Archive for the 'Speaking' Category

South By Southwest 2011

My second SxSW is over, and all I have are some photos, fewer memories than I have photos, and an aircon throat.

I have mixed feeling about South By Southwest. There’s the torrent of emails they send you for months leading up to the event, requiring you to register to their different systems. Once there, I get little time to meet new people and little time to spend with old friends because the conference is too big.

I get pretty nervy for my talk, which this year went well (slides). I usually include a lot of humour but our American friends have a very different sense of humour than Brits, so I play safe and also add liberal quantities of what I call useful information, as SxSW has more than its fair share of circle-jerking panels heavy in “inspiration” but devoid of content. The trick seems to have paid off; I had a full house in Ballroom C and a hundred people lined up outside in case other people left.

The best thing about SxSW is meeting our users. Our PR folks kitted us out with a huge giant rotating Opera O, so it was easy to find our booth and, once there, developers and consumers asked us everything from how to edit a speed dial on a BlackBerry to how to do remote debugging with Opera Dragonfly, We had comfy chairs at the booth, too, leading to a steady stream of visitors from Our New Best Friends, such as chums from Adobe, Microsoft and Google.

I met a penguin

Me and Penguin

two Slappas (for those who don’t know, a Slapper is a woman of easy virtue, so making two booth babes wander around with t-shirts marked “Slappa” is unfortunate)

Me and two booth babes in t-shirts reading 'Slappa'

(as did Paul Irish)

and picked up the best swag: a flicker book made from a 6 second video you make with some props on the Rackspace stand.

It was great to see old friends, albeit briefly, and make new ones. So see you next year, hopefully.

Mobile Web talks, SxSW and Bath

On Saturday Saturday 12 March at 5:00PM in Ballroom C of the Austin Convention Center, I’m doing a talk snappily-titled Web Anywhere: Mobile Optimisation With HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript.

This will be a really fast-moving talk with tips and code snippets you can use right away. We’ll cover

  • mobile web philosophy: what is “mobile web”?
  • The three methodologies for mobile web development
  • What new goodies HTML5, CSS 3 and JavaScript offer us
  • Tips and tricks (code) to make your site faster on mobile
  • Apps vs Web and how the boundary is blurring
  • What’s coming soon, with hopefully a preview of what’s cooking in Opera Labs

I doubt many people will be there—it’s pretty late in the day, but do come along if you can. Otherwise, please come and say hi at the Opera booth in the trade show; there will be a giant red O suspended from the ceiling, so you can’t miss us.

I’m doing a cut-down version (1 hour into 40 minutes) at The Big M Conference in Bath, UK, where Patrick Lauke will be giving a 3 hour workshop.

Here are the slides.

Last speaking gigs of 2010

As the colder nights harden, splashing autumn on gardens, I’m charging off to exotic climes to do the last few talks of 2010.

– Stafford University: HTML5, CSS 3

A live coding demo of some HTML5, and a bit of a rant about CSS 3. Non-students welcome.

The lecture will be 1-2pm in the blue lecture theatre Octagon building, and the Q and A session after in K129, Octagon Building at 2pm.

– Tokyo, Japan: HTML5: semantics and structure

A full-day workshop (with translation into Japanese) on using HTML5 markup. Sold out

The new HTML5 specification gives you 28 new markup elements to choose from. What do they mean? How do they work together? Bruce will answer these questions, and most importantly show how to apply them to real world sites. There are also many changes to HTML 4 elements, and even some obsolete elements, and you’ll find out the important differences. Finally, you’ll get a glimpse of the amazing things people are doing with HTML5 now, and an insight into the future of the web.

– Tokyo, Japan: Be an Iron Chef of HTML5

A one-hour talk with simultaneous translation into Japanese at the Web Directions East conference.

23 November – 1 December – Australia: The A Team: ARIA & HTML5

Five dates in Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Perth, Brisbane) speaking with The Mighty Steve Faulkner of The Paciello Group. Organised by the Web Industry Professionals Association, the 3+ hour long workshops cost $60 for members, $90 for non-members.

