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I finally have some time to write about XTech. What a great conference! I know that Edd would like it bigger, but its modest size gives it a family feel. Like a family gathering, there are pontificating oldsters whose wisdom goes largely unappreciated by young upstarts who themselves bring energy and innovation to the crowd. And a bunch in the middle trying to translate across the gap: to explain the vision to the old and the reality to the new.
Another way of putting it is the divide between the XML crowd and the Web 2.0 crowd. In Sean McGrath’s closing keynote, thankfully written up by Jeremy Keith, he talked about navigating the path between the document web and the programmable web, and the danger of tipping the balance too much in either one way or the other. XTech provides a great service in providing that balance, and of giving those of us with feet in both camps a home.
Particularly encouraging for me was to see some of the principles of the programmable web filtering into sites such as the Guardian and the BBC which aren’t part of the Web 2.0 vowel-deprived clique. It gives me hope for the public information sector, in which I happily find myself.
So many many thanks to Edd and to everyone who supplied me with alcohol, deprived me of sleep, and talked to me about tech. I can’t wait until next year.