Web Directions Conferences for web and digital professionals

Rewind, July 2008: Native Apps, the great leap backwards?

Panic, developers of Transmit and many other fine software products are folks I’ve long admired. It’s probably not well known these days, but I started my journey on the web as a Mac app developer and used the web to distribute software, which lead to my focus on web technologies, and CSS in particular, and […]

Dave Orchard – Offline Web Apps with HTML5

Photo of Dave OrchardThere’s an old expression, that there are only 2 hard problems in computing: naming, cache invalidation and off-by-one errors. Building offline web apps is all about those hard problems. We’ll spend the bulk of our time on these hard problems, which is probably more useful than api description and sample code.

David Peterson – Semantic web for distributed social networks

Web Directions South 2008, Sydney Convention Centre, September 26 2.40pm.

David Peterson PortraitHear how Drupal, Semantic MediaWiki and other bleeding edge tech were enlisted along with pixie dust, FOAF, RDF, OWL, SPARQL, Linked Data (basically all the Semantic Web stuff) to build a distributed social network. The focus will be not on evangelism (I don’t really care about that) but how disparate open source platforms can talk and work together. This stuff actually works and makes development more fluid. These technologies make local development easier, but when it is time to broaden your scope, classic search is still king. How can you leverage this? Newcomers such as Yahoo Searchmonkey can play an important role in the creation of a truly distributed information system.

Myles Eftos – Web APIs, Oauth and OpenID: A developer’s guide

Web Directions South 2008, Sydney Convention Centre, September 26 1.40pm.

Myles Eftos PortraitOnline web applications are big business, with many people relying on the cloud for data storage and workflow. These days, an API is an essential part of any online system, but this presents authentication and authorisation issues for the humble web developer. Learn how to create Web APIs, how OpenID and Oauth works and what you need to do to implement them.

Robert Hoekman Jr – The essential elements of great web applications

A presentation given at at Web Directions User Experience, Melbourne Town Hall, May 16 2008, and Web Direction Government, Old Parliament House, Canberra, May 19 2008.

Robert Hoekman, Jr PortraitMost great web applications have a few key things in common. But can you name them? Better yet — can you achieve them consistently in your own projects?

In this closing keynote, Robert Hoekman, Jr., author of the Amazon bestseller Designing the Obvious (New Riders) describes the seven qualities of great web-based software and how to achieve each and every one of them by learning to communicate through design. See why it’s important to build only what’s absolutely essential, apply instructive design, create error-proof interactions, surface commonly-used features, and more in this informative session that will change the way you work and enable your users to walk away from your software feeling productive, respected, and smart.

Jenny Telford – Opening up government data

A presentation given at Web Directions Government, Old Parliament House, Canberra, May 19 2008.

Jenny Telford PortraitMapping and other mashups have taken the web world by storm – driving innovation in business and government alike. While much of the focus has been on the actual mashup applications, without the data to mashup, we have no mashups. Government, from local to Federal level, collect and manage a significant amount of data, across a very broad range of areas. But giving access to this data to web application developers has technical, policy and legal challenges. In this presentation, Jenny Telford of the ABS looks at these issues from their experience of opening up data from the Australian Census.

Andy Budd – Designing the experience curve

A presentation given at at Web Directions User Experience, Melbourne Town Hall, May 16 2008.

Andy Budd PortraitThese days people expect more from a website than a handy set of tools and a pretty interface — they want an experience. From the moment somebody enters your site they’ll be judging you on everything from the way the site looks to the tone of your error messages. And they won’t just be judging you against other sites. They will be judging you on every customer experience they have ever had, from the rude man at the train station to the lovely hotel clerk that checked them in on holiday. So in order to compete, we need to up our game and look at experiences both on and off-line.

In this session Andy Budd will look at the 9 key factors that go into designing the perfect customer experience. By taking examples from the world around us, Andy will discuss how we can turn utilitarian experiences into something wonderful.

