File Under: Events

Doug Crockford: An Inconvenient API

Douglas Crockford, inventor of the JSON data format and lead JavaScript architect at Yahoo. 

Douglas gave a talk titled "An Inconvenient API," which included a history of interactivity on the web. He traced JavaScript from its humble beginnings as the Oak language and through the various branches (LiveScript, ECMAScript and JScript) that were the result of the interactive web services race between Netscape, Sun and Microsoft.

He also gave us his browser "A List," the browsers that adhere to the highest web standards that you should always develop for first:

  • Firefox 1.5
  • Safari 2.0
  • IE 6
  • IE 7
  • Opera 9


With the introduction of IE7 and Firefox 2 and the continuing development of Opera and Apple's Safari, Doug sees a new browser war on the horizon  "There are now 4 major browser makers," Doug says, "and they will be flooding the web with bugs. So watch out."

He also talked about something he calls "The Wall," which I think is an interesting concept that certainly applied to many of the mashers and hackers in the room. The Wall is what you hit when you push the browser too far. The web browser wasn't designed to be a general purpose application platform, Doug says. You can't expect all browsers to handle massive web services, otherwise you'll cripple users' computers and make them unhappy.

Doug is an interesting guy. In addition to being a deep-thinking programmer type, he's a video game designer, a linguist and a singer.