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JSWorld Conference 2024 impressions

2024-03-2211 minutes readJavaScript, conference

Thanks to EDB for sponsoring my trip to the JSWorld Conference 2024. The conference took place in Amsterdam, Netherlands, between 2024-02-28 and 2024-03-01.

Initial confusion

There were a couple confusing parts about the conference itself.

First, it turned out, that the JSWorld Conference was a composition of the VueJS Amsterdam 2024 conference (first 2 days), and the final day was the 2nd day of the DevWorld Conference 2024. I was confused, since it did not say on the JSWorld Conference website that it consists of parts of other conferences. When I arrived at the venue, I was unsure whether I am at the right place, since it did not say JSWorld anywhere, but it said VueJS. Thankfully, my name was in the list of attendees, so I was able to get in.

Additionally, before the conference started, I had to activate my ticket, which involved going through some checkout page and "purchasing" a free ticket there. Not sure why that was necessary, since I had already bought my ticket way in advance.

VueJS Amsterdam 2024 (Days 1-2)

The first two days were dedicated to VueJS. I am not a VueJS developer and I have never built anything with it. I accepted it as an opportunity to compare React and VueJS, and also learn about the framework-agnostic parts that were mentioned during the conference.

I enjoyed the fact that it was a single-track conference. It was held at the Theater Amsterdam, which featured a huge screen and a great sound system. The only difficult part was getting in and out of seats, since they were long rows. The organizers also waited for the long queue in front of the building to check in before starting the conference, which was nice of them. I didn't want to miss Evan You's keynote.

Here are my takeaways from the conference talks:

  • In PrimeVue | The Next-Gen UI Component Library, Cagatay Civici talked about their use of design tokens in the library, and specifically making the distinction between primitive, semantic, and component tokens.

    Examples, using CSS variables:

    • primitive: --red-500: #ef4444
    • semantic: --color-danger: var(--red-500)
    • component: --button-color: var(--color-danger)

    Each layer uses tokens from the previous layer. It seems like an elegant way to compose those tokens.

    Such a distinction of tokens is also mentioned in Figma help articles.

  • Through Rendering Revealed by Adam Jahr, I found out that Nuxt is getting islands of non-interactivity.

    They seem similar to Astro Islands, but rather than opting-in to interactivity, Nuxt islands opt-out of it.

  • Thanks to Common Mistakes in Vue.js by Daniel Kelly, I learned that Nuxt has a useState composable. Despite the name similarity, it works nowhere near the same as the React hook.

    useState in Nuxt is a composable (basically a React hook, as far as I know) that allows you to declare the state on the server, and then send it to the client for later use.

  • In Vue & Vite Devtools, Guillaume Chau explained that Volar powers Vue language server ability to understand embedded languages (e.g. providing JavaScript suggestions inside a script tag in an HTML file, despite the fact that an HTML file is not a JavaScript file).

  • In the same talk, Guillaume showcased how easy it was to new developer tooling to Vue using Vue devtool kit. Looks like the devtool kit is still in progress, but it was cool to see new dev tools tailored to a specific application.

  • In Cost-Effective Testing with Storybook and Playwright in Vue Applications, Yauheni Prakopchyk recommended using Storybook for more than showcasing components. Stories are also useful to run interaction tests (basically @testing-library that run in the browser instead of JSDOM) and visual tests (finding visual changes in stories from one run to another).

DevWorld Conference 2024 (Day 3)

The last day was also the last day of the DevWorld Conference. There were 5 tracks (1 main stage, 4 duck stages) with a variety of topics. I could attend whichever talks I wanted and I was not confined to just JavaScript talks, which was nice.

The venue (RAI Amsterdam) was huge. There were also a lot more people there than at the VueJS Conference.

