standards>next — CSS3

Last night, I spoke at the latest Opera back standards>next gig, hosted at MadLab in Manchester.

Chris Mills put the call out months ago, asking if I’d like to take part, and could I herd up anyone else to speak. I recommended my fellow skating (albeit inline-blader!) and Fudge front-ender Mike Byrne as he’s a lively character, and certainly knows his shit, and that made four. Chris kicked off, followed, by myself and Typography Online. Continue reading “standards>next — CSS3”

New Adventures in Web Design


This week Howie and I attended a new conference in Nottingham, New Adventures in Web Design, organised by Simon Collison, or Colly as he’s better known.

Since Colly is possible the nicest guy on the internet and well respected, finding quality speakers wasn’t going to be a tough job, and for the conferences first show, the list was impressive. There were gripes from some quarters that all these speakers have been seen before, it’s the usual industry pundits, but I think that’s just sour grapes and being picky for the sake of it. Out of the ten speakers, I’d only seen five before.

In an effort to make conferences affordable and accessible, the venue was Colly’s hometown of Nottingham, which is in a great location, allowing access to people travelling from all points of the UK, the likes of Cole travelling from near Edinburgh, or Remy from Brighton, plus of course the foreigners who always make it over. Continue reading “New Adventures in Web Design”

DIBI Conference 2010

Time for another conference road trip!

The inaugural DIBI Conference took place at the Sage in Gatehead on the 28th April, with a fantastic crop of speakers and promising bunch of attendees, judging by the twittering.

DIBI’s format is a little different than a traditional conference, being a two track event. DIBI, which stands for Design It. Build It., was aimed at both developers and designers, with two sets of sessions running all day. Attendees could chop and change and “jump tracks” as they liked, and since a lot of the crowd were front enders, this seems quite a logical thing to do.

The journey up involved the usual road-tripper Chris Mills, but we picked up Dan Donald too, and headed up to crash at Phil Sherry‘s house, since he’s now resident in Gateshead. Yes, this small fact did make the trip more appealing! Continue reading “DIBI Conference 2010”

Speak the Web Liverpool — post match reaction

I’m really pleased to say that the whole Liverpool session of Speak The Web went down really well.

I managed to get through 30 minutes without committing social hari kari or making too bigger tit of myself. Pat Lauke was in full on Opera and HTML5 brainwash form, but energetic and interesting enough to be different from Chris Mill’s session at Leeds. The coup de grâce was obviously Simon Collison of Erskine Design, with his In the Pursuit of Magic presentation, and fair play to him for being drugged up but persevering and putting on a really thoughtful and inspiring presentation. Continue reading “Speak the Web Liverpool — post match reaction”

Transmission #3: ‘Device & Conquer: Tales from the front-line of mobile innovation’

A Thursday night out? Drinking? …Again?

But wait, you were out on Monday night too… what gives, Smith?

Ok, I will come clean. Monday’s drinking was less about the drinking (hah!) and more about talking with Chris Mills and Patrick Lauke about presenting, presentation material and subjects around validation and general geekiness. We did not at one point mention any rumour or conjecture about the iPad, which I feel is very important to mention. Leffe and Hoegaarden were order of the evening!

However the Transmission 3 (#tx3) event was different. It was all about the mobile web, the pleasure and the pain of being in this field. There were 3 speaking slots, starting with Chris Mills from Opera giving an overview of mobile to date. Peter-Paul Koch of Quirksmode whose done a ridiculous amount of research on the state of mobile browsing. Finally, two likely lads from down south, Polls and Mills from usTwo, would look at the world of iPhone app dev.

Continue reading “Transmission #3: ‘Device & Conquer: Tales from the front-line of mobile innovation’”

I’ll be at Speak The Web

Speak The WebI’m honoured to have been invited to speak at an upcoming web “gig”, by my two mates Rich Clarke and Dan Donald.

Speak The Web aims to break down the barriers that prevent a lot of people getting to the bigger conferences. Travel, time off work, hotels and the bar bill can all be quite prohibitive, so the lads have started a grass roots collective of local talent and are hitting four venues in the North.

Being a scouser, they asked me if I’d be interested in the Liverpool venue, and of course I said yes.

The tickets are all very reasonably priced, and the whole atmosphere is hoping to be more like a gig than a conference, with speakers hanging round for beers and chat after the shows. I intend to get to the other three, as all the speakers are insightful.

Find out more info at the site, or follow them on Twitter, #speaktheweb. See you there!

Now on dev.opera!

Finally, just a shade over six months after being propositioned by the mighty Chris Mills to do some writing, my article is online!

The site, is a resource aimed squarely at people who are web-literate and happy to get their hands dirty in code. However it’s quite techy, and not too design-led, either theory or practice.

Chris asked me to get involved and write an article that fused a bit of design know-how with technical ability, and since we’d just finished the GDR Creative Intelligence web site at work, which features sIFR heavily, I thought sIFR would be an ideal candidate.

The article didn’t actually take six months to write, it was done in fits and bursts, mostly while in Spain on holiday, but took a while to get edits done as Mills, in his capacity as Opera’s Developer Relations drinker is all around Europe at conferences and spreading the good word.

So, without further ado, here’s my article… I hope you find it useful.