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A Desktop Application Developer's Conference?

Posted by javaben on April 24, 2006 at 9:01 PM PDT

(cross-posted on Married... with children)

I've already talked about the Ajax conference that we over at Ajaxian.com are producing (May 10-12 in San Francisco; won't you join us?). As I contemplate the great fun that we'll have at that event, I've started thinking of my other love: desktop application development.

I spend the vast majority of my time developing Swing applications. I am more interested in desktop app development than pretty much any other programming discipline. As I work with other desktop application developers, I'm seeing a lot of gaps in our collective knowledge. Too many of us really don't understand good UI design principles. Often, we haven't taken the time to check out what our (WinForms, Cocoa, SWT, etc.) neighbors are up to. And, of course, wouldn't it be nice to learn more from others about how to use our toolkit of choice more effectively?

Do you think it would be a good idea to hold a 1-2 day Desktop Application Development conference? I'm thinking such an event should have at least a 50% focus on user interface design issues (i.e., interaction design) with the other bit being about how to get the bits to actually do the interaction. I'm also wondering if it wouldn't be a good idea to invite all desktop application development disciplines to speak and attend. I for one would be fascinated to hear talks from various foreign GUI toolkits about how their stuff works and what they're up to.

Should it be a small, boutique, no-frills conference focused on intermediate/experts, or a larger, more general-interesting conference with a lot of introductory-level material? Should it have a Java-only focus, or is inviting the entire community interesting to you?

What do y'all think? Would holding such an event in the fall or winter of this year / early next year be a good idea?

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