Top Ten Sessions Cut from the 2006 FileMaker Developer Conference
by Brian Dunning
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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
Web Publishing Track
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.
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.
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.
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.