Melbourne is full; others are selling out fast. Book soon.

London Web, 20 January, 7.30pm

A couple of HTML5 articles

We haven’t met for a while here, but I haven’t just been sitting around eating chocolates and watching the Jeremy Kyle Show.

I spoke at Over The Air, and met Sir Tim Berners-Lee who asked me to sign a copy of Introducing HTML5 that I gave him (swoon!).

I’ve written HTML5: The Facts And The Myths with Remy for Smashing Magazine, which has attracted lots of comments.

I’ve also done an interview with Remy (the editors have edited me to call him “Sharp” throughout, as though we were both pupils at Eton or something) in which we say crazy things like “you don’t have to use canvas, and you don’t have to immediately switch to HTML5”. It’s called HTML5: The 900-Page Gorilla with a Wide Ensemble.

A nice review of our book was published by Peter Steen Høgenhaug, noting that we “relate every part of HTML5 to accessibility”, which is great as that’s exactly what we set out to do.

I spent last week in Stockholm, giving 4 presentations, checking out the marvellous Vasa Museum and autographing a copy of our book with a picture of a unicorn and a double rainbow (Unicorns, butterflies, ribbons, rainbows & fluffy kittens feature on page 35 of the book).

And there are still quite a few talks to give before the end of 2010!


I think I’m a little bit in love with Poland.

In the late eighties, I lived opposite a portakabin that was a Polish Club. Somehow I became a member and got to know the old Poles who would go drinking there at weekends. There was an old lady who had a tattoo on her arm from Auschwitz. Jan, the wizened old man who collected the glasses had a photo of himself in his wallet, taken in his Polish Air Force clothing, standing in front of a bi-plane. Over a few Okocim beers, he could be persuaded to tell the story of how, as a resistance partisan, he killed several Nazi soldiers. As we got more drunk, attempting to go across the 14 optics of vodka behind the bar, all the Poles would break out into patriotic songs and tell me how they were looking forward to seeing the homeland again once communism fell.

So, when I was invited to come to speak at the first SparkUp! conference, I jumped at the chance. With a freshly-minted presentation on Web Development 2.0, I arrived in Poznan on Monday afternoon with Remy, Ribot, Andy Budd, Yaili and Matt Biddulph.

Our hosts, Piotr and Krzysztof took us around the postcard-pretty old town of Poznan before a typical Polish dinner (pork-coma ensued) and a few beers.

The day of the conference was organisational perfection in a great modern venue (and this was the first time they’d done a conference!) and then it was party time: lots of Cheeky Bison (Żubrówka and apple juice) and murderous other shots.

Yesterday, I really meant to return to the old town with my camera. But a hangover the size of Gdansk forced me to spend hours in the beautiful 4 saunas, jacuzzi and swimming pool in my hotel.

So, thanks for having me, Poland. The vodka is amazing, the women are beautiful (please address your comments “dear sexist bastard”) and the locals friendly and clueful. I hope to see you again soon.


Future of Web Design, Glasgow

Here’s the talk I gave at Glasgow (which was the afternoon talk I gave in in Bristol).

Sorry, Glaswegians, for the lack of demos—the projector had problems with Windows machines.

Future of HTML5 (.odp format, 3MB.), Future of HTML5 (.pdf format, 600K.)

Forms demo

One of the cool things in HTML5 is intelligent forms, which are implemented most thoroughly in Opera (so try them there) and which are apparently “coming soon” in Google Chrome.

In legacy browsers, the intelligent forms just fall back to text input fields.

Safari displays input type="range" as a slider, and also the once-proprietary, now standardised placeholder attribute. Watch what happens in Safari when you click in and out of the email field.

And don’t forget to view source for that “Look, no JavaScript!” moment.

HTML5 forms demo.

