As Andrew has already noted, a proper rundown of WE05 presentations is yet to come after we compare notes. Still, I have a bunch of things written down which won't be included there yet haven't been posted yet. Hence, random informal observations from WE05. They include some timeline/social stuff and random notes scribbled down between the notes from the presentations.

day zero

  • At early registration, Maxine caught me by surprise when she immediately recognised my name and referred to a comment I'd made on Derek's blog. You mean people read the interweb? :)
  • Head back to the hotel with my WE05 swag and kill some time on the net... very very easy to kill time at 28.8k ;)
  • Andrew arrives and we head out for food, then alcohol and shooting pool...
  • By the time we crash, we've already become obsessed with the saying "Don't be that guy."
  • Did I say crash? HAH! A fire alarm next door to The Vulcan kept some of us awake for hours.

day one

  • Stagger out with only a couple of hours' sleep. Breakfast picks up my spirits with surprisingly good coffee from the Vulcan.
  • The WE05 experience seems to involve noise and fire alarms.... Tantek Çelik's question time was cut off just before I could ask my question, when the building evacuation alarm kicked in. Cue an evacuation out to the driveway in front of the ABC, dust flying everywhere. Turns out a demolition site nearby had kicked up an enormous amount of dust and set off the alarms.
  • A room full of coughing and sneezing geeks (all that dust!) was quickly sorted out by the unflappable WE05 organisers, who sprang into action and supplied water to anyone who needed it. Nice work!
  • Lucky seating on return from the fire alarm had us right at the back of the room, allowing us to bolt for lunch and avoid the huge lines. Spend the rest of the time trying - without success - to get the wifi access to work.
  • During lunch we spot Steve Faulkner doing a remarkable Jeffrey Zeldman impression.
  • Find seats within laptop power cord range. Dive on them like deranged fiends ("my baby needs power!"). Discover the flip up desktops aren't even close to level and experience the joy of typing downhill.
  • Question for the gallery: why are macheads so completely obsessed with making everything look like OSX?
  • I'm having to swap between laptop and paper because I can't keep using either one the entire time...! These presentations are too interesting to stop for a second.
  • At the day one drinks I meet and catch up with a huge number of people. I'll have to collate all the names and URLs later on ;)

day two

  • Considering there are really only three rendering engines in play at the moment, it seems weird that Opera barely gets mentioned. Are we really cross-browser developers, or are many "standards-compliant developers" just infatuated with Firefox? Are people just falling into a new version of an trap - only testing in Firefox instead of only testing in IE?
  • The on campus cafe barista actually knows how to make a decent coffee. I'm shocked!
  • Holy crap, nearly everyone in this room has heard a screen reader!!!!! I have the urge to stand up and yell "I have found my people!" (with a nod to Colin for that line... it's such a perfect way to express the moment).
  • During a presentation, text zoom is used... Firefox scales the radio button, but not the selected widget! Geek hilarity ensues.
  • Here's a modern moment: I post on my blog, Chaals comments on my blog, I run into Dean Jackson in the lunch line and pass on Chaals' "say hello to dino"... :)
  • Dean initially thinks my domain is yes, my handwriting really needs work. Plus I need to remember to cross stroke my zeros.
  • We really need some guru to come up with a keyboard replacement for drag and drop.
  • Interface designers... quit labelling buttons B and I and start labelling them STRONG and EM. Especially when they insert STRONG and EM!
  • Cameron Adams just got pwned by his own presentation after he forgot he had disabled javascript....
  • Tantek is so used to WE running behind, he was in his hotel room when the organisers were looking for him before his second presentation.
  • How can we resolve styling tables? I've found you often need to set widths according to each usage across a large site; yet we can't include attributes in the table's tags; and we should avoid style-based classes. Plus it's technically incorrect to insert border="1" even though tables become nearly unreadable without styles.
  • Geeks might care that something is not new, but the users couldn't care less so long as it's easier to download stuff.
  • Ajax/XMLhttprequest.... it's just like little framesets. But they're so damn useful.
  • Web 2.0.... basically harnessing the power of that one geek in Prague who went crazy on a caffeine bender and built something really good. Why the hell would you spend time and money creating it yourself, all over again, if the end result is the same?

PS. Yes, in case you're wondering, I do plan to eventually return to non-WE05 content ;) Give me a break, I'm on holidays! :)