I am currently at The Rich Web Experience 2007 conference. It is interesting to compare it to JavaOne conferences I have been to in the past.
To start, RWE is much smaller. It is about 400 people as compared to 15 thousands at JavaOne. This obviously makes scheduling logistics and eating arrangements simpler, but there is also a very different feel in the air. It feels that it is much harder to walk around without bumping into speakers and/or other moderately famous web people. At JavaOne, it is all about learning, here it is more like sharing.
I have gone to the following sessions:
- Secure application development with Ajax (by Dean H. Saxe) – The presentation itself was great and covered interesting topic in details. I did not understand all of the advanced concepts and consequences, but the core message was very clear and the slides give enough hints and terms to do further research on my own. I would have liked a more detailed example (e.g. ‘This is why SOP is not applicable’ ), but overall it was great.
- Merging Ajax and Accessibility (by Mark Meeker) – Another great presentation. I heard before that designing for accessibility actually has beneficial side-effects of increased general usability and better design practices, but it was good to see it confirmed with large commercial sites. Mark also had great examples and talked about Hijax a bit as a way of building accessibility into the process, rather than trying to bolt it on at the end.
- Web design/architecture Birds-Of-Feather session with Aaron Gustafson, David Verba and couple of others. It was actually interesting, because I sat with them at the dinner table without realising who they were. But you could see they were really smart and interesting, even in their unstaged moments. True geeks, in the good sense of the word. The session itself was a very interesting discussing and somehow I even managed to hog the floor for a while with my questions. Hopefully, it did not annoy too many people.
I am looking forward to the second day.