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.
XTech was subtitled “the mobile web”, but one of the major themes for me was that of the distributed web. The first keynote, by Simon Wardley, gave a vision of a future in which hardware, frameworks and applications are services in the cloud rather than products on machines we own: where we use flickr to store our photographs, Google App Engine to host our applications, and Amazon S3 to store our data. In David Recordon’s keynote (written up by Jeremy Keith), he talked about small, specific services provided by sites that aren’t “destination sites”. The same picture was painted by Gareth Rushgrove in his talk on Design Strategies for a Distributed Web.
It’s XTech 2008 next week. I’ll be there to talk about the work we at TSO have been doing with OPSI to add semantic information to the London Gazette using RDFa. It’s really interesting and timely work on all sorts of levels; you can read the abstract of the talk to get a taster and of course it’ll be published afterwards.
Global retail organisation and household name is looking for 2 (two) Front-End/User Interface Developers to work on a major consumer e-commerce portal.
Roughly ten years ago, I was attending KAW’98. I remember that conference as one of the best weeks of my life. I had great company. I saw scenery like I’d never seen before. I presented my PhD work for the first time to people who were (at least politely) interested in it. And I learned a lot, both from the presentations and less formal discussions.
(I remember driving back to Nottingham when we returned; a rainbow appeared in front of us, seeming to arch over our destination in a perfect finale.)
Looking back at that paper is like looking at my past generally is: much of it makes me cringe, but parts of it are surprisingly good. What’s interesting is that if you swap a few terms for modern buzzwords, it’s still a pretty neat idea. It’s also amazing how far we’ve come – how much has become common-place – in just ten years.