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Ben Newman, Software Engineer, Meteor Development Group

Ben Newman

Biography: Ben Newman

A common thread that runs through Ben’s history of employment at Meebo, Apture, Mozilla, Quora, Facebook, and Meteor is a passion for exploring the limits of dynamic programming languages. Many of his most recent projects have involved large-scale automatic code transformation that would be difficult or impossible without the tools he has developed, namely recast and ast-types. He implemented Quora’s rich-text answer editor and Facebook’s Regenerator project, remains an active React contributor, and represents Meteor in the TC39 JavaScript standards process. The future of JavaScript can’t get here soon enough, as far as Ben is concerned.

Presentation: Why Fibers Make Sense For Meteor

Time: Monday 15:00 - 15:50 / Location: Grand Ballroom C

Meteor strives to provide approachable APIs for building high-performing JavaScript apps quickly and with much less code than other frameworks. In service of those lofty goals, one unusual choice we've made is to permit the use of coroutines (also known as Fibers), so that apparently synchronous APIs for things like database access can yield control back to the event loop while in progress. This technique is not without its pitfalls, and JavaScript is gradually developing new features, such as promises, generators, and async functions, that provide some of the power of coroutines. This talk examines the ongoing value of coroutines for Meteor, both today and for the foreseeable future. I'll explain how we keep our sanity in the presence of such a powerful tool, compare code written with Fibers to equivalent code using promises and callbacks, and discuss an ideal synthesis of all these techniques.