pie chart, made out of an actual pieSaturday, the big excitement was Code Camp. I got there a bit before 10am, when the first session I wanted to attend was. They had bagels and muffins sitting out, and there was no real access control—you didn’t have to sign in or get a badge or nametag or anything. I thought that was a bit odd, but what the heck.

The first presentation was on HTML 5. That was actually a bit less interesting than it could’ve been, since the presenter wasn’t all that well prepared and had to write up examples of the stuff he was talking about on the fly instead of going to prepared slides or HTML pages. The <canvas> tag could be used to do some neat stuff, actually, but it could also be used for hideous abominations, like re-inventing the <blink> tag. Well, many browsers have started implementing parts of HTML 5, at least.

Before the next presentation started, I moved to the middle of the room since it was hard to see the smaller bits of text from the back. There, I met Eric, a very chatty guy who wanted to learn stuff about the front end of Web things. The presentation was about CSS3, which will be the Next Big Thing whenever the browsers get around to supporting it. Chrome, Safari, and Firefox already support some of the CSS3 selectors, styles, transitions, and so forth, but they’re not being used all that much. The example the presenter used was a zooming/flipping 3D photo gallery, which was completely useless but looked cool.

After that, it was time for lunch. They provided pizza, which I thought was nice, but again there was no real access control.  I’d think pizza without access control could lead to bad stuff, but it didn’t. Eric and I ate together, and I tried to answer all his questions about the stuff I’m doing/have done in the past. Turns out that he’s in “Business Intelligence”, something to do with mining data and doing stuff like optimizing web pages for whatever keywords people were searching on on that day. It all sounded more like marketing than anything, but what the heck. I fired up my laptop to demonstrate some of the demo and learning junk I’d been doing with jQuery, and Eric was surprised to see that I was using KDE 4 and doing all my development with vim. And then I tried to show him this blog, and found out that I’d b0rked up the RewriteRule in apache that makes my TinyURL-like thing work. Win some, lose some.

But anyway, we finished lunch and went back for another session, this one about JavaScript. That delved into some of the more obscure corners of JS, including closures and performance optimization. I’ll have to look closures up later, as they’re not something I’ve ever written, and the example given was slightly haphazard. However, JS is inescapable on the web today; lots of the things in HTML 5 (like <canvas>) require JS, as do some of the interesting things in CSS 3. So I’m going to have to deal with JS at a lower level sooner rather than later. I was surprised to learn that the garbage collector in JS implementations does reference counting rather than mark-and-sweep, but there are probably some good historical reasons why this is so. (I still don’t know why they decided to put local session/file storage for JS into a SQLite database, though. A relational DB, useful as it is, is not the best solution for every persistent storage problem.)

They canceled the last session that I wanted to attend (object-oriented PHP), so I said goodbye to Code Camp and went grocery shopping. Eric gave me a business card. Not a whole lot else to report. Going to do all the other normal weekend chores that I didn’t get to on Saturday on Sunday, which means a fuller-than-usual Sunday.