Thanks to the folks at The View and Lotus User Group. members of the New England Notes Domino SIG were given a day pass to attend some portions of Admin 2006, including the vendor showcase reception. The View does a great job with that, by the way. I stopped in for a couple of hours to say hello to friends and to check out the vendor showcase. This is my first conference wearing an HP badge -- and in fact, it's my first conference ever wearing any badge besides RHS Consulting. It felt different.
It was particularly interesting to observe that most of the vendors with products that compete with my HP product were perfectly willing to talk to me -- and I did clearly identify myself, my company, and my product before starting any conversation. I'm sure, of course, that they told me nothing that they wouldn't tell a customer... nothing that I couldn't find out with some web research about their products. And there was one vendor -- I won't mention who -- that very obviously was uncomfortable having a competitor at their booth, so I ended the conversation and excused myself quickly in that one case.
After that, I drove out to Waltham to the regular monthly meeting of the SIG, where I was scheduled to deliver a talk on AJAX. I was surprised that with bad weather, a Red Sox - Yankee game, American Idol, and Admin 2006 all going on that night, there was still a decent turnout.
Here's a graphic I used in the presentation:
The point I'm hopefully getting across is that until browsers came along, there was a consistent trend in the industry toward richer user interfaces and less centralization of applicaiton code. AJAX provides tools that gain back a lot of the richness of UI, without sacrificing the application management advantages that browsers have brought.