Web Directions Unplugged

May 1213 2011, Seattle
Building awesome native & web apps
with open web technologies

Development Track

Ross Boucher is testing and debugging mobile apps; Dave Balmer takes a deep dive onto the canvas; Nicholas Zakas flies over web speed bumps; Aaron Parecki is getting real about geolocation; Daniel Davis knows the theory & practice of widgets; Dave Orchard takes web apps offline; Robby Ingebretsen is getting his game on; and Wendy Chisholm is making access universal.

HTML5 Graphics — Canvas Deep Dive

It’s Hip to (not) be Square
Photo of Dave Balmer

Presenter: Dave Balmer

The Canvas tag has been around for a while, and HTML5 has given it more visibility. It’s now finding its way into most mobile browsers, and even a majority of desktop browsers. This talk will give a solid overview of what the canvas tag is, what it can do, and how it compares with other technologies like SVG and Flash. Several practical code examples will show how you can use it along with CSS3 and other HTML5 goodies to make your web apps more featured, efficient and downright cool.

See the slides and hear the podcast.

Widgets in Theory and Practice

Photo of Daniel Davis

Presenter: Daniel Davis

Where’s my Widgets for Dummies book?

In the absence of a “Widgets for Dummies” book being available at your local bookstore, this presentation will try to bring you up-to-speed with what you need to know to start developing widgets.

Split into two parts, we’ll cover the theory behind widgets:

and widgets in practice:

You’ll get most out of this talk if you:

See the slides and hear the podcast.

The best of both worlds — Offline Web Apps with HTML5

Developing for full range of network and storage limited devices
Photo of Dave Orchard

Presenter: Dave Orchard

There’s an old expression, that there are only 2 hard problems in computing: naming, cache invalidation and off-by-one errors. Building offline web apps is all about those hard problems. There are some different ways of storing stuff — such as html5 caching, html5 storage, sqllite, and even native stores such as contacts and calendars — and we’ll sing their praises. But the really hard problems are knowing what to store, whether the stuff is still good or needs refreshing, how much to store, how to resolve conflicts between the client and server, how to integrate with data-specific stores, all in a bewildering cacophony of network and storage limited devices. We’ll spend the bulk of our time on these hard problems, which is probably more useful than api description and sample code.

See the slides and hear the podcast.

Universal Access — now for apps as well

Access is for everyone
Photo of Wendy Chisholm

Presenter: Wendy Chisholm

Many web designers and developers are motivated to create accessible sites because more people can use the site, more people can find the site, and more devices can access the site. As we migrate to HTML5 and CSS to develop applications, we further the opportunity to create far more inclusive results, no matter the preferences of your audience and no matter why they have those preferences: are they driving? riding in a bumpy bus? accessing content in the sun? or might they be blind?

In this session, Wendy Chisholm, co-editor of WCAG 1.0, author ofUniversal Design for Web Applications, and one of the leading experts in accessibility and universal access helps you understand the challenges to and solutions for creating accessible apps with web technologies. Wendy will cover WAI-ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications), accessibility and HTML5, as well as some common accessibility pitfalls when designing and developing applications, particularly on mobile and tablet devices.

See the slides and hear the podcast.

Get your game on — HTML5 for game building

The view from the trenches
Photo of Robby Ingebretsen

Presenter: Robby Ingebretsen

You’ve seen a lot of demos, but is HTML5 really ready for primetime? We made an HTML5-based pool game with the explicit goal of creating an experience that defies your expectations for what a browser can do. In this session we’ll take you through the challenges and triumphs of working with this new technology. For the experienced HTML5 dev, we’ll share tips and tricks. For the rest of us, it will be a great primer on the exciting potential that HTML5 brings to the web.

See the slides and hear the podcast.

Quality Control — Testing and debugging your apps

How to ensure application quality and performance
Photo of Ross Boucher

Presenter: Ross Boucher

Developers have long been able to use an array of debugging, profiling and other testing tools to ensure application quality and performance. More recently, web developers have started to rely on increasingly sophisticated tools to help test their web sites and applications. But particularly in the mobile space, when developing sophisticated applications with web technologies, testing presents significant challenges.

Ross Boucher, one of the developers of Objective-J, the Cappuccino web application framework, the visual development tool Atlas, and 280 slides knows a thing or two about testing sophisticated applications developed using web technologies. In this session, he’ll share some of those secretes, and help you better test and debug your applications.

See the slides and hear the podcast.

Geolocation in web and native mobile apps

Where are we at?
Photo of Aaron Parecki

Presenter: Aaron Parecki

While location-based mobile apps are becoming increasingly popular, they are still relatively new. Special considerations need to be made for battery life and handling large data sets of geolocated data. The good news is there are many services and technologies you can use to assist you in building mobile location-based apps.

In this session, Aaron Parecki, co-founder of Geoloqi.com, shows you services you can leverage to do things like nearby business lookups, location-based triggers, nearest intersection queries, and more. Aaron also covers the location services available on the various mobile platforms as well as in HTML 5, and shares some insights on how to deal with battery life. The session concludes with some real-world use cases for real-time location such as turning on and off your lights in your house or notifying your boss if you’ll be late to work.

See the slides and hear the podcast.

Mobile Web Speed Bumps

Don’t let these problems slow your app down
Photo of Nicholas Zakas

Presenter: Nicholas Zakas

As browsers explode with new capabilities and migrate onto devices users can be left wondering, “what’s taking so long?” Learn how HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and the web itself conspire against a fast-running application and simple tips to create a snappy interface that delight users instead of frustrating them.

See the slides and hear the podcast.