A short write up on the weekend
Another year, another State of The Browser – now in its fifth year, it’s a conference for the London Web development community. It’s aimed at the masses, we want it to be accessible to all and have really great speakers, and this year was no exception to those rules.
In its inception, SOTB was a chance for the browser manufacturers to get together and talk about the latest and greatest things in their browsers to a wide audience. A lot of this mandate is being done (very, very well) by Edge conference, organised by our friends at London Web Performance. So, this year, we went back to our roots, the community that LWS is built upon, for talks about the browser, new browsers, new technology, and new ways of working. I’m really pleased with how it worked out, and we had a really high quality of submissions (my fellow organiser Morena Fiore-Kirby covers this really well in her write-up) it’s a shame we couldn’t fit more in.
This also meant that we could feature more new speakers and I’m really happy that we did. LWS has a long history of being the place where great speakers have done their first gigs (Pete Gasston, Laura Kalbag, and apparently Jake Archibald did a talk in the very early days – to just name a few) and I hope this tradition will continue. We were very pleased to welcome Martin Jakl (@JaklMartin) and Laura Elizabeth (@laurium) to the stage, mentored by Pete and Solé, they both did a great job with their talks. They’ve both got bright futures so watch out for them.
I’m very happy to say that my surprise of the weekend was Chris Heilmann. Other than his incredible generosity in giving away 10 years worth of tech swag (see below) he gave the best talk that I’ve ever had the pleasure to hear him give. He seemed truly passionate about his new product, Edge, and the people that he works with to make the web better, fixing not just the web that you and I see, but also internal websites, massive SAP systems and changing web standards culture in huge corporations. If I hadn’t already been standing, I’d have stood up to applaud him and what the Edge development team have done. Thank you.
Thanks to everyone who came along and were such a friendly bunch of people. We got lots of great feedback, and I can’t wait to do it again next year!
Check out the photo gallery for the event on Google Photos
For more on the event, check out these articles:
p.s. The whole event was live-streamed, and we have videos of the whole event too – the first half is already up on the @webstandards Vimeo page with the rest to follow shortly. A massive thank you to our live events team Pete Wood and company who always do an amazing job. Thank you!
This month’s London Web Standards was on augmented reality, a hot topic a few years ago that is making its way back into people’s mindshare with projects like Google Glass. We had Dr. Paul Coulton talking about the current state of AR on mobile, Imogen Levy talking about how Westminster Abbey is using 3D and AR to improve the visitor experience, and Trevor Ward talked about how we can use AR now on current-generation devices.
We were also graced with the presence of Clare Sutcliffe, who came to talk to us about Code Club, getting kids aged 9-11 to learn to program using Scratch. The video that she showed is after the gallery.
Clare Sutcliffe on Code Club
Imogen Levy on Westminster Abbey 3D
Dr. Paul Coulton on the state of augmented reality
Trevor Ward on AugmentedTi
Last night was London Web Standards’ Semantic Web event with Mischa Tuffield and Jarred McGinnis talking about RDF standards, SPARQL, how it all works and how it works in the real work in the mainstream press.
Here’s my sketchnotes from both presentations
Sketchnotes of Mischa Tuffield at LWSSemantic
Sketchnotes of Jarred McGinnis at LWSSemantic
We were also joined by a man showing us a quick look at Dreamweaver CS5.5 with it’s new HTML5 features. Unfortunately, the software had a few bugs which showed up in the talk, and after being burned by the very expensive adobe software for years, the crowd didn’t take to the UI very well, which wasn’t helped by a low-res projector. Still, it looks like a big improvement over the old version, but I’ll still use Coda when on my Mac.
Rob Hawkes: multiplayer gaming in HTML5
Sketchnotes of Rob Hawkes' talk Multiplayer Gaming with HTML5
Rob is a canvas and animation guru. He’s not far out of uni and has a book out this month! He gave a new talk on multiplayer gaming, and how it was possible in HTML5.
Basically: Canvas + Websockets + a server (rob recommended Node.js) = multiplayer gaming on the web.
Rob didn’t go into much detail as to how to do all this, just talked us through the principles of what you should be doing, what you should avoid, how to prevent cheating and simple tricks to improve performance.
At the end, Rob proposed a HTML5 gaming knowledge repository, a community wiki and tutorial site, so that it’s easier for people to learn. Someone at the event will take him up on the offer, so look forward to more things soon!
Rob has a book on Foundation HTML5 Canvas: Gaming and Entertainment for pre-order on Amazon.co.uk
Sketchnotes for Creative JS visual effects – Seb Lee-Delisle
Seb then talked about performance, and how bad canvas is at the moment. DOM elements with hardware acceleration is easily twice as fast as canvas, especially on the iPad. The iPad’s saving grace is its touch screen, which can take 11 touch points (just in case we grow an extra finger). Seb created a simple asteroids game using touch events for input.
Seb finally talked about 3D and how using libraries was a great way to go from 2d to 3D very simply. He recommended Unity as a game engine and framework of choice, and they’re building HTML5 renderers on top of their regular OpenGL and DirectX methods. Exciting stuff indeed.