Google Chrome DevFest Israel

Today I attended the Chrome DevFest Israel. It was a day of talks and food free of charge at the Avenue Convention Center in the Airport City which is just 20 min drive from where I live with no traffic jams.

Already during the nice breakfast they served I noticed a number of people I know from various open source events I attended recently. I also met an old friend who now works at Google and who has several times asked me already if I was interested in a position at Google. Frankly, until now I was quite sure I don't want to work for Google. My main issue is that I don't think I could become enthusiastic about the technologies of a single company and promote them. But then I talked to someone during the event who told me quite a lot about the open development process of Google and I liked it very much.

Then I came home and read the comments of Dave Rolsky on my my grant request and I got quite upset. I think his comments are disturbing me even more than the comments of Casey West. Especially as Dave was involved in the process of building up my ideas during the previous few months back when I was still thinking of doing this as a separate organization.

I'll have to calm down, maybe have a good sleep and try to analyze his points only tomorrow.

In the meantime I feel that maybe I could be more useful for Google than for the Perl community.

The people I met during the breakfast were mostly Python programmers and PHP programmers. I think I have not seen a single Perl developer there. Oh yes, I met one whom I did not know earlier and who seemed to be enthusiastic about Perl. Unfortunately I don't have his contact info.

Perl on Python

The good part of the morning meetings was that I got invited to the monthly Python meetings to give a talk about Perl. We discussed two topics. One would be CPAN and the other Perl 6. As I have only 45 minutes I think I might give a 2-3 min intro to CPAN with an offer to talk about it at another time and then I'll focus on Perl 6.

The presentations

After some general welcome talks, the morning track was split up into a Dev Track and a Web Track. I attended the first one where we had 3 talks: Chrome Apps store and Chrome Extensions, Chrome Developer Tools, and HTML5.

While I was expecting a bit more talk about business in the first presentation (though it is unclear why did I expect that from talks in the dev room) the was good and if I wanted to do some Chrome hacking I could get started.

In the meantime it gave me ideas how we might build something similar on top of CPAN (or next to it) to let people monetize their investment. I think it is awesome that CPAN has so many modules and I hear - from the Perl community - that others envy it but maybe we are missing out on a lot of other interesting things if we could help people make money on writing CPAN modules or applications built on CPAN modules.

They want Chrome to become a platform on top of which people can develop and distribute their applications. That will further move people away from their desktop as now they can use their applications on any machine.

As more development moves to be within the browser using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript I wonder what does that leave to the back-end languages, especially Perl. Would embedding Parrot into the browser(s) be the key to make these languages important at the front-end as well? What about our investment in Padre, the Perl IDE? Would that become obsolete as it is using the desktop paradigm? Could we turn it into a platform to build applications on top of it just as Eclipse has been doing?

The lunch was good and while I did not have lots of energy trying to talk to people I met a few more people I knew and a few new faces. Especially interesting was to meet Lior Kesos again who told me about his Cantina project which is inspired by La Cantine in Paris.

On the way home I picked up my new Samsung N150 netbook that will replace my notebook that has a broken internal screen.

Published on 2010-06-30 by Gabor Szabo
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