LiveCode workshop (with more planned) in Plymouth

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LiveCode workshop (with more planned) in Plymouth

Postby dave.kilroy » Fri Mar 06, 2015 11:25 am

Hi all

In partnership with ThinqTanq (http://thinqtanq.spaces.nexudus.com/en) I'm putting on a beginners LiveCode course on Saturday 28th March here in Plymouth (England).

Some more details on the day and how to book is at the end of this link: http://www.meetup.com/The-THINQTANQ-Eve ... 220552277/ (and you can see my plan for the day at the end of this dropbox link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/637r08fel2hbp ... y.pdf?dl=0)

MESH (http://www.exploremesh.co.uk) is a part of ThinqTanq and they are interested in getting ‘tech’ out to as many people locally as they can. I am interested in building as vibrant a LiveCode community as I can - and they have agreed to host a beginners LiveCode workshop which will focus on getting people going and making little desktop widgets (see my plan for day for the list of little projects I’ll be offering). Unfortunately it’s not free - ThinqTanq will be charging £20 for use of the venue, drinks, nibbles etc.

My hope that there will be enough interest on the day to justify ThinqTanq putting on further workshops that could focus on iOS and Android - and then if possible set up further occasional meetups.

If any of you would like to come along please get in touch and/or sign up at the meetup page - or if you want more info please post here or pm me directly. If you are beyond the 'beginner' stage it would be lovely to see you anyway and maybe you would have fun with the rest of us (and help out!)

Please pass this on to any who might be interested in the workshop, follow-up workshops and in general promote LiveCode activity in the South West of England.

That’s about it from me - hope you are all well - and if any of you LiveCoders are ever passing through Plymouth please get in touch for a coffee/whiskey/chat

Kind regards

Dave

PS: ideal course curriculum - Day 1: make a 'Hello World' app - Day 2: DeathStar - Day 3: SkyNet
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Re: LiveCode workshop (with more planned) in Plymouth

Postby SparkOut » Fri Mar 06, 2015 9:33 pm

I'm dahn sahf too but nowhere in the west - way over in Kent - so I can't make it (I guess the USA gang would consider that little more than a jaunt to the shops, but too far for me). But very good luck with this event.
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Re: LiveCode workshop (with more planned) in Plymouth

Postby dave.kilroy » Sat Mar 07, 2015 11:52 am

Thanks SparkOut - I've had quite a few messages wishing me luck but saying they can't come to the (initial) workshop - it seems that we as a tribe of LiveCoders are too spread out (at least in the UK) to easily meet up

I'm thinking attendees will be mostly (or nearly all) people new to LiveCode who happen to be local enough to easily come along - and build from there...

Dave
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Re: LiveCode workshop (with more planned) in Plymouth

Postby dave.kilroy » Sat Mar 28, 2015 12:00 pm

Just a quick note to say that our workshop starts in about an hour - we have somewhere between 5 and 7 people turning up (I think) and hope to have some fun learning LiveCode!

I have a spare copy of Colin's "LiveCode Mobile Development" book which I think we'll raffle off (proceeds going to a indegogo fund to get a 3D printer...)

I'm wearing my special LiveCode Tshirt (the 'kickstarter' one) this morning so things are bound to go well :)
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Re: LiveCode workshop (with more planned) in Plymouth

Postby dave.kilroy » Sun Mar 29, 2015 6:34 pm

Report from the workshop:

There were six of us there (I would of course have liked more but was very happy with six) - all guys, ranging from 14 to 56...

We kicked off with introductions, expectations etc and decided the day would be about 'jumping straight in' rather than presentations about theory, context, history etc.

They then chose the clipboard exercise followed by the data import and creation of PDFs from the following list of options I gave them:

    Monitor a Directory for Changes
    Import data and Create a PDF
    Scrub Text (clipboard)
    Encrypt/Decrypt
    Execute a Shell Command
    Clock Timer
    Calculator
    Simple NewsReader
I emailed them all the scripts (for backup) and had a projector going as well - and bit by bit they all got it working and by the end were able to copy something from a different app, transmogrify it within LiveCode and then update the clipboarddata ready for pasting elsewhere, we also had a go at filtering the data and some other stuff.

