Yahoo! Developer Day Sept. 29: Speaker & Workshop Schedule

By YUI TeamSeptember 22, 2006

October 6 update: We've posted videos from two of the featured speaker sessions last at the Yahoo Developer Day:

Yahoo! is abuzz with excitement about the upcoming Developer Day/Hack Day, open to the public (request an invitation here), next Friday and Saturday (9/29-9/30). Rumors have leaked about mind-bendingly cool musical guests, fabulous prizes, and hacks coming from far and wide (eg, Australia!).

I can't confirm any rumors today (check out the event's blog to stay up-to-date on those), but I can confirm the full schedule for Friday's workshops and sessions. Note: You can click on sessions in the schedule below for more information about individual speakers and topics.

API Focus: Featured Speakers: YUI Workshops: Workshops & Un-Conference Style Sessions:
10 a.m. The Yahoo! Mail Platform:
Ryan Kennedy
Step Away from the Computer: Why Virtual Communities Take It Offline
Andy Baio
Hands On: CSS Reset, Fonts and Grids Hacking with Accessibility in Mind (Why Should You Mind?):
Victor Tsaran
11 a.m. Maps API:
Vince Maniago / Mirek Grymuza / Chuck Freedman
An Inconvenient API: The Theory of the DOM
Douglas Crockford
Hands On: The YUI Animation Utility Hands On: Write a Yahoo! Messenger Plug-in Today
noon- 1 p.m. get lunch
1-2 p.m. Yahoo! Developer Day Keynote (plenary)
Bradley Horowitz

2:30 p.m.

The Flickr API:
Cal Henderson
Web 2.0: Getting It Right the Second Time Around
Matt Sweeney
Hands On: The YUI Menu Control Mash-Up Fundamentals: Build a Proxy-Free Search Application In Under An Hour:
Kent Brewster
3:30 p.m. Exceptional Performance:
Steve Souders / Tenni Theurer
Getting Rich with PHP 5
Rasmus Lerdorf
Hands On:The YUI Panel & Dialog Controls Hands On: The YUI Event Utility
4:30 p.m. ZoneTag & 15 min talks by Jeannie Yang and Gordon Luk The New Hacker's Toolkit: Ten Things You Need to Know to Be Ready to Hack in the Ecosystem
Iain Lamb
Hands On: The YUI Connection Manager Hands On: Using Yahoo! APIs in Flash
5:30 Hack Day Begins!
As we move out of the formal Developer Day sessions, we'll transition into the Hack Day festivities — including great hackers, groovy entertainment, and a few surprises along the way.
The Yahoo! Mail Platform

Ryan Kennedy, lead engineer on Yahoo! Mail web services

Ryan KennedyYahoo! Mail is more than an application now, it's a platform. Learn how to use the new Yahoo! Mail Web Service for building entirely new applications on a powerful platform for sending, retrieving and searching mail.

Step Away from the Computer: Why Virtual Communities Take It Offline

Andy Baio, co-founder of

Andy BaioEvery form of virtual community eventually tries to meet in the real world, to various degrees of success. Why do some communities meet offline so easily and others never do? Andy Baio, creator and co-founder of, uses case studies and original interviews to try to understand this question. From the telegraph and ham radio to Digg and Yelp, he'll discuss the critical factors and best practices to get users out of the house and connecting in meatspace.

YUI Hands-on Session: CSS Reset, Fonts & Grids

Nate Koechley, author of the YUI CSS Reset, Fonts and Grids resources

Nate KoechleyCSS Reset, Fonts and Grids provide the CSS foundation upon which Yahoo! is building its future products — a foundation that allows for semantic, search-engine-optimized, accessible, progressively-rendered and font-scalable pages of significant variety and complexity. No single CSS solution is right for all developers and projects, but we're sharing our recipe going forward in hopes that others will find it useful and that it will contribute to the ongoing conversation about how to build semantic, scalable web-applications. In this workshop, the author of this platform, Nate Koechley, will take you through a series of use cases in which Reset, Fonts and Grids are deployed in the solution of realistic layout problems.

