Training Day Video Online

We held a full day of training the day before the Xojo Developer Conference (where we couldn’t use the term Xojo yet) on April 23rd.  We had over a dozen people at the training day where we discussed what we knew about databases.  We did that for most of the day and then spent the rest of the day going over 3rd party plugins, controls, libraries, and utilities to help you get your Real Studio/Xojo apps going.

We recorded all of it and have rendered it all (except a 30 minute portion where the mic wasn’t on) and made it available for our Real Studio/Xojo subscribers (as well as attendees who got a year subscription for attending).  It is now available online at http://www.bkeeney.com/RealStudioTraining/realstudiotraining.cgi

Because it’s Friday and I don’t feel like doing any real work, I decided to pull some stats about our Real Studio training app:

It was originally written in a fairly popular web CMS framework.  It was re-written using Real Studio Web Edition (because we could) and went live in late 2011.

We have 39 hours 44 minutes of Real Studio training video available.  A little over 6 hours of it is available to non-subscribers.

We have served up over 4,800 hours of streaming video since we began tracking it.

We have a little under 1000 registered users on the web app with about 100 current subscribers.

Web Edition has been interesting.  The training area has been our test bed of new for new versions of Real Studio Web Edition and now for Xojo.  It continues to grow as Web Edition gets better.

Browser stats actually surprised me a bit.  FireFox is stronger than I anticipated and Chrome is much higher than I expected.

Likewise, platform usage surprised me a bit with Windows users at 41 percent.  I know very few Windows-only Real Studio/Xojo users so perhaps this just indicates that I travel with a Mac-centric crowd or a lot of Windows users are looking at Real Studio/Xojo and need some additional help.  When I get a chance I’ll have to see if I can figure out the stats of subscribers vs. non-subscribers.

Browser Usage

 

Platform

 

The New Xojo Framework

Xojo, Inc. has talked a lot at XDC (Xojo Developers Conference) about their new upcoming framework.  The reasons for a new framework are many and valid.  Among them are consistency, a need to serve desktop, web, and soon to be iOS applications, and to remove archaic methods.

This sounds kind of scary because most of us have been using the existing framework for many years.  But in reality I don’t think this is a bad thing.  How many times have you been bitten by framework calls that are one-based rather than zero-based to name just a few.  The new framework promises to make everything consistent across the entire Xojo universe.  All arrays/lists will be zero-based and methods are more explicit in their naming.

Furthermore, UI controls will become portable between desktop, web, and iOS.  In the current framework a desktop button is not portable to web button and visa versa.  While this isn’t too horrible, it makes life a bit more difficult as you have to create new instances and then copy the code from the events from one to the other.  The new framework means that a button is a button is a button regardless of platform.  There will be SOME differences as there are some platform specific controls (iOS has views, splits, tab bar, etc) that have no equivalent on the other platforms.

The Xojo framework has several main modules:  Core, UI, iOS, String, Color, Number, Math, Media and a few others.  They’ve also added a number of common interface elements that I suspect will become a very big part of the framework.  The Core framework has common items like Dictionary, Point, Rect that will be used by other parts of the framework.  In today’s framework you would create a Dictionary object like:

dim d as new Dictionary

In Xojo it would become:

dim d as new xojo.core.dictionary

Not a huge difference but enough that I’m sure will tick some people off.  But what this gives you are new methods that are unique to the Xojo framework that are very useful like ValueOfKey and RemoveByKey.  Not that those do anything different than Value and Remove in the existing framework but they are more explicit in their use.

Strings are another change in that strings now are zero-based to become consistent across the entire Xojo universe.  But otherwise most functions are part of the Xojo.String module.  All the usual suspects are there but new functions that are more explicit are also available.

The new framework is a requirement for iOS.  When it ships it will NOT be able to use the old framework.  Shortly after the iOS release it will be released for Web and then shortly after that for desktop.

