Sunday, October 3, 2010

Web 2.0 Expo: Miscellaneous sessions

New at this year's Expo were 20-minute sessions after lunch.

A talk entitled "The Mobile Browser Landscape" disappointed many because it turned out to be just a shill for Windows 7 Phone.

"What To Expect From Browsers in the Next Five Years" was a panel represented many of the major web browsers. Even though the four representatives seemed to know each other's plans and strategies, there were no representatives for Internet Explorer or Safari, which made the panel feel a little lopsided. Nevertheless their initial utterance was that IE 9 would support new standards and would be much improved over version 8, even though it could be further improved (it will not be compatible with WindowsXP). The feeling was that it is being brought out as a response to Chrome.

Firefox is working on Firefox Sync which will synchronize all usernames and passwords.

The Opera browser had a presence at the Web Expo; its representative stated that they are enhancing the implementation of javascript. Their new goal is to integrate with phone apps.

It was admitted that all browsers leak, which is a danger to privacy. Some lamented that the development of HTML5 did not attack these privacy issues.

All browsers try to go for speed, but each member of the panel pointed it that browser wars are like horse races - each one of them gets ahead for a while, only to be overtaken by another. This is the nature of the business, and no browser will ever be definitive, as they all keep on being developed.

(The unofficial buzz was that this browser session had more attendees than the live interview with Katie Couric.)

Deanna Zandt's talk "The Free-for-All Web and the Secret Tyrants We All Are" is available on her website as PowerPoint with audio track. It's a nice little talk (although I did get impatient with numerous metaphors). One of her main points was that, in speaking about control over the web, when you remove hierarchical structures, you develop implicit structures - people's biases then take over. (I've seen a number of groups where, once the leader departs, someone from the group suddenly steps in, self-annointed, and takes over.) She warned us to guard against these dangers and the danger of restructuring without a plan for equity.

Hers was a nice little talk. Had it been shorter it would have made a nice Ignite presentation.

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