News from the conference room: this is a series of blog posts in which blogging experts briefly review key Tech4Africa 2010 talks and panels from Day 1 and 2.
It’s not often in SA that you get to hear a group of developers chew the fat. Well, you get it all the time. But not these developers. Tech4Africa 2010 offered an “Intimate Q&A” panel with Andy Budd (Clear Left), Dustin Diaz (Twitter, previously Google/Gmail), Joe Stump (SimplyGeo, previously Digg), John Resig (Mozilla Foundation (jQuery), Jonathan Snook (Yahoo!). These are guys that are at the coalface of the biggest, most successful Web development projects in the world.
It was a lively, and very funny discussion. First up were some general words of wisdom from Joe Stump, developer extraordinaire (see separate post on his presentation on scaling Web environments to global audience). He’s from the Valley… and he says his greatest asset there is his network. Many great developers, many great companies, many great brains, all sharing information and supporting others. Being commercial competitors doesn’t mean technology people shouldn’t help each other. Developers in Africa should build their networks, build their connections, and don’t be shy to ask for help and to share. Right. Enough serious stuff.
Some great quotable quotes:
* Can we ban the use of the word “Cloud”? Can we maybe use the word “Internet”?
* Question: Are frameworks stopping people investigating the depths of jscript? Answer: No-one wants to investigate the depths of jscript.
* Question: Will Flash be killed by HTML5?
Answer 1: Flash is the Cobol of the Internet.
Answer 2: It won’t go away for a long time, particularly for video.
* There are so many security holes in Flash, and people are driving buses through them.
* We’re getting clients saying, “Can you HTML5 our site?” and I think, “What the hell are you talking about?”
* The website is not the service, its just a gateway to the service.
* In the future, the browser is going to have more direct access to the hardware. The browser will become the OS, with more power and features.
(Ed’s note: What happens when the browser is so powerful and hardware-connected it will replace the OS. Will we then need a small, lightweight browser in the big fat OS-browser?)
* To go global you have to work on a baseline User Interface – don’t just develop for latest browsers, computers and phones.