I just got back last night from New York and I thought I’d spend a few minutes letting everyone know how things went. The first day was a little taxing… I had to lug a 22″ flat panel screen, large suite case with conference goodies, and my laptop bag over a half mile from my hotel to the Roosevelt hotel that was hosting the event. As a side note, I have to say that New York was quite amazing. It was my first time there and I tried not to act to much like a tourist, but I couldn’t get over how enormous the place is and how the buildings are crammed right next to each other. Additionally, it was pretty cool to see the culture and people change from street to street… lots to see and do.
In any case, after lugging everything to the hotel, I hunted down the conference reservation & sign-in desk, which was somewhat difficult to get to on a mezzanine above the lobby. After signing up, I made my way back down to the lobby and to a little landing right off the lobby where the empty ThinWire table awaited. Here’s what it look like after getting set up:
After getting setup, I spent the remainder of the first day talking to people and sitting around hacking on code while I waited for people to show up. Since most of the attendees were there to see the sessions, there were only certain times during the day when they were out and about visiting the various exhibitor booths. At the conclusion of the first day, the largest sponsor of the event, Laszlo Systems (a Flash based solutions provider), hosted a boat party at New York harbor, at which I got the opportunity to meet a lot of other vendors and find out what they had to offer. Here’s a picture I took from the boat:
On the second day, things got a little more interesting. The bulk of the day was pretty much the same, answering lots of questions and telling people about ThinWire, but in addition to that I had the chance to participate in a recorded one-on-one interview with Jeremy Geelan, the conference chair. I’ve spoken with Jeremy a few times in the past via email and in person and he’s a great guy with a lot of enthusiasm for technology. Well, he and the technology chair of the conference Dion Hinchcliffe, have been interested in ThinWire for a while now and what it can mean for the enterprise, so when a slot became available for an interview I was asked to participate. Here’s a picture of another guy doing an interview with Jeremy (guy on the left), unfortunately no one grabbed a photo of me during my interview:
The interview was a great time to talk about a recent development with ThinWire. We’ve recently announced an arrangement with another Ajax company called Helmi Technologies, who has a client-centric component framework with some unique capabilities. We’ve been in talks with these guys for the past six months, but the conference provided the perfect opportunity to release a press statement about this arrangement. I’ll elaborate more on what this will mean in a future blog post, but feel confident in the fact that ThinWire will remain LGPL forever and we will not do anything to the server-development model that will impact your investment in using the framework. The initial goal is simply to make our technologies inter-operate with each other so that both technologies will have the option to leverage the advantages of the other.
While the second day was great, the third day was even better. Like the past two days I met with a number of people who found ThinWire’s approach powerful and were very interested in using it for their development. Additionally, I had the opportunity to participate in one of the discussion panels, moderated by Jeremy Geelan. The focus of the panel was discuss SYS-CON.TV Power Panel “How Far Are We Along On Our Way To The Rich Web?”. The video of this will also be online in a few days, so I’ll be sure to post it when it becomes available. While the power panel opportunity was cool, it was nothing like what happen next.
My session was scheduled for 2:40pm and when I first walked into the room I’d been assigned, it was nice and it could easily sit 60 people. The cool thing is that upon walking in, there was already 30 people there, so it looked like it might fill up. But before I could get settled, Geelan walked up to me and said, well… it turns out that we have an opening in the Grand Ball room, would like to move over there? I said, sure… so, we proceeded to move everyone who was there into the huge room that was adjacent to one I was in. And man, this place could easily sit 400 people… it was huge, and it had two projection screens on which to display my slides. But the coolest thing is that sessions in the grand ball room are filmed and put up online for everyone to watch, so again, I’ll post the link as soon as it becomes available. Thanks to the ballroom’s size and the fact that there were other people just hanging out in the room when I walked in, I ended up presenting to well over 100 people. Here I am at the podium after giving the presentation, you can see the playground app that I just demonstrated running in the background:
And here’s the short article that the conference organizers put up about this presentation. In any case, as you can see, things went really well… lots of interest in what we are doing in this grassroots framework. There’s more exciting things to come, but I can’t divulge too much right now.