A two-day conference on engineering and design for the web, held over the weekend here, saw over 300 tech enthusiasts participating.
With over 15 speakers from places such as Australia, Russia, the U.S. and Southeast Asia speaking on subjects ranging from accessibility to tools and open source to cross-device design and web standards, the event was indeed the talk of tech town.
The conference was organised by tech event management firm, HasGeek.
It opened with DocPad author Benjamin Lupton explaining the importance of developing and contributing to open source front-end tools. He said that when programmers share their projects with the community for free, they can derive longer-term value as a result of feedback from the community, visibility in the community and outside, and popularity of their tools leading to work opportunities.
On browsers and BEM
Vincent Hardy, co-editor of the SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) specification, made a presentation on how browsers are becoming capable of powerful graphics rendering and how these could be used effectively to improve the user experience.
Another interesting talk was on BEM (Block, Element, Modifiers), a toolkit and framework that’s hugely popular in Russia and neighbouring countries. It reduces maintenance problems and helps in coordinating code for projects where programmers and designers have different programming styles. Some of the sessions also focussed on organisational issues, such as working towards better product outcomes, said Zainab Bawa of HasGeek.
Shwetank Dixit, a speaker, urged designers and programmers not to ignore web accessibility. Mr. Dixit narrated the story of a paralysed person he met who could only move his fingers and depended on the Internet to communicate with the outside world. “Somebody’s only access to the world depends on us making accessible websites,” he said.
Speakers in this session pointed out that web accessibility pertained to anyone who had physical disabilities (blind, deaf or paralysed), reduced cognitive abilities (the elderly or those under medication), temporary disabilities (fractures) and situational disabilities (in public transport with only one hand free).