@Media Day One

Well, day one of @Media is over already so here is a brief summary: Jeffrey Zeldman kicked off the proceedings with a historical look at the early days of web standards through to what standards mean today and where they might be going in the future.

Following Jeffrey was Joe Clark's concise look at the basics of Acessibility where he went through what the real accessibility issues are facing web developers today.

Robin Christopherson continued with more on the subject of accessibilty, with a light-hearted demonstration of how screenreaders interpret pages and what pages sound like when the developer gets it wrong.

Next up was Doug Bowmans presentation on the beauty of CSS. Doug covered partly some history on his own journey into web standards and onto the re-design of Wired. He went through the need for mark-up to be semantically meaningful and simple, wilst displaying several examples of what can be acheived in terms of design when using web-standards.

After a quick break for the buffet with some tasty smoked salmon and cream-cheese bagels, it was back to auditorium for Patrick Griffiths talk on the basics of using XHTML and CSS complete with code examples.

Andy Budd took the stage with a look at how to convert a table based site into XHTML and CSS. It was certainly an interesting example and showed how easy this can be.

Finally Ian Lloyd gave an excellent presentation on accessibility techniques and where some companies go wrong in their approach. Ian used plenty of examples of the right and wrong way to do things and highlighted that with some thought a reasonable level of accessibility compliance can be achieved.

In summary I enjoyed the day and I learnt quite a few things particularly on the accessibilty side of things. I would however say that Day One seemed in the most part to target an audience with limited experience of web-standards development. Clearly the majority of the audience were well versed in standards and I would reckon that a lot of the material covered was not new to them. However Day Two looks to go beyeond the basics and I am looking forward to learning a lot.

Rounding off the day was a trip to the Bankside Restaurant with a chance to network and make new friends. I had a good conversation with some other developers and a chat with Ian Lloyd regarding evangelising standards within a corporate development team, amongst other things. All in all a great first day, and now I better get some kip to be up for the trek to London for day Two!