Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Web Developer Tools from Web 2.0

This was by far the best presentation I saw today.  A couple of Mozilla guys gave this great talk really about the past, present, and future of the web developer experience.  I'm really buzzed about the near future of HTML 5, "fast javascript", and the "web worker" model, enabling the kind of interactivity available on desktop applications.

The introduced a lot of tools, mostly around Firebug and its extensions.  I wasn't familiar with the unit testing stuff in that space: Code Coverage and FireUnit.  Some of the more interesting tools were the CSS tools: YUI CSS Grid Builder, blueprint, and the recently announced Microsoft SuperPreview.

They also mentioned some "future" tools like Bespin and Thunderhead.  Bespin is wonderful, a source code editor on the web, with concurrent-versioning system support (git now and later SVN?).  I really feel like this is boostrapping the web, you can begin to think of creating the web ON the web.  Avi Bryant has already plugged Seaside into Bespin.  Thunderhead is a prototype for marrying grid-layouts with the HTML 5 canvas.  They are talking about doing an "Open Tools Directory".

One thing they mentioned that was only tagentially related to their talk was PhoneGap.  This let's HTML/Javascript developers create native mobile phone applications (iPhone, Android, and Blackberrry are supported to different extents at this time).  Atlas, which let's you write native Cocoa (Mac OS) applications in Javascript (their Objective J) was given an excited nod, too.