And For My Next Trick, San Francisco!

Keen Lookouts! Phew. We (the Beautiful One, Barbarian Kid Hordes, and me) returned last night from four days in the beautiful town of Eden.

Apart from going on an amazing Whale-Watching ocean tour thingy, the main event was the Clarion Aussie Devcon 2009. I’ll be putting up my thoughts on Clarion Folk (along with some mini interviews I did on the iPhone).

Now is the next step in my winter of crazy non-discontent!

This time two weeks from now I’ll be on a plane to San Francisco!

“You lie.” I hear you say. But no, it’s true.

PayPal Australia (Jonathan is Captain Awesome) are sending Steve and myself across as representatives from the Australian PayPal Development community.

This. Is. Going. To. Be. HUGE!

  1. I’ve never been overseas. And here I was thinking the Queen visit was going to be my maiden voyage from the sunburnt country.
  2. The idea that PayPal would find enough in me, in what I do, to send me that-a-way.
  3. The possibilities inherent in going to the States, to the first ever PayPal Devcon (Innovate), to meeting stupid amounts of other developers.
  4. Being able to bring along my guitar (and a PayPal song, awww yeah).

It’s fair to say that this has been / will be so far the biggest, most momentous year of my vocational life.

Not One But Two Schnitzels!

We arrived in Eden around 6.30pm last night, and after unpacking went up to the restaurant which is in the same building as the conference room.

Yup, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted here.

The Clarion Aussie Devcon 2009 is currently underway. The Training days finished up yesterday (Thursday), and this morning a lot of us went on a Whale Watching trip out around the bays. Mmmmm, whale blubber.

This afternoon the Conference starts in proper. We’ve got a massive weekend chocka-clock full (see Schedule here).

I’ve already heard a lot of great things about Clarion 7 and .NET. It seems like there’s the possibility of Clarion 7.1 being released to Conference members by the end of the weekend (possibility, not certainty).

Last night at dinner Bob Foreman convinced me of the importance of the mindset. I’m going to fire back into Clarion 7 with fervour.

I hope to post some more throughout the weekend. I’ll be trying to get some “Mini” interviews done on the iPhone.

I’m not sure about the future of Clarion Folk, but at least for this weekend it’ll be getting some content :)

Devcon, Aftermath

I’ve put up a post on the Aussie Devcon website .. go check it out.

Old Tom was a Killer Whale. His myth and legend and reality are sprinkled throughout Eden.

Old Tom’s skeleton can be seen on display. Pictures and Paintings and any number of knick-knacks can be found throughout Eden.

Old Tom. He represents the best thing about Devcon.

Eden is a place of subtle magic. The best thing about Devcon 2008 for me was that the surroundings magnified the experience to such a degree that even without the wonderful content it would have rocked.

Friday, In Which We Sat In The Dark

Friday started out with Bob Z giving us the once over a "Top Secret Shush Now" build with the Appgen.

Admittedly, it was cool. It looks like it will be an extension of what we already know. Not revolution, but evolution. Other people have already said this. I like that it’s the same. There’s a lot of good about the current Interface.

Although people will get their funk on, when Bob Z said "soon" this time, I was inclined to believe that it is going to be soon. Of course, there’s a whole barrel of fun when the Appgen comes out, because it’ll get broken half a hundred ways to sunday, and loud voices will express their discontent.

But everything on Friday would be overshadowed by events outside our control. Bob Z spoke, Diego spoke, and then Bob F spoke. One minute we were there, sitting, listening, writing emails, reading blogs, laughing at Bruce’s antics. The next minute complete darkness enveloped the town.

No. I tell a lie. It was only _half_ the town.

It’s a strange thing, to see lights in the distance, down the main street, but to be walking around in total darkness. Awesome! Everyone went to either the pub, the pizza shop, or the local chicken joint.

Electricity arrived back in time for a scrumptious dinner, and the bonding began.

People are the biggest reason why I love Devcons. Making new friends and acquaintances, watching how different personalities interact, trying to build together solid relationships that will carry our community onwards.

Of course, MOST people go to Devcon to grow their business, to become better at using Clarion, to establish business contacts.

And a fair bit of that went on.

Saturday, In Which A Panel Was Adjusted

Saturday’s talks began with Lils George, who hails from India. I must admit, on speaking with Brett, I got his message all wrong. My understanding was that he was speaking about getting people to Contract _for_ them, but others have said it was getting them to Contract _for_ you.

Anywhichway it was a strange occurrence. I’m not sure what to make of his stuff (brochures etc). Lils was certainly well-meaning, and for a small number of devs (relatively) it was a show of faith that he travelled all that way. However, I wasn’t really swayed. Indian Development Houses have got some rough stereotypes going against them, and I don’t think we were given any reason (from Lils’ talk) to disbelieve them.

Bob and Diego then took us through some very interesting stuff. In particular, the Mobile Development space is looking like it will be very sweet indeed. This was a big talking point amongst people. Some folk have already gone with VS because they cannot wait. Others are waiting in the hope that Clarion The New will give them unprecedented Development abilities for Mobile applications.

