I want to thank Real Software for allowing me the opportunity to be able to give my highlights of the Real World 2012 conference. Real World 2012 was an exciting two days. Real Software packed a lot of punches in the short time. Here is my top 5 in no particular order.
1. Geoff's keynote
Geoff during his keynote talked about roadmaps. We all love roadmaps, especially when it has specific dates. First announcement was 64bit support. The ability to create 64bit apps will be a big "soft" win for all of us. I know I get asked by customers about 64bit versions all the time. I don't think my apps will run any faster, but it makes the customer happy. Plus it is a check mark/feature item that we can all claim.
Next announcement was LLVM schedule. This to me was a huge announcement. Most developers wont know or care about this. Except for this will bring in new target compilers (like iOS) that we currently don't have. Next announcement was status on the new IDE. It has been pulled from the R1 release. This was a big disappointment. I understand why Real pulled it. I agree with them doing it. Just disappointed.
Paul is working on redoing the User Guide and in the process is going to create PDFs and Apple iBooks. This will allow us to have the documentation on our mobile/tablet devices. The language reference will not be converted to the PDF/iBook format. To me this is huge. I love to have the documentation on my tablet so I can read it when I am away from the internet or my computer. And this happens to those of us that are frequent travelers. This will be a big win for me.
There were a few more big announcements but they desire their own entry in my top 5.
2. Web Edition hosting
Geoff announced that this fall Real Software will be offering Web edition (WE) hosting via Rackspace. One click deployments via the IDE. WOW! I can say that I am extremely excited about this. Setting up Apache configs, user permissions, directory permissions, etc has been the major reason I haven't done WE apps so far. Real's solution takes care of all of that automagically. Real was smart when picking Rackspace for their partner in this. Rackspace has data centers around the globe & employee very smart people. Reminds me of Real Software. Plus Real put in a lot of work with Rackspace on the security of the servers. I have to say both Real and Rackspace has spent a lot of effort making sure the WE hosting is done right. I am ready to sign up for WE hosting as soon as Real starts offering it. Please Geoff take my money. Please! My credit card number is….
3. iOS as a target
Geoff announced that Joe Strout is back at Real, to work on the iOS part of the framework. WOW! That is great news. Real demonstrated running an app written in Realbasic on the iPhone simulator. Yeah, it only had like 3 controls but it worked. This got a lot of applause/attention from the crowd. Now the number one feedback request (by a long shot) is now able to be worked on. We won't be able to compile iOS apps until Q1 of 2013 (BETA at the end of the year). I know many of us are getting asked to write iOS apps to pair up with our other apps. One language/IDE for desktop, WE & iOS is just awesome. Personally this is huge for me. I can now do iOS apps. No pricing was available on this. We will see more of it as we get closer to the fall.
One of the greatest things about Real World is getting together with all the really smart people. We all have made friends with people in the community, and at the conference you get to meet them face to face. It is always nice to have a face when talking to someone via email or im. And the conference brings in people from all over the world. I love that. I was spending time with people from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, USA & Venezuela (in alphabetical order). I knew we has people from many countries but I didn't realize until it was over, how many different countries had representation (sixteen by my count).
Geoff brought just about every employee he could here to the conference so we can sit down with them and talk about issues, ideas, whatever. That is awesome. I was able to talk to Paul about some documentation idea I had. I was talking to Thom, Norman, & Joe about language things. I was able to talk to Geoff about some of the things that the ARBP is going to be doing in the near future (over the summer).
5. New pricing scheme
When Geoff announced this, I was surprised and happy. They are going to give the IDE away for free starting with 2012R2. WOW! this is huge. It will draw more people in that are curious but dont want to fork down $100 (or more) to take it for a test drive. Or for people like myself, when I visit family and friends I can load up the IDE so I can work (shame on me on working when I should be spending time with them). Having the IDE (not the compiler licenses) in all these places I can start to get them exposed to Real Studio and maybe I can get them to buy licenses.
Writing this article on top five items was hard. Not hard to come up with five, but only to come up with five. I didn't talk about some of the cool updates to the Web Framework coming in 2012R2 (targeted for R2), namespaces, the cool speakers or any of the social aspects of the event. In retrospect I am glad that Real capped me off at the five or I would be rambling for another thousand or so words.
Scott Boss is the current President of the Association of Realbasic Professionals, founder of nocturnal coding monkeys, and has been developing using Real Studio for over 7 years. He lives in Georgia and made it back from the Indy 500 just in time to write this post.