YDN was in the Czech Republic this week for the Future of Web Apps Prague. This small city of just over one million people is a European treasure and cultural centre that punches above its weight by receiving about four million international visitors per year. It's also home to many talented web developers and designers who we spent much time talking with at the YDN booth.
Addy Osmani from Google presented the opening keynote,"The New Wave Utility Belt", where he talked about the current state of the front-end tooling landscape and his favorite development tools and workflow. Key messages included: "Learn to love the command-line", "alias the commands you use the most", use Browserstack for cross browser testing, Zen Coding for high speed coding, and Live Reload or WebStorm for rapid coding feedback... Deep breath... Then came an overview of some of the cool new features in Chrome Development tools, like tin.cr, User Agent and Geo-location overrides.
Osmani concluded with an overview of Yeoman, a project that he's working on that provides a workflow and set of tools and libraries to help speed up the development of well crafted web apps. It's absolutely worth a look.
Later, YUI's Derek Gathright delivered a talk entitled "Developing the Future of Yahoo!", where he overviewed some Yahoo! presentation layer technologies. In this talk, he discussed his history with Web development, upcoming trends, and how projects like YUI, YQL, and Mojito address the needs of modern app developers.
The closing keynote was from Bruce Lawson, who gave an outstanding performance on "How to Destroy the Web". Highlighting some ludicrous web development goofs from across the web, where developers had essentially blocked huge groups of users from using their application with poor development practices. Examples included the "robust and infallible" technique of browser sniffing, requiring JS or specific plugins on your site, geo-blocking, requiring a mouse, and using the wrong markup to create buttons and links. This was probably the most amusing delivery I've seen at a developer conference. Hats off to Bruce. Lets hope we get a video soon.
Our first visit to Prague was a great one. It was good talking with the FOWA developers from all across Europe. We hope that you'll take some time to learn more about Yahoo! developer tools and services and keep in touch with us in our forums. Now we're off to try some of that legendary Czech beer. Na zdravi!