We started with the MonoRail talk, which went fairly well. That wasn't recorded, but Hammett and I had recorded the rehearsal, so I think we will publish that.
The next session was about choosing a web framework, and the focus was on Java frameworks. Interesting to see the design decisions that they take, although I remain firm in my opinion that Java has too much XML involved.
The next session that I took part of (again, had to drop off because I was feeling very bad) was about the Guradian UK site, and how they manage to scale it up. Stateless, multi level caching and some very interesting smarts around fail over (stopping the cache from expiring anything in case of a downed DB, for instance). Something very interesting was to explore the scalability features of your DB, because too often people just ignore the perf benefits that the DB can do, and try to do everything in the application.
The Enterprise Application Panel was interesting, it was mostly focused on future directions, and the main conclustion is that we are in the end of a shakedown in terms of web frameworks and environments, at the end of which you are likely to have far clearer idea about what are the sweet spots for each framework / environment.
Flash and Silverlight were mentioned, as well as a 1MB JVM, but I am sceptical of those as a general purpose development platforms, simply because the constraints that they have are so severe. Flash doesn't handle Hebrew very well, and Silverlight doesn't support it at all (Justin is working on that, though). By the same token, it doesn't handle Arabic or Chienese very well. And limiting the programming environment means that you are left with very bad model to develop on.
I see a lot of value on building specific components or parts of the application in those technologies, but not doing it across the board, at least not in the kind of applications that I tend to write.
I'll have another post summrizing the entire conference in a while...