fully intended to be there at around 9:45, but misjudged the ridiculous line at Starbucks by my Airbnb and the traffic getting to the location downtown. Also I was told conflicting start times, and only realized 9:30 AM was one them about 5 minutes before arrived, while trying to find information about the venue. Excuses, excuses… 

  2. I haven’t posted on Facebook in years, but I’m thinking maybe I should get back into it