Bruce Lawson's personal site

Netherlands, Norway, UK, Poland

Phew. It’s been a full few weeks with lots of conference talks and travel.

First was Over the Air 2011, on a beautiful summer-like day in Bletchley Park. I spoke on how to make sites that work well across devices in a presentation called Web Anywhere: Mobile Optimisation With HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript.

Next week saw me jetting off to Amsterdam for Fronteers 2011. This has, I think, become the best conference in Europe; the level of talks is high (the audience has a disproportionate number of working group members, high-profile developers and all-round smart people, never mind the speakers!) and the fact that Fronteers is not allowed to make a profit means that they can keep it cheap. I confess to being a bit nervous for my talk — the topic they gave me of “HTML5 semantics” doesn’t exactly cause your average web developer to moisten his seat with enthusiasm, but it was a single-track conference so I didn’t find myself alone in a hall while eveyone went to hear Lea Verou on gradient sexiness instead.

As well as looking at some of the new semantics, I wonder whether we need more than the current spec allows, then wonder whether semantics matter anyway (tl,dr: yes, they do) and suggest that, if you’re just squirting obfuscated JavaScript down a line with no real semantics, and targetting one single rendering engine, you’re really just reinventing Flash but with the browser as the plugin. This follows some of my recent posts such as Future friendly, or Forward to Yesterday?, HTML5, hollow demos and forgetting the basics and the toe-tappin’ Web Standards Hoedown.

Anyhow, I must have done something right as 99,000 people have viewed the slides on slideshare in 3 weeks. (Slides: You too can be a bedwetting antfucker). Here’s the video:

Those nice people at Fronteers have transcribed the video, too.

By clever planning, I flew home from Amsterdam on Saturday in order to fly to Norway on Sunday (via Amsterdam). I was there to MC the Frontend conference where the organisers used large stand-up cartoons of me to entice the Oslo ladies in.

bruce with lifesize caricature

Frontend had one of the weirdest conference parties I’ve been to; we sat in an ex-church, drinking red wine and beer and listened to Oslo’s leading Norwegian-language Calypso band.

From the conference, I went by taxi an Opera event for journalists where I was tasked with stopping the journos becoming mutinous or falling into jetlag slumber during a 20 minute bus ride from their hotel to a restaurant. Rather than sing the Web Standards Hoedown without Ukelele or hippie, I was able to finally realise a long-held ambition of doing a completely fictional bus tour. On our way to downtown Oslo, I was therefore able to point out to my increasingly incredulous fellow-travellers the summer palace of King Gustav The Mad, the high school that was long believed to be the only Norwegian building visible from space and the very tree in which John Lennon wrote Norwegian Wood.

A full three days elapsed before I travelled down to Lahndahn to do a guest Q&A talk at a Kazing HTML5 training course (lots of questions about DART, privacy on the Web and Web vs Native) and then the next day, an overview of HTML5 at HTML5 Live where I pissed on a few bonfires by pointing out

Narrowly avoiding a lynch party, I escaped up the M11 with Jake Archibald where we boarded a RyanAir flight to Krakow in Poland to speak at the inaugural Frontrow conference. Poland is super country, and Krakow seems a delightful city from my brief walks around its pretty centre.

I was also thrilled, on learning that it’s pronounced “Crack Off”, to find this mini-guide to the city in my room:

book called 'Crack Off in your pocket'

Full marks to Mariusz, Olga and the rest of the organising committee for a really great line-up mixing Polish and foreign speakers. Congratulations to my old chum Patrick Lauke on his first conference keynote The once and future web. I spoke about HTML5 Multimedia to a small group of people at 9 am on the second day (the day after the conference party, which went on til 6 am!).

After an eventful return flight which arrived 4 hours late (and meant at least that RyanAir couldn’t play their stupid arrival fanfare), I spoke at a conference of 148 venture capitalists and other investors organised by UBS – and I wasn’t even wearing cuff-links!

Just two more talks this year – one at Staffordshire Universtity and one at Heart and Sole in Portsmouth on 18 November, and I’ll be attending two events for my own training – Full Frontal and Seb Lee-Delisle’s Creative JavaScript training in Leeds.

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3 Responses to “ Netherlands, Norway, UK, Poland ”

Comment by Dominykas

I want to cry and/or get a machete and implement some mass murder (CSS only!), when I read the three points you had to make in HTML5 Live… Am I the 1% or the 99%?

Comment by koew

Thank you for pointing out the HTML5 Live points. I’ve tried to argue with other people about this for a while. There still seems almost no use for using HTML5, besides accesibility issues perhaps, so I’m stuck with XHTML 1.0 Strict.

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