Andy Parker
Andy Parker
14th November 2014

Once again Duke of York Picture House in Brighton is host to FullFrontal and boy do we enjoy it. Every year there is something unexpected, at least one thing to play around with, plenty of give-aways, and most important of all - a host of people talking about what they’ve been creating and learning.

The day was kicked off by Scott Jenson including the first bit of schwag, everyone was given a Physical Web Beacon along with some examples of prototype ideas and concepts for how we can use this technology. It’s an open source project why not get involved?

Caolan McMahon gave me a third ‘first’ to consider with his live-coding of Lolbin , an Offline-first prototype which used a number of precompiled javascript libraries to enable storage and synchronisation of data. After recently speaking about designing for content-first and how this is an extension of the principle of mobile-first, I’m now a convert for the ideal behind offline-first and am starting to consider how we can incorporate this into a few projects lined up for the start of next year.

Hannah Wolfe provided insight on what she has learnt from working on Ghost, an Open Source, but kickstarted and funded CMS and how to manage open source communities.

I confess, Andy Wingo was my fear for the day. I had a hunch it was going to be past my comprehension. However, his amusing delivery and overall demeanour meant that I left for lunch feeling I knew exactly how to write a new module for any one of the current browsers; as if I will ever do that. It certainly made me thing about how we do have the ability if we wanted to, to dig into how these applications we are so reliant on work and how to get influencing in where they go.

Tobias Ahlin showed me all the things I’ve only just started to do with SaSS and told me they were wrong wrong wrong, but that wasn’t entirely true. Again, great presenter, not called Glen as it turns out and showed some very practical reasons on how to write SaSS and CSS in general.

Henrik Joreteg is the only speaker, I think, who has been welcomed to the stage with the caveat of “please do not lynch him”. I have to hold my hand up here and say I felt that some of his argument was just, however there were parts of that argument that were wishy washy and in part mis-representing complimentary schools of thought.

Soledad Penadés may be the most excitable person I have seen speak about sine-waves - and I studied acoustic science. Soledad has been working with Mozilla to define how Web Audio works and showed examples of how starting off on a journey to create an oscillator has resulted in being able to create an entire synth in javascript ready to go straight from a browser.

Ben Foxall closed with an array of ideas and things he had made. It’s the only way to wrap up a conference for me, show me crazy and cool shit and I’ll be yours forever, that and he was the only other person I saw supporting the shorts in winter plea. After a history lesson on the Jumbotron, Ben showed how he has been experimenting with connected devices to recreate the same principle. With everyone in the theatre connecting their phone to a single url, Ben was able to send commands to individual nodes in the network of devices he created meaning he was able to replicate an image across the aisles, play a few classic light changing games and to display 3-dimensional movement of colour waves. But that wasn’t what blew my mind, nor was it the use of AR codes to control an object on the main screen via his phone. The piece de resistance for me came in the form of 3-dimensional sound. With all the devices being pointed into the centre of the room Ben turned the Duke of York Cinema into a rainforest, leaves rustled in the corner, a wind blew through and carried with it some rain. cinemascope audio is incredibly hard to do, ask Soledad, so for this to have work with such effect was astounding.

Once again, Full Frontal left me feeling like I had some new knowledge to apply to future work. The key to its success as an event is that it has not fallen into the trap of expanding with demand. It is still in the fantastic surroundings of Duke of York Picture House, with seats that are far more comfortable than your a-typical lecture theatre, they keep the lights up all day - this is important. This year I have only made it to the end of a few events I have attended because I am a migraine sufferer and a day with giant glowing rectangle in a pitch black room means after a few hours I’m reaching for the sick bag and have to leave.

That’s something to note about your presentations - please start thinking about lumens.