DemoCamp 11

A handful of early bloggers are calling DemoCamp 11 a “failure”. I’m not sure why: I thought it had more interesting content than 9 and 10. The lead-off, AutoSSL, was an interesting idea (auto-provision of SSL certificates to small devices in the home, like security cameras); there was too much slideware, and some technical problems, but I think we should start being more open-minded about the former, and they handled the latter with aplomb.

Andrew Reynolds demo’d Selenium next. It’s a very cool tool for testing web applications via the browser; he didn’t build it, but again, I think we’d do well to be open-minded about that — I’d certainly welcome more people standing up to say, “I found this really cool thing that made my life a zillion times easier, and you oughta know about it.”

The Design Bibliography wiki had nice tabs ;-), and Sunir motivated it well; I agree with other commentators that it’s a very crowded space, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for new ideas. My Studio Assistant was a prototype of a CMS for really nontechnical people; its creator wants to put together a team to build it, and market it to artists, craftspeople, galleries, and so on. The only one that left me dissatisfied was Firestoker; after waiting a year for their demo, I’m still not sure what it actually is.

So overall, I’d give it three and a half stars out of five. About a third of the audience was newcomers (which is good), and the discussion in the pub afterward was worth staying out on a cold November evening for. I look forward to January’s…