FOWA Miami. “Web App Development Just Changed Forever”


February 23-24 I was a privileged participant at the Future of Web Apps (FOWA) conference in Miami. (This earlier post looked ahead to the conference.) 

My mind is still sifting through conference impressions starting with the sheer talent in the room both among the speakers and attendees.  However,  for the look ahead to where the Web is headed, two presenters stood out:

1. Aza Raskin, Mozilla Labs    

Aza introduced Ubiquity, an initiative launched August 2008 with the “modest’ ambition of:

“connecting the Web with language in an attempt to find new user interfaces that could make it possible for everyone to do common Web tasks more quickly and easily.”

During the demo Raskin talked about “intent based programming” and “seeing the Web the way you want to see it.”  His presentation made it easy to believe, as Raskin’s bio indicates, that he “gave his first talk on user interface at age 10.”  Ubiquity is an initiative to follow. 

2. Francisco Tolmasky 280 North- Atlas for Capuccino 

Applause filled the room during Tomalsky’s reveal of a new visual development platform called Atlas as an extension of Capuccino, an open source framework “to bring desktop-class applications to the browser with their new open source framework.”  Ryan Carson,  the conference host, observed following Francisco’s presentation:

“Web app development just changed forever.”

I’m not a developer but understand Atlas allows programming through a visual interface by capturing functions as buttons and using “controllers” to add action and speed programming through a visual interface. You can see a demo here: The visual programming focus is not surprizing when you learn Tolmasky worked at Apple on the iPhone team.

My colleague Victoria Axelrod observed developments like Capuccino Atlas promise that kindergarteners will be learning application programming. I hope education systems are preparing.

Scanning the FOWA Miami Flickr photos  gives a sense of the conference.  Hats off to all at Carsonified for a tremendously thought provoking look forward to the Future of Web Apps and especially Jo Andrews for her hard work behind the scenes.

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