devdays with Carsonified and StackOverflow

Had a pleasant day looking at a few different languages at Kensington Town Hall again. Organized by Carsonified and StackOverflow, so sounded interesting and Darren Kenny offered me his ticket, so too good to miss really. I did sit there at one point, thinking that I should really be doing some work instead of hearing about languages that I haven’t enough time and energy for, but overall it was quite an inspirational day.
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Enterprise messaging

We’ve had a look at some of the twitter-like systems that are based around enterprise usage. This is just a quick knee-jerk reaction from our experience over the last couple of weeks. We wanted to use a system internally, to see if there was any advantages over email, and perhaps to think about how to take advantage of some of the social momentum that is around at the moment.

Initially we used an installation of Laconica, now StatusNet, which is a twitter clone that runs internally on a Unix system and then we setup corporate sites at both Yammer and to see the advantages the full connection to the web would bring. It will be interesting to monitor their usage over the next couple of months as we try them for a project or two.
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Future of Web Apps – day 2

Second day (First day here) warm up was given to Britt Selvitelle (@bs) from Twitter. A tough task given that there was a late PayPal party the previous evening. Twitter are now thinking of the next step; they want more developer involvement so they announced the twitter labs site for this. They are producing their own javascript library. They will be advertising apps on their web site and developers may be able to integrate more closely to the twitter website. At some point they will open source the software stack, so that your twitter pages will be more flexible. Not too many details on the labs site or the API, but they promised to email details of the beta to the FOWA list.

Simon Wardley gave a talk at the Cloud Expo a month or two back and it was just as enjoyable second time round. Simon, from Canonical, is involved with pushing the Amazon EC2 standard into Eucalyptus on Ubuntu servers. An in-house cloud if you like and open source. Hard to write down the humourous way that he talked around the ubiquity of computing and the way that cloud computing will become commoditised. As demand increases and improvements in facilities occur, cloud computing will be everywhere. The transition will move from the current confusion, through management, trust, security to transparency of the services. What concerns him is the need to have an easy way to switch between services, data transfer etc. By moving to the standard for the EC2 API he says that this will help form de facto standards, which will make these problems easier. Componentisation will (vastly) increase the speed of development.
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Future of Web Apps in Kensington – day 1

Another year rolls around to one of my favourite conferences, Future of Web Apps organised by Carsonified. It’s a little smaller this year and returns to the previous venue at the Kensington Town Hall. This is a comfortable size but previous problems with wifi were repeated on the first day. Intermittent though so I didn’t hear too many complaints. There is only one stream this year so we didn’t have to read through all the summaries to decide which to attend. Nice and simple was what I needed as I had been quaffing cocktails til the early hours with a few of the Microsoft web guys. They appeared at the show as well, so it was good to see that they’d survived. (Second day is here)
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Birmingham Flash Camp

Spent a sunny day going on a train trip up to Birmingham for the Flash Camp. I decided that I’d like to listen to Mike Jones talk about components again, with a Flex 4 flavour this time. It was well worth the trip, not just for Mike but there was an interesting bunch of speakers there; a reminder on Away3d and the best demo I’ve seen of the Catalyst workflow. Friendly group up there; I recommend you get to some of the future meetings.

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Game09 at Imperial College

An interesting day looking at some new techniques in games software, pushing the angle of how a clever department at Imperial College in London, can help game studios with their research and production. It was a smaller group than I was expecting but it had an interesting group of talks, with some stimulating conversations around some of the research areas that the college students are involved with. I’ve been talking with contacts at other universities and they do seem to have the time to look into areas whereas a commercial company has to keep more tightly to their production plan. The computer department here has a lot of AI studies, which reflected in some of the talks.
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