So, what do a marching band, kids choir, passports, made up countries (equipped with miniature flags), customized twitter stamps, food carts, pop rocks, and merit badges have in common? RealtimeConf 2012, and this is just day 1.
So, for a quick run down. The day began with a trip to the Marriott Courtyard downtown where we are given a number and a small flag that we are both responsible for. After a nice breakfast and talking with the DOD, Puerto Rico and Disney we are funneled outside to the streets to get into three school buses. We are then taken to a parking lot a few blocks away from the Pure Space venue where we are greeting by an eagerly awaiting marching band. We then line up two by two behind the marching band where we (holding flags high and proud) march through the streets of Portland to reach Pure Space. Yes, this is not a joke, they actually got a marching band to play us through the streets, they even had on lookers with appropriately inscribed signed.
We then find our table (the number we had to remember) and take our seat as the ambassador to our now native country. I am from the United Async Emirates. Our arrival gift included a large box that included a passport, a stamp with our twitter handlers, name tag with lanyard, a nerd merit badge and of course… pop rocks. We were suppose to use the stamps to stamp other peoples passports and vice versa as a way to meet people, it worked for the most part.
The day then continued with wonderful talks (which I will try to sum up what I remember later), lunch provided to us by one of the wonderful food carts of Portland. After lunch there are more presentations and the day slowly comes to a close. With a few final remarks before closing, the &yet team secretly (blatantly in front of everyone) starts to remove the table and podium that were on the stage, someone sits down at a drumset and the piano and music begins. A kids choir then precedes to descend from the upstairs lounge to take the stage and grace us with two songs. Now, after a walk back to the hostel, I am writing this and then getting ready for the hacker lounge and open bar that &yet and some of the other event sponsors are providing for us.
Did I forget to mention… This is just day 1. &yet sure knows how to put on a show and make a conference fun. I commend not only their creativity but also their hard work to ensure that their visions go according to plan. This is my first time ever RealtimeConf and I promise it will not be my last. For those who could not attend, please consider it for next year, so far they have done a wonderful job and I am counting the days til next year (before this conference is even finished).
So, now on to the talks. Just like yesterday (at RedisConf) I did not take any notes of the talks, but here is what I can remember. I truly thought all the speakers were wonderful and had some great insight to give, so if I forget someone I apologize.
Guillermo Rauch, gave a very nice brief talk about how he is trying to solve the analytics, monitoring and debugging of realtime applications and more specifically for his own Socket.IO and Engine.IO frameworks.
David Cridland gave a talk about his vision for all browsers to speak both HTTP and XMPP. This way you can use HTTP to deliver your web application but can use XMPP to allow the user to not only authenticate with your application but also to use it to push messages and content to and from the server or browser.
Arnout Kazemier’s presentation featured “WebSuckets” and he presented on a brief history of web sockets as well as some current issues and possible solutions/best practices for using web sockets. A few key points, never use web sockets on mobile devices, so detect for mobile devices and use long polling instead. Always try to upgrade your transport method as opposed to downgrade, so always use long polling first then try to upgrade to web sockets as opposed to using web sockets having it fail and then falling back to long polling. Lastly, use SSL for your web sockets as some enterprise firewalls will drop web socket traffic.
Jose De Castro gave a talk about the brief history of WebRTC, a short version of how it works as well as some current and future uses for it. I, as well as many others I assume, cannot wait for WebRTC to be a standard and supported by all major browsers.
The last speaker of the day was Amber Case who talked about the history of wearable computing and Steve Mann, all of which has lead to the Google Glass Project. She also talked about how her and her co-founder developed and overcame challenges working with realtime geolocation data from phone with geoloqi.
Like I said, there were more who did talk, I either forget exactly who or I forgot exactly what they were saying (I do not want to misrepresent someone). This was just day one there are still a bunch more people to talk and I am sure a bunch more surprises to come from &yet and the deep depths of their creative minds. So now I leave you to go eat, drink and be merry amongst other geeks.
Here are the videos for the presentations for this years RealtimeConf,