Birds Eyeview of Web track at the GIDS 2012

The main focus of the day was the emergence or in otherwords out growth of mobile devices over desktop/laptop in the Q4 of 2010. And also the importance of making the applications mobile compatible. With the advent of HTML5 and lot of browsers including mobile browsers providing support for these features, it gives much more power to the developers in creating rich applications for mobile and desktop browsers.

No wonder why lot of the sessions lined up focussed on HTML5 and Javascript. With HTML5, there’s lot more dependence on Javascript, because a lot of features like Application cache, Local storage, Location aware and others are driven by Javascript. And most of these sessions were by the best of the speakers- Scott Davis and Venkat Subramaniam. There’s not a better way to start the conference day than by attending Scott Davis talk. Just a brief summarisation of the talks:

  • A birds eyeview of HTML 5 features namely- Application cache and Local Storage. Local storage allows developers to store the client data in a key-value pairs (like NoSQL) and provides upto 5MB of storage which is much more than the cookies which provided 4KB. Application cache provides support for caching web content on the client, so your images, css, javascript can be cached. This is done by defining a manifest file and referring to it in the html. The good thing is that there’s no cap on the application cache size.
  • JavaScript from a different perspective- I always under estimad the power of JavaScript, never took it up for learning and the only way I got around it was by searching on the web for solutions and copying the code. But Venkat in his talk says- JavaScript is often misunderstood because of- the term ‘Java’ it carries with its name and because of the bad code available on the internet. Functional and Prototypal features of the language were demonstrated during the session.
  • Improving the page load times by using PageSpeed service. Interesting facts as to where the web page takes time to load were shared along with possible optimisations. I remember using PageSpeed to check the page load times for my blog, but I need to explore the PageSpeed service which does the optimisations on the fly.
  • Got to know about Backbone.js which is a JavaScript based web framework. Its a component based, asynchronous and client side MVC based web framework which supports creating single page web applications. The main idea behind single page is that the multiple pages are replaced by individual divs on the single page. And instead of controllers it has an concept called routers which route the requests to corresponding functions/callbacks. Lot of the concepts learnt in the JavaScript talk earlier were useful.

Now coming to the expo booths-

  • None of them had anything useful to share about the product there were displaying except for SafeNet,where the person in the booth explained exactly what the product does and was in a position to answer the queries.
  • ThoughtWorks were giving out ThoughtWorks Radar and the people in the booth were from the recruitment team, but I thought they should have got a developer or two there who could explain as to how Radar is prepared or may be talk a bit or two about few upcoming technologies or the technologies they are working on.
  • The funniest stall was the JetBrains where I guess the person was from the sales/marketing team and had no clue as to how JetBrains is better than Eclipse or Netbeans. I asked him few questions about the features in JetBrains and all he had to say was, please ask your company to get in touch with us, we will provide them live demo from US and before that talk about the purchase plan of your company. Now does that impress hundreds of developers who visit the stall?

Lot to explore tomorrow and the day after. Stay tuned for more updates here.

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