Some preliminary notes from //build/ 2011


Hey everybody, I'm down at the //build/ conference. (The extra slash is to keep the d from falling over.) I'm not speaking this year, but you can find me in the Apps area of the Expo room today until 3:30pm (except lunchtime), and Friday morning before lunch. I'll also be at Ask the Experts tonight.

There are so many great sessions to choose from. The one I would attend if I weren't working that time slot would be Bring apps to life with Metro style animations in HTML5. Instead, I'll probably go to Building high performance Metro style apps using HTML5. Fortunately, the sessions are being recorded, so I can catch up later.

(At PDC 2008, I learned of a class of conference attendee known as the overflow vulture. These people decide which sessions to attend by looking for the ones that are close to filling up, on the theory that "500 people can't be wrong." These people often fail to take into account the room size. A talk in a 200-person room which fills up is not necessarily more popular than a talk in a 500-person room which doesn't.)

Here are my observations so far:

  • At the airport, I heard a page for "Katy Perry". Normally, my reaction would be, "Oh, that poor woman has the same name as the singer." But since I'm in Los Angeles, I have to give consideration to the possibility that it really is the singer.
  • On the ride from the airport to the hotel, I observed part of a police car chase, or at least two police cars rushing through traffic with lights on. Welcome to Los Angeles.
  • I decided to walk from my hotel to the convention center rather than taking the shuttle bus. Along the way, I spotted a bus coming down the street. The driver parked the bus in the right-hand lane (a lane which is normally used for driving), got off, and walked into the Carl's Jr. I took a peek inside, and he was at the counter ordering breakfast. I guess he figured the bus wouldn't fit in the drive-through. Welcome to Los Angeles.
  • I thought it would have been funny if Michael Anguilo had said, "And we're making these devices available to attendees for just $500. [beat] Just kidding. You're each getting one for free." Or pulled an Oprah. "Everybody, look under your chair! Ha-ha, made you look!"
  • You spend a good amount of time listening to the music that plays before the keynote begins. Imagine having that as your job. "I write music for conferences. My music is peppy, but not too much; hopeful, but with a little bit of attitude. And not so good you want to dance to it. And I have to write a dozen different versions, each one exactly fifteen seconds longer than the previous one. Oh, and it needs to segue into a higher-energy version when the speaker arrives on stage."
  • The City National Grove at Anaheim is not a city, not national, and not a grove. I do concede, however that it is in Anaheim.
  • If you look closely at the //build/ logo, you'll also notice that the second slash has partially decapitated the b. I tried reproducing the effect here, but my CSS-fu isn't powerful enough.
  • Bonus: The hotel I'm staying at is hosting a conference on hotel conference security. I wonder who provides security for that conference.
Comments (29)
  1. Anonymous says:

    "The extra slash is to keep the d from falling over" – priceless :-)

  2. Anonymous says:

    I don't think your CSS-fu is weak. It looks like the //build/ logo is a png image. Or were you just trying to replicate that effect from image in CSS?

  3. Anonymous says:

    You can tell whether the cops were actually doing something important or not by how long the lights were on before and after they went through the intersection.  Back in Boston, it was really common for the cops to feel they didn't need to wait for red lights like the rest of us, so they'd flip on the lights and siren a second or two before getting there, run the light, and then turn the lights and siren right back off.  It's not legal, but they watch out for each other, so they never get in trouble for it.

    It must be a local thing–I've lived in places where it happened all the time and places where I basically never see it.

  4. jader3rd says:

    If you look closely at the build logo, flip it upside down, it says plinq.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Rick: In some places at odd hours of the night the cops/ambulances don't want to make a lot of noise for no reason. So they only use the siren when passing red lights or other cars.

  6. I figured //build/ was just missing theinitia"".

  7. Let's try that again…

    I figured //build/ was just missing the initial "s".

  8. Anonymous says:

    configurator: Here, vehicles responding to actual late-night emergencies run with just lights unless they need the siren, unlike what Rick described.

