Web Standards Presentation at Tsukuba University, Japan

Last Wednesday, Opera held a Web Seminar at Tsukuba University in Japan. This is one of the best technical universities in Japan, and fittingly has the slogan Innovation for the Future. Design wise it has a really nice Japanese-style flower symbol for its logo. In the short time I’ve been in Japan I’ve noticed that Japan is very strong with symbolism, with many great examples on Shinto shrines throughout Tokyo.

From the developer relations team, Andreas and myself presented along with Keiki and Go from the Japanese marketing team. My presentation was in three main parts; the value of Web Standards, Open the Web and innovation in standards. Andreas followed my 40 minute talk with demos of many of the new features in Opera’s rendering engine, Opera Dragonfly and cross-device design. We did a live demo of using Opera Dragonfly to remote debug, including the new DOM editing functionality. We were also able to show off the new Nintendo DSi that we managed to beat the queues to get our hands on a couple of days before.

All in all we had around 30-40 students attend, many of who were aware of and used Opera. We received a lot of interesting questions at the end of the presentations, although being in Japanese I didn't understand many of them, unless they were directed at me, and Andreas acted as my interpreter. The level was quite high, as expected from a university of the reputation of Tsukuba, and included PHD students. It was my third presentation where I was being translated, after two at iCamp in Russia earlier this year. It takes a bit of the pressure off as the audience are mainly listening to the translator (I don't think my faux-Geordie accent is too understandable for a Japanese audience), but it is quite hard to get into the flow when stopping after each slide.

Afterwards we headed off for a blogging dinner, which included many of the who's who of the Japanese blogging circuit, including people from Sony, Adobe Dreamweaver, MS and Mozilla, to a guy that dresses up as a storm trooper (I kid you not) and has Anime characters on his business card. Disappointingly he wasn't dressed that way for this dinner.

Download Tsukuba slides: Open the Web, by David Storey. [PDF]