Session Descriptions

Sessions at The Ajax Experience

The Ajax Experience agenda includes a mix of tutorials, breakout sessions, keynotes, expert panels, lightening rounds and Ask the Expert Discussions. Our sessions are divided across topical tracks for easy navigation. Session information will be posted as it is becomes available.

View sessions by track:

Keynote Presentations:

The Future of Ajax: The Browser Reinvented

Ben Galbraith and Dion Almaer, Co-founders,

The Ajax community has done a fantastic job of leveraging the capabilities of modern browsers and pushing them to the limit. Now, multi-year efforts to extend the capabilities of browsers into exciting new areas is finally bearing fruit.

Browsers have traditionally been viewed as a web page renderer. However, so-called “modern browsers” are becoming serious application run-time platforms. These changes in the browser components will revolutionize the way web applications are developed. 

Join Ben and Dion as they discuss the new browser technologies on the horizon (and in most cases, largely already here) that will power the future of Ajax applications and disrupt today's applications. 

These innovations include:

  • Canvas – an HTML 5 rendering standard that gives programmers much more freedom in creating rich user interfaces
  • Faster JavaScript – Apple, Mozilla, and Google are upgrading the speed of the web
  • Tight integration between the desktop and the browser
  • Web workers – an HTML 5 standard for pushing JavaScript tasks into the background in order to keep the user interface responsive
  • Bespin – a web-based code editor built to take advantage of these innovations

In this dynamic session, Ben and Dion draw from real-life examples of cutting-edge applications and have demos throughout their presentation. Attend this session to get ahead of the curve and learn about and understand the future of Ajax.

The JSON Saga

Douglas Crockford, Creator, JSON; Author, JavaScript: The Good Parts

This is the true story of the origins of JSON, and how it overcame intolerance, inurement, and death threats to become the web's favorite data interchange format. JSON is the x in Ajax.

ECMAScript Harmony and the Future of JavaScript

Brendan Eich, Creator, JavaScript; CTO, Mozilla

Starting two years ago, the future of JavaScript was divided by conflict between the proposed ECMAScript 3.1 (ES3.1) proponents and ECMAScript Fourth Edition (ES4) proponents. This controversy went public in the fall of 2007. But good news came in July 2008 when the ECMA standards body in charge of JavaScript standardization resolved the conflict under the code name ‘Harmony.’

Harmony consists of a set of covenants, goals, and values shared by members of the technical committee, based on what we all have in common that is good in JavaScript, and informed by what worked and what did not work in ES4.

Harmony is also built on a premise that the standardized JavaScript language, to be usable and compelling over time, should grow new syntax, something not allowed by the premises of ES3.1 (now called ES5, the draft ECMAScript Fifth Edition that should be finalized this year).

Brendan Eich details the new language features proposed for Harmony, giving color commentary on how Harmony came about, the price paid to achieve Harmony, and how the new features will be prototyped and specified for developers to test and review. He explains how to manage evolving versions of JavaScript that do not work in older browsers, while keeping the browsers evolving in a cooperative competition.

Harmony is a rich topic that includes a deep "sociology of programming languages" as well as technical points of interest. The presentation concludes with some thoughts about JavaScript as a social artifact.

Attendees will learn:

  • The origins and goals of Harmony, the proposed next release of JavaScript;
  • Details of new features of the scripting language;
  • How a new JavaScript will drive future Web application development;
  • How JavaScript reflects some of the social perspectives of its designers and users.

The Future of Development Tools

Ross Boucher, Co-founder, 280 North

Learn about tools that are available, and tools that are upcoming, for improving your development process and solving problems faster. Ross Boucher of 280 North provides a brief historical overview of development tools for web applications, starting with alert() and ending with modern IDEs. He'll touch upon how far we've come, and more importantly, where tools need to evolve next to continue innovation on the web. As more people push more code into the client, the end to end development process needs to be improved in order for this to work successfully. This keynote presentation is rich with insight into developing applications versus web pages and websites, with a focus on JavaScript debugging and profiling tools as well as existing and upcoming development IDEs, including the much anticipated Atlas.

The 80/20 Rule

Paul Burnett, Senior Worldwide Evangelist, Creative Solutions, Adobe Systems

Find out how you can do 80% of your work in 20% of the time.

Think a tool can't write code as cleanly as you do? Discover how Adobe Creative Suite 4 can speed up your workflow while still creating clean efficient code. You can still tell people you hand write your code and you won't be embarrassed. While still leaving room for customization, the CS4 toolset allows you to work a lot faster, leaving time to drink coffee and boast about your clean, accessible and standards based Ajax sites.

Vendor Tech Sessions

Building Standards based and Accessible AJAX sites with Dreamweaver CS4

Paul Burnett, Senior Worldwide Evangelist, Creative Solutions, Adobe Systems

Are you under pressure to make your website come alive and be accessible and standards based? In this tech session, Paul Burnett, Adobe Senior Evangelist will show you some upcoming technologies from Adobe Labs and how simple it is to build clean, enhanced sites using Dreamweaver CS4 and cool AJAX tricks that you never knew existed.

Integrating Hardware and the Web

Kevin Hoyt, Platform Evangelist, Adobe Systems

With the continually decreasing cost of hardware, and the trend towards open source, it is now easier to get started with electronics than ever before. The next obvious step is to connect your electronics project to the web – but how? In this session get an overview of two prototyping platforms (Phidgets and Arduino) and instruction on how to leverage them from Adobe AIR using JavaScript. We’ll explore various components and sensors ranging from photocells and servos, to weather stations and RFID, and connect it all to the web.

Real-time 3D Ajax Charts Across All Browsers

Rik Arends, Co-founder, Javeline

One of the most significant limitations of Web browsers as an application platform is the difficulty in rendering and displaying graphics in real time, especially across different browsers. Open source technology provides a way to render vector graphics in real time, across different Web browsers, turning the browser into a high performance application platform. The technology includes real time 3D charts, expression CSS, data binding, iPhone support, and it’s available under LGPL.

This session covers development methods on how to achieve this level of performance and how to leverage the technology in applications. We unveil several remarkable performance differences between browsers and their versions and look at the future of Ajax driven graphics in general.

In this session you learn:

  • The limitations of current rendering technology in displaying real time graphics across Web browsers;
  • How to employ open source technology to render and display graphics in real time across browsers;
  • How can assist developers in application development by enabling high performance responsiveness on Web browsers.

Using the Internet Explorer 8 Developer Tools

Chris Bowen, Developer Evangelist, Microsoft

This session gives an overview of the developer tools that are included with Internet Explorer 8. Discover how to use them to navigate page structures and details, view pages using different rendering and document modes, trace and modify CSS effects, debug JavaScript code, profile and report on script execution, and more.

Ask the Expert Discussions

On Day Two, Ajax Experience speakers lead discussion groups on important topics. This is your exclusive opportunity to problem solve with your peers and get expert advice. Come ready to discuss your projects challenges. Tables will be labeled with the expert’s name and area of expertise.