XTech 2006 Thoughts
Just got back from XTech - here's some thoughts on the conference.
Tuesday was the Ajax Developer day. It started reasonably well, with a good introduction to the Yahoo User interface Library by Simon (of course, I would say that) and a thought provoking discussion of ajax from Alex Russell (even if he wasn't there to deliver it personally). Jeremy's Hijax talk was also very interesting, although I've seen him discuss it before several times.
It really didn't help that the guy presenting on E4X, which I was quite looking forward to, just didn't turn up.
After Tuesday I was a little depressed about things, but Wednesday and Thursday more than made up for it.
It was followed up by another highlight - Mark Nottingham's talk on web caching, discussing you could speed up web apps by thinking hard about how your site is served. It generated loads of ideas for me, some of which I hope to follow-up with in the next few months.
Ryan's discussion on microformats wasn't quite what I was expecting, but was refreshing nontheless. A lot of projects could do with emulating their focus on solving a users problems.
The conference as a whole had a really intimate feel (despite the huge rooms). I think this was as a result of the really high ratio of speakers to attendees (something like 1 in 4) and there not being one dominant clique. Whatever the reasons, it made the conference really enjoyable.
There was a lot of discussion of the benefits of declarative markup. I understand the idea, but I'm not sure I agree. But that's a subject for another day.
All in all, a great conference, and a great job by Edd of pulling it all together.