Canvas demos

Want to learn more? Opera has some excellent beginner canvas tutorials:

  1. HTML 5 canvas – the basics
  2. Creating an HTML 5 canvas painting application
  3. Creating pseudo 3D games with HTML 5 canvas and raycasting
  4. Creating pseudo 3D games with HTML 5 canvas and raycasting: Part 2

Video demos

You’ll need Firefox 3.5 for these (I was demoing using an Opera Labs build, but it’s not publicly available yet).

Remember – there are no browser plugins running here, so the video element is completely available for manipulating with script. That’s the killer feature.

A couple of links I mentioned:

Thanks to all who came to watch, ask some questions, share their thoughts, drink a beer with me, or buy me a deep-fried Mars Bar!

Future of Web Design, Bristol

On Wednesday I presented on HTML5 in Bristol as part of the Future of Web Design Tour.

The hour-long workshop “How to build a HTML5 Web site” involved me coding in real time (with hilarious typo consequences like “Dictype” instead of “doctype”; frankly, I’d be better typing with my dic than my hands).

Consequently there are no slides to publish, but I have an article called Designing a blog with HTML that covers the same ground. (Two articles on this blog cover it in much more detail: Redesigning with HTML 5 and WAI-ARIA and Marking up a blog with HTML 5 (part 2).)

Some other useful resources:

You can also download Opera 10 which I was using to demo.

There will be a video available, and the Carson types have promised that they’ll publish a transcript simultaneously. It’s nice to see them taking accessibility seriously, and I was pleased to see that they had someone signing the sessions for hearing-impaired.

You can grab the slides and notes for my second session, The Future of HTML5, which I tweaked slightly to deliver on Monday in Glasgow.)

Hip hip hooray for San Jose


I flew in, dazed and confused, on Tuesday night and only managed to see the first morning of OSCON before I had to crash for a couple of hours in the afternoon, but I did get to see Jono Bacon present on building communities around Ubuntu – very relevant to my line of work and very interesting.

Tuesday night saw me in an iridescent lime-green t-shirt at the Linux Fund party, where I drank more than I should have (but not as much as Stuart Langridge, so that was alright).


Thursday saw me zipping up to Stanford University with the Sasquatch-wrestling John Foliot, where I gave a lunchtime presentation on HTML 5 (.ODP, 2MB) which was very well-attended. I also got to meet James Craig, after working with him online for a few years.

Then it was back to San Jose for dinner at the invitation of Google. It was odd to be surrounded by giants of the Open Source world, many of whom I’d never heard! Likewise, one guy I was talking to was developing a browser but had never heard of Zeldman—odd how two worlds coincide while rarely touching (Langridge is the only guy I can think of who passes easily between them). Swag was excellent at the Google party: an unlocked developer’s G1 Android phone. I can’t wait to get back to the UK to try it and download Opera Mini for Android.


Having woken up feeling fine, through the clever gambit of not drinking loads the night before, it was time to wander in and give my presentation. I felt fine until I was told that I was moved to the huge space where they do the keynotes because so many people had signed up to see me (about 120 expressions of interest).

My nerves were further shot when I tried to edit out a joke that I decided at the last minute wasn’t going to work, and Open Office crashed—2 minutes before I was due to start, leaving me to do ctrl-alt-delete and go into document recovery mode in front of an audience watching it broadcast on 4 huge screens.

Anyway, the talk went well, with some great instant feedback via twitter, and I didn’t do my usual trick of over-running.

If you’d like to grab my OSCON HTML 5 presentation (.ODP, 2.7MB), please do. Here’s my OSCON HTML 5 presentation video (FLV, 45 mins).

Getting beaten up by Open Source people

I confess that I was nervous, too, about presenting to a lot of very active Open Source coders as the rep of a closed-source company, on a Windows machine. (In my defence, it’s a dual-boot Ubuntu/ Windows machine and I needed to demo Internet Explorer).

I’m delighted to say that I had nothing but friendship and courtesy from all attendees, who applauded the fact that Opera evangelises, develops and follows Open Web Standards. I’d like to thank all those who made me feel so welcome; it was an honour to meet you.

San Jose, Stanford, OSCON photos.