On 29 & 30 October 2014, the yearly-ish Nooku Jam was held. The Moyo Web Architects team was there with a stronger presence than ever. As one of the organizers put it, we keep spawning. Five of us were there. Two of us did presentations and one of us tells his story.
For a regular participant of the Nooku Jam, the venue was familiar: the Flanders DC creativity lab in Leuven, Belgium. Conveniently located near the city center with its many restaurants and pubs, it is the ideal place to let the creativity (and coffee!) flow first and let the beer flow later.
The Jam itself was held along its traditional barcamp format. There was no preset agenda. Participants were encouraged to share their ideas and wishes on the Wall of Ideas™. A vote was cast for the favorite subjects and the ones with most votes were planned as a presentation.
The First Day
Day 1 had the customary talk about the roadmap and recent changes in the framework and platform by Johan Janssens. He also explained about the philosophy behind Nooku. It distinguishes itself from other frameworks by being not only a framework, but rather a complete architecture.
A good tradition was held up by house philosopher Herman Peeren. This time he talked about the DCI design pattern, which is not only relatively unknown, but hardly used in any PHP framework. Of course, Nooku does support it. Johan showed us.
Steven Rombauts did an interesting talk on Elastic Search, a Lucene-based multilingual full-text search engine. Robin Poort discussed gruntjs and how he used it to automate repetitive development-related tasks.
Special guest this year was Rastin Mehr, developer of the Anahita open source knowledge networking platform. He explained how his implementation was inspired by naturally occuring patterns, such as the migration of ants. His talk was quite impressive and he was awarded with the 'most interesting talk' award.
The Second Day
Tom Janssens and Robin Poort discussed the mobile first and progressive enhancement theorems. In order to support any platform and resolution, one should start from the smallest resolution and work up to the big desktop-sized resolutions. Also, one should start designing with only HTML and CSS in mind and enhance upon this basic design.
At the same time, our own Jasper van Rijbroek demonstrated one of his hobby projects: a framework written in Nodejs that follows the Nooku architecture. His talk was regarded one of the most interesting talks of the entire Jam.
Our developer Joep van der Heijden did a talk on emberjs and how he made it play nice with Nooku in the backend. He demonstrated it by showing off one of our projects, a frontend to a shared content repository.
Long time Nooku contributor and former colleague Dave Li gave a further explanation on a number of frameworks aimed at mobile development. It started as an introduction to the Ionic framework, but evolved into a comparison of several competitors. Phonegap was discussed, as well as Titanium.
Day two ended with the usual lightning talks on interesting apps (of which Peter Raeves will give an overview), a well-improvised talk by Herman Peeren on -amongst others- the first encyclopedia and a reminder of how some programming languages misbehave by Dave Li.
The Nooku Jam ended for me with a long motorcycle ride. In order to prevent being hypnotized by the dark roads, I mulled over everything I saw and heard. It was my first Jam as a non-developer, but I would not have liked to miss this Jam. The community is awesome! Their collective knowledge, drive and love of sharing is reason enough to go. However, what I saw in terms of interesting techniques made me second guess my decision to stop developing. To borrow one of the taglines from A Certain Other CMS (and a nod to Herman Peeren), I came for the community, but stayed for the code.
This is a guest post on the Nooku blog.