Unfortunately, this day felt way worse to the VueJS part:

  • To listen to the duck stage talks, you has to wear headphones. There were not enough headphones for everyone, since there was not too much seat rotation (most people just stayed at one stage). I usually stood in the background and tried to pick up what the talk is about from the slides and the low volume of audio played from the speakers of the audio technical crew.

  • Food and beverages were not free. I am mostly surprised by this part, since the conference ticket was not cheap. At least there was free water.

  • I had to wait in line for around 40 minutes to receive my badge to get in.

  • They ran out of attendee swag-bags, so I didn't get one. I only got a beanie, which is definitely better than nothing, but still a bit disappointing.

Anyways, here are the interesting bits from these talks:

  • In JavaScript Streaming - A Qwik glimpse into the future by Shai Reznik, I found out that Qwik has a different approach to hydration - it uses resumability. Instead of rerunning all the components again on the client to attach event handlers, it looks at the server-rendered DOM and infers stuff from it, effectively "resuming" where the server stopped. It implements the PRPL pattern.

  • Through Latest in Angular by Angular Team Member by Minko Gechev, I learned that Angular adopted signals. That is yet another framework (next to Preact, Solid, Qwik) that uses this state primitive.

    I have not used Angular for a long time, but I bet signals are going to be simpler to work with compared to RxJS observables.

  • In Tauri 2.0, Daniel Thompson-Yvetot talked more about Tauri - a Rust-based Electron alternative for building standalone applications for Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android.

    According to Daniel, The binaries it produces are way smaller than Electron, since Tauri does not ship its own webview and uses the one provided by the operating system. It also heavily tree-shakes code and unused features.

    An interesting part was that Tauri has external security audits for major releases.

  • In SolidJS - SolidStart, Ryan Carniato presented server actions in Solid Start.

    They seem similar to React's server actions.

    One cool feature is that the framework is smart about their response - if a server action ends with a redirect, the HTTP response includes some resources that are going to be needed on that destination page.

  • Ryan Dahl showcased JSR (a new module registry).

    Notable features of JSR:

    • TypeScript support (you can upload TypeScript files there and it will take care of the compilation - cool for getting started, but I can foresee some hard-to-debug issues since the engineer is not controlling the tsc compilation).

    • Only ESM - a step forward in getting rid of CommonJS modules.

    • Interoperability with npm (packages on JSR can use npm packages as dependencies, and npm packages can import JSR packages).

    • Generates documentation based on TypeScript types and JSDoc. The documentation is available right there when browsing the registry.

    • Provides a score for packages and suggests best practices to maintainers.

  • In All Things Astro, Elian van Cutsem View presented 3 cool Astro features that stood out to me:

    • Easy-to-enable view transitions.

      It uses a polyfill to enable view transitions in browsers that do not support them yet (at the time of writing this post, Firefox and Safari do not support them).

      One thing I didn't realize is that view transitions are are shown in the Animations tab in Chrome DevTools, which makes them easy to inspect and control their speed.

    • Page partials, which render just some parts of the page's HTML. This works great with htmx, which relies on the server returning just the parts of the DOM that should be updated/inserted.

    • Astro Studio, which makes it easy to spin up a new SQL database for an Astro project. It has built-in migrations, and a type-safe ORM.

Amsterdam as a city

This was my first time visiting Amsterdam. I was surprised by how many bikes are there, and the fact that they dominate the streets. It was nothing like I have experienced before in capitals, where all parts of the city are full of cars.

I didn't have any trouble getting around the city, or from the airport to the hotel. The public transport was great, and the city is very walkable. Everyone I talked to knew English, so I didn't have any trouble communicating.

The city is also very clean, and the architecture is beautiful. I enjoyed walking around the canals and seeing the old buildings, most of them no taller than 5 floors.

Exploring Amsterdam was an amazing addition to the conference experience.


The conference was a great experience. I learned a lot about VueJS and other tools in the frontend ecosystem. It was also interesting to meet the famous people that stand behind these great tools and frameworks, and that I only knew from their GitHub contributions and blog articles.