Hacking with Accessibility in Mind (Why Should You Mind?)

Victor Tsaran, Yahoo! accessibility evangelist

Victor TsaranIn this workshop we will look at several challenges that web 2.0 can present to its consumers if code development is done in haste and without proper symantic considerations. Not all users choose to use the mouse and not all of them may find drag-and-drop slow enough to respond in a timely fashion. So what's a hacker to do?

We will begin with a quick-pace introduction into assistive technology and then testcase several of Yahoo!'s interaction models to demonstrate how easy-to-use they may be for some users and difficult or impossible for others.

Come and hear this talk before you dive into hacking!

Using Yahoo! Local Services to Power Your Application

Vince Maniago, Mirek Grymuza, and Chuck Freedman, Yahoo! Local and Yahoo! Maps engineers

Vince Maniago, Mirek Grymuza, and Chuck FreedmanIn this session we'll explore Yahoo! Maps as the display platform for Yahoo!'s Local content offerings. Yahoo! Local's lead developers will dive into the highlights of the latest Flash & AJAX Maps APIs and review numerous Local APIs like Local Search, Upcoming Events and the geocoder.

An Inconvenient API: The Theory of the DOM

Douglas Crockford, Yahoo! JavaScript architect

Douglas CrockfordThe drama of web-services hacks often plays out on the canvas of the web browser as a dynamic assembly of information within the browser's Document Object Model — a model not originally intended to support intensive GUI development. But the DOM API has proven both resilient and problematic in some surprising ways. Yahoo!'s leading JavaScript architect and JSON inventor Douglas Crockford will give you a introduction to the DOM and some valuable advice about how to avoid "hitting the wall" of performance in DOM-centric application development.

YUI Hands-on Session: Animation Utility

Matt Sweeney, author of the YUI Animation Utility and Dom Collection

Matt SweeneyAnimation can be a powerful tool in the creation of learnable, intuitive rich interfaces. It can also add a degree of polish and smoothness that helps separate classy interfaces from also-rans. The YUI Animation Utility makes animation of DOM elements' visual properties a snap, whether singly or in custom combinations. This workshop, led by the Animation Utility's author, will introduce you to the core concepts and interfaces of this powerful component and its core classes.

YUI Hands-on Session: Event Utility

Adam Moore, author of the YUI Event, Drag & Drop, Slider, & TreeView components

Adam MooreEvent-driven programming in the browser requires, at the most basic level, a tool that normalizes eccentric cross-browser behaviors and helps to mitigate patterns that lead to memory leaks in some mainstream browsers. The YUI Event Utility is a rich toolkit for creating and managing DOM event listeners, refining event-handler access to event-object properties and methods, and for creating "custom events" that publish interesting moments in your own applications to subscribers throughout the page context. Adam Moore, the Event Utility's author, will use this workshop time to work through some common use cases for the Event Utility's core elements.

Yahoo! Developer Day Keynote

Bradley Horowitz, Yahoo! Head of Product Strategy

Bradley HorowitzIn our only plenary session of the day, Yahoo!'s Product Strategy chief Bradley Horowitz will discuss the ecosystem created by the diverse family of Yahoo web services. Stay tuned for a future blog post for more on Bradley's talk.

The Flickr API

Cal Henderson, Flickr Engineering Manager

Cal HendersonFlickr became an icon of the new breed of web applications for many reasons, but one significant element of Flickr's success was its API. Flickr welcomed developers into the fold and made it possible to harness the beauty and power of the collective photostream in diverse applications. Cal Henderson of Flickr will introduce you to the Flickr API and to many of the uniquely compelling opportunities it creates.

Web 2.0: Getting It Right the Second Time Around

Matt Sweeney, Author of the YUI Animation Utility and Dom Collection

Matt SweeneyIn the past, HTML was pushed to do things that it was not originally designed to do. Now that CSS and JS have evolved to the point that they can be cleanly seperated from the markup layer, HTML can return to simply describing the document's content, letting CSS and JS control presentation and behavior. This allows the content to be self-sufficient; any HTML user agent can interpret the content if marked up correctly. This means that the same content can be presented in many different styles, with many different behaviors. When done correctly, this enables 100% access and simplifies testing and maintenance. When done incorrectly, users are blocked from accessing content, testing takes much longer, and maintenance time increases. This talk will focus on strategies for architecting HTML/CSS/JS systems to take full advantage of the power of each layer.

