Just made a presentation at Web 2.0 Expo here in San Francisco. This presentation was a bit of an experiment – combining some “vision thing” stuff about the Mobile Web with some specific recommendations for building Mobile Ajax applications (and thanks to Óscar Gutiérrez Isiégas, Scott Hughes and Jonathan Jeon for their contributions). I got a lot of requests for the slides – so here they are for anyone interested!   | View | Upload your own

From this picture, the turn-out for my talk might look pretty small. And it was. But I was actually impressed that this many people managed to find the room which was tucked up away from the main conference. In general, this feels like an event that should be a lot bigger than it is. I can’t help but feel that this is due to the extremely high ticket price. On the positive side, there are some real developers here and real exciting stuff being presented, such as the Laszlo presentation on the use of their toolkit to build mobile Web apps. The participants that are here are here to learn and are asking good questions as well. One delegate commented that many of the presentations were little more than sales pitches. After sitting through some of them (especially from Adobe and Microsoft) I have to agree. So I was in the “iPhone” track of this conference. However, my message was “it’s not all about the iPhone – develop for one Web.” This message was well received. I was expecting the room to be filled with iPhone devotees. On the contrary. People seemed very receptive to this message.

Apart from MobEA V (and meeting Dick Hardt — my quote: “Hey. You’re famous!”), the other highlight of the event for me was the panel I got to chair on Mobile Ajax. Now — this is an interesting topic, and we had some great speakers on the panel (the inset photo is Arun from AOL being his usual irreverent self) with a lot of interesting things to say. We also had Mark Birbeck from x-port, Rhys Lewis from Volantis, and Song Huang from SoonR. The panel kind of explored two alternative visions of how Web Apps will be built and deployed — declaratively (such as with xForms) or (as they are now) through script and currently deployed Web standards. This same conversation is playing itself out in the regular Web world, but one twist that Mobile adds is the issue of processing power and battery life on the devices themselves. If you want to create a Web application that runs on the phone using Ajax, that will eat up your battery pretty quickly. Now that may just be an issue of optimization of the underlying engine, but the fact remains (especially for applications that you want to sit there and poll periodically like … say … widgets that sit on your phone’s screen and provide glance-able information) it’s just not practical to do it in Ajax right now. Song from SoonR gave a great opening presentation and demo of that product which really opened peoples’ eyes to the possibilities of Ajax on the mobile device – …

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