HTML5 in Kiev

I’ve been in Kiev, Ukraine, this week, where I was fortunate to attend several events. The developers in this country and this region are super-talented, and I’m glad I was able to meet many of them directly.

Casual Connect

As with CC Seattle, there’s a big focus on social games right now. They are not only better for distribution – the viral nature – but often more profitable due to revenue sources which have no/little relevance in a single-player context. Namely, status-improving virtual goods; status-improving level advancement by way of automating/bypassing the grind; and, controversially/riskily, improving player capabilities.

I gave the following presentation on HTML5 Gaming. Fortunately, the HTML5 Game Jam we ran a couple of weeks earlier provided great evidence that it’s here and real, and I was able to make use of that in the examples. (I also came up with the idea of an iFrame player for these slides; so you can click on some screenshots to replace them with an iFrame showing the game. This is raw and needs more work, e.g. a big play button for starters.) All this emphasises the importance of micropayments/in-app payments for the social gaming segment.

The biggest concern game developers have with HTML5 is graphics capability. Handling a hundred avatars real-time on the screen at once, that kind of thing. I hope to work with a few of them to get some useful data and feedback for the browsers.

HTML5 Game slides


I gave a talk on HTML5 and ran a #chromekyiv hack day, where people built HTML5 apps and Chrome extensions. It was the first time anyone had participated in a hack day and it worked fine; I think hack days are more about how you present them than whether they suit any particular place or culture. Mainly, as with HTML5 Game Jam, I aimed to very clearly explain the process, and very explictly tell them I’m here to help, and then wandered around a bit; as people won’t often ask for help if the organiser’s head is buried in their laptop.

We had about 6 hours of hacking, completing at the fine hour of 10pm, and 2 minute presentations. Around 20 attended the talk and 14 hacked till the bitter end. Got some footage on the Flip which I’ll try to upload at some point. Kyiv GTUG managed to sneak past Kyoto GTUG for #1 Pulse spot

in the process :). Nice job!

The winner was an excellent Chrome extension from @yasik, @shooshpanchick, and, and @webdizz. Scrapes addresses from any web page and shows them on a map. I also realised when I met him that I have used @yasik’s Delicious extension in the past (his was the first for Chrome). Watch his GitHub as they work towards a stable version of this extension.

There were also some nice entries from others. A CSS3 photo gallery and hard-to-describe visual effect involving your name being shown at a million angles and opacities. A wikipedia looker-up using the new context menu capability (pro tip: here’s how you get the selected text). A syntax highlighter for any programming language, using IDEOne’s web service. A localStorage-powered colour setter.

For my part, I presented Control Freak, a GreaseMonkey like extension I started writing a couple of days earlier, and completed to the point of usefulness at the event. Basically a very lightweight way to tweak JS and CSS on the current page, using a browser action (ie address bar button), which I’ll post more about soon.

ChromeKyiv Photos

#ChromeKyiv Tweets

Ukraine PyCon

This was a fairly large regional PyCon, with a number of talks in English to encourage attendance. It was nice timing being immediately after Casual Connect, and the Pythonistas graciously welcomed a talk about a foreign language in a foreign language.

I gave a talk on Web and Apps, similar to my earlier FOWA talk, but updated to include recent HTML5 gaming activity and a little overview on what HTML5 adds to the basic technologies of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The point is to show that HTML5 is an incremental improvement; you’re still dealing with the same language and programming paradigm.

#UAPyCon Tweets

Full Page Slides

Thanks to all the organisers.

Another DHTML “Game”

A new DHTML boxing “game” from the Man In Blue. Not quite DHTML Lemmings or Super Maryo World, but still more fun than it should be. A bit like the Ruby On Rael thing in reverse.

Also from the same presentation is an eerily lifelike OSX clone (Firefox-only). More evidence that Ajax might be useful in prototyping desktop apps. And since prototypes usually go on to become the real thing …

Thanks to the Web Essentials organisers for podcasting the talks. Safran on Sunday will have to go on hold for a while.