YUI Hands-on Session: The Menu Control

Todd Kloots, author of the YUI Menu Control

Todd KlootsMenus are often the core navigation for a web site or application. As such they should be easy to use and accessible to all users regardless of how they choose to navigate: via their keyboard, mouse or with the help of a screen reader. The YUI Menu controls were designed with these goals in mind and make it easy to create application-style fly-out menus, customizable context menus, or navigation-style menu bars with (or without) existing markup and just a small amount of scripting. In this one-hour class, Todd Kloots, author of the YUI Menu family of controls, will cover the basics of the YUI Menu API and present several design patterns for developing navigation centered around accessibility and Progressive Enhancement.

Mash-Up Fundamentals: Build a Proxy-Free Search Application In Under An Hour

Kent Brewster, Technical Evangelist, Yahoo! Developer Network

Kent BrewsterEver wonder how those sweet little instant-search boxes work? Here's your chance to find out! In just under an hour, you'll create, test, and run your very own search application, powered by Yahoo!'s open Search APIs. (And if you're not careful, you may learn something useful about structured HTML, CSS, and object-oriented programming.)

Things to Bring: a laptop, a text editor, a Web browser, and a connection to the Internet.

Things to Check Out Before You Arrive: the Search section on the Yahoo! Developer Network, and SpiffY!Search, one working example of this sort of thing.

Exceptional Performance

Steve Souders and Tenni Theurer, Yahoo! Exceptional Performance

Steve Souders and Tenni TheurerHow do you build a lightning fast hack? Come meet the people responsible for providing a center of expertise to improve performance across all Yahoo! products worldwide. How much of the end user's time is spent requesting the HTML document? What percentage of users have an empty cache on Yahoo! Front Page? What should you keep in mind to ensure your hack is optimized for performance? Find out the answers to these questions and more at this session.

Getting Rich with PHP 5

Rasmus Lerdorf, Yahoo! platform architect and PHP creator

Rasmus LerdorfPHP has become amazingly popular due to its simple pragmatic approach to solving the web problem. As the web evolves and users demand even more dynamic web applications, the need for PHP keeps growing. People want richer web applications, they want AJAX, JSON and client-side magic to turn what used to be a series of linked pages into something resembling a desktop application.

In this talk Rasmus will cover the basic building blocks PHP 5 provides for building the backend of a rich web application and how to interact with client-side Javascript libraries and a variety of web services. There will be a heavy focus on performance with benchmarks and tips along the way.

YUI Hands-on Session: The Panel & Dialog Controls

Steven Peterson, author of the YUI Container and Calendar components

Steven PetersonThe age of pop-up blockers has, for many developers, meant the death of dialoging or messaging in context, requiring separate pages for gathering or displaying even the simple information. In-page panels and dialogs, built within the DOM, provide an alternative to pop-ups and can reopen the possiblity of contextual windows that either add information to the interface or gather additional information from the user. Two YUI components, Panel and Dialog (part of the Container family of controls), are dedicated to helping you address these implementation cases. In this workshop, Container author Steven Peterson will guide you through the fundamentals of creating, configuring and managing your Panels and Dialogs.

Write a Yahoo! Messenger Plug-in Today

Xavier Legros of Yahoo!'s Messenger team

Xavier LegrosGot some HTML and JS skills? Got Flash and maybe some COM/Win32? Want to write a collaborative piece of software that integrates with Messenger? Then you’ll want to attend this class and learn some quick tricks to get you started writing Messenger Plug-ins. The coolest plug-ins will have the opportunity to be hosted on Yahoo! so you can share your creation with some 66+ million users!

