Project: 2015 Scripting Conferences

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Project: 2015 Scripting Conferences

Post by sefrojones » Sat May 24, 2014 6:08 pm

As someone relatively new to LiveCode (about 2 years) I have found that the scripting conference stacks hosted on Hyperactivesw.com are a valuable resource while learning Livecode. The scripting conferences took place 9 years ago, and since then a lot has changed. I think it would be great to organize a new scripting conferences for 2015, which would be the 10 year anniversary of the original scripting conferences, and give us a fair amount of time to cover all of the basics up to the latest features and changes in Livecode. If anyone is interested in contributing in any way, please feel free to use this is a brainstorming thread.

--Sefro

edit: Link to the original Conference stacks: http://www.hyperactivesw.com/revscriptc ... ences.html

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Re: Project Proposal: 2015 Scripting Conferences

Post by jacque » Sat May 24, 2014 8:45 pm

I was the organizer, moderator, and contributor to the scripting conferences. It's hard to believe it's been that long since we did it.

I would love to have updated versions, and I'd happily do the organization again. There are some details I don't have time to attend to right now, but which need to be done. I'd like to keep the original template format for consistency (I still have it) but its appearance needs to be updated to conform to LiveCode's newer icons and appearance. Originally a team member at RR provided the images and graphics. I could ask them if they would do that again, or with their permission, someone else could do them and pass it by the team for approval. I would be happy to update the template with the new appearance.

We'd need a list of new topics to cover. The existing stacks are still accurate and don't need to be rewritten, they only need a cosmetic upgrade. Any additional stacks should cover new material. The existing material originally covered printing, but the volunteer was unable to do the work so it was omitted. I'd like to see that one made.

We need volunteers to write the new material. Each stack is written by one person, following the guidelines in the stack template. They filled out the template, submitted it to me for editing, proofreading, and accuracy, made any necessary revisions, and then it was released. The people who volunteer must have time to do the work (it took several weeks per stack,) be willing to update the material for accuracy or suggested additions (I didn't ask for those very often, our volunteers were excellent) and the person must have a firm grasp of the material they are covering and of LiveCode in general.

Each stack was released one week before the live conference was scheduled so that people had the opportunity to go over it before the live discussion began. This means the author of the material needed to start their work about 5 weeks before the scheduled date and it had to be completed and uploaded one week before they presented it. Volunteers need to be firmly committed to attending the live conference on the date of their presentation.

We should assess the value of the live conferences. They are a lot of work, and while they provided a nice way to meet and discuss the topic, they may not be necessary. If the stacks are well written they can stand on their own. The conferences were scheduled for late mornings on Saturdays, U.S. times, which meant that many people in other parts of the world couldn't attend. It was also difficult for me to meet the time schedule; I had to simultaneously work with the current presenter while also working with the early versions of the next topic stack. If there were no scheduled deadlines, then topic stacks could be created and released at a leisurely rate, and posted whenever the author was ready. That would be a much easier way to do it.

So those are my thoughts, and any feedback here would be welcomed. I have often thought about updating those stacks but my current workload hasn't allowed it. If there are people who would like to help, we could get it done.
Jacqueline Landman Gay | jacque at hyperactivesw dot com
HyperActive Software | http://www.hyperactivesw.com

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Re: Project Proposal: 2015 Scripting Conferences

Post by [-hh] » Sat May 24, 2014 11:29 pm

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Re: Project Proposal: 2015 Scripting Conferences

Post by sefrojones » Sun May 25, 2014 6:25 am

Jacque,

Thanks for the quick reply. I would have replied sooner, but I was away from the 'net for an extended period this evening. Thank you so much for your willingness to help organize. I think modernizing the old stacks is the best way to go as well, since there are plenty of new topics that could be covered. It would be very nice to see them linked to somewhere on the livecode site once they've been updated, they really are a valuable resource for newcomers. As I said in the original post, I am a relatively new - intermediate livecoder and might not be the best person to create a presentation, but I would be willing to do anything within my skill level to help this project along. Whether this is helping to modernize the old stacks, proofreading or whatever grunt work needs done to help make this happen. As far assessing the value of the live conferences, you may be right. Not only will it be easier to organize, but it may also bring in contributors who would otherwise not be comfortable giving a live presentation. It seems like all we need now aside from modernizing the old stacks and template is to come up with a list of topics and find volunteers to write them. I will try to go over the existing stacks tomorrow and come up with a list of potential new topics, it looks like Hermann has a good start that could be expanded upon. I recently took part in the livecode summer school and start the summer school 2 this week, perhaps it won't be long before I feel comfortable enough to write one of these stacks myself. Either way, I like to think that what I lack in experience, I make up for in enthusiasm. I am still as excited(if not more) about livecode than when I discovered it after reading this article http://www.loper-os.org/?p=568 I quickly found Livecode and bought my first personal license, and have been in love with the product ever since. I also happen to have a fair bit of free time that I would be willing to dedicate to this and other community projects, but I'm rambling. I will be back tomorrow with some more ideas, if anyone reading this wants to help contribute and make this a reality, please chime in!

