Colleague Cati recommended to go to the conference “Codemotion” happening in Berlin. I checked the program and went there. “Codemotion” proclaimed to be an event for all programming languages and platforms. I was interested to hear talks about web, mobile and game development. There were parallel presentations happening at the same time. I will introduce you to the most interesting ones.
Soundcloud developer Tiffany Conroy examined when to use Ajax and when to reload the page. Based on the practices of GitHub it was concluded that if the context changed, the page needed to reload (except those cases when a continuous action had to happen in the website, e.g. music play or real-time chat).
At the conference I got a book “Mobile Developer’s Guide to the Galaxy” as a present published by the company “Enough Software”. It discusses the differences among different mobile platforms and possibilities to develop for them. In general, you can create either a native app, or a web app, or a hybrid app using web technologies mixed with inner phone features. I was mostly interested in the usage of HTML5 with PhoneGap, trigger.io, or Titanium. But technologies are not limited to that. You can create cross-platform apps using Java, C#, Flash, etc. The representative of “Enough Software” Robert Virkus in his presentation about HTML5 usage for mobile apps, told that the mostly popular WebKit engine still has differences on different browsers. Also he mentioned that it is better not to mimic the native experiences, but rather to create unique user interface for the app. Because no matter how user interface is similar to native phone interface, the possibilities of a browser are limited in performance and one can still feel the difference of user experience.
Jan Krutisch showed in his presentation how to program music in real time using the app he developed using web technologies. The music wasn’t good, but I liked the principle.
Massimo Banzi told us that he had been interested how the radio and other devices work since his childhood. Lastly he developed the Arduino card which can be used by creative people combining different input and output devices without knowing too much electronics. Arduino card can be plugged to a computer using USB port and then it can be programmed to do something. Later in another presentation Thomas Gläser from the company “Envis Precisely” showed some examples where Arduino, cell phones, or Kinect were used developing interactive experiences in museums and art centers.
The most interesting talk for me was about responsive web apps with HTML5 and CSS3 given by Marco Casario from the company “Comtaste”. The guy gave structured information about different aspects of the websites adapting to the size of a screen. What was new to me was the rem CSS units which are relative not to the parent node (as em), but to the root HTML node. Also it was said that a fast mobile page should load in up to 400 ms whereas a “normal” performance is when it loads in at least 1.5 seconds. Also he said that it takes even 6 seconds to parse jQuery Mobile in some cell phones and it is better not to use it. Moreover if you need speed it is better to use Zepto framework instead of jQuery. It would be good to get the slides.
It was also interesting to see how the startup pitches for investment happen. Different commands of young people were giving their project presentations for three minutes each, and then jury were commenting them and giving questions for another three minutes. Lastly the viewers could vote for the best projects. A live instrumental music was played between the startup presentations.
This was it. I didn’t like that there was no mobile connection and no WiFi in the rooms (at least with my phone), so I couldn’t do live blogging. And also there were no talks about Django and Python. Let’s hope it will be better next time