Monday, March 26, 2007

Open Source CMS Summit 2007, Day 2

The day started out fine; I had a shower and then went down to enjoy some of the hotel's free breakfast. I had cereal and spent a while talking with Joseph LeBlanc, a freelance Joomla! developer, as well as some others. Then I walked over to Yahoo! and went to my first session of the day: the Yahoo! User Interface Library.

The Yahoo! User Interface Library presentation, presented by Eric Miraglia, gave a brief overview of, amazingly, the YUI. It is designed, they claim, to protect developers from the "vast source of incompatibility, pain and misery" that is the web browser. While there isn't much to say about the presentation itself (it was mostly an overview and justification for using the YUI instead of rolling your own), there were a few notes that I made: firstly, using the YUI menus in conjunction with PumaCMS to keep the cleanliness of the headerbar but allow users to navigate the site more directly; secondly, the concept of using animation to help users understand the interface (for example, OS X's use of animated minimizing windows). Definitely something to look into, especially as YUI is licensed under a BSD-new license.

The next session I attended was for Yahoo! Pipes, which, again, was more of a demo than anything else. Y! Pipes is based on the same concept as Unix pipes: a bunch of small, single-purpose utilities can pass data around between them, and the user can string the utilities together in whatever manner is needed, so that complex and very useful tools can be created from a small set of simple tools. But, instead of passing around data from the command line, Yahoo! Pipes pass around feeds, particularly RSS/Atom feeds. Of course, that's pretty cool itself, but the interface is very cool, too.

The next session I attended was Drupal's FormAPI, and while I thought this was going to be a presentation about some general FormAPI tool, I was willing to sit through it even after I found out it was about Drupal, thinking that there might still be something to take away that could be incorporated into PumaCMS. Unfortunately, the presentation was sidetracked (for forty minutes!) by several hard-core FormAPI developers. Sigh.

Next was lunch, which was pizza.

Next, I attended "Writing Joomla! Extensions" by the aforementioned Joseph LeBlanc. I had said at breakfast that I'd attend, so I did (it helped a lot that the only other non-Drupal talk for that session was on jQuery). Since I'm not a Joomla! developer, I don't have a lot to say about it. I think that Joomla's ability to accept archived (that is, zipped) extension packages is really awesome, and that I'll try to work that into PumaCMS if it can be done securely. Otherwise, the presentation was fairly interesting; it went through the process of creating a plugin for Joomla!.

The next session was on "Elastic Content Managment Systems Deployment", and was (primarily) about using virtual machines to run a hosting service, and also touched briefly on Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). And while these are really awesome ideas, I don't have a use for them currently.

The last session of the conference was on the Flickr API, which was an overview of the Flickr API (whoa, imagine!). Nothing special to say about it, except that later, when I mentioned it to Scott, he said that Traces could use it for photographs and such, which is a great idea.

After the conference, I walked back to the hotel and took another shower (it was quite warm!), then played on the internet until Scott called and he, Chris and I went to dinner at an Italian place in Sunnyvale. It was fun, and there were a bunch of other Googlers there as well, including Scotty and Todd. A tad intimidating for Chris and me, but still fun. Afterwards, Scott and Chris took me back to the hotel, and were kind enough to also take me to the airport in the morning.
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