Tuesday, November 16, 2010

XJS: Sencha 2010 con impressions

I am attenting the Sencha (formerly ExtJS) developer conference to learn about the future. Overall good energy at this conference. Definite feel of excitement about product and company from the developer community. Here are some early impressions:
  • Lots of activity since the company got funding
  • Company is trying to grow up and it shows: products are beeing build out, revenue model is being decided on / experimented with, business processes look raw around the edges. Overall this puppy is growing up.
  • Sencha has many projects in the cooking pot with some very innovative ones in the mix while still putting good improvements into the existing ones. The question will be, is the company going to be able to pull all this off or are they overloaded. Deliveries could slip, quality could suffer etc.
  • Their bread and butter ExtJS 4 is getting a dose of good overwhaul inlcluding things I have been griping about for a while. The main thing for me is that a best practices application structure is now supported out of the box, so you can finally organize your code for larger apps in a meaningfull way. (Yeah!!!) . My impression is that there are still some challenges to overcome with backward compatibility which they are working on. Many more good things of course, hope they can pull it off.
  • The developer interest is increasing, 3 x the number of developers attended this year.
  • Keynote from at&t cto John Donovan (he loves all phones and all people, yeah very politically correct answers all the way). The nugget from him was the statement that HTML5 is a viable application plattform and mobile apps will be written in it more the future and at&t will support it on many devices with native device library connections. If you believe this, the future of Flash and Flex would look limited. Another conference attendee said "Adobe is the dead man walking". Wow!
  • The Sensha touch platform for mobile apps is going to be free. Cool.
  • Common Annoyance: "It works in webkit" myopia. Understandably browsers supporting HTML5 are cooler from developer perspective but many examples given did not work or broke when another browser was used (Firefox, IE). This is poor for any platform claiming universal compatibility. Hopefully this will improve next year.


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