I was in London for the GD Day 2007. I sat in on some pretty interesting sessions:

  • Gears does indeed look impressive. I was on the edge of my seat waiting to hear how they’d solved online-to-offline synchronization, but they explicitly backed out of that one: “What we’ve chosen to do for this initial release is not tackle the synchronization problem […] overtime maybe there will be something that works for the 80% case, and if that happens I think it’s going to come from the community”. I can understand that, and it’s probably a great opportunity for anyone who can solve that problem. Worth catching the video. I’ll also add that because it’s open source, I wouldn’t be surprised if the plugin was ported to mobile devices (Safari, after all, is already supported, so how far away can a mobile WebKit version be?).
  • Google have opened up their geolocation API. I think this is absolutely huge for the UK, but right now it returns an error message for any UK address. I learned that (a) it’s going to be OK, it’s just the post office dragging their feet over the legals; and (b) if you need the data, there’s a hack to get it out of Google Local Search.
  • There was a presentation on porting a JSP site to GWT. The lesson seems to be that you start from scratch, but I did learn you can use Java to implement impressive Javascript behaviors (drag and drop, for example,) without writing any Javascript.

Go watch the videos.