The good news is that the old framework and the new framework can be used simultaneously (exception iOS) for years to come so it probably won’t mean much to anyone for a while.  When I asked Xojo, Inc. when they’ll drop the legacy framework they really had no answer.  I suspect like many deprecated things from Real Studio it will take a while.  So there’s no need for panic.

The new framework should make life easier for all of us in the long run.  It’s not going to be a quick transition and we won’t be forced to use it.  I’m okay with it because I’m sure there will be a bunch of other things to worry about more.  Welcome to the future.

Last Day for Regular Pricing for Real World

Real World is just 5 weeks away in Orlando, Florida!  Real World is one of my favorite events.  You will find no greater concentration of Real Studio developers than Real World.  This will be my fifth Real World and in every one of them I’ve met Real Studio developers that have remained as friends.

You can find out more information and register for Real World here:  http://www.realsoftware.com/community/realworld.php

The Tuesday before Real World we will be holding a training day.  We will be talking about databases in the morning and after lunch we’ll be talking about the little things that can help you polish your Real Studio applications.  You can find out more about our training day here:  http://www.bkeeney.com/real-studio-training-2013/

The regular pricing ends today for both Real World and our training day.  Sign up now because I’d love to see you in Orlando.

Real Studio Training Day Early Bird Pricing Ends Soon

Training Day Banner 2

Real World is the best place to catch up on the latest things related to Real Studio.  It’s also the place to find a higher concentration of Real Studio developers than anywhere else on the planet!  I love going and talking to everyone.  More information about Real World at http://www.realsoftware.com/community/realworld.php

We are holding a training day on the day before Real World starts (registration and a meet and greet are that night).  You can find out more information on our training day at http://www.bkeeney.com/realbasic-training-section/training-2013  Our entire staff will be there to help answer your questions on databases and on finding those things to help you polish your Real Studio applications.

January 5th is the last day to get the early bird pricing for both Real World and our training day.

Hope to see you there!

Real World 2012

Real World is back and I am very excited.  It’s been quite a while since Real Software has put on a Real World and instead of being in Austin, Texas it’s in Orlando, Florida and the hotel is on the Disney property.  I expect to see a lot more families attending this year than in the past.

I’ve been to four Real Worlds and while I like Austin the conference tends to focus on the hotel and the immediate surrounding area.  This isn’t so bad but from a “new and exciting” standpoint there’s only so much you can see in the immediate Austin downtown area.  Orlando is definitely a destination city with plenty of things to do for the family, though us geeks (you’ll notice us by the pasty white skin tones) will be shunning the output of our local celestial star.  So not that we’ll see a lot outside of the hotel at least it will be different.

I am looking forward to this Real World for many reasons.  For the first time in several years I’m not the organizer of a Real Studio event!  Yay!  You have no idea how much work goes into an event – even those as simple as the ARBP events of the past couple of years.  I’m a coder not an event planner so I’m looking forward to JUST doing a couple of presentations.

I’ll pick up some new information and techniques in the sessions but I’ll learn the most by talking with other developers.  Talking about our shared experiences (both successes and failures) is rewarding and fruitful.  As with previous Real Worlds we’ll reacquaint ourselves with friends, colleagues, competitors, and future clients.  We have several current clients that we met originally at Real World so it pays to talk to as many people as you can!  You will never find a higher concentration of Real Studio developers at one time on the planet.

I’m leading a session on Real Studio consulting.  I guess I have a few things to say about doing this for a decade.  Seth and I are doing a session on Group Development using Real Studio.  Seth is doing a solo session on extending Web Edition with 3rd party services.   The agenda was just recently posted at http://www.realsoftware.com/community/agenda.php.

I discovered today that the kickoff session is by author Ken Whitaker who is an Agile Project Management expert and I’m so looking forward to it.  If you have not used Agile in a project I’d highly recommend attending.  We’ve used Agile on a big Fortune 100 prototype project and it was an amazing experience (due mostly to the Scrum Master leading the project).  I’m looking forward to his message and how we can improve our project management skills.