Michael Summons gave a fantastic talk on Business Practices. Michael runs his own business, along with lecturing for a University. His talk was clear and concise. I mean, it was really really good. Michael is passionate about getting Clarion into the Universities over here, and thinks Clarion .Net will be the product to do it. For what it’s worth, I agree completely.

Kim Davies then jumped onto the "awesome talk"  bandwagon, delivering a Marketing Slant on Business Practices. Both his and Michael’s talks would be super to have as bullet points, so as to refer to when going through the daily processes of working your own (or someone else’s) business.

Following that, Bruce (The Man From Capesoft) gave us a pearler of a talk on Customer Service. Bruce’s First Rule/Law, which comes in many slightly varying forms, made it’s compulsory appearance (Don’t Believe What They Say).

Then we came to the Panel. Since this was my idea, I’ve got some thoughts that might sound a bit hard, but it’s only bashing me .. so that’s okay.

The Panel was good. We got some great conversation out of it. Voices got raised, lowered, altered. Opinions were thrown around like missiles. Some people learned things, others stuck their head in the sand.

The Panel did what it was supposed to do.

But. It was weighted wrong. I realised this almost from when we sat down. We had three Soft Velocity folk and one Bruce folk.

What I should have done was gotten one SV, one Bruce, and two people from other areas. I’ve got a couple of people in mind for next time (if I’m given that responsibility).

Also, the topics needed to be more .. thought-provoking. More controversial. More stimulating.

Saturday night was upon us, and everything came to standstill while I shouted myself horse at the telly watching the Waratahs go down to the Crusaders. It’s okay now though, cause we got Deans! Heh heh.

I had an absolute blast doing the Trivia Night. Sure, there were a lot of mistakes. Celebrity Heads was a shocker. Ha ha. Fighting over whether Darth Vader was a cartoon character. My profuse and humble apologies to One and All.

But it was really really enjoyable. And I hope it was for everyone there. We had a bunch of laughs, and discovered some random facts, like the lyrics for Old Man River. Urg. Another poor choice.

Sunday, In Which We Gave Away A Lot Of Stuff

Michael gave us another talk on Sunday morning, for which I either wasn’t there, or was so brain-dead from Saturday that I don’t remember it. Suffice to say, others have said it was good.

Bruce then hit us with some great wisdom on using Views. Lots of people, at least the ones I talked to, learnt at least one or two things from this talk. Bruce then gave the obligatory Capesoft Bling talk. He showed us their new product, TabTree. Not bad at all.

Then Diego gave another technical wizardry talk on Clarion Win 32 and Sharp.

Then Bob rounded off with some mapping out of the future. That Clarion.Net AND Clarion 7 are the future.

Synopsis, In Which I Opine About Stuff

I’m not a Technical Evangelist. I’m a Community Evangelist. It’s not hard to see. Dave Harms is a Technical Evangelist. He knows his stuff. Bruce Johnson is a Technical Evangelist. This is a distinction I’m coming to see more as this gig goes on. The Technical is vital. It is what most level-headed Developers want to know about. People go to the Devcon to find out what is new in Clarion. What Clarion can do for them, better than the other Dev offerings.

Community too, is vital. Goes along with the Technical. Without it, there would be no Devcon to hear about the Technical. It’s the Australian Clarion Community that has drawn the Soft Velocity people the last two years. We are a good Community when we are together. There is laughter and brains whirring and some egos bashing against each other.

The Devcon gave me a good view of the Community, at least the Australian contingent. We are doing well, and there is excitement in the air. But more than that, we are not standing still. There are people making money with Clarion, using it to it’s fullest.

Community is about getting to know guys like Ken, like Michael, and Kim (again, heh heh). It’s the new blokes from Adelaide, it’s watching copious amounts of wine be consumed,  it’s listening to Geoff talk about how he feels that all the pain was so definitely worth it .. and a thousand other moments. I could list a lot more, but some folk might get a tad embarrassed, heh heh.

The Devcon was a success. My post at Aussie Devcon gives a more verbose thankyou list, but in summary, thanks go to:

  • Geoff. He made it happen. ‘Nuff said.
  • Bob Z, Diego and Bob F. They created the content.
  • Bruce. He travelled from far far away and brought us much good.
  • 3rd Party Providers, for their phat lewt.
  • You. The Community that was there.
  • And one other facet that I didn’t write about in the other post .. The Folk of Eden. What an awesome bunch of people you are. You gave us such a good time, not just accommodating us, feeding us scrumptious meals, but in your hospitality. You made us feel very welcome. Thankyou!

Devcon News On ClarionMag

I’m enjoying Devcon. I’ll have a bit to say afterwards, when there’s been time to collate thoughts etc, but let me just say this:

Geoff Spillane deserves HUGE kudos. The amount of work he has done is huge. Getting together the conference, the Training (arm-twisting the SV guys a month out to get everything ready), getting 3 (3!) SV guys here. Just awesome.


