I’ve just had confirmation that, for my flight out to Beijing for the upcoming WWW2008 conference in April, I will be flying the first leg on a Singapore Airlines Airbus A-380 “superjumbo.” The flight will be London to Singapore on the 18th of April and will kick off a round the world trip that I will be taking that week, first hitting Beijing for the W3C Advisory Committee meeting and the WWW2008 conference (where I will be co-chairing a workshop on advanced mobile Web applications) and then flying on to San Francisco where I will be speaking about the Mobile Web and Mobile Ajax at O’Reilly’s Web 2.0 Expo event. It’s going to be a very exciting week, tackling two very different Web conferences and helping to bring a mobile flavor to both, while simultaneously circumnavigating the globe and hopefully taking in some more sights than just hotel rooms and airport lounges along the way. But clearly, one highlight (for me) will be getting to fly part of the way on the A-380. I have to admit: I’m a bit of an air travel nerd, and I’ve been following the saga of the A-380 ever since it was announced by Airbus.

Highlight: wisdom from Dick Hardt (“don’t use the ‘I’ word unless it’s as an adjective or an adverb.”) Very deep. Lowlight: The whole idea of “Web History.” Ok ok — I know this is actually a good idea, but something at me just bristles at the whole thing. I mean, do we really need Web History yet? Can’t it wait until after I’m dead? I did visit the exhibit briefly and I added some important (to me) dates into their timeline. In seeing what others have added, it occurred to me that the history of the Web is actually quite fragmented and quite personal. Sure — there are some key influential events and decisions, but especially with the rise and fall of the dot-coms, it’s all about stories of individual success and failure, and more often than not really bizarre individuals. Anyway, the real highlight of the week for me was the MobEA V (Mobile Emerging Applications) workshop which I helped put together with Rittwik Jana. This workshop focused on the role of the mobile Web in developing regions. We had great presentations from a number of attendees, including Ken Banks, the ubiquitous Charles McCathieNevile (he also presented at Mobile Monday London this week on Mobile Widgets — this guy gets around more than I do), and Galit Zadok. Most interesting presentation of the day had to have been from Krithi Ramamritham at IIT Bombay covering what they have done with the Almost All Questions Answered project (aAQUA). Among other things, this Web-based system allows rural …

More WWW2007 Thoughts Read more »

On Sunday I head off to Banff, Canada for the WWW2007 conference. This is going to be one busy week — I’m attending and giving a “lightning talk” at the W3C Advisory Committee meeting, then co-chairing a workshop on the role of the Mobile Web in the developing world with Rittwik Jana from AT&T research, then speaking at the conference itself on the progress and future of the Mobile Web Best Practices working group and finally chairing a panel on Mobile Ajax before heading back home. In between all this, I’ll be trying to soak in some of the raw innovation and excitement at the WWW conference. The thing about WWW is that it’s not a glitzy place where you go to mix with rockstars and digerati. It’s where academia and industry meet to hash out the future of Web technologies. I am really looking forward to it.