i missed a lot of the sessions but it turns out there were 2 that surprised me w/ their content:
geddyJS – frameworks. in the young stage of js/node that we’re at we’re finally seeing frameworks. but this presenter thinks the next logical step is code organisation. some of the web frameworks suggest a little code organization but when projects get large it still turns to spaghetti. this guy is obviously a rails fan and he’s built a framework similar to rails. i’m on the fence with rails but i’m psyched where this is going. it builds routes for you and creates resource models like users, etc.. via command line calls. it’s part code generator and structure.
real time collaboration – though the premise was missing from this talk, the tech was intriguing. Kav (he was the “lead” on the team mark and i were on at our first startup weekend) is developing a framework for building real-time collaborative apps (think Turntable.fm) where you have to keep multiple browsers in sync.
this is where the beauty of using js on the client and server starts really paying dividends. using a combination of socket.io/backbone.js and some other shit(tm). syncing models over socket.io seems like a great idea. his company is like Liffft or something. Backbone is a bit heavy-handed, but it would help if you didn’t have too many models. if you were building a game you might roll your own model but still use socket.io for syncing. i’m getting the feeling that socket.io (and/or other node socket stuff) is the next Ajax.
here’s some other stuff i dug up on this:
cool js tools for building and continuous integration.
jake and concrete
A few months ago a friend sent me a link to a Kevin Rose interview with Philip Rosedale who is trying an experiment called “Coffee and Power” in San Francisco. The part I found interesting was the coffee-shop atmosphere/group workspace concept that would be conducive to attracting tech workers. I’m interested in doing something similar in the Eugene area. The rules would be simple: if you are there then you should be working on something and we get to know you, put your face up on the board. Pay rent if you like or help make the place better. We’ll figure out the details as we go.
Downtown Eugene is a perfect place to build a similar space. There is some retail space available, and new construction is going on in what has been a pretty dead zone these last few years. I’m giving up my current office and looking for a space. I’ll add some couches and tables and cover the walls with white-boards.
I’m going to talk to the tech folks I know in town and see who else might be interested in trying this experiment. I’ll be looking for solo techies who would like a place to work downtown from time to time as well as local businesses who could be sponsors.
Here is the list of things we need so far:
- A semi-retail space around 700 square feet.
- A coffee machine.
- More power strips.
Lifestyle. The Portland vs. Bay Area differentiator. It’s what keeps us here and makes us believe we can successfully participate in the current boom without leaving our beloved city. It just keeps getting more media attention:
Trust it. The skills are here.
We recently used PhoneGap build in a startup weekend event where quick prototyping across multiple platforms was one of our goals. Read the great article here:
Tonight the Portland Seed Fund announced they were open for business. It was an uplifting event for everyone in Portland who have startup dreams, and the speakers brought some pragmatic advice to those in attendance. It was held at the Urban Airship space in the Pearl. The usual Portland suspects were in attendance, Rick Turoczy has posted video of the speakers.
I guess the biggest take-away for us was that it is definitely a great time for folks looking to start something, and that it behooves us to think of Portland and the Bay Area as a partnership. CarWoo and CloudKick represented and, although they went looking for more capital in Silicon Valley, they still have high hopes for Portland.
Just like them, we feel that there are good things to come from Portland. On top of that, Portland could be a great resource for Bay Area startups in terms of engineers and other hires.
If you have an idea that needs funding, check out the Portland Seed Fund. If you need tech resources to help with your idea, give us a call.
Here’s a guy articulating some of what’s been converging in the web application sphere. Do you build a mobile site that looks ok in a desktop browser, or a web site that degrades well on mobile devices? What are the trade-offs? What’s the price?