08 May 2009

Nokia Developer Summit 2009 Offsite

Nokia Developer Summit 2009 was held at Monaco, 28-29 April. I wasn't able to join, but still wanted to know what's going on. With today's technology, it was actually both easy and a pleasure.

First news came realtime via twitter hashtag search #nds09. Several reporters, occasionally even in different sessions, offered good selection of facts, opinions and background info. Thanx to at least @mobilejam @smashpop @AAS @bryanrieger @gloom303 @rayval @inti @mobiliser @henriquemartin onsite, as well as several offsite commenters.

Next there's some more or less realtime blogs, most notably Nokia Conversations and the official event website. They do have an advantage, having access to restricted insider info, and did a splendid job. The official website is most likely the best ever after-event site I've seen. Take a look, if you're interested in getting into the feeling of almost being there!

Talking about blogs, have to mention the old reliable All About Symbian. They might not be the fastest, but provide thoughtful, insightful analysis worth following. Podcast AAS Insight #69 contains NDS summary starting at 21+ minutes. Also Qt-based Orbit UI supersedes S60 AVKON in Symbian^4 article is an excellent overview of the future of Symbian platform. Check the comments, too.

Another interesting blog this year was Forum Nokia Blogs, where FN Champions were requested to blog from the event. Personal touch was a nice addition, great idea!

I'm not a fan of real-time video, with all the background noise, people walking by and coughing and seeing too many talking heads almost in focus. Talking backs of the heads are even worse, can't even try to read from the lips! These videos by Nokia Conversations are something else: professionally edited, short and to the point, with excellent picture and sound quality.

Main news from my offsite view, mainly via twitter (my comments inside parenthesis):
  • It's not resolved yet how to get flash apps into Ovi Store (but I'm sure they will get in there)
  • Forum Nokia delivers resources to 4+ million registered developers, website receives more than 1.5 million unique visitors per month. (Personally I've always "wondered" about that 4 million registered users, but 1.5 million "unique visitors" is an impressive number.)
  • WRT is an abstraction layer. (Nokia keeps pushing WRT so hard, guess it will become a serious development platform)
  • Ovi Store accepts only certified apps: Symbian Signed or Java Verified. (Flash is a bit open, hopefully Flash solution could be reused with python apps.)
  • Finally a form of Map API will be available from Nokia (with restrictions and only for selected partners, but finally it's available)
  • Developer focused twitter feed from Symbian Foundation @symbiandevco (great to see they embrase latest tech)
  • QT Orbit announcement via Twitter, to replace AVKON. (Major major news. Truly surprised how little analysis there has been about this. Too big to understand or devs are just too skeptic)
  • Application suite re-factored and re-written to take advantage of Qt APIs, Orbit widgets, and Direct UI. (This means S60 will fallback one year vs competition. Can they use the option to their advantage?)
  • Maemo 5 Beta SDK was released around this time (there is a future for Maemo)
Wondering whether expos will become like big sports events: want to be there onsite, but will have no idea what's happening. Calling offsite friends to ask where to go, what to see.