Doing this exercise fairly quickly made it apparent that those who had little or no experience of coding found LiveCode really easy to learn - whilst those already used to how a different coding language worked found it harder (this echoes my own experience when I was first learning LiveCode). As a result we started off the day with some people being quite frustrated that LiveCode wasn't behaving in any way at all like their favourite language - but by they end had to admit how useful LiveCode was even though it was so DIFFERENT!

We then moved on to the second exercise, nobody wanted to stop for a break. This exercise involved importing a csv (which I had created and emailed to them) made up of pseudo invoice items (description and hours), once loaded into memory they set up a repeat loop to add up total hours and applied an hourly rate to calculate total amount due. Everyone got to this stage - and once again the new-to-code guys took to it like ducks to water compared to the others who had to unlearn stuff in order to do it the LiveCode way!

The second stage was creating a PDF (and saving it to the hard disk), this meant creating a sub-stack with a datagrid and couple of other controls. I also got them to tweak the data slightly in the data they imported by setting up another repeat loop and adding another item to each line (the cost of each item), as a final embellishment I got them to add a link in the pdf which when clicked took you to Paypal's website. With this second stage not everyone managed the syntax and preferred to watch others - but most people did fine (especially the newbies!).

In fact, one of the guys who hadn't coded much was not only able to complete the PDF exercise but to tweak it to read in data from a Google Analytics report and output a PDF - he was most pleased with this - had lots of ideas how to improve in the coming days - and had a great big smile on his face thinking about what he had done and how many hours each month he was going to save himself.

By now we had been coding/learning for almost four hours and still nobody wanted to take a break - so I decided to let them relax a bit and, using my laptop connected to the projector took them through:

    The processes involved in coding and building an iOS app and installing it on my iPad
    Building an Android app an installing it on my Nexus4 (actually I got one of them to do this one)
    The last thing I showed them was LiveCode Server script and attempted to get an app and my web service to get data from a remote server and populate a database - unfortunately the 'demo gods' had lost their patience by this stage and I didn't get it to work

So, by the end I was exhausted and I think the others were pretty knackered as well - some of those attending were really pleased and keen to do more - others were (I think impressed with LiveCode) but found the day harder work.

In the end we decided to hold another day, perhaps with a theme around web services and LiveCode Server

Both Rob and I were very pleased with how the day went and will start to make arrangements for another LiveCode day...

Kind regards

Dave

EDIT: should have said, the list of exercises I offered them were all taken from various LiveCode lessons or RevUp articles and tweaked...
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Re: LiveCode workshop (with more planned) in Plymouth

Postby SparkOut » Sun Mar 29, 2015 8:19 pm

Sounds great, I am really glad you had what sounds like a very successful day. If it was nearer...
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Re: LiveCode workshop (with more planned) in Plymouth

Postby garry_sonicdc » Sun Mar 29, 2015 8:30 pm

Being one of those that attended, I can say this is one of my favourite courses I've ever been on. Took so much away and I haven't stopped developing my app since. Really looking forward to putting it into use permanently!

Thanks Dave.
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Re: LiveCode workshop (with more planned) in Plymouth

Postby Dixie » Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:53 am

Hey Dave... It is good to hear that you had a good day and are planning more ..:-)
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Re: LiveCode workshop (with more planned) in Plymouth

Postby dave.kilroy » Mon Mar 30, 2015 7:45 am

@Garry it was a pleasure to have you there - you so obviously 'got' LiveCode and LiveCode was so obviously 'right' for you that you were very quickly off and running - and by the end of the day your Google Analytics report app was starting to look very cool (and maybe even a product you could market)

@Dixie thanks, I'm pleased with it as a first day :) - however I don't think the day was that easy for everyone! When one is already comfortable with one language's way of doing things then learning new approaches to development, new syntax etc is tiring and stressful. But I'm hoping that enough of what LiveCode can achieve countered the tiredness and stress so that they keep mucking around with it. Everyone is different, some people seem to find learning LiveCode easy whilst others find it more stressful...

But I have learnt for next time that experienced coders will need extra support...

@Sparkout - yes a shame - we are all of us so spread out - Rob and I were talking about streaming the session (never got round to doing it in the end) - would attending the next session virtually be of interest?

garry_sonicdc wrote:Being one of those that attended, I can say this is one of my favourite courses I've ever been on. Took so much away and I haven't stopped developing my app since. Really looking forward to putting it into use permanently!

Thanks Dave.
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