Thursday and Friday were the last days at XTech 2006. I have to admit that I missed most of the Thursday morning talks in order to rehearse my own, so I don't have much to report except Mark's Building Rich, Encapsulated Widgets Using XBL, XForms and SVG which I mentioned earlier. In the afternoon I attended Ryan King's The Intelligent Design of Microformats, Mark Birbek's RDFA: The Easy Way to Publish Your Metadata, and Dean Jackson's Standardising Web Applications: Rich Web Clients at W3C.
Then came my talk, XForms: an alternative to Ajax?, which I think had good success, with a decent number of questions and comments, as well as a few offline discussions afterwards. The talk / paper has been qualified online eye-opening and readable and very good (let us know if you find other references, positive or negative).
On Friday, I attended the talks on mobile web, including Opera's Michael Smith's Bringing Web 2.0 to Mobile Devices, Opera's Håkon Lie's Mobile Web Applications, and Nokia's Andrei Popescu's Mini Map - A web page visualization method for mobile phones. The idea of using standard web technologies to deliver applicatons to mobile devices is clearly an attractive one, and it is worth looking at W3C's Mobile Initiative and Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0 documents for inspiration.
I then went to see Amazon's Jeff Barr's talk on Amazon Web Services, which turned out to be a mistake since there was about 100% repeat with his closing keynote on the Amazon Mechanical Turk. The Amazon Mechanical Turk is clearly an amazing idea, but I knew about it already and did not learn that much during the closing keynote. I believe the potential of this service has yet to be unleashed and I think we are going to see some quite amazing uses of it in the coming years.
All in all, this year's XTech conference was good, with such emerging themes as Ajax, declarative markup, XBL, and services, all topics relating directly to XForms and Web 2.0. The discussions around the mobile web were interesting as well. The conference was not perfect, in particular I wish the audience had been more varied. The next edition will be in Paris, and I am already looking forward to it!