Experiences from Rich Web Experience 2011

December 8th, 2011 by Christian Hilmersson

Just came home from a very interesting conference a couple of days ago. I still feel a bit jet lagged after the long trip over the atlantic ocean from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, but it was really worth the effort.

Fort Lauderdale was greeting us with a comfortable wintery weather with temperatures at around 25°C so it was very refreshing to take a walk outside during the lunch breaks.

The conference was hosted by No Fluff Just Stuff whose conferences aim to be stuffed with as much information as possible without the usual exhibition and advertisements seen at many other conferences. I think they have a really good concept there, which makes it easier to connect with fellow software engineers without worrying about what they are selling.

The Rich Web Experience is a conference aimed at web client development in all it forms; browser web applications, mobile web applications, native mobile apps etc etc. It was this year colocated with the Project Automation Experience where the focus was more on build systems, CI, cloud computing etc.

Since I have a big interest in client development, most of the sessions I attended were from the Rich Web Experience.

One of the most interesting things that I noticed was that almost noone at all was talking about server generated HTML anymore. Almost everyone talked about self contained JavaScript/HTML5 clients consuming services published by their respective back end systems. I attended a presentation hosted by Dan Allen from JBoss who was presenting his idea of future mobile web applications and even he (with some past influence in the JSF 2.0 project) was also leaning towards abandoning server rendered HTML. Instead he says that JBoss are (amongst other solutions I suppose) looking at a solution based on GWT, Errai and POH5, Plain Old HTML 5. When I asked him a direct question about the future for JSF he was a bit slippery but he said it is definitely time to start looking around on what’s out there and that it wasn’t impossible that JSF would transform to something else in the future, unknown what.

I also had a quick after session chat with Dylan Schiemann, co-founder of Dojo Toolkit which was really inspiring. He said they are working on a new Grid component for Dojo called dgrid which sounded very interesting. It is designed to be more light-weight and way faster than previous grids to fit even into mobile devices.

Other highlights from the conference was Venkat Subramaniam’s iOS and JavaScript sessions, Tim Berglunds poetic coding examples, Gabriel Dayley’s and Tom Valletta’s excellent talks on HTML5, node.js and WebSockets and of course Eric Wendelin’s JavaScript test automation presentation.

I can really recommend the RWX 2012 if you are interested in client development.

Some links for the interested reader to look more at:

http://mustache.github.com/ – Logic less templating system, amongst others for JavaScript

http://requirejs.org/ – JavaScript file and module loader

http://documentcloud.github.com/underscore/ – Utility-belt library for JavaScript

http://nodejs.org/ – Server side JavaScript, a must have

http://maqetta.org/ – WYSIWYG editor for HTML5, looks interesting at first glance

http://coffeescript.org/ – A language that compiles to JavaScript and adds syntactic sugar. CoffeeScript is almost to JavaScript what Groovy or Scala is for Java

http://www.dartlang.org/ – Google’s new language for the web

http://www.html5rocks.com/en/tutorials/device/orientation/ – How to code mobile applications that make use of device motion tracking (accelerometer etc).

https://github.com/SitePen/dgrid – Home of the Dojo dgrid project

http://spinejs.com/ – A minimalistic MVC utility for JavaScript

http://code.google.com/p/js-test-driver/ – Drives your JavaScript tests from the browser

http://pivotal.github.com/jasmine/ – BDD style tests for your JavaScript application

http://www.jboss.org/errai – A framework for building GWT applications.

Leave a Reply