Portrait of Edd Dumbill, taken by Giles Turnbull

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What I make

a conference management web application

XTech Conference
a European web technology conference

XTech registration open, schedule published

Registration is now open for XTech 2008. We're in Dublin, Ireland, from May 6-9.

We've also now published the full schedule. You can use the clickable stars by each session to put together your own personal schedule for the conference.

If you're new to XTech, here's what to expect: a thought-provoking, well-informed and friendly conference covering the latest in Web and open standards technology.

If you've been to XTech before, you should expect more of the same, with the usual inclusion of new directions and controversy.


Our keynotes this year are all people with whom one could never get enough time: Simon Wardley, who has great insight on the dynamics of open standards and open source, and presents them in a very engaging and entertaining way; Sean McGrath, whom to call a Python, XML and mobile expert would be to ignore 99.5% of his talent; and David Recordon of SixApart, one of the chief brains behind OpenID and a very nice man indeed.


As usual, XTech kicks off with a day of tutorials. I'm absurdly proud of the faculty we have together: hear about jQuery from Simon Willison, XSLT from Tony Graham and Doug Tidwell, XForms from Steven Pemberton and Web 2.0 from Eric van der Vlist.

And that's just to start. This year we've two tutorials that have the potential to change the way you develop systems and services.

A practical introduction to hardware hacking with Arduino

If you've not heard of Arduino before, it's an open source electronics prototyping platform that's very easy to build with.

Why is a web conference is featuring hardware? Think about our theme "the web on the move." The next step for the web is out of our computers in into our gadgets and lives, we already saw a start to that in our conference last year with presentations on mobile devices and physical hyperlinks.

Arduino removes the barrier to entry for those who think of themselves as "software people", and is a fantastic way to start bringing your web applications into physical environments. I highly recommend the tutorial as way of expanding the horizons of your web development. (A similar tutorial at O'Reilly's ETech conference sold out within days!)

Building CouchDB Applications

All of a sudden the web application database choice stopped being the traditional one of MySQL, Oracle or PostgreSQL. A new breed of databases has emerged, speaking the language of the modern web: REST, JSON and JavaScript.

The open source CouchDB, backed by IBM, is the frontrunner among this new breed of databases. It's a document oriented, non-relational database management system. And here's the key thing: it's distributed by default. Check out the CouchDB Quick Overview for more details.

CouchDB expert Jan Lehnardt will be teaching a half day tutorial.

BOFs, Lightning Talks

As usual we'll be running Birds-of-a-Feather sessions and Lightning Talks, both of which will be open to public participation. Look out for calls for involvement in both those soon.


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