YUI Theater — Douglas Crockford: "Crockford on JavaScript — Volume 1: The Early Years"

By YUI TeamFebruary 3, 2010

Douglas Crockford delivers the first lecture in his his Crockford on JavaScript lecture series at Yahoo on Janurary 25, 2010.

In the first part of Douglas Crockford's five-part series on the JavaScript programming language, he explores the historical context from which JavaScript emerged. But he begins with a little bit of his own history, relating his efforts as a child to build a homemade computer:

I found some pieces of particle board and a saw and I sketched out what it was going to look like, and started sawing. I sawed, and sawed, and sawed. The particle board was really, really hard, and the saw was really, really dull. I sawed for what must have been at least two minutes, and then I gave up. OK, I'm not going to do that. So I probably went into the house and watched television after that. At that time, even at that tender age, it was already obvious that I was going to be a software guy.

For the better part of two hours, Douglas takes you on a historical journey in which you learn about:

  • the origin of the eighty-character limit
  • the history of punch-cards and their impact on modern programming
  • the origin of the term "spaghetti code"
  • why accessibility has gone downhill since the days of the Teletype
  • why we're still living with both a carriage return character and a line feed character, and where those concepts originated
  • the genealogy of command-line text editors
  • what languages like ALGOL, Simula, and Self have to do with JavaScript
  • why "the guys who could write for the [Atari] VCS were heroes"
  • why innovation in software is slower than innovation in hardware

A few tickets remain for the next four installments of the series, which resumes Friday night with "Chapter 2: And Then There Was JavaScript." We hope to see you here.

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Other Recent YUI Theater Videos:

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