We did have a little bit of an issue yesterday though. Bob Foreman had to do the last half of his session in darkness and non-electricity! It’s wierd walking down the main street of a small country town in complete and almost-utter darkness. Course, there was the noise and lights of a pub to guide the way, heh heh.

Here’s a couple of links to Clarion Mag for information. Here for some live news, and here is the category for the Aussie Devcon 2008.


Also, get on Skype and add me (search for "Stu Clarionite Troubadour")! I’ll add you to the Clarion Talk channel. A great place at all times, and right now we are online.

Aussie Devcon 2008, Why I Love Community

Here is what I love about Devcons:


You find awesome people.

The SV sessions have been fantastic. Like previously mentioned, they put a huge amount of diligent work into preparation and then delivery. Fantastic.

However, as good (different) has been the "business practices" focussed talks. We’re a little way into Kim Davies‘ talk, Michael Summons having gone previously.


I tells you, this is amazing stuff. Michael just blew me away. The guy has such a clear grasp on the Full Spectrum of Business. How to get stuff done .. really done. Not hobby-ist, and not Throw-A-Million-Dollars-At-It either.

Michael talked about discipline, putting into place good practices, adjusting those practices when they need it, when they might not work. Being _proactive_ not _reactive_.


It’s stuff you’ve probably heard before. For me, it was an amazing half hour.

And Kim is walking in the same steps :) .. but honing in on the Marketing. Very cool. I’ll have more later.

The Aussie DevCon, Podcasting, New Site (Not Yet)

This place is still here. I’m still posting on it :).

Geoff Spillane and I have been talking, and I realised that the Aussie DevCon is not very far off. Last year I thought there was plenty of time to kick some stuff into motion.

First thing, I would encourage anyone who is anyone who reads this blog to think seriously about attending the DevCon. If you don’t have the money, cool. I’d say talk to Geoff, but I’m not sure that there is much in the way of "funding" to help out people. Maybe some kind of payment schedule, but I don’t think so.

The Aussie DevCon is a pretty huge event for us over here. But I’d like to say that it’s becoming an important event worldwide. We got Bob over last year, and might, _might_, be getting him this year (wish fulfilment). We had Colonel Capesoft and His Boyz for three days of awesomeness, and then heckling from the back with the rest of the super-nerds. And we had some bloke talking about undies. Highlights .. yeah.

So, what I’m getting at, is that if you have the opportunity to come, you should. If you are feeling like you need to meet some new and crazy people (I make up most of the crazy), then please, come along.

Second thing, if anyone has got suggestions for the DevCon, please fire them to Geoff (or myself). Geoff is doing the organising, I’ll just make that clear. But I really think we’ve got such an opportunity that if people have ways to take hold of it, then super!

If you need emails, post a comment here, I’ll get back to you via .. email .. with the .. email.

Last night, after a few hours of work, I thought .. I could go to bed .. or I could work on the podcast.

I’m developing a routine that will stand the test of at least a couple of podcasts. It’s a bit of a blast, and last night I started voice recording. Nice. Fun fun. Hopefully the podcasts will contain something special for the community. Another little hook for newcomers, and a familiarity for us existing folk.

Just a reminder:

Clarion Folk

Stick that into your brain. It’s the new site. It’s the new brand. It’s the new Pimp My Clarion.

But it’s not done yet. The new site hasn’t come as quickly as I thought it might, but I’m not worried. It’ll be done soon. _Soon_.

Aussie Devcon 2007 .. Part 5 (Concluding Thoughts)

Okay. Here goes.

Anyone who’s been viewing the comp.lang.clarion newsgroup lately probably noticed The Thread That Took Over The World. It’s probably not the biggest, and probably not the most annoying.

Bruce, I’m going somewhere with this .. ha ha.

I should have done these last two posts before getting involved. Or probably shouldn’t have gotten involved in the first place. Because now I’m in a different mindset.

Clarion 7 Release

Simple. You’re not going to see it next week.

Let’s get over that. Move on.

The People

The conference gave encouragement to many, many people. It wasn’t just because we got to talk to Bob Z and see Clarion 7. That was great. And that alone gave a lot of people hope.

There was a sense of comraderie. I had numerous conversations with people, about a whole range of stuff. We discussed raising children, rugby, music. We talked about the number of installs they have, and what kind of work they do. Topics ebbed and flowed. Politics, George Bush, the US .. and there was even a smattering of religion.

There was laughter. Bruce gives a great seminar. Whatever he’s doing.

There was mending of rifts. At least, for me there was. Well, probably not so much mending .. but approaching and getting a conversation started. Discovering what the other people had been doing. What they liked. How the were enjoying (or not) the conference. There wasn’t a rift as a "I don’t really know you". And that’s easily fixed. Take the time to listen when someone talks. Whether online or in person.

So for me, and thusly for my postings, the Conference was mostly about the People. And what a great People time it was!


Thankyou Tony!

Tony did a marvellous and exceptional job. The level of organisation (and thinking on his feet when presented with large mountain obstacles) was superb.

Tony, take a bow. Thankyou for your effort. It is very much appreciated.

There you have it.

Cheers, and next we’ll have my talk broken down into point-posts. With comics. Yay.