I woke up on time on Friday morning, the last day. I’ve got to get ready, pack up, and check out. My wife is Iming me over Skype with some technical support questions. She’s wanting to black out sensitive information in a contract before sending it to a client. She had loaded the PDF contract into The GIMP and she was blacking out her sensitive sections. Who knew you could load a PDF into The GIMP?!? Not me. Anyway, she was trying to save it back out as a PDF document but it wouldn’t let her of course, so I told her to save it as GIF and it should work.
I’ve got to try editing a PDF in The GIMP sometime and see if it actually works. Who would have thunk it?!? My wife, that’s who. 🙂
I wanted to get downstairs early. During the breakfast period, there was going to be the first meeting of the Association of REALbasic Professionals (ARBP) and I wanted to see what’s up with that. Bob Keeney was presiding over the meeting and I think he set the right tone. I wouldn’t have been interested in any group thats purpose was in beating up REALsoftware, Inc. I truly believe that the founders of the group believe the purpose of the group is to increase the visibility of RB, and to work with RS. That I can get behind. I’ll keep an eye on the group and see what comes of it. If the atmosphere of the ARBP continues to be upbeat, friendly, and appears to be effective, I’d have very little hesitation to join the group. And yes, that means ponying up some cash.
The first presentation is one that I’m very interested in, especially since I missed the keynote presentation. â€œWeb Development with Yumaâ€ by Joe Strout and Brad Weber were up first. Yuma is a web framework that can work locally during development, and works with Apache in a more production environment via FastCGI. It looks impressive. Basically it is like PHP or ASP classic, where you can embed RB code in with the HTML of a page and the RB code gets evaluated and results presented back to the requestor. The developer edition is free, and the enterprise edition will cost $149. One hesitation that I have, is a hesitation that I’ve had with RB itself. To get it to work on a typical hosting account (GoDaddy, Lunarpages, etc.) you would need to go to a VM server level account to get the libstdc++.so.6 library. Most hosting accounts are behind the ball on this library. My hope is that the Yuma team will get a listing of RB friendly hosting accounts. This is a business opportunity for someone! The Yuma team is hiring. Even though I’m a RB newbie, perhaps I should drop them a line and see what will happen. The only thing that would hurt is my pride! 😉
Second for the day was the â€œRBScript for Fun, Profit and Modular Applicationsâ€ presentation by Andy Dent. I must say that I wished this presentation contained more example execution of script examples. It was primarily based on slides. Andy is a sharp guy, no doubt and knows his stuff.
Next up was â€œExpanding REALbasic via 3RD Party Developersâ€ by Christian Miller. While this one was also a slide based presentation, it was a very effective presentation. I’m not that familiar with the commercial plugins available for RB and it was very compelling to see the wealth of products available. I’m one of the cheapest guys in the world, and I’m sold that I need to purchase some of these products and I’ll be able to crank out some work that will make me look really good!
Lunch! Sandwiches. 🙁 Lunch was made good by the great company. Before I knew it, it was time to get back to the sessions.
First up after lunch was Nathan Regener. Nathan is relatively new to RS and is their build engineer. His presentation on â€œBuild Engineeringâ€ was very interesting. I’ve never worked in a business environment that required a build engineer. Nathan showed the process they use for â€œContinuous integrationâ€ that is automated on check-in. On check-in of any files, a build process is kicked off and feedback is provided to the providers within minutes on whether builds are broken. This continuous feedback just has to be very effective in keeping the RS process humming along. If you find out within a half of an hour of checking in a file that something is broken, the changes are fresh in your brain and you can get back out there and make the fixes necessary … or roll back. Very interesting insight into the process. I’m hoping that Nathans efforts will help RS increase quality, but almost more importantly, keep RS effective at what they do best.
There were several slots left open at the end of the conference for repeat sessions. I ended up seeing a brand new presentation on â€œSearch Engine Optimizationâ€ by RageSW. Very cool. I’ve studies a lot of SEO techniques but if you don’t â€œLive itâ€, you aren’t as effective as you should be. The presentation was very helpful to me and I see I can make some changes to my web site (and my clients too!) to help them with their rankings. Unfortunately, the RageSW tools they sell, are Mac only at this point. They may add Winblows versons, but I don’t think Linux apps are in their roadmap yet. I’ve got to check out their http://ragesw.com/seoguide though.
My time at REAL World is drawing to a close really quick. Too soon. REAL Software was holding a feedback session, supervised by Geoff Perlman and Dana Mason. I suggested that they lengthen the sessions to 1 hour 15 minutes, and have a 15 minute break between the sessions. This is the format that FoxForward held and it seemed to work out well, allowing the presenters to get more into the code.
I had to bug out, and get my bag from the concierge. My REAL World 2008 had come to a close. I’ll write up my closing thoughts of RW08 in another post.