So, this weekend I'm at Offline Camp in Trebbin, Germany. So I thought, why not write about my experiences there?
So what is this Offline Camp all about? It's about Offline First!
And what is Offline First? Well, what can I say, I don't have seen old folk around here... So my educated guess: Offline First is people!!1 And people first is a slogan here too, so it makes pretty much sense.
Today I took part in 3 discussions about offline enabled applications. I can't remember all of it, but it will be uploaded anyway, so here just my takeaways.
The first was about the UX aspect of this kind of software. Like, how can we tell the users about the state of their data, like, has it been send? Will it be send? Is your device offline right now? etc.
The ideas were things like just merge the changes into the clients data or notify them about it or simply show it after the next time they refresh the page
explicitly. But it mostly depends on the use cases of the app, look what users think. Sometimes they expect realtime updates, sometimes they find them confusing. So, like with every UX topic, test test test :)
The second was about Lie-Fi, which is a fancy term for a internet connection that doesn't really allow to send anything. You're online but not really. We also talked about flakey connections. Like when in a car or train, etc.
Easy win here is to simple don't send too much data, which you shouldn't do anyway. Also, thinking about streamable protocols. Like not sending one big JSON to the client if it consists of a list of objects, but somehow package them in a steamable manner, so you can show something to the users, even if only one of 100 items arrived.
The third was about mobile P2P networks. For example when you only got a few smartphones and no router mobile internet. Is it possible to send data from one to another? Is it possible to cut out the middle man and directly use LAN or BT?
And yes, it's possible, but bluetooth is rather slow and not so nice to connect multiple devices with and it seems like smartphone OSs don't allow developers to start servers, which makes the whole thing rather ... meh.
Then we also had nice passion talks about really interesting topics.
People basically spoke about 5-10 minutes about things they're passionate about, mostly everyone saving the world in some kind of way, so I questioned my career choices, but what can I say, they were pretty good.
Someone spoke about refugee camps and that people live there for many years, but most help is just about getting them fed and nothing more, which is pretty bad for people living there. So they created jHUB to provide free education for the people there.
Then someone spoke about ROAR which is a company that produce Athena, a device that women can use to feel more safe.
So yeah, making the world a better place :)
All in all very nice around here, I learned much, met cool people and drunk absinthe from a toothbrush mug.
5/7 would camp again.
Now: Eating s'mores at a campfire I guess.