Friday, October 15, 2010

Strangeloop day 1 (part 2)

After a great lunch with Jeff Barsciezski, Luigi Montanez, and Yehuda Katz, I listened to a standing room only talk on civic hacking which covered many examples of companies that build up around serving public (government collected) data.


Next talk: mobile HTML 5 (Michael Galpin)


Mobile browsing is being done on many different platforms (iOS, Android, Blackberry).

Frameworks like PhoneGap & Titanium are powerful ways to create apps for mobile platforms, but aren't what HTML5 is about.

Viewport, Geolocation, DOM storage (local storage vs session storage) became the replacement for the original proposal for database storage on the device. Web workers, and many other aspects of HTML5 were covered.

Next talk: nodeJS (Ryan Dahl)

At the start of this, it seemed to be the same talk Ryan gave at jsconf. Then he went into live coding examples, demonstrating dns resolution and streaming command-line apps.


Eventually, he started talking about scaling node deployment strategies, which included having node running in multiple processes communicating with each other via unix file handles (letting the kernel handle load balancing rather than using an explicit load balancing component). He also talked about clients using webworkers acting as actors for interacting with asynchronous node servers.

During Q&A, a question was asked about how node compared to other async servers (erlang). According to Ryan, they are comparable, but he didn't have numbers he could show.

Keynote: Guy Steele

(programming while the earth was still cooling, everyone knew math and was apparently insane)


He gave a long and detailed analysis of the worst code he ever wrote (card programming from 40 years ago). This had lots of humor and maddening complexity. But he transitioned well into Fortress, the research language he is designing for parallel execution problems. Heady stuff. I needed beer afterwards.

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