Day three went a bit more webby – and technical, and frankly, a bit flat. It seemed slightly lacklustre.
Co-founder of SpringSource, Rod is a successful entrepeneur, and entertaining speaker. He gave us a very personal take on the lessons learned, although I’m not sure I personally took anything away from it. I didn’t take any notes, so can’t really comment.
Good talk from Michael (Googler) on the history of the web, and what single page apps will mean. Not much new here (for me) – this was more of a review session, but Michael put it all into context. A good discussion of the hashbang debate followed, along with things like REST, Hijax, and the history API of HTML5 (push/pop/replace) – I’m still not totally convinced by SPAs, but they do seem to be gaining ground. For me, the summary is that many apps these days are very task focussed, and so a SPA may fit, but for a larger site, pages are still the way to go.
I had actually been hoping for a session on WebSockets, but apparently that was cancelled. Que sera, sera.
Node.js is a very hot topic right now, and this session was packed to the rafters. Stefan gave us a great run-through of the model, and some possible uses. This was a code-level demo – although it was noted that no one in the room (inc. Stefan) had experience of running Node in production. Definitely one to watch, and I’m glad I went, but it was more out of interest than a practical requirement.
Key take-away here was the use of HTML/CSS/JS for mobile application development – clearly a focus at Facebook. David called out PhoneGap specifically, which kind of torpedos any other “appcelerator” framework given that it has the Facebook seal, and is free.
There was a bit of a review as to how Facebook use HTML – specifically the BigPipe process – which is very clever, but not exactly news.
Basically – they’re really clever at Facebook, and have more money than anyone else. Copy them with care – it may not work out quite as well as you had hoped.
Bit of a sales pitch from Rick around his company, ThingWorx, which I didn’t really get (database of everything, and how it’s related to everything else), with not enough really information on Neo4j, the graph database.
OK, so it was the last presentation, but it was also very, very technical. This was pretty serious stuff, and I lost track early on. As before, they’re cleverer than you are, at Facebook, so copy carefully.