FOWA London 2007 - Day 2 Summary
First up on day 2 was Mark Anders, Sr. Principal Scientist at Adobe. Interestingly in described the web he mentioned PHP before Coldfusion! His preso was interesting but didn’t cover a huge amount of stuff that wasn’t already about. Some interesting demo’s showing how much quicker AS3 is over AS2 and the usage in Flex 2. Also how Flex 2 has a new JIT compiler. He mentioned Tamarin and Apollo. Apollo looks like it could be really cool, but, need to see some more examples that are usable. Hopefully it’ll get onto labs soon. Chris Wilson, Platform Architect over at Microsoft did a presentation on “The Past, Present and Future” of the browser, or, IE. Covered what they did in IE7 and not a huge amount else. Mentioned the free tool VStudio Express and also heavily pushed WPF/E at the end. Khoi Vinh has some interesting stuff to say about design of nytimes.com and how the template system within the CMS works. He had a good quote:
"we're not early adopters, we're selective adopters"</blockquote> which I think in some cases is a good way to me. Also had some interesting points on navigation and keeping it simple and remember that user's don't need to get everywhere from everywhere. Simon Wilison generated a lot of interest and had some good points relating to openid and I agree with his points that it's really cool but might still be a bit to new. The delegation stuff with server identities is also really cool. The chap from Google didn't really say a huge amount about Docs and Spreadsheets, some bits on architecture were interesting but in Google style no details. Vodafone had a presentation which covered aspects of the mobile web but generally bigging up how much they're getting involved in standards. With such high data costs in the UK I think it's a while before this starts becoming main stream. They've also launched a beta programme. Rasmus Lerdorf, aka Mr PHP now at Yahoo, was very good. Down to earth and a realist. Good points about getting benchmarks and profiling applications so you know what's going on before you try to fix the problems rather than just throw hardware at it. Good comments on cross site scripting and why it's bad, aside from the obvious! Netvibes announced that they're launching a Universal Widget API. Sounds pretty cool will let you write widgets once then deploy to MAC, Google etc. Not quite sure how they'll make money, but, not my problem. Should be good :) I've skipped the "open mic" sessions as they weren't really any good at all. Not Carson's fault I suppose and I guess the idea was good, but don't think many people voted and the winners weren't really too interesting and quite subjective. moo.com were I think the best up today, perhaps equal to Rasmus. Their presentation was simple and classy, and didn't have a purple or gradient background!!! Good points from the CTO such as "never rollout on a friday" (which I wish my company would adopt). Slightly staggered that they have real people packing cards, checking for copyright infringement and the level of quality. It's a good thing service wise but still quite shocking. They come over as very cool and seem to be scaling quickly and successfully. Will be considering them for the next Caffeine Press set of business cards I think! The orange loving French man from ContactOffice.com was last up and to be honest wasn't a great close out after the brilliant moo.com guys. Overall the conference was good and there were some excellent presentations and some good points raised. RSS, openid, keep it simple, don't scale too soon and communities would be the key things in my opinion that came out of it. Next up, FOWD which should also be good. Looking forward to the 37signals talk.