Audio Tags: Web Components + Web Audio = ♥—the video!

(and some notes about CascadiaJS 2013)

Here's the video from my talk at CascadiaJS:

Slides and audio tags repository if you want to play with the code (and you should!).

NOTE: if you ever give a talk and have f.lux installed in your laptop, remember to disable it. I didn't, and that's why my slides look so yellowish.

I'm really happy with how the talk turned out. My "graph of expectations" had been something like this:

One week before Wow, this works?! This is really cool! Wait until everyone sees this!
Three days before I have no idea how to explain this!
Two days before I have no time, this is going to be a disaster
One day before Well. So this. Meh.
Twenty two hours before I hate this and so will everyone else.
Twenty one hours before Wait, maybe if I delete this and put this here...
Twenty hours before Hmmm perhaps this could work...
Twelve hours before, in flight Ecstatically flying over Greenland under the moonlight: this is going to be great!
Ten hours before Argh, browser bugs. HALP.
Six hours before Can't sleep.
Three hours before I'm going to fail miserably and will be a clown on stage.
Two hours before So sleepy. Want to be done with it already.
One hour before OMG OMG OMG *hyper*
Half an hour before Deep breath. Maybe I can do it.
15 minutes before (reviewing the slides) I can totally do it.
10 minutes before (reviewing the slides again) hell yeah this makes sense!

I hadn't had any coffee before so that I wouldn't get unnecessarily nervous, so I presume it was some sort of adrenaline rush that got me creative and eloquent, because I hadn't even prepared most of the jokes or silly things I said (note: the sunglasses were indeed staged).

After the talk I got lots of good feedback, questions and ideas from people who were interested in playing with audio, components or generally playing with JavaScript in general, so that was great (e.g.: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). Someone even made a WebRTC hangout custom component hack! I really like being the "catalyst" for other ideas. Even if I'm just a little spark.

Marlena Compton made this sketch which fills me with joy as it expresses some things exactly as I wanted to convey them. For example, the audio context being "where everything happens". So good. Thank you, Marlena!

Audio Tags sketch by Marlena Compton

Something that makes me super proud too is that I was finally able to demonstrate Web Audio stuff using Firefox. YAY! My previous Web Audio-based talks happened while the feature was still in development, and they would break every now and then--not good when you're supposed to be playing music live.

I'm also very impressed by the CascadiaJS organisers. Not only are they nice and pleasant to speak to, they are also very FAST: it took them less than a week to upload the videos from the talks. Also, best conference swag ever: the CascadiaJS hoodie. So warm and fluffy and nice to wear while on the flight home. The Canadian maple badge was nice (bringing a bit of Canada back to London!) but not terribly practical, and I can't wrap myself with it anyway :-P

Finally, I'm infinitely thankful to Christian and Angelina for taking time to review my very early version of the talk and giving me LOTS of good advice and mentorship to shape it into something much, much better.

Here's my public shout out of massive appreciation for these two people: they're fantastic! (and also Christian knows all the places where chocolate and coffee happen simultaneously, which makes him even greater).