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Blasting React into Space: Building fluid interface swith React and WebGL (Ashi Krishnan)

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Published on Oct 10, 2017

Talk given at Full Stack Fest 2017: https://fullstackfest.com

At its heart, React is about describing a living, changing tree. We typically use it to build an HTML DOM tree, and obviously, React is written that in mind.

But what if I told you that the DOM was only the beginning? Your React components can describe not just HTML, but whole WebGL scenes, letting you seamlessly integrate beautiful, GPU-accelerated interfaces into your projects.

First, we'll build a React / WebGL binding from whole cloth, learning about the differences between rendering with HTML and rendering with WebGL as we go.

Then, we'll go deeper, exploring new and exotic species of trees to bring to life: animation, audio, and even Javascript code itself. Our explorations will bring us into contact with each piece of the React trinity—the pattern (virtual DOM), syntax (JSX), and implementation (reconciler). There's something in here for everyone who uses React, even if your daily practice remains firmly rooted in the React/DOM combo we all know and love.

Ashi's first program printed I LOVE YOU MOM in a colorful infinite loop; she was six at the time, and she was hooked. Since then, she has built weather forecasting tools and 3D visualizations for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, engineered software at the largest scale at Google, and worked at startups both tiny and medium-sized.

These days, she writes and teaches at the Grace Hopper program at Fullstack Academy in New York. Teaching women to code is, without question, the best job she has ever had.

When not teaching, Ashi can be found working on writing and art projects, flying to places she's never been, and lying in the sun. She enjoys the harrowing thrills of biking in Manhattan, the calm of yoga, and the song of the ocean.

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