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Edge conf 5: London 2015

#Early draft of Edge conf 5

This was a discussion of the schedule for Edge 5, which is now finalised, and the information below is out of date. See the website for current details.


Edge 5 will feature a single track of 4 sequential panel discussions on topics of universal importance and topicality to the web community, followed by lunch and then 12 breakout sessions across 4 tracks, in which face to face discussions of specific current and future web topics can be had in boardroom style with groups of up to 50.

0945 Intro
1000 Panel session 1 (45 mins)
1050 Panel session 2 (45 mins)
1135 Break
1200 Panel session 3 (45 mins)
1250 Panel session 4 (45 mins)
1335 Lunch 
1500 Breakout sessions 1, 2, 3, 4 (4 x 60 mins)
1600 Breakout sessions 5, 6, 7, 8 (4 x 60 mins)
1700 Breakout sessions 9, 10, 11, 12 (4 x 60 mins)
1800 Closing keynote (20 mins)
1820 Thank yous and charity info
1830 Dinner and party

Panel sessions

Current top picks from panel topic suggestions:

  • Security: HTTP2 and ServiceWorker both HTTPS only, campaigns for TLS only, the announcement of the new cert authority, the recent Sony leak and standards efforts to unify private browsing mode and access to device APIs. Also post Charlie Hebdo the efforts of the UK gov to ban encryption. What's a reasonable expectation of privacy and how can technology help validate it?

  • Front end data: Client side data - indexeddb, caches API, Blob storage, all gaining ground, and applications increasingly do more complex things with data in the browser. Also: sync - websockets, fetch, serviceworker, notifications. Let's explore use case and patterns for managing complex data storage, search, indexing and sync in the browser.

  • Components and modules: Upgrade paths to web components. Is React in competition with WC and why? How can web components share styles and common code efficiently? Is web components a viable solution to a module system for CSS?

  • Progressive enhancement: ES6's syntax incompatibility with ES5 makes it hard to roll out easily. Transpilers help today but what about when some browsers support all the syntax? What about ES7's syntax incompatibilies with ES6? With such a long tail of web tech development, is there a progressive enhancement 'baseline' below which everything breaks and we don't care anymore?

##Breakout sessions

There'll be a breakout on each of the panel topics, but we also have capacity to run six more, specialised breakouts on niche topics, since there would be a total of 12 breakout sessions. Suggestions so far include:

  • Automation: The web platform seems to have more automation tooling than virtually any other. Is that a good thing? Is it solving the wrong problem? Is it overcomplication? It is making it easier to put up with messy solutions?
  • Capturing data: UX of form design, new data capture elements, if selects are bad news for UX how can we make making good forms easier?
  • Payments: HTTP 402, W3C web payments initiative
  • Testing
  • Animation
  • Semantics: No-one actually cares how semantic the URL is?
  • WebRTC
  • The New JavaScript. ES6/ES7/fetch/promises. Path to adoption, tooling, patterns and best practices
  • Responsive images
  • Responsive design / element queries: What next for RWD? How to make existing practices easier, new things to respond to (screen width is dumb, respond to target typographic measure?)
  • Constraints (layout and motion)
  • Navigation transitions
  • Front end development workflows
  • Extensible web manifesto: is it really working any better than before?
  • Service worker patterns and best practices
  • 'Installing' web apps
  • Data driven performance: Everyone seems to be selling a RUM product these days. Graphs everywhere. NavigationTiming and ResourceTiming are becoming more important, lots of sites are monitoring and optimising their load times, doing things like optimising above-the-fold first render time, rather than more traditional metrics like the load event. And the Nav Error Logging and Beacon APIs are imminent to make instrumentation even easier, so it's worth discussing how these worlds intersect: what is worth monitoring, what's the performance impact, how are new standards helping, what additional work could be done to help (eg aggregators like
  • CSS and the DOM: the forgotten technologies
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Breakout format

How are the breakouts structured? Is there a dedicated chair? Is there expected outcomes? One piece of feedback that we got from the Chrome Dev Summit was that they found these breakouts some of the most valuable times because the Chair was normally the lead eng on that area, and the goal was to get as much actionable feedback directly from developers.

Breakout timings

45 minutes with 15 minutes milling?

Breakouts topics

One other piece of feedback from the Chrome Dev summit that we got was that it would have been very very useful to run the same breakout twice so that when there was a conflict people could attend. I am less convinced that it is valuble, but I thought I would mention it. I would say thought that breakout sessions for the panels should not overlap as much as possible.

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@PaulKinlan Each breakout has a chair and the conference provides them with a resource pack for their session, which will include:

  • Icebreaker exercises
  • Good outcomes to aim for
  • A clear description of the topic
  • Stationery and pens

We are aiming less for actionable feedback for a single vendor and more for actionable feedback for a standards group, but I'll happily take vendor feedback as a decent win too.

Hopefully breakouts don't need a 15 minute changeover. We'll run them back to back, and there'll clearly be some time lost at the changes.

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