Category Archives: Meetings

Conferences, Workshops and general meetings

@media 2008 Presentation Slides

I have published the slides from my @media 2008 presentation in London. Overall, I think the presentation went very well. James Graham and I managed to speak for almost an hour about HTML 5, even though we had only met in person for the first time about 2 hours before we presented, and only had 10 minutes to briefly rehearse.

All the presentations were recorded and the podcasts should be released some time in the near future, though I’m not sure exactly when.

@media 2008 Presentation

This year, I have the pleasure of presenting at @media in London. I will be presenting with my colleague James Graham, whom I’ve not yet met, but who I’ve known online through the WHATWG for a while now. Our talk, entitled Getting Your Hands Dirty with HTML5, will focus on how the HTMLWG and WHATWG are working to address the needs of authors and users, and demonstrate real use cases for the new features being introduced. We will also take a look at the remarkable community surrounding the effort and show just how easy it is for you to get involved.

Web Directions South 2007

Web Directions South 2007 was held last week and it was awesome!

On Wednesday, I attended the W3C Special Interest Group, featuring presentations from a variety of people on topics including CSS, HTML, Widgets, SVG and RDF. Bert Bos discussed the status of CSS and explained some of the new features that are being introduced into CSS3. In particular, the layout and grid positioning features were the most exciting, since they will make it significantly easier to layout web pages. Marcos Caceres gave an overview of the work he and Anne have been doing for the Widgets specification in the Web API WG, and Chris Wilson talked about the progress of the HTMLWG

There were also some presentations on some topics of which I am not a huge fan. RDF, OWL and other “Semantic Web” nonsense seemed to be given a lot of emphasis in a few of the talks. Personally, I think those and related specs are over-engineered, ivory tower specs that were developed in the hope that some “killer app” would eventually come along in the future to save them. You may find that hard to believe, but consider this:

One interesting piece of information that was revealed was that in the Semantic Web Layer Cake diagram, the top layer (“User Interface & Applications”) wasn’t actually considered until around 2006. That made me wonder, if applications weren’t actually considered during the development of a lot of these technologies, do they actually solve any real practical problems. I don’t think they do. In fact, I’m yet to see any problem that RDF really solves, which couldn’t be solved using simpler technologies like Microformats.

I met Chris Wilson for the first time during the conference and took the opportunity to discuss several issues about the HTMLWG and IE. We had discussed a lot of the issues over email previously, but it was good to be able to sit down and have a reasonable discussion without getting as heated as it did previously. I also met up with Charles McCathieNevile and David Storey from Opera. I’ll be working with these guys when I move to Norway and start work at Opera in a few days. (I’ll write more about that later.)

The main conference was held on Thursday and Friday and featured a range of fantastic presenters. By far, the most entertaining presentation was Mark Pesce’s hilarious closing keynote, which featured video clips from Robot Chicken! Although, his presentation was actually informative too: Meraki is awesome! I want to set up or join mesh network of my own.

I wasn’t too impressed with the food that was provided this year during breaks. It would have been nice if there was some basic things available, like, for example, sandwiches or rolls, rather than just the fancy gourmet food which I don’t like too much.

There were information booths set up by several sponsors with lots of information. Adobe had a Nintendo Wii set up, Microsoft was discussing there new products including Silverlight, Expression Studio and Popfly. The Campaign Monitor guys had a competition to win an iMac and the condition of entry was that you had to be one of the first 200 people to collect a campaign monitor t-shirt and wear it before you could put your name in the draw.

Sadly, I missed out on picking up an official shirt, but that didn’t stop me improvising! They said if I arrived on Friday wearing a shirt with “I Love Campaign Monitor” written on the back, I could enter. So I did! 🙂 (I’d link to a photo, but I can’t find one on Flickr yet.) Unfortunately, however, I still failed to win and ruined a perfectly good white polo shirt. 🙁