Most of us are familiar with the typical waterfall project where the client gives their requirements, we go code it and after several months of hard work we give them a build.  How often has your client said, “But that’s not what I wanted!” and you have to respond, “But that’s what you asked for!”?  Agile project management breaks it down into smaller chunks and is directed by the project owner.  In the long run the coders and the project owners are happier (I believe).  I’ll be curious on how Ken spins that for smaller development teams that are typical with Real Studio.

I’m sure Real Software will be talking, A LOT, about the new IDE, Cocoa, and many other things.  Having access to the Real Software engineers is a rewarding experience and buying a few drinks for them doesn’t hurt either.  😉

I’m sure there are still slots available.  I’d love to see you there.  More information can be found at http://www.realsoftware.com/community/realworld.php

Are you attending Real World?  If not, how come?  If so, please make sure you find me and say hi!

Real World 2012

Real Software announced today the dates and location for the 2012 Real World event.  It will be held in Orlando Florida May 24-25.  I think it’s great news that the Real Software is bringing back Real World.  I’ve always enjoyed them and I highly recommend going to one if you’ve never been to one before.

Thoughts in no particular order:

  • I’m glad it’s not in Austin, TX again.  I like Austin, but there’s not much draw to come back year after year.  Orlando, FL is an obvious, “let’s take the family” location and should be a draw.  How much of a draw remains to be seen.
  • The early bird discount is $500 and then increases to $600 and finally to $700 for last minute bookings.  The pricing seems a little hefty, but then this is at a premier hotel rather than a hotel out by the airport.  It’s nice that early booking gets you a 30% discount coupon in the Real Studio Store.
  • Orlando has a ton of stuff to do:  Disney World, Epcot Center, Seaworld, Harry Potter World, Universal Studios, Kennedy Space Center (a short drive),  and much, much more.  The drawback is that none of it is cheap so be prepared to drop some cash to do those things.  But, as they say, this is a destination location so you come knowing that it’s going to cost you.
  • Does the location make that big of a difference?  It depends.  The two ARBP conferences were in non-destination locations which meant very few brought their families and that meant we were all happy with minimal accommodations.  We were all just happy to be in a room talking about Real Studio.
  • The May 24-25 dates are the Thursday and Friday before Memorial Day weekend which is the start of the summer holiday season in the United States.  Will people be willing to take their summer vacation early?  I don’t know.
  • Perhaps one of the bigger issues is what to do with the kids.  For many school districts school is still in session.  For my son his last day of sixth grade will be May 25.  The timing already limits its appeal for me and my family.
  • It’s cute they used one of my old quotes on their announcement page.  It’s from one of the previous Real Worlds.
  • No word yet, obviously, on speakers or tracks.  It’s many months away yet and I would suspect Real Software will announce a call for speakers.

I love the Real World events and normally I’d say it’s a no brainer but the timing is awful for my family.  What do you think of the announcement?  Does having it in a destination city appeal to you or not?  Would you bring the family?

REAL Studio Summit 2011

The official press release will go out soon and will go through the official REAL Software distribution channel but I couldn’t contain my excitement any longer.  It’s almost (but not quite) as exciting as announcing to your friends and family that you’re going to have a baby.

Mark your calendars and start making plans to attend the REAL Studio Summit 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  The event takes place on March 19th and 20th, 2011 and is sponsored by the Association of REALbasic Professionals and REAL Software!

We are very pleased that REAL Software is participating.  They will be sending a couple of people and will most likely present a couple of sessions.

Speaking of sessions, the call for speakers will go out soon as well and with the advanced notice I think we’ll get some really great speakers on a variety of topics.  We will be targeting some people in the RB community based on their contributions on the RB Forums and NUG list and we hope to get some commitments soon.

I was always a big fan of the old REAL World events – not because of the sessions (though those were important) but because of the relationships you developed (no pun intended) with other REALbasic developers.  Let’s face it, many of us don’t know another REALbasic developer that lives near us.  I feel lucky that I found six in Kansas City and when I get together with them there’s a kinship that’s hard to explain.  I’m energized about the platform and I get inspiration from them when they tell me what they do with REAL Studio.  To me, that’s what the REAL Studio Summit is all about.

