FOWA 2009 – Day 2

Dafydd Vaughan on 15 October 2009

These are a few notes from day 2 of the Future of Web Apps conference in London. This day turned out to be much more interesting than the last, which is evidenced by the fact that I don’t actually have many notes at all. I’ve tried to fill in the gaps where required. You can see the notes from Day 1 here.

Britt Selvitelle (Twitter) – The Future of Frontend Engineering – Learning from Twitter.

Britt talked about their front end platform and how they now see their website as “the web client” of twitter, in much the same way as TweetDeck is a desktop client and Tweetie is an iPhone client. They all connect to the Twitter Platform. He also talked about “Twitter Labs” (working title), a way of releasing some of the tools they are developing internally.

View the notes

Simon Wardley (Freelance) – The Future of the Cloud.

I think I actually heard Simon talk at FOWA Dublin on a similar topic or at the very least a similar style – slides in the hundreds for just a 20 minute talk.

Simon pointed out that not many people really know what “cloud computing” is, and that we are destined to have lots of problems if there is not a common interface between them all. Some people develop using Amazon’s cloud APIs, others using Rackspace. If one of these shuts down, you have to redevelop using a different set of APIs. This is certainly a good point; interoperability between the different cloud providers is going to be a big future issue.

Sanj Matharu (Vodafone) & Joel Moss (Codaset) – Your App + Mobile Widgets = Awesome

This talk showed an example of how to build an application for a mobile phone using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Fantastic – an easy way to build mobile applications at last. But. This is only for one particular type of phone on the Vodafone network. OK, so is the iPhone, but the difference is number of users. If we could produce an application using HTML, CSS & JavaScript for lots of different phones, I’d be very very interested.

Robin Christopherson (AbilityNet) – Live Demo of Screen Reader Issues

I’ve seen Robin talk 3 times now, and all of them have been fantastic. It amazes me that even now, website accessibility is not thought about at all. It isn’t seen as important, and in some cases, hasn’t been considered. I’m going to write a further post about this shortly, so keep an eye out. In the mean time, try using Facebook with a screen reader. Good luck


These are pretty much all the notes I have. It’s not a lot, but it covers some of the most useful bits of the day.

Any views stated here are my own and not those of my employer unless otherwise stated.