Strange Loop Day 2

Day two started off with your choice of talks.

Ectype – Bringing Type Safety (and more!) to Vanilla JavaScript

I started with Holly Wu talking about a new system for making JavaScript type safe.

Ectype is a library and type checker that doesn’t require a build system of some other pre-compile step. Interesting stuff if you’re not into TypeScript.

The Economics of Programming Languages

Evan Czaplicki, creator of Elm, spoke to a packed room. I stood against the wall since there wasn’t an empty seat.

As the title says, he talked about the economics of creating your own language as opposed to languages like Swift and Go that are sponsored by a company. It’s tough to make a living doing your own thing.

A Long Strange Loop

Alex Miller created Strange Loop on October 22, 2009. He named it after a book that was sitting on his nightstand.

Alex talked about the origins of the conference and covered stats like the rise in attendance, the number of talks submitted, and some numbers about diversity.

There was an In Memoriam section mentioning three former speakers that have passed away.

Finally, Alex talked about why he’s ending the conference. It has achieved every goal he set for it. It’s getting harder to make sure the conference makes enough money to cover fixed costs.

He doesn’t want anyone else to take it over since the feeling of the conference is based on his beliefs, but he encouraged anyone who wants to start a conference to do their own thing.

I can’t believe this is the last Strange Loop. There’s no other conference like this.

Making Hard Things Easy

Julia Evans cheered us up with her wit and drawings.

She covered Bash, HTTP, SQL, and DNS. She’s great at finding fun ways to explain complex topics. Here’s her list of tricks for explaining hard things:

She followed this up with a list stereotypical people who take care of h

Drawing Comics at Work

Randall Munroe was the perfect ending for Strange Loop. He gave an interesting look back at how he went from NASA to web comics. It all started with this.

That comic got picked up by BoingBoing and suddenly everybody wanted a copy. He talked about several more comics, including my all time favorite:

Not everyone is nice on the internet. Do your own thing and don’t feed the trolls.

Strange Loop Party

The City Museum in St Louis is one of a kind.

The front has a variety of walkways, crawl spaces, and slides. On the roof there’s a Ferris wheel and a school bus hanging precariously off the corner of the building.

Unfortunately it started raining right after I got here so I listened to the band for a bit,

decided I was too old for the 3-story slide,

saw some interesting art,

wandered around the rest of the inside, and headed back to the hotel.