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Reflections on RWE

September 20th, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

I’m a little tardy in getting the Rich Web Experience written up, I hope you’ll forgive me. First off, I just want to thank the attendees – what a great audience! They were very engaged, asked a ton of great questions and really made for a fun few days for the speakers. In an neat bit of coincidence, I met Josh Holmes from Microsoft on the plane out to San Jose – we spent most of the ride talking about Silverlight though his trip to Crested Butte was quite something! Anyway, I hope Molly Holzschlag is feeling better; her presence was missed but at least the opening panel managed to make InfoWorld (you can’t spell filibuster without Scott Davis :) ).

Having no talks Thursday, I settled in with a full helping of Bill Scott and Doug Crockford. Bill introduced Protoscript, a “simplified scripting language for creating Ajax style prototypes for the Web.” I thought it was a pretty interesting tool and something that could really help those of us that build UI mockups (read more here). Doug talked about, you guessed it, JavaScript a topic near and dear to his heart (check out his stuff on YUI Theater to get a taste of what you missed).

Friday I had to go to work! I opened up with my Designing for Ajax talk which was a hit. My audience was just fantastic – they asked a ton of questions and I had a real blast with this talk. From the comments I got afterward it sounds like people learned a bunch and had a good time. Later that afternoon I gave Deconstructing Prototype for the first time and it went pretty well I think. Bill’s Antipatterns talk was great; it just amazes me that some of his examples ever made it out to the real world and I applaud him for being able to turn a critical eye towards his employer. That afternoon I taped a short video on UI/JavaScript etc. that will someday find its way to the NFJS site – I’ll be sure to post when it goes up.

Jesse James Garrett‘s keynote was quite something; his slide deck was quite a work of art and had many of the speakers buzzing. He’s clearly a believer in the Lessig/Presentation Zen method; the use of images and words plus the integration of blank screens was worth the price of admission. I also enjoyed the case study from the Netflix folks; they’ve got some great examples of Ajax on their site but what I respect so much is their belief in testing. According to Sean Kane, about 70% of the features his team dreams up never make it out of testing!

During the second expert panel Scott threw out the “what books do you recommend” question and as usual Neal Ford stole two of mine (Dreaming in Code and another that I’m surprisingly blanking on). Needless to say, I’ve got a few things to read in the coming months – here’s a list of what I jotted down to follow up on:

While I really enjoyed the entire weekend, the highlight was Aza Raskin‘s workshop on design. He discussed the “monologue box” (aka JS alerts) along with his solution of transparent messages. His examples of undo on the web were inspirational sparking a lot of discussion. Throughout his talk he showed off Enso and though I love Quicksilver I wouldn’t mind if Humanized ported that bad boy over to the Mac! Aza talked a lot about natural language which lead to the quote of the week:

Trying to remember the command for tar -gvf is like bobbing for apples in a cement mixer.

Aza was good enough to join a handful of speakers at dinner after the show and he even tagged along for a couple of hours of pool. Good thing he and I are pretty close in skill at that particular game…though he did school me in air hockey.

Aza Raskin prepares to defeat me in pool.

Needless to say, it was a great evening and fantastic way to wrap up the conference. Neal and I did our best to recruit Aza for NFJS, he’d certainly be a welcome addition. Anyway, a great show and I’m really looking forward to next year when we’ll have not one but two opportunities to get the web community together!

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  1. December 26th, 2007 at 09:11 | #1

    Many thanks for the links:

    The Lucifer Effect
    Facts and Fallacies of Software Engineering
    Misquoting Jesus
    Hiding the Elephant
    The Change Function
    Pattern Recognition

    It`s very Interesting to learn more.

  1. October 6th, 2007 at 16:32 | #1
  2. January 19th, 2008 at 10:59 | #2