@media2007, day one

My brief notes from day one of the @media conference 2007. These are the sessions that I attended, I’ll hopefully link to podcasts as they become available, I’m also going to search out notes and presentation slides from the sessions that I had to miss.

Beyond Ajax

In his keynote presentation, Jesse James Garrett focussed on the importance of user experience and the idea that the top web products create the best end-to-end system designed from the ‘user perspective’, not the ‘programme perspective’. Sam Felder and Peter Merholz have both written articles that seem to be based on versions of this presentation (Jesse doesn’t seem to have posted any notes so far). BTW, I enjoyed the Steve Jobs quote.

The Broken World: Solving the Browser Problem Once and For All

Molly Holzschlag firstly announced that she will no longer be speaking at general web conferences, as she blogged a few days before. It’s a shame, I like her style, it was fortunate for me that I got the chance to meet her and have a chat about energy etc – a usual drunken topic of conversation for me ;) – with her in the pub that evening. Interesting points from her presentation included an analysis of the reasons why each web browser develops so differently, she described six implementation variables:

  1. Development Approach – browsers have different life-cycles, non-linear iteration has been the best technique so far.
  2. Working with Standards – CSS2.1 is being used in some browsers but it’s not a recommended standard yet. W3C specifications are ambiguous, especially a problem.
  3. Operating Systems and Tools. (didn’t write anything for this!)
  4. Extending Browsers – example is browser bugs fixed in IE6 through use of JavaScript.
  5. Proprietary Development – Past examples are Netscape’s ‘Blink’ and Microsoft’s ‘Marque’ technologies. Initially both of these took precedence over implementing CSS support.
  6. Fractioning Specifications – Conversation has moved from CSS back to HTML over the last year. There is no specific sensible end to creating an evolved HTML.

Pathways to success:

  • Create common baselines. Consistency between browsers.
  • Clarify ambiguity – her case studies described how the W3C standards state one thing, but browser developers implement behaviour very differently.
  • Transparent development cycles.
  • Keep an open dialogue – currently Apple is the only major browser developer that isn’t joining the discussion.

High-Noon Shoot-Out: Design vs. Implementation

Simon Collison describes his passionate contribution to @media07 better than I ever could. Drew McLellan also gave a rousing arguement. Joe Clark live blogged the whole event (and I *mean* event).

Interface Design Juggling

Dan’s presentation. I don’t think I can add much more, I didn’t write much for this one, I guess you had to be there :)

Microformats, Building Blocks and You

Having missed last years inspirational talk by Tantek (I know this because my friend Rik came back bubbling with enthusiasm) I had to see it this year. Here’s his presentation. Tantek has a tendency to write every point on his slides, so there’s not much sense in me explaining. A few useful microformat links are Operator for Firefox and pingerati.net. If you haven’t already checked out microformats (trust me they’re useful), do so first!

When Web Accessibility is Not Your Problem

The last presentation of the day. I’m going to leave this controversial (on the face of it) presentation to my next blog post, I suspect it needs a fair amount of explanation.

Posted on Monday 25 June 2007.

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