Friday, November 22, 2013

Notes from Chrome Dev Summit 2013

I watched all of the first day of the Chrome Dev Summit live stream and part of the second day.

I won't summarize the sessions as they were highly technical and fast paced.
You can find the sessions and schedule at:
Day one and day two live streams are recorded on YouTube.

Here are some interesting tidbits that were revealed:

  1. Google is taking the offline web very seriously. A few years ago, they talked about being continually connected. This has stopped. They fully realize that there are just too many situations where you have no or poor connectivity. Going forward one can expect to see many tools and APIs to help handle the issue.
  2. Dart 1.0 was released a few days before this conference and was a major topic. Google made it completely clear that they believe that Dart is now ready for the production of commercial grade apps. This includes those pieces of Polymer that are present in the Dart library. Google is using Dart internally in a big way.
  3. They did a really good demonstration of Web Media APIs. At least in Chrome, most of these are ready to use. They gave some very impressive demos. Firefox and Opera are busy catching up.
  4. Chrome Packaged Apps are a complex topic, but the summary they gave managed to touch many areas. This is a ripe area for developers, with Windows and ChromeOS already having full support and MacOS and Linux nearing completion. One sad piece of news though, the parallel track for mobile versions of Chrome Packaged Apps delivered via PhoneGap is a bit behind schedule. At this point they are not expecting the Android version to enter "betaish" until January. They made a great case for being able to leverage one JavaScript (or better yet Dart) code base to deliver an application across different platforms and devices.
  5. Portable Native Client is now ready for prime time. (This is a way to put C/C++ code safely into a web app, preserving near native performance. PNaCl automatically translates your code for the underlying client architecture (Intel/ARM)).
  6. Their performance sessions were extremely in depth. It is amazing what you can do with Chrome Developer Tools to improve performance.

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