Jan 082016
 

This morning I had an epiphany. A vision. A prophecy, you might call it. It’s groundbreaking (in a story arc kind of way, not in a real-life kind of way). Since it’s spoilery, I’m going to tuck it into a little disclosure box. Here it is:

My ephiphany

What if Rey is the Chosen One?

Anakin failed to achieve the prophesied role; instead of bringing balance to the Force, he nearly destroyed humanity’s connection to it forever. Some have theorized that his destruction of the Jedi order, leaving, eventually, just him and Luke Skywalker as Force users, established balance.

Perhaps. But what if he wasn’t intended to be the Chosen One. What if Qui-Gon was mistaken? Anakin was, instead, a Force-talented but reckless kid who should never have been a Jedi at all.

Rey, on the other hand, is so powerful and in tune with the Force that she is learning to wield its power through that innate connection, instead of requiring training. Much like the earliest Force-users must have done. This puts her in a unique position—better, perhaps, than Luke Skywalker—to build a new Jedi order. One which is more inclusive, more in tune with everyday people, and so forth.

This also explains much about the vision Rey has when she first touches Luke’s lightsaber. In it, she sees the end of the Luke’s fledgling Jedi order at the hands of Ben Solo and the dawn of her new Jedi order, founded by her, perhaps with Finn by her side, as they do combat together against Kylo Ren.

Rey is the Chosen One.

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 Posted by at 5:06 PM
Dec 242015
 

It’s been a few days now since I saw “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” for the second time, and I’ve got theories! Spoilers lie ahead, but I will start by just saying that this movie was amazing. Now, on to the theories!

First, some thoughts on Finn (John Boyega):

Spoilers ahead: Theories on Finn

First off, let’s talk about Finn’s lightsaber fight versus the vibroblade of the First Order stormtrooper. I’ve heard people say, “How can he be so good with that lightsaber already?

I think the answer is simple and literally right in front of Finn. Clearly First Order stormtroopers are trained to use melee weapons such as the vibroblade. Therefore, it stands to reason that Finn has at least enough skill with a vibroblade that he can wield the lightsaber in much the same way.

The big question, of course: who is he, and what role will he fill going forward? Is he strong in the Force? Or just a heck of a fighter and an incredibly decent human being? I look forward to finding out! Boyega plays this part very well, and the simple, pure human decency Finn expresses despite being trained to kill like a mindless drone implies a strength of character that could have serious import and repercussions going forward.

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Now for the clear hero of the new trilogy, Rey. First off, this is a fantastic character who I already think may be among the two or three strongest and most interesting characters in all of Star Wars film lore. Secondly, she was played brilliantly by Daisy Ridley. Such remarkable acting. I’m a huge fan of this character and of her work in this film. Wow.

Anyway, my thoughts…

Spoilers ahead: The Mystery of Rey

Clearly, Rey is astonishingly powerful in the Force. Once she becomes aware of it and touches it for the first time, she gains enormous power very quickly. So obviously, she has parentage which is also strong in the Force.

This morning I read about a theory of where Rey comes from which I think has a lot of potential: after dropping off Luke with Owen and Beru, Obi-wan had a lot of time on his hands. He communed with Qui-Gon to learn how to pass into the Force at death while retaining a link to the world of the living. He ruminated on the fact that the Jedi order had been destroyed.

And he contemplated the new reality of the future course of the Jedi if the order were to be rebuilt: being disconnected from your feelings and from the people around you leads to a sense of superiority and a detachment that makes it harder, not easier, to resist the temptations of the Dark Side. After a decade or so of meditation and learning new ways from Qui-Gon and perhaps even Yoda, he traveled, and he found love. And, eventually, there was a child: Rey.

The article I linked to above postulated that Rey is a grandchild, but it’s only been 30 years, and I believe that Obi-Wan would have spent the first several years, possibly a decade, ruminating on the defeat of the Jedi and following through on the training Yoda gave him to do at the end of Episode III. Obi-Wan would then meet Rey’s mother a decade or so after the events of Episode III, leading to approximately the correct timing for Rey’s age to be as it is in Episode VII.

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I’ll probably add to this post as my theories expand, so that should be fun…

 Posted by at 12:22 PM
Nov 132015
 

I’m going to highlight a meeting for you today. This is the point where you yawn politely, look at the time, and and try to escape without my noticing. But I see you over there! Get back here. This is important!

Each Thursday, the MDN content team holds its weekly API documentation meeting at 8 AM Pacific time in Mozilla’s Open the DevEngage Vidyo room. This meeting is for discussions about ongoing and upcoming work on documentation for all Web APIs. This includes the classic DOM as well as all newer APIs, from Ambient Light to Speech Synthesis and beyond. It even includes Firefox OS-specific APIs. We don’t even discriminate against non-standard APIs, as long as they’re exposed to browser content.

That’s a lot of stuff to cover! Everything needs to be understood, written about, sample code located or created (and tested!), and all tied together and reviewed until it makes sense and is as accurate as we can make it.

That’s why we have been holding these meetings in collaboration with the API development team for a long. A few months ago, the technical evangelism team also started sending a representative to each meeting. This tripartite meeting lets each team share recent accomplishments and what they’ll be doing next. This has multiple benefits:

  • The writers learn what new technologies are being implemented, what improvements are in the works, and when things are likely to ship. We also learn when special events are coming that would benefit from having documentation ready.
  • The technical evangelists get details on what new APIs are coming up, and can discuss plans for spreading the word with the developers creating the APIs and the writers documenting them, to coordinate plans and schedules.
  • The technical evangelists can relay user sentiment information in a more personal way to both the development teams and the writers; this kind of feedback is incredibly helpful!
  • The development team can let the writers and evangelists know what the status is on current API work, and we can discuss this status in a team setting instead of only reading about it in a formal note or bug comments.
  • The developers can share information about what problem points they see or expect to exist in understanding and working with technologies, in order to help guide future work in samples, demos, and documentation.

There are intangible benefits, too. Over the two-plus years we’ve been holding this weekly meeting, we’ve developed an increasingly close working relationship between the developer documentation and the API engineering teams. This has enormous benefits not just for these two teams, but for the Web we serve.

If you have a passion for creating APIs for the Web or for teaching others how to use them, please consider joining our meeting. Even if you only drop in once in a while, you’ll find it a great way to stay informed and to help guide the future of our content and evangelism efforts.

 Posted by at 6:07 PM
Nov 032015
 

It’s been a while since I wrote anything on my blog about technology or the Web (indeed, the last several posts I’ve written have been my 5-word movie reviews. While fun, these aren’t very informative to the primary audience of my blog: you, the (probably) Web developer, genius type.

A lot has changed in the last few months. We’ve got so many exciting new technologies and APIs to play with. Not to mention ECMAScript 6 (a.k.a. ECMAScript 2015, a.k.a. the latest version of JavaScript). In ES6, the big new toys, for me, are Promises and arrow functions. Both take some getting used to, but once you do, they make a huge difference in code readability and despite feeling alien and weird to my old procedural programming brain, they still make code just plain better.

Add to that all the amazing new APIs, including WebRTC, Web Notifications, Service Workers, the Push API, and so much more, and my mind boggles at the immense power of the Web in this day and age.

I was in college when the Web first exploded into existence. Back then, it was mostly a thing students and researchers played with, but I already knew it was going to change the world. And it has.

I’ll try to get back into the habit of blogging more regularly; there’s far too much exciting stuff to talk about to let my blog stay idle any longer.

 Posted by at 11:19 AM