ZoneTag and

Jeannie Yang of ZoneTag and Gordon Luk, co-founder of

Jeannie Yang and Gordon LukZoneTag: Hack with Mobile Photo Capture — Simply by Writing a Web Service! ZoneTag uploads your cameraphone photos to Flickr, tags your cameraphone photos with location tags and suggests likely tags for your photos, making it easy to add tags from your phone and even easier for you to find the photos later. For Hack Day, ZoneTag is opening its Action Tags framework so that you can hack up a web service, hook it up to an Action Tag and in a matter of minutes create a mobile cameraphone hack without having to do any painful mobile programming. The best ZoneTag/Action Tags hack gets a Bluetooth GPS device. Jeannie Yang of the ZoneTag team will give you an introduction to ZoneTag and show you how to hook up your hack to the ZoneTag Action Tags framework to create your own cameraphone photo application. Using the Events API, hackers can rapidly add custom events capabilities to their projects with a minimum of fuss. Working with events can be a complicated topic, so Gordon Luk, co-founder of, will show a general approach and explain the fine points of events hack design.

The New Hacker's Toolkit: Ten Things You Need to Know to Be Ready to Hack in the Ecosystem

Iain Lamb, Yahoo! DHTML/AJAX evangelism team, former Oddpost engineer

LambThe past five years have seen the emergence of significant new trends in what it means to "hack" in a networked world. Paul Rademacher's brilliant HousingMaps project broke new ground, reverse-engineering the Google Maps API and marrying it to Craigslist real estate listings, with a result so fundamentally useful that it transcended even the substantial virtues of the services on which it was built. It was a great moment for hackers, who had been mashing things up for decades; and the subsequent storm of mashups has brought the hacker back to center of the software-development fold.

In this new world of ecosystem-based hacking, however, a world of new skills and techniques is required. Iain Lamb, one of the original developers of Oddpost and now a member of Yahoo!'s elite DHTML/AJAX evangelism team, provides in this talk a guide to the new hacking landscape, including a top-ten list of literacies and techniques that we need to master to be full participants in hacking's ecosystem age.

YUI Hands-on Session: The Connection Manager (AJAX)

Thomas S. Sha, author of the YUI Connection Manager

Thomas S. ShaFrom Oddpost to Google Maps, some of the most important milestones in web development over the past five years have shared a common ingredient: The use of in-page HTTP requests to create "persistent interfaces" that endure while the user interacts with, adds, and enhances data. Driven by non-standard XMLHttpRequest interface pioneered by Microsoft, these kinds of applications are now supported by all major browsers. The YUI Connection Manager is designed to help you take advantage of the power of asynchronous, in-page HTTP requests while insulating your application from some of the browser eccentricities that can arise when interacting directly with the various browser implementations. In this one-hour workshop, YUI team director and Connection Manager author Thomas S. Sha will give you a brief introduction to the Connection Manager and is use.

Using Yahoo! APIs in Flash

Allen Rabinovich of Yahoo!'s Flash platform team and Chuck Freedman of Yahoo! Maps

Allen Rabinovich and Chuck FreedmanIn this workshop, two of Yahoo!'s premier Flash developers will guide you through three sample Flash applications that utilize the Yahoo APIs. The three sample applications will include a Flash-based Yahoo Maps client (simplified), a Flickr Photo Viewer, and an Event Viewer. For each of the applications, we'll describe in detail what tools the you'll need in order to leverage the Yahoo APIs; we'll also explore how the API functionality integrates into the Flash environment. Note: The applications explored in this workshop will be written in ActionScript 2; some familiarity with the Flash technology and the language will be required.

Obviously, there's a lot in store for those of you who are planning to drop by for the Developer Day talks during the day on Friday (note: you can request an invitation for that part of the event only if you know you won't be able to stay on into the weekend). The speaker includes talks by some of Yahoo!s most accomplished engineers and the sessions cover a wide range of APIs and other hack-related topics. YUI small-group, hands-on sessions fill one room and spill into a second, and our Matt Sweeney is giving one of the featured talks (now scheduled for 2:30 p.m.). See you Friday...