  9. Anonymous says:

    configurator, that's not what I'm talking about at all.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I didn't go to //build/ because you weren't speaking. Now I'm mad I don't have a tablet. Thanks, Raymond!

    (Just kidding, I didn't go because it sold out before an agenda was public.)

  11. Anonymous says:

    Los Angeles? I'm confused. I thought the conference was in Anaheim. Anaheim is not even in LA County. (Though the Angels, which play in Anaheim, are now–for some reason–a Los Angeles team. Go figure.)

    ["Welcome to the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area" doesn't have the same ring to it. -Raymond]
  12. Anonymous says:

    For what it's worth, Katy Perry's real name is Kate Hudson. Naturally, she uses Perry as a stage name to avoid confusion with the actress.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Yeah I have a relative who had some trouble making a 911 call as Kate Hudson.

  14. Anonymous says:

    The people who are doing security for the hotel security conference are obviously the attendees themselves. That's their plenary session (rotating shifts, of course!)

  15. Anonymous says:

    In Alhambra (LA County), a police officer got killed when another police officer's car collided with his car. This has been only incident in that city police office got killed in half a century.

    Welcome to LA.

  16. Anonymous says:

    As a detective in 1947 LA, I drive around at full throttle with sirens blaring to get to my next destination, even if it's just interviewing a suspect in custody at the police station.  I don't care if a take out a couple of street posts or pedestrians or bang up a few cars on the way.

    (That's a reference to the recent video game LA Noire, for those who missed the joke)

  17. Anonymous says:

    You are in So Cal? Oh my!

    ("Southern California" is a designation that varies with context. It pretty much always includes LA and Orange counties, but may or may not include San Diego. On rare occasions it includes Las Vegas.)

    Work has been so intense that I didn't even go to look up //build! until now. I just assumed it was something for Linux command lines…

  18. Anonymous says:

    No, Maurits, it's missing the initial "http:" (or "https:").

  19. Anonymous says:

    It's obvious – you have to gate-crash their conference to find out. If you're evicted, ask them who they work for. If you get in, you can tell them they're doing it wrong.

  20. I hope it's not missing the initial http:, because http://build/ points me to something unrelated. :-)

    On the other hand…

       echo windows | perl -pe "s//build/"

    … gives me the name of the site.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Not sure if my previous comment was swallowed by the blog software, there was a significant lack of feedback.

    Anyway, here's some CSS-fu to replicate the logo (note: only in reasonably standards-compliant browsers): http://jsfiddle.net/ASyGT/

  22. Anonymous says:

    Re: The City National Grove at Anaheim

    Is that a reference to Voltaire's comment about the Holy Roman Empire? (Not wanting to spoil the joke, just asking)

  23. Anonymous says:

    @Moth Eyes: Did you really mean margin: 1px solid black; ? (Also, that's a really bad way to use a JSFiddle. Try http://jsfiddle.net/v9txp/ )

  24. Anonymous says:

    perl -pe, pfff. Real men use sed. In fact, on my system "perl" is a script that outputs "If you want regular expression processing, use sed. If you want to program, use Python^H^H^H^H^H^Hsed too."

    Well, not really. My system actually doesn't have perl (but it does have sed — don't ask).

  25. Anonymous says:

    @Neil, not really, no. I am, though, fascinated by the way two errors came together like that to have, between them, no effect. I generally wouldn't use jsFiddle like that, but I edited in vi and just was just using jsFiddle to share :p

  26. Anonymous says:

    In LA, there are places where parking is allowed the right lane sometimes. I learn to not use the right lane there..

    But I don't know of any place like that in Anaheim.

  27. Mike Dunn says:

    The badges still have all the same design problems that you've pointed out/ranted about in the past.

  28. My version of sed doesn't seem to like an empty "match" clause in s///.

  29. CGomez says:

    For the stories where you were actually in Anaheim, please don't call it L.A.  I didn't grow up in Anaheim to hear it be reduced to L.A.   :P

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