‘fowa’ Archive

FOWA London 2007 – Day 2 Summary

21 February 2007 21:16

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”

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.

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FOWA London 2007 – Day 1 Summary

20 February 2007 21:36

Lots of good stuff at FOWA today, some more interesting than others.

A lot of talk about users and communities which was to be expected. The talk be Tara Hunt was particularly good as was the stuff from last.fm. last.fm get around 15m scrobbles a day which is quite impressive along with 10m artists, 70m tracks and 17m items tagged they have some impressive figures. A 100% growth in staff over 8 months also shows how quickly they’re on the move up.

The presentation on soocial.com, online contact management syncing to multiple devices was probably the most fun and gripping slot and it was only 10 minutes, that said the talk from the chap from zimki was very good on their JavaScript API application and of course pre-shaved yaks.

Bradley Horowitz of Yahoo! didn’t really say that much other than API’s for it’s product stack were being released soon. I suspect the first will be mail, but, we shall see.

Kevin Rose of digg announced support for openid which is cool and also had some great insight onto the stuff they want to do with real time tracking via flash of “swarms” around popular items and how users move around and what they’re looking at.

Werner Vogels, CTO at Amazon had some interesting stuff to say about the web services they now offer in EC2, SGS and the S3 storage service and they certainly have some grunt behind them. The ability to loose more than one datacenter entirely and carry on is an impressive claim to make. The presentation was however a little dull.

Index Venture Capital I imagine would have been interesting to those interested! I wasn’t one, but, there was good tips in there for looking for VC if you need it.

Another common theme on top of communities was don’t scale up too quick in the early days and also not to get more money than you need.

All in all a good day. Looking forward to tomorrow.

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FOWA London 2007 – Tara Hunt

20 February 2007 11:38

Tara Hunt has just come off stage talking about online communities. A very interesting and detailed talk which has been best so far. More notes later.

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FOWA London 2007

20 February 2007 10:40

First impressions, well, it’s erm OK. BTOpenZone connection is a bit slow and we have to pay which for a web conference isn’t really that great.

Mike Arrington was quite interesting and apologised for the fact TechCrunch UK is no more. Chap from AOL didn’t really say a lot at all.

Most of the time so far has been trying to SubEthaEdit to work over bonjeur which BT have decided to not allow, would seem that port 80 is the only one open. Pants.

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