Sud Web 2012 — Debrief

For a first experience, Sud Web has been successful! These two days have been intense, dramatic, warm, but also very instructive for the student that I am. I finally could meet all these people I am regularly following on the internet, and just for that it was great!
In terms of organization, I think we could hardly do better. Seriously what, we were pampered upon arrival with a monstrous buffet, everything has been thought, stalled graph, the team went so far satisfy the most geeky of us by offering us a superb towel badged Sud Web at the Towel Day! Frankly, if that's not the class! And then as it was not enough, I even won a Balsamiq license.
Everything is done so that everyone spends a great time, isn't excluded. This is what could very easily have happened to me for example, because I knew no one! (And I'm pretty shy, but shhh!) No, frankly, I can’t think of anything to complain about during those two days. Congratulations to all the staff!

The day of Friday, dedicated to conferences has been, in my view, marked by Bruce Lawson (Opera) and Nicolas Hoffmann's conferences. Both conferences came together on the theme of the Open Web. All lectures were informative, but I was pleasantly surprised by them. All told, there were so many interesting things that I could not handle everything here…

Oh, IE6, how we loved you!

Bruce officiated at its conference in true rock star, electrifying the audience with shocking pictures, carefully selected quotes and statistics. He reminded us that we were happy with the release of IE6. In fact, he reminded that to those who have experienced that time, which is not my case :) I was really surprised to learn that it was released, IE6 was a success with the public and professionals, not only with the default installation on Windows, but also through the input of HTML 4.01, the CSS,. htc, ActiveX, etc.. There was therefore a rapid market monopoly by this illustrious browser because its rival Netscape stopped to innovate. Did you say monopoly? => Mass Adoption of IE6 technologies, and soon the sites were developed only for him. This explains the monoculture. It is at this point that Bruce made a link with the current situation and possible webkit monoculture.
Some indicators are there: the sites are developed by thinking only to webkit (Forgot the other prefixes when using experimental properties), applications are only available for a single browser, etc. One does not think global.

Bruce lawson - Webkit monoculture

A developer on three would support this monoculture, but they don't realize the impact it would have. This would improve their personal comfort, but would result in immediately stopping innovation for the Web, the past has already proven it. Bruce has reminded us the importance of not being selfish, to think “web” and not just to a particular rendering engine.

Open Web, the struggle continues

Nicolas Hoffman, as a lightning talk (5 minutes), just as determined and activist as Bruce Lawson, but without the rock star side, for his part, questioned the current prefixes system heavily used in production, too often misused as a source of monoculture. Monoculture that Bruce was talking about. He also passed a message to both alarmist (The Open Web is in danger!), and both comforting: the Web is universal, we all share its values, act! Nicolas concludes with a quote from Edmund Burke

“The only thing that allows evil to triumph is the inaction of good men.”

These two speeches I have really warmed my heart, it makes a potato crazy to hear that!

CSS3 With a Safety Net

Later that day, Peter Gasston from Opera Software for its part in a very good (and fun too, slides worth a look) conference on the use of CSS3 in production. He made us aware, sometimes exaggerating, but it was efficient, that the “pixel-perfect” is utopian, and that only a bad designer tries to impose it to the integrator. Such a designer works with you? “Don't tell him.” Why? “Because you have to do cool stuff!”. This was the message hammered by Peter.

Peter Gasston - Do cool stuff

Then he argued that as long as it does not interfere with navigation, it's unnecessary to burden the site or losing a lot of time for obsolete browsers, we must rather seek to reward people using a modern updated browser. This is where the metaphor of the crescent comes into play in order to image the progressive enhancement:

Peter Gasston - Progressive enhancement

Mozilla rocks!

Finally, how could I not talk about Mozilla? I had the honor to meet Jérémie Patonnier, David Bruant, Thomas Bassetto and Anthony Ricaud, not less! Jérémie replaced (with gusto!) a speaker sick at the last moment, and convinced us that it's important to document the open Web. Anthony, held a conference on the benefits to participate in an open-source project, and we can say that one is frying pans :)

Anthony Ricaud - L'altruisme pour ta gueule

As a good troll, everyone took to his rank, beginning with Jérémie when explaining Rubber duck debugging method. The humor was indeed present, but the subject remained no less serious, and Anthony has advanced strong arguments, such as train to use the latest technologies, make themselves known, learn new skills, etc..
To summarize, guys were super nice, available, packed with humor and aren't big-headed, how not to love them?

Jérémie Patonnier, Théo Chevalier, Anthony Ricaud

Community meal

Great time, I'm not bored for one second, a convivial evening where everyone was available to discuss. It has been discussed many and varied things, such as possible Mozilla Code of Conduct, integration, DevTools, the balance of the day with the staff, etc. It was also commented at length on the rumor of the day with Karl Dubost, namely the possible acquisition of Opera Software by Facebook. A good initiative to continue, it can actually close the day, and go around any topic.

"L'élaboratoire" (Workshops)

The next day, at Epitech Toulouse, I started by being at the Mozilla booth with Anthony and Jérémie, where many goodies were available. (I was desperate for months of finding a simple Firefox sticker, I was largely filled: p) It was cool to discuss development of Firefox, and open web with people who came to the booth.
By late morning, I attended the Open Web Group workshop, where it was decided the future of the site . There was a strong commitment to this great project, and this push will bear fruit to motivate everyone…

In the afternoon, I attended the workshop led by Karl and Anthony on improving the debugging tools in browsers, which reads in part:

Very interesting, I learned stuff along the way.
Finally I ended the day with the MDN workshop with and David and Jérémie, for an introduction to the documentation. I'll try to start one of these days, now that I have seen the possible fields of action, and I know it's not at all necessary to be an expert on a something to document it. You can find the slides and videos of conferences & workshops on Lanyrd , and photos of the two days on the Flickr album.
One more thing to say: can’t wait for the next one!