Gina Trapani – Better Gmail: How Google Opened Gmail’s Web Interface to Any Developer Who Cares (And Why You Should)

A presentation given at Web Directions North, Vancouver Canada, January 30 2008.

Gina Trapani PortraitLast year, Google released an experimental Greasemonkey API for Gmail: coding hooks that let anyone add CSS and Javascript to Gmail that enhances how it looks and behaves. Why would you want to do this? Why wouldn’t you? Hear how Google’s using Greasemonkey to distribute Gmail development amongst independent web developers–and how those developers are integrating their own product into Gmail — resulting in a Better Gmail for everyone.

Brian Oberkirch – “Plays Well With Others”: Simple Things to Make the Social Parts of your Service More Social

A presentation given at Web Directions North, Vancouver Canada, January 30 2008.

Brian Oberkirch Portrait Not only are most Web applications going to have (or utilize) social components — they’re also going to have start sharing social information like profiles, contact lists and such with other services. The ’social network fatigue’ users feel and the inefficiencies of keeping this information in multiple spots will drive us to play better with other social apps. This session will focus on using simple building blocks and emerging design patterns to keep it simple for users, for you and for the open social Web at large.

Andre Charland & Walter Smith – Developing With Adobe AIR and Microsoft Silverlight

A presentation given at Web Directions North, Vancouver Canada, January 31 2008.

Crash Course in Adobe AIR

Andre Charlan Portrait There comes a time when web developers need to reach beyond the browser to allow users to go offline, use local files or get rid of the hideous browser chrome. The Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) is an up an coming runtime technology that allows desktop applications to be developed with HTML, JavaScript, Flash or Flex. The AIR runtime and SDK are completely free so anyone can get started immediately.

Andre Charland will will give an overview or AIR, the APIs you get access to and how to build a simple Flex and HTML application with it. From there we will explore some of the tools available to make AIR development easier and faster. We’ll finish up with a few important usability guidelines and real world case studies of AIR projects.

A real world overview of Silverlight

Walter Smith PortraitSeattle-based Jackson Fish Market helped deliver the Silverlight based search engine Tafiti, one of the earliest commercial Silverlight applications.

In this presentation, Jackson Fish Market co-founder Walter Smith will give us a detailed overview of Microsoft’s RIA technology Silverlight. We’ll learn from Walter’s first hand experience the strengths and weaknesses of the platform, and see real world examples of what Silverlight can be used to achieve.

If you are looking to evaluate RIA frameworks, or just get a sense of the emerging RIA landscape, this session will prove invaluable.

Boris Mann – The 3 stages of dynamic systems

A presentation given at Web Directions North, Vancouver Canada, January 31 2008.

Boris Mann Portrait

Content management systems have all but replaced the former art of publishing static HTML pages. From letting clients edit and add content, to content like calendars and forums that defy the “page” convention, dynamic interactive websites keep visitors coming back. At some point your website goes beyond just a site filled with HTML pages and actually becomes a full-fledged web application.

From these features, we extract three stages of content management — simple content management, beyond the blog, and building your own web application.

Raul Vera – Mashups, web apps and APIs

A presentation given at Web Directions South, Sydney Australia, September 27 2007.

Raul Vera PortraitHear all about the exciting possibilities created by these technologies from Google Australia.

Mark Mansour – RedBubble: Building a site for people with big imaginations

A presentation given at Web Directions South, Sydney Australia, September 28 2007.

Mark Mansour PortraitRedBubble is a social networking platform and marketplace, not to mention a successful homegrown web app. In this session RedBubble’s software architect Mark Mansour will present the challenges the team has faced, and talk through some of the solutions they’ve discovered, during the building and scaling one of Australia’s largest Rails applications. Along the way you’ll learn RedBubble’s tenets for software design, the what’s and how’s of their database and web servers, plus processes that made their team more effective. If you’re a developer dreaming of going out on your own and building a successful online business around a web app, don’t miss this session.

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