After spending the evening at Times Square yesterday, I rolled early in the bed to attend the morning keynote at 7:30am. And I had to run before that So I attended three sessions before the Expo Floor opened.
Like yesterday, the opening keynote, scheduled for 7:30am, started at 7:45am. I’ve a 10am flight tomorrow morning so with this consistent delayed start, I might have to miss the keynote tomorrow although I’d very much like to attend it.
Jeremy said even though folks have been using Ajax-like technologies for years but without Google Maps and GMail, we wouldn’t be in this room, not so many and not so fired up. There were approximately 300 people for this 7:30am session. This is nothing compared to JavaOne keynote which typically has between 8000 to 12000 people in the keynote but the overall attendance of this conference itself is around 800. So in terms of percentage, it’s still decent.
The opening keynote was by Bret Taylor who founded and led Google Maps. He showed 5 lines of code to integrate Google Maps in a website and another 8 lines of code to integrate Google Search. The point was that it is really easy to work with Ajax, especially as compared with SOAP/WSDL stack. Then he explained some of the techniques used behind Google Maps and GMail to solve some of the common problems of Ajax.
Per him, the main reason that triggered the explosive growth of Ajax is that most of the major browsers (IE, Firefox, Safari, Opera) agreed to deal with DOM, XHR, hash/anchor encoding and such similar techniques that enable Ajax in a consistent manner. He then explained how technology/browsers are evolving, on a daily basis, to make it a more pleasant experience.
The second session was "Inside the U.S. Air Force: How AJAX Is Improving Communications and Quality of Life" – a joint talk by Tony Tran & Peggy Rackstraw. Tony Tran, Vice President of Roundarch who build the employee portal for Air Force explained how Air Force is adopting Ajax/RIA. Tony showed samples, using before and after comparison of clicks and page refreshes, of how adding RIA to the Air Force portal increased productivity of the employees by making the website easier to use. After a good success in their first phase, they worked with Laszlo systems to solve their distributed email system (higher TCO, multiple email servers/domains, basic editing capabilities) and IM within the team and friends & families. Then Peggy from Laszlo Systems demoed "Deployed Life" which had initial problems with Firefox but then worked with IE. IM was cool because it allowed a drag-and-drop of pictures/videos from your local machine.
The third session was "Enterprise Ajax Using Java" by Greg Murray. The talk was about newly launched Sun Web Developer Pack and how jMaki provides an extensible framework to develop your Ajax applications. The talk was full of demos making it more real. I talk about SWDP and jMaki on my blog anyway, so won’t dwell in details here. And now I’m sitting at Sun pod.
At Sun pod, we are showing jMaki Charting, Theming, Glue, Mashups along with other cool features, Grizzly Comet demo, Phobos CRUD generator, RESTful Web services API and lots of other stuff. All of these technologies are available in recently released Sun Web Developer Pack that can be run on top of GlassFish v2. Come by and talk to us.
Tonight is Ajax on Hudson and I’m looking forward to that.