Sunday, March 13, 2011

QCon 2011 (London): Day Three

Day three went a bit more webby – and technical, and frankly, a bit flat. It seemed slightly lacklustre.

Keynote: Things I Wish I’d Known (Rod Johnson) 7/10:

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.

Single Page Apps and Future of History (Michael Mahemoff) 7/10:

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: Asynchronous I/O For Fun and Profit (Stefan Tilkov) 7/10:

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.

HTML5 @ Facebook (David Recordon) 7/10:

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.

ThingWorx and Neo4j (Rick Bullotta & Emil Eifrem) 7/10:

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.

HBase @ Facebook (Kannan Muthukkaruppan) 6/10:

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.

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