FOWA London 07 part II

Filed under: review — jaydublu @ 7:46 pm

A suprising number of spare seats have started appearing, but I’m hanging in…

Mark Flanders, Adobe, run through of Flex and a plug for Apollo. Very interesting, would like time to play, but not inspiring yet. Perhaps it’s too early in the morning. Impressive examples of performance increase going from ActionScript 2 to 3. If I was an ActionScripter I’d be excited.

Chris Wilson from Microsoft, with a great background to his time at Microsoft (he’s been working on IE since 2.0!) trying desperately hard to persuade that they’re ‘passionate about standards’ – yeh, I think he convinced me. Great quote from his boss when they were developing IE7 and fixing loads of things and finding that as a result a lot of sites broke … “I’m really concerned we’re breaking stuff in the name of goodness and that all users and developers will walk away with ‘stuff’ broke”. Which led to the mantra “Don’t break the web”. With great power comes great responsibility! Oh, and confirmation of something I’ve been trying to tell my guys – “It’s not technically possible to have EXACT multiple IE versions on the same machine” – use VirtualPC instead.

Khoi Vinh nytimes.com, some good UI / design stuff, but I’m a geek so I snored. Actually I didn’t – I caught the odd great quote to thrill and impress people with every now and then, probably my favourite “if you’re going to offend anybody, offend experts not beginners”.

Now for the good bit – Simon Willison on OpenID, and I got absolutely, stupendously excited about it, and reslised why all anyone was blogging about yesterday was Kevin Rose’s announcement that digg were getting behind it (damn, I didn’t write that did I, because it didn’t mean anything to me then). OK, I get it now, and it’s going to be HUGE. So later netvibe said they’re doing it, and openoffice.com but I don’t know if anyone noticed. Anyway, much to play with, and I’m going to do something with it because it’s a Good Thing.

What else – Google docs and spreadsheets – sorry, just a bit too smug for me.

Some nice open mike spots – how to run a Virtual Office, JEDI or Just Enough Documentation for Interaction (=Agile Documentation) very cool and I’d love to take that back to work. And opinions on Web2.0 hots and nots.

The one I came for – Daniel Applequist from Vodafone on the future of mobile – I was hoping for a bit more I think but because I’ve done wuite a bit of research myself (and perhaps been polluted by Luca Passani) I didn’t hear anything new. Never mind. A plug for vodafonebetavine.net which should be investigated.

Rasmus Lerdorf, the father of PHP with a great bit of history, and a preview of what I’ll be doing tomorrow morning (If I remember which workshop I booked) i.e. benchmarking and profiling, and a great little bit on exploits and a few things I hadn’t seen before. Great guy. And some good quotes for a presentation I’ll be doing in a few months on Open Source Software.

Moo.com – why print isn’t dead, and a classic case of a great idea run by people who love their product. As they say their product (business cards) is 300 years old, and many, many people are doing it. The way they do it, and the community they’ve built up, and it’s a great story.

Finally, a spirited presentation about openoffice.com who launched a beta version of their new interface today.

So favourites – Rasmus was great, Moo was enjoyable, but I’m still buzzing about OpenID.

FOWA London 07

Filed under: review — jaydublu @ 7:02 pm

Yay, I’ve got something current to blog about!

I don’t live in Norfolk because I love crowds of people, so I’m not a big fan of being locked up in an auditorium with 850 geeks, wannabe dotcom entrepreneurs and a few who made it, but I thought I should be there so I’m at the Future of Web Apps London 2007 for three days of … various opinions.

So, after day one, what’s happened. Despite not being able to blog during the event (sorry Ryan I know it’s not your fault) and some wierdness about certain refreshment breaks being ‘sponsored’ (thanks Adobe for the beer!) and if not a cup of tea is £1.50.

Ryan “frickin’ cool” Carson is a dude I can relate to. I met hime when I went to one of his first seminars in London about devloping dynamic database driven websites. It was great to get confirmation that what we’d been doing by instinct was actually about right. Since then I’ve sent a few of my guys to hear Eric Meyer or other similar ‘names’, and they come back saying the same thing. We may be country hicks, but we’re up there with the best of them in terms of the work we do.More power to Ryan and team for taking the initiative and doing this sort of thing on this side of the ‘pond’, and I wish him all the success he can handle.

Ignoring the wifi, and the tea, what’s happened?

First – get all the freebies you can lay your hands on – the score currently stands at 2 t-shirts, several pens, a mouse mat, a pack of sweets, and something that twinkles when your phone rings. Oh and a copy of Microsoft Expression.

First speaker, Mike Arrington from TechCrunch and I thought I’d made a mistake. I work for an agency, not a dotcom, but I stick with it and there were some interesting views if not immediately relevant to me. But I thank him for the first hint of what I think could be massive – Adobe Apollo. More later when I investigate fully, but it sounds ‘frickin cool’.

Tara Hunt (aka missrogue) made me wish I was a proper geek and into blogging proper. I didn’t feel worthy, and resolved to make more of an effort. SO much enthusiasm for online communities … what more can I say? I must try harder. Twitter!

Enlightening stuff on Venture Capital, which makes me thankful I’ll never need to get involved with it. It was great having an insight into it, but … that’s not me. Hence I’m a wage slave not a millionaire.

Last.fm – now we’re getting somewhere – great stuff and great insight into measuring ‘attention’ and using it to profile your listening preference to dish up better music. Genius, and if someone pitched that one to me I’d buy it! That idea I’m going to have to make use of somehow. And a great bit on how to survive sucess I’ve got to take back – “people trump process” and “use simple tools”. We could use some of that.

Google APIs – yup, great, not much more to say. Other that I’ve got to have a fiddle with Sketchup to see if I can get some cool models of Happisburgh. I did that for Microsoft Flight Simulator once, but who cares?

Werner Vogels blew my mind with the Amazon S3 and EC2 distributed services. That’s going to take so much thinking about, but I’m open to it – I can see the sense I’ve just got to work through the implications in my head. Probably top of my ‘must investigate’ list. Which reminds me that I’ve skipped the nice people at Zimiki with their ‘pre-shaved yaks’. How could I forget that 10 minute presentation? Sheer genius, and hugely enjoyable. Almost trumped by chappie from soocial.com (forgot name, sorry) who has a seperate career waiting as a stand-up.

Bradley Horowitz from Yahoo! Didn’t get really inspired until he started talking about Pipes, which again made me feel inadequate for not being aware of it. Sounds hugely exciting, but I’ll have to suck and see. That’s what I’m here for isn’t it to find out what I’m missing?

Kevin Rose from Digg – I can see how he succeeded – he obviously loves his product and is ttally imersed in it. Once again great insights into what happens behind the scenes, but not really relevant to me.

So my favourite of day one – other than the entertainment of Ducks and Mum’s contact details (Zimki and Soocial respectively) top marks for me go to last.fm – totally captivating stuff from end to end.

Thanks all, looking forward to day 2.