The official conference page is at http://www.arbpmembers.org/real-studio-summit-2011 and the Call for Speakers page is at http://www.arbpmembers.org/real-studio-summit-2011/call-for-speakers.

It’s not too soon to think about 2012.  Pacific Northwest? MidWest?  Europe?  If you have a local group of RB users you might want to start thinking about it and contact me if you’re interested in being the contact team.

REAL World Regional Events Canceled

This just in from an official email from REAL Software:

We are sorry to inform you that the REAL World Regional Events have been cancelled.  Though we had a lot of initial interest, we found that a number of people who intended to come are not able to due to schedule conflicts and other reasons.  While we are selling more licenses this year than last and the REALbasic community is growing, we have concluded that the reality is people are still watching their expenses more closely due to the economy.

Wow.  I’m not even sure what to say about this.  I was supposed to speak at the REAL World Chicago event.  I’m so glad I was procrastinating in figuring out travel plans.

From an ARBP standpoint I’m very ticked off because people canceled their reservations to the RB Colorado Summit because they were going to the regional events.  This took the wind out of the ARBP conference and cost us attendees.  I know this because more than a few attendees pulled out just after RS’ announcement.

What are your thoughts on this?  Why do you think they canceled the events?  Was it because of the lineup?  Was it not technical enough?  Was it the cost?  The economy?  What does this say about their commitment to the RB community?

Colorado Summit Recap

The REALbasic Colorado Summit was a success!  I think we all had a good time and learned some things about REALbasic.  I attended and enjoyed all of the sessions and hopefully everyone else did too.

I did two sessions.  The first was on the Reporting Tools available for REALbasic.  Did you know that in 18 months there’s been an explosion of options?  Where there was only one commercial option now there are several (including the new RS reporting tool).  There are also some interesting (and usable) open source alternatives available. It was also the first session.  No pressure there.  🙂

My second session on Saturday was a filler (or emergency) session due to a speaker cancellation and I talked about the results of the 2009 ARBP consultants survey (I’ll eventually turn it into a blog post).  I unfortunately was not as prepared for it as I would have liked but it was meant to spark discussions in the room, which it did.

The offices of Inspiring Apps was a great location in downtown Boulder.  It’s an interesting area and I highly recommend visiting.  After the conference ended on Saturday some of us car pooled up to Estes National Park and, along with several thousand people, watched some Elk (I guess it was mating season).  The park was beautiful and the scenery was breathtaking.

The attendees were awesome as always.  We had a nice mix of people and had a few ‘newbies’ in the crowd and they asked some great questions.  The award for the longest flight was from Australia though Germany was a close second.  Otherwise there was a nice mix of people from across North America.

As with Real World, I’ve come back energized with some new ideas.  Isn’t that the point of going to a conference?  Learn a few things?  Ask questions?  Come back refreshed?

I’ll post more later after I catch up on work!

Interesting Tidbit on Where REALbasic Consultants Found Work

I’m analyzing the results of the latest ARBP survey (about REALbasic consultants) and I came across an interesting answer considering that the Colorado Summit is coming up next week.  In one question we asked how REALbasic consultants found work.  We had a set of canned answers with the option to add your own.  Several RB consultants  said in the ‘other’ response that they picked up work at Real World.  Of course the numbers are pretty low, but the fact that people went out of their way on the survey to include it speaks volumes.

This answer isn’t surprising, really, since the last couple of Real World events had companies trolling for RB developers.  To me, this has always been one of the best reasons to go to Real World.  I know I turned down work at Real World 2008 because I was already 100% committed to a project already.  Hopefully there will be a few at The Summit as well to make it profitable as well.  😮

There are still some slots available for the conference if you’re interested in going.  Hope to see you in Boulder!