The Super Naturals

Supernatural is a great piece of telly. It’s got two great lead actors. They’re not particularly wide ranging, but that’s not the story. They are their characters. It’s got a nice big black car with a deep thrumming engine. Awesome. And it’s got magic. Not just what makes up the story, the spirits and demons and such .. but it’s got something.

Jared P (adaleki?) is gonna be big. Last night I was catching up on some Supernatural, and the thought appeared. He’s gonna  be big. I can’t back that up with any substantial proof. But there you go. I’m putting it down here on paper, or something similar :).

Soft Velocity Gets Busy!

Wow, the guys at Soft Velocity have motored up their blogging engines. Three more blogs in the last couple of days.

Clarion and MSBuild looks at how they have integrated MSBuild into Clarion 7.

Window Designer Video is, as the title suggests, a video showing the use of the Window Designer in Clarion 7.

And Bob Foreman gives us a look at the C7 Database Browser.

This is .. content. Very cool. It seems to be marking the opening of communication channels. And it’s great to see. Thankyou SV folk!

Diet Sidius

I think Diet Coke might just be the liquier (not sure there’s any word spelt this way) of the sith lords. It’s now had a reversing effect on me. Instead of keeping me awake, the first caffiene + nutrasweet (or whatever) of the day sends me to la la land, ready for sleep. Struggling to stay awake. The forces of sleep are marshalled and ready.

Hmm. I think i must seek balance in the force. A little less caffienation, a little more waternation.

Something like that.

New Blog From Bob Z

There’s a new post up from Bob, Five Designers For 4 Platforms.

It gives you a straight up view of the designers. Windows, Reports, WinForms, Compact Forms, and Web Forms.

They are pretty similar, which is what the team has strived for from very early in the piece (as Bob says). You will find that they all work in a similar manner. That means learn one to learn them all.

It’s good to see screenshots of Clarion 7. What this means for release dates and such I have no idea. I’m sure some people will complain that Bob has just posted fluff. It might be fluff, but most people want to see a bit of fluff. It is the communication that is so often asked for.

Here we have screenshots, we have the CEO (or whatever title Bob holds) talking directly to us. He’s giving us a bangup look at what we’ll be working in, what newbies will wander around in when they get their first play with the new clarion. And that is good.

A Super Heroes Guide To Development – 7. The Magic Ingredient

7. The Magic Ingredient

So, to wrap it up .. before I make my final point .. the Super Heroes Guide To Development is about what?

1. Having an Origin Story.

2. Knowing your Proton Energy Pills, and knowing your Kryptonite.

3. Being (and/or Building) a Leage of Extraordinary Super Heroes

4. It’s about creating your own Catchphrase ..
5. Wearing your Undies on the outside,

6. And activating your Spider Sense!

How do we achieve these things?

We need courage. Conviction. Imagination. Excitement. Passion .. and we need the secret ingredient.

A little splash of Crazy.

I’d like to sing you my last point .. the magic ingredient .. a little bit of crazy ..

This is .. A Clarion Love Song

A Super Heroes Guide To Development – 6. Spider-Sense


6. Spider-Sense

Can anyone tell me what Spider Sense is?

(It’s one of Peter Parker’s more awesome abilities .. to sense danger in a limited capacity .. and which they totally botched in the latest movie .. ahem, anyway)

Support has usually boiled down to methods of communication where the Client contacts us. They have a problem, they then initiate dialogue.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if somehow we could be there before they even think of the problem? Be able to dodge away from Gobby’s crazy blade dealies just before they sliced you to ribbons.

Simply put, we need to create the illusion that our product (or us) is ready and waiting. More, that we are asking the right questions before they need answering.

Put them in your app, somewhere easily visible, but not confronting.

Remember, this is above and beyond having a kicking support website, having instant chat through the browser running. It goes beyond answering those fifty emails a day.

This is more.

I’ve got a great (and stolen) example of how to achieve this.

When the user starts up your application, present them with a page (a webpage most like) of information. It could be a bunch of news items. It could be a greeting. But in that page .. Ask the right question! Have the links for sending you a problem. To tell you how they like or dislike the application. Or however smart your psychology gets. But here, in a page like this, that the User views every time they start the program (and so becomes wrote in their memory) Ask them the right Question.

So skill up on your Spider Sense. Create that understanding in the memory of the User .. that you are there, anticipating their request for help, or their acknowledgement of your awesomeness.

A Super Heroes Guide To Development – 5. Spandex Tights


5. Spandex Tights

(heh heh) The Catchphrase for this point is …

Wear Your Undies On The Outside.

Who doesn’t like spandex? I mean, seriously, what’s not to like?

How we present ourselves, our companies, our products, is most definately important.

But we know this, it’s an obvious aspect of Development, hard to do .. but still, we know.

Today, you need to start thinking about wearing your undies on the outside. Just like the Super Heroes.

Now, if you’d like, you can actually start wearing y-fronts or boxers outside your pants. That’s up to you.

Better however, would be to take a page out of the undies-on-the-outside book.

When we are making ourselves presentable, think outside the box. Make something different about your appearance. Perhaps it’s a website that’s totally text. Or part of the site. Perhaps a blog given over to some unknown aspect of your area of expertise. It could be giving out interviews, but only speaking in klingon. Ha, i’d like to see that.

Take time here, and you will be rewarded.

I’d like to focus in on one of those examples particularly.

The Interview.

Being interviewed can be daunting. Time consuming. Scary. Annoying.

But I can guarantee you that interviews are an effective and powerful method of showing your undies on the outside.

Getting an interview isn’t that hard. But getting one that is effective might take a little more planning. I mean, you could send free copies of your templates to PimpMyClarion to get free press, but it’s readership of 3 means that probably wouldn’t be a smart idea. Wait. No. There’s at least 10 readers .. per week .. COME ON BRUCE, I WANT OFFICE INSIDE SO I CAN GET SEND TO!!!

Heh heh.

Ahem. Anyway.

There are two areas we can focus on. The Clarion Community, and the Outside World.

I think that in the next year, you should aim to be interviewed at least once in both of the spheres.

The Community is a cinch. There are at least two blogs that will interview you. Ha ha. You can organise between yourselves to podcast each other in an audio (or even video) interview. Or just exchange emails with a bunch of questions. I’ve done a couple of both of those types .. and they’re not easy, but very rewarding.

The Outside World, now that seems harder. But in reality, it should be a lot simpler. There are almost infinitely possibilities. Magazines, Websites, Blogs, Radio, Podcasts, TV, Books .. the list goes on.

You could invite magazines to review your product. Or blogs, websites .. something. Contact the IT departments of newspapers, magazines, websites and arrange for them to have a demonstration of your product. It might not work the first twenty times, but that next time will make all the difference.

If you have a product that is built on Clarion .. and you take up the challenge to Wear Your Undies On The Outside .. then get yourself interviewed at least twice over the next year. You will bring benefit both to yourself, and to the Clarion community. Which in turn benefits you .. it’s the wonderful cycle of .. community. Can i say that word again.