you would not make in other language – Douglas Crockford
Who is this Douglas Crockford?
YUI Library Lectures
Volume 1 – The Early Years
In this video, Douglas Crockford covers pretty much the entire history of our industry! This video taught me about Grace Hopper and her contributions to programming, such as creating the first compiler and coining the term “bug”. He also covers CPU architecture, mainframes, and the first software. Too many programmers today don’t bother learning anything about the origin of programming and the fact that he was able to sum it up in just under two hours is quite impressive.
Act III – Function the Ultimate
Episode IV – The Metamorphosis of Ajax
This video focuses on the origins of Ajax, which was born out of work by Microsoft and applied by Jesse James Garret to create the version of ajax we use today. Crockford also gives us a bit of history about HTML and how it evolved in the beginning, went on to evolve during the browser wars, and how it lead to the awful DOM we have today. There is a lot of talk about web standards and how browsers actually work, including the DOM. This is great video for users of modern libraries like jQuery to understand why those libraries exist in the first place.
Part V – The End of All Things
If you don’t have these vulnerabilities in your browser (XSS), it is not standards compliant. So there is something deeply, deeply wrong with the standards of the web.. -Douglas Crockford
Level 7 – ECMAScript 5: The New Parts
This video has Douglas Talking about ECMAScript 5, and some of the challenges in designing the standard to replace ECMAScript 3. One of the interesting things I learned in this video is how difficult it is to actually move the standard forward (ECMAScript 3 has been out since 1999) and why it takes so long to make these changes (HINT: It’s about not breaking the web…and Microsoft). This talk gives a nice tour of some of the new features of the language and even offers some insights about where ES6/ESNext is going, which he hopes will fix some of the problems the ECMAScript 5 was unable to address.
Section 8 – Programming Style & Your Brain
This talk is mostly about how consistent programming style affects good habits and reduces errors in our code. This is probably one of the more controversial things Douglas Crockford is known for, considering how “subjective” most programmers are about coding style. Douglas tries to make the argument that these things are actually less subjective than we think and that by following a consistent and rigorous style, we actually produce better code.
More Awesome Crockford Videos
Did you finish the YUI Lectures? Don’t worry, there are still a ton of great Crockford videos out there. I haven’t posted all of the ones I know about, just some of my favorites that I think are the most useful and entertaining.
Monads & Gonads
What Would Crockford Do?
Well, Yahoo had a big talent drain awhile ago, including one of their biggest assets, as Doug jumped over to PayPal. Never one to shy away from controversy, he gave a talk about how he would have run Yahoo had he been in charge of the company. I think there is an element of voyeurism here that makes it hard to stop watching and ultimately even though this isn’t really a technical talk, it is one of my favorite Crockford talks of all time.
You can probably accuse me of being a Douglas Crockford fan by now, and you would be right. What I appreciate most about him is how he presents his opinions. His arguments are always backed up by some reasoning, no matter how opinionated. Some people do not agree with Crockford, and to those people I offer this except from Clean Code, a book by another on of my programming heroes, Robert Martin:
Students of these approaches immerse themselves in the teachings of the founder. They dedicate themselves to learn what that particular master teaches, often to the exclusion of any other master’s teaching. Later, as the students grow in their art, they may become the student of a different master so they can broaden their knowledge and practice.
Some eventually go on to reﬁne their skills, discovering new techniques and founding their own schools.
None of these different schools is absolutely right. Yet within a particular school we act as though the teachings and techniques are right. After all, there is a right way to practice Hakkoryu Jiu Jitsu, or Jeet Kune Do. But this rightness within a school does not invalidate the teachings of a different school
-Robert Martin (Clean Code)
Follow a Master