Christian Heilmann

Mind the gap – State of the Browser 5 was a blast

Yesterday was the fifth edition of State of the Browser in London, England. SOTB was always a special kind of event: representatives of all the browsers (and confusion about what Apple might be up to) came, gave short talks about hot new technical topics and then formed a panel to answer people’s questions.

This year, the format changed and instead there were a lot of 25 minute talks by interesting people, regardless of who they work for. There was also no panel.

SOTB still is a lovely, friendly and very affordable event bang in the centre of London and thus very accessible. The organisers also do a monthly meetup and are just good eggs all around.

As there is no space in my tiny new flat I had donated all the swag, books, stickers bags and shirts I collected over the last 10 years to the event and it made an impressive stash. People took the lot (except for a German CSS book).

All talks are recorded and streamed live and the videos are trickling in on the organiser’s Vimeo feed.

The line-up was great and full of new faces on the speaking circuit, some of which gave their first talks. Here’s my quick notes (talks in chronological order):

The Twitter coverage of the event is extensive and still ongoing so be sure to check out the #sotb5 hashtag for more stuff trickling in.

My talk was a quick preview for a longer one I am working on bemoaning and explaining the gap I see between what we advocate as “common knowledge” at events like these and what I see people building on the web. We are a bubble inside a bubble and it is time to burst out and bring the great information we are already getting bored of to those who mess with the web. The slides are here and I recorded a screencast if you want to keep the context. I’m looking forward to the video.

All in all SOTB is well worth your time and money. If you also live by the river, make sure to attend the London Webstandards meetups.

It is a bit of a shame that the format changed, I kind of miss the focus on browsers and wished someone else would take that on or we’ll organise ourselves into monthly hangouts. I’m working on some ideas around this.