Reflections on RWE
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 ).
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:
- The Lucifer Effect
- Facts and Fallacies of Software Engineering
- Misquoting Jesus
- Hiding the Elephant
- The Change Function
- Pattern Recognition
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.
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!