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August 2006

Top Ten Sessions Cut from the 2006 FileMaker Developer Conference
by Brian Dunning

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FileMaker Developer ConferenceIt's that time of year again, and as usual, there is so much buzz and excitement about the FileMaker Developer Conference that the hotel is overbooked, flights are full, and the conference has more sessions than the hotel has meeting space for. So, as they do each year, the conference organizers meet to sadly redline a few of the sessions that simply cannot be accommodated. Usually these sessions are lost to the ages, but I was able, through skullduggery, to obtain a copy of the complete original session list.

Here now are the top ten sessions that regrettably did not make the cut:

Web Publishing Track

CDML Unleashed

Why waste your energy on any of them newfangled programming languages, when there's a perfectly good one that's tried and true, and has stood the test of time? Claris Dynamic Markup Language may not be able to do much, but at least it's honest about it. Like a steadfast friend. This session will teach you the secrets that all the big players have long since abandoned and forgotten about, and one man's garbage is another man's Golconda.

Related Articles:

A Rogue's Gallery of Devcon Attendees (August 2005)

Top Ten Things to Do at Devcon (September 2000)

IWP/PHP/Lasso/XSLT: They All Suck

Confused by all the flame wars on the mailing lists about competing technologies? Learn the secret that nobody wants you to hear: They all suck. No current web technologies are worth the electrons they waste. Each one will drive you insane in its own unique way. This session will discuss the worst of the worst, and you'll learn just how frustrated you'll become trying to make any sense of even the best of these information processing embarassments.

Business Track

Bill Your Client into the Stone Age

Want to know the difference between yourself and the most financially successful FileMaker consultants? They know how to really turn the thumbscrews on a client, and wring every last cent out of their bank account. If your client still has electricity in their building, you're not billing enough. If they're eating food from inside the supermarket rather than behind it, you're not billing enough. If they don't spend their lunch hour holding a cardboard sign at the freeway offramp, you're not billing enough. Use your client's money. That's what it's there for.

Ugly? Use a Fake Photo on Your Web Site

It's no secret that attractive developers get better projects, higher rates, and more dates than unattractive developers. If you want people to stop and take notice of your headshot, follow the example set by Brian Dunning and scour Google for a picture of a statuesque model to really dress up your web site. Learn how to subtly alter copyrighted photographs to get away with stealing them, and learn good places to hide for when the person pictured comes after you with his goons.

Marketing: Saturate FSA Tech Talk with Redundant Announcements

You don't have to spend a lot of money, or have a responsible marketing plan, to get ahead and get your name out there in this business. All you have to do is send eight or ten emails per week to the FSA Tech Talk mailing list. They can all say pretty much the same thing -- that your business is growing faster than you can keep up, yet you've still managed to offer this or that new service; but if you preface the subject lines with [ANN] or [PR], you can give the impression of being a large important company with important resources to offer. Presto: goal accomplished, no money spent, and the community will love you.

Make Your One-Man-Shop Look Like a Huge Company

Are you a solo consultant who sometimes feels inadequate compared to larger consulting firms? Do you feel this affects your ability to attract prime clientele? This session will teach you how to pretentiously give the impression that you are actually a large company: Techniques such as appending "LLC" to your company name; calling yourself the "CEO"; using words like "us" in your press releases; having press releases; and making frequent claims about the number of emails you receive from people begging for your expertise.

Advanced Track

Beyond XML: The Tab-Delimited Text File

Just when you thought you were getting a handle on the XML specification, along comes a brand new format. It's called "tab-delimited", and it's going to take over the world. Far more flexible than XML because it is not required to conform to any rigid specification, the tab-delimited format will soon become the new de facto data interchange format on the Internet and in business. Tab-delimited-ready cell phones are said to be on the horizon. Note that FileMaker Pro has quietly been capable of importing and exporting in this format for the past several versions. Bet you never noticed that!

Optimizing Your ClarisWorks Database

ClarisWorks Database and FileMaker Pro are pretty much the same program, as you know. Well, if they're not, they at least share kindred roots. Although we couldn't find a copy to boot on any of the machines present in the session meeting room, we presume that many of the same advanced development techniques that you employ today with FileMaker Pro might be equally applicable to ClarisWorks Database. Attend this session, and we'll ruminate on this together.

The Today Function: It's Not Dead Yet

And then there were the naysayers who told us "The Today function is inefficient, don't use it!" Well, they didn't anticipate this wise old owl. Through the use of a Custom Function, you can recreate the Today function and resurrect this old friend from the tomb of obsolescence. Don't let the product managers at FileMaker, Inc. tell you what features FileMaker Pro should have. You're the developer, you know best.

Developing for Windows 3.1

With so much attention wasted on what's "new" and "current" and "actually in use by people", it's easy to overlook niche users. Although we fast-living, hard-driving, in-effect FileMaker developers don't like to admit it, there are still users on 386 machines with 768K of RAM who are more concerned with getting important work done than with "making the scene". It may rub you the wrong way, but every responsible developer needs to learn the techniques presented in this session to appeal to all users, not just those few who are "cool" enough.

Browse Mode
Jan 10 Solving Performance Emergencies with FileMaker Server
Aug 06 Top Ten Sessions Cut from the 2006 FileMaker Developer Conference
Jul 06 Who's Driving This Thing, Anyway? Or, How Marketing and Engineering Buried the Hatchet (Warning: Contains a Curse Word)
Nov 05 Shingle Grandiloquence
Oct 05 In Celebration of Geek Magnetism
Aug 05 A Rogues' Gallery of Devcon Attendees
Mar 05 Lies, Damned Lies, and Project Specifications
Feb 05 Pick the Right Tool for the Job
Oct 04 Home Media Server Requirements
Jul 04 Leveraging Your FileMaker Lingo
Apr 04 Technical Support Redux
Mar 04 Enforce Seats in FileMaker 7/8/9 Commercial Solutions
Feb 04 Reinventing the Wheel
Oct 03 WAP: The Technology That Wasn't
Aug 03 Brian Dunning's California Governor Election Platform
Jul 03 Sex and the Single Software Developer
May 03 XSLT: Creeping Out of the Closet?
Feb 03 A Consultant's Guide to Traveling
Nov 02 Adventures of Bat Magnum, FileMaker Consultant
Sep 02 FileMaker at Area 51
Aug 02 FileMaker Terminology
Feb 02 Computer Shunts
Dec 01 Aquabase Alpha & the Consultant's Challenge
Aug 01 It IS the Size That Counts
Jun 01 On the Trail of Sasquatch
May 01 Spring Cleaning
Feb 01 FileMaker Mobile Survivor Challenge
Jan 01 Letter from Nürburg
Dec 00 Performance Anxiety
Nov 00 Objection, Your Honor
Oct 00 Leveraging Convergence: Jargon for the 21st Century
Sep 00 Top Ten Things to Do at Devcon
Aug 00 Aesop's FileMaker Fables
Jul 00 Ten Commandments of FileMaker Pro
Jun 00 Explats Cross Examined
May 00 iMac, Therefore iServe
Mar 00 Valley of the Dollars
Jan 00 Are You Up for a Review?
Nov 99 Tales from the Script
Sep 99 Tech Support Revisited
Jul 99 Moderns vs. Classicals
Mar 99 Nashoba, We Hardly Knew Ye