My too-long absence from writing much here can be ascribed to two, differently pleasant, activities. First, a fantastic vacation in Cuba, and second, the redesign and launch of the XTech web site.
Of the first, come to my place for dinner and I'll bore you at length about how amazing it was. Of the second, I'd like to bore you right now!
Thanks to Ruby on Rails and a few late nights, the XTech site now has these new features:
A few more details on the Ajax Developers' Day. As I mentioned before, when putting together the schedule we felt there was a lot of excellent content still missed out (I'm still feeling guilty at having rejected proposals from many good friends and excellent speakers). So, we put together an extra day at the beginning of the conference where we could go further into detail on Ajax technologies.
This day, featuring speakers such as Simon Willison from Yahoo!, XML expert Kurt Cagle and OpenLaszlo's Max Carlson, will allow those working on Ajax projects--either deployment or toolkits--to meet, discuss best practice and move forward on new ideas. Although it's a day-long event, we didn't want to make the price tag as high as a full-day tutorial, so you can register for the cost of a half-day tutorial.
If that all sounded a little like advertising, here are some technical details worth sharing. The site's CMS is built on Ruby on Rails. Development was done on Linux, with the help of WINE to check out the view from Internet Explorer. The newsletter is managed by the absurdly wonderful CampaignMonitor.
Before I went on vacation, there was some debate in various quarters about paid-for plenary and keynote slots in conferences. Though I hope it is obvious, I wanted to state where I, and thus the XTech conference, stand on this issue.
It has always been my policy to maintain a strict separation between the commercial and editorial aspects of XTech. Although each year there's always a company who thinks they can buy a speaking slot, I never let this happen. The content of the conference is formed by editorial selection by the programme committee, who take the scores from the peer review panel as their primary guide.
Aside from what I hope shows in the excellent quality of the talks and generally interesting keynotes (yes, we get it wrong occasionally!), there are two effects on the conference.