Realtime Conference 2012
Realtime conference (formally ‘Keeping it realtime‘) is organised by the guys from &yet and, as the name suggests, sets out to be a conference about realtime technologies on the web.
Conferences are always inspiring places to go, they allow you to meet and collaborate with other developers that you don’t quite get with the online experience. What set this conference apart from others I’d been to is that it very much had a startup vibe about it rather than a big corporate event. This began on day 1 with some flag waving, American yellow school buses, and being led to the conference venue by a high-school marching band.
The conference opened with Jack Moffett giving a fascinating talk about the first realtime computers and set the bar high for all of the following talks; they didn’t disappoint.
Some of the highlights for me were Ward Cunningham talking about his new federated wiki, Arnout Kazemier talking about issues with websockets with existing browsers, Ben Langfeld and Jose De Castro talking about Rayo and WebRTC, and Amber Case talking about wearable computers and making interactions with them a more human experience.
The message that I took away from the conference is that there are lots of teams trying to solve similar problems in different ways. This is great, we’re learning what works and what doesn’t in what is a very new technology. Whilst some are forging ahead on the bleeding edge (and doing some really cool things) others are discovering the limitations of current technology and sharing knowledge on work-arounds or compromises that need to be made. Ultimately it’s all very exciting.
Topics covered included BOSH/websockets discussion, making XMPP more web-developer friendly (using JSON), and sharing connections across multiple browser tabs. There were no less than 4 XMPP servers being represented including isode, prosody, mongooseIM, and coversant.
It was very interesting to see how XMPP is being used in different industries, for example Brian Beggs talking about how EnerNOC use XMPP for energy/smart grid management. XMPP has a huge number of applications and it’s going to be very interesting to see where the technology pops up next (especially if Dave Cridland is right and we get it natively in the browser).
Realtime Conference Europe? London Meetup?
Keep on eye on the @surevine twitter account for a London realtime meetup coming in the near future.
Realtime conference 2012 was awesome, you should go next year (seriously)! Wonderfully organised and full of great content. Topics covered tools for the realtime web; problems with current technologies; how people are solving the problems of the realtime web; and how various specifications are being handled in the community.
XMPP is an exciting technology and is well set to be the major technology in the realtime future. The XSF are aware of the challenges of XMPP and the web and are actively ensuring that the problems are tackled before they become blockers to progress.
What is for sure is that the Internet of tomorrow is going to be a very different, and ultimately, more exciting experience than it is today!