Future of Web Apps 2008 – Day 1 in review

Docklands02I’m spending two days in Docklands attending the Future of Web Apps 2008.  Here are my thoughts on the first day…

Introduction

Ryan Carson – very good
Two Simon’s – pretty poor

The Future of News

Kevin Rose, Digg
OK

Future of web apps

Edwin Aoki, AOL
Short but OK

Languages Don’t Scale

Blaine Cook & Joe Stump
Very good technical presentation.  Scaling up and scaling out, the latter being the only effective way to scale. Thinking carefully about where the data & services are in relation to the client. memcached used heavily.

The future of web apps

Kevin Marks, Google
Pretty dull

Mobile Future

Stefan Fountain, Soocial
Very interesting presentation.  Future is mobile, not necessarily “mobile phone”.  Current web topics will go further and further down the stack until they become invisible, like electricity, TCP/IP, HTTP, the Internet and even services like Twitter.

Colliding Worlds, Jabber

Blaine Cook
Didn’t listen to a huge amount of this one, catching up on email.

How to take your community to the next level

Strange site idea, but some good ideas to build community on the net. Was half listening and half reading my new book The Productive Programmer from O’Reilly.

Final sessions – skipped these, cold kicking in and wanted a shower and some down-time before heading out for dinner

Observations

Conference is well run, lots of nice detail, forenames are the most prominent item on the badges, so easy to introduce.  Lack of chairs/tables means you have to sit next to people you don’t know and get chatting (met two people over breakfast this morning).

You get 2 free coffees, 2 free meals and 2 free beers. They track this by punching holes in your badge.

Each badge has a barcode which stalls scan to track who visited them.

There’s free stuff if you’re cheeky and get in their early.

What’s hot

Twitter, almost every presentation referred to it, and everyone was using it on their laptops
Google Mail – again, visible on laptops
Anything made by Apple, particularly Macbooks and iPhones

Being mentioned

Cloud computing, the buzz phrase, but I don’t think the industry can define it yet
REST APIs
Software as a service

Amusing Points

The Microsoft Lounge is in one corner of the expo floor, and diagonally opposite it (the furthest away) is the Sun lounge.
Microsoft have brought Microsoft Surface.  Incredibly cool, but I don’t see how it has a direct link to “The Future of Web Apps”.  But it is cool.

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