Chez Xavier

Home / Speaking at Codestrong


The immense city view on the top of Telegraph Hill, in San Francisco - View in the gallery

Logo of the CodeStrong conferenceAlmost two weeks ago, I have had the incredible pleasure to speak at Codestrong, the Official Appcelerator Titanium conference organized at San Francisco. I was talking about the need for a way to abstract the access to SQLite databases in JavaScript mobile applications built using Titanium, and presented joli.js, the lightweight still powerful ORM that I have published last year and that keeps growing and improving.

The conference

The overall conference was very well organized, in a luxurious place and with all the things a speaker or an attendee can expect from a great conference. There were about 15-20 talks in two days, and I have to say that most of them were of a very high level. I particularly enjoyed the talks of Rick Blalock, about "Controlling memory leaks", Jacob Waller about "Webifying Titanium Development" and the "Titanium Studio Deep Dive" driven by Ingo Muschenetz.

Well, it is a bit unfair to list my favorite talks, because a lot of other talks were great and would deserve a distinction. I just regret not to have been able to watch Kevin's "Write Better JavaScript" talk, but there will hopefully be a video edit soon on Codestrong's website.

I won't say much more about the event itself, except that I am really really happy to have been part of it. You can feel that there's a strong and good community behind Titanium, not only Appcelerator, and I have met a lot of interesting people. That was for sure the right way to have a first contact with the community :-)

Abstracting databases access in Titanium mobile applications

That was the topic of my conference, and it went really well. I had time enough in the plane to build a small demo application - the source code is available on GitHub - which shows how to use joli.js and a new library that I published during the conference, joli.api.js. joli.api.js allows to transparently synchronize a local database with REST-style web services, thus helping the developer to focus on the app features and not on the synchronization, which is a technical part of the application.

I like to underline it: I did not start to code the application before the plane took off. The demo address book was built in less than four hours (hey, I also add to develop the REST web service man, and symfony's sfDoctrineRestGeneratorPlugin was really helpful!). Someone fluent with Titanium can build value-added mobile applications in a few hour, while an Objective-C or Java developer would have required days.

Basically, joli.js is to Titanium what Doctrine is to Symfony: it is an Object Relational Mapper, a tool which binds "objects" called "records" to the lines in the database, and eases their manipulation. This is a very short explanation, the complete one is available in the slides:

(Some slides are messed up on Slideshare, so if you want to download the presentation, I have put a pdf version online). Sorry, no poneys inside!

Even if the trip was almost as short as a splash-and-dash, I found some time to visit some parts of San Francisco, walking (huh, hiking even!) the streets. That was really enjoying, impressive, large, intense, noisy sometimes, and contrasted! San Francisco seems to be a very nice place to live in, from the "beach in the city" at Fisherman's Wharf or at the Embarcadero, to the wonderful city views from Telegraph or Nob Hill. I have put some pictures of my trip, for the curious ones.