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Last Friday the Full Frontal Javascript Conference took place in Brighton. Founded last year by Remy Sharp of Left Logic and one of the brains behind the popular JavaScript library jQuery, it aims to push the boundaries of what JavaScript can do in the browser to give people an even more immersive and exciting web experience. The format of the day was seven 45-minute talks from some of the people at the forefront of web development at Google, Mozilla and Twitter, amongst others, interspersed with coffee and pastries and followed by a few drinks in a bar on the beachfront. For those of you who don’t know, JavaScript is the web language that allows websites to do things like animations, posting to Twitter, adding stuff to your shopping basket in Amazon and lots more.

It’s becoming more and more important as a web technology, and more powerful too. It used to be that you would develop a webpage without JavaScript and only use JavaScript to add the cool effects afterwards, but it’s now included on all the major browsers by default and is enhancing social networks, online gaming, shopping and mobile websites. There are big advances being made in the speed of web browsers, which means we can start doing some fantastic 3D effects using your computer’s GPU (graphics processing unit). JavaScript is also being used to perform image manipulation, which has traditionally been done server-side. Doing this in the browser speeds up the process. Paul Rouget, from Mozilla, demonstrated these capabilities by taking a webcam photo of himself, cropping it, changing it to black and white and then adding other images on top all without any time-lag or need to connect to the internet. So the next time you notice a website doing something super-quick, or animating a menu, or if you’re playing an online game, you might well be using JavaScript. The Full Frontal conference was a great showcase for some new technologies that we’ll be using to enhance our new R&D projects. Watch this space!