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Don't Cross the Streams

  • Speaker : Matthew Podwysocki
  • Available : November 8-9, 2012
  • Duration : 45 minutes


In today’s world, streams are everywhere, whether it is social media feeds, binary data, GPS data or any other type of real-time data. Node.js and library approaches for client and server such as have made stream programming even easier and accessible to more people. But with the ease also comes complication and a number of questions arise. How do we start composing streams together? How do we filter them? How do we express that we listen to this stream until another stream fires? Pretty quickly the code can becomes strewn with nested callbacks and global state, which makes you lose the essence of what you’re trying to accomplish. Luckily, there are patterns which can help alleviate some of these problems. The Node.js community has also created a number of libraries which focus on democratizing stream programming including async, as well as more ambitious approaches such as custom languages such as IcedCoffeeScript. We’ll look at a number of these libraries and also cover the Reactive Extensions for JavaScript, a library for democratizing stream and asynchronous callback programming to unify the two concepts and allow for queries to be written over them.

We’ll go from:

  • Dr. Egon Spengler: There's something very important I forgot to tell you.
  • Dr. Peter Venkman: What?
  • Dr. Egon Spengler: Don't cross the streams.
  • Dr. Peter Venkman: Why?
  • Dr. Egon Spengler: It would be bad.
  • Dr. Peter Venkman: I'm fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing. What do you mean, "bad"?
  • Dr. Egon Spengler: Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.
  • Dr Ray Stantz: Total protonic reversal.
  • Dr. Peter Venkman: Right. That's bad. Okay. All right. Important safety tip. Thanks, Egon.


  • Dr. Egon Spengler: I have a radical idea. The door swings both ways, we could reverse the polarity flow through the gate.
  • Dr. Peter Venkman: How?
  • Dr. Egon Spengler: We'll cross the streams.
  • Dr. Peter Venkman: 'Scuse me Egon? You said crossing the streams was bad!
  • Dr Ray Stantz: Cross the streams...
  • Dr. Peter Venkman: You're gonna endanger us, you're gonna endanger our client - the nice lady, who paid us in advance, before she became a dog...
  • Dr. Egon Spengler: Not necessarily. There's definitely a very slim chance we'll survive.
  • Dr. Peter Venkman: I love this plan! I'm excited it could work! LET'S DO IT!

Speaker Bio


Matthew Podwysocki is a software developer at Microsoft working with such teams as the Cloud Programmability Team on all things JavaScript. He is the author and maintainer of the Reactive Extensions for JavaScript and loves just hacking on JavaScript...


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