--Sefro

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Re: Project Proposal: 2015 Scripting Conferences

Post by [-hh] » Sun May 25, 2014 8:31 am

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Re: Project Proposal: 2015 Scripting Conferences

Post by sefrojones » Mon May 26, 2014 7:08 pm

So I've been thinking about this, and here's what I have so far. I think modernizing the stacks should be the first part of this. Jacque had said she'd be willing to reach out to RunRev for images/graphics to aide in this effort. If they do not have the time, I would be willing to go through the stacks and make an inventory of what images need changing. As well as changing Transcript/Revolution to livecode and helping to modernize the template. I also think some of the stacks could use small additions, for example I think Behaviors could be added to the "message hierarchy" stack". The area that in my opinion needs to be covered is in the mobile space. For example, a "Working with files(mobile), as well as a "mobile standalones" stack would be helpful. These may not even need their own stack and could be edited in to the existing stacks if the authors were available/willing. I'm sure there are a ton of features that I don't specifically use that have been added to Revolution/Livecode since the original Scripting Conferences. And as this (hopefully) gains momentum, we will have some more input from the community on what they would like to see covered.

Another idea I've had is : What if there was a plugin that listed all of these stacks, but also with a "request lesson" area, where people could request a stack for a specific topic, which could then be claimed by a member of the community for creation. Something we would have to figure out would be the submission/review process, as I'm sure Jacque doesn't have the time to be constantly checking on this. Perhaps a group of volunteers could review submission/work with authors to bring the stacks up to snuff, and then be submitted for final approval before being listed in the plugins database. This may be too big of an idea, I'm not sure. One thing I do see, is the community growing everyday, and I think we could all benefit from something like this. I'd love to see these stacks be more visible to new LiveCoders, and will my part to make it happen (whatever that turns out to be)

Hermann, thanks for your pledge of support! Hopefully we can get this out on the highway soon. If anyone else reading has any good ideas, suggestions, or are willing to help author stacks for this project, please comment here.

--Sefro

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Re: Project Proposal: 2015 Scripting Conferences

Post by [-hh] » Thu May 29, 2014 5:52 am

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Re: Project Proposal: 2015 Scripting Conferences

Post by jacque » Thu May 29, 2014 6:40 pm

Here are some topics I'd like to see addressed:

Printing
Sockets
Basic databases - nothing fancy; basics for beginners
Unicode
Auto-scaling - the new features
Standalone Settings - explanation of all panes and what each item does

I think before anything else is done, we need to find qualified people willing to write the stack topics. Without authors, there's no point in spending time updating the stack template.

I have received one private response saying the live conferences were valuable. I'd like more opinions on that too.
Jacqueline Landman Gay | jacque at hyperactivesw dot com
HyperActive Software | http://www.hyperactivesw.com

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Re: Project: 2015 Scripting Conferences

Post by FourthWorld » Thu May 29, 2014 7:45 pm

I hope you folks don't mind, but I've taken the liberty of changing this thread title from "Project Proposal" to simply "Project" - it has a team, a plan, and looks like it's underway, so I'd say it's elevated from a proposal to being an actual project.

Many thanks to all of you working on this. The last set of Scripting Conference stacks have been a valuable resource, and extending the series will be a great thing for everyone.
Richard Gaskin
Community volunteer LiveCode Community Liaison

LiveCode development, training, and consulting services: Fourth World Systems: http://FourthWorld.com
LiveCode User Group on Facebook : http://FaceBook.com/groups/LiveCodeUsers/

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Re: Project: 2015 Scripting Conferences

Post by [-hh] » Thu May 29, 2014 8:55 pm

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Re: Project: 2015 Scripting Conferences

Post by sefrojones » Thu May 29, 2014 11:09 pm

Hermann,
Thanks for all the thought you're putting into this. Your list looks like a great starting point to work from,. As you said it's already looking a bit long, but I think some of these could be combined. For example, the new auto-scaling features could probably fit into a single stack" New Features". I think we should also look at what is coming in the near future before creating these stacks. For example, should we wait until widgets are implemented before Controls II is drafted? Just something we should think about before moving forward. As far as not touching the old stacks, I really think that just a little modernization of the UI/graphics/logos and swapping out the words "transcript" and "Revolution" with "Livecode" would be beneficial, especially to beginners who may be confused with the name changes that have happened since the stacks were created. They are great lessons on their own, and it would be a shame for someone to miss out on them because they look out-dated.

I am flattered that you would mention my name among the others you mentioned, without all of their hard work and dedication in these forums, I wouldn't be here. I still frequently come across a one-liner/short script posted by a veteran livecoder that makes a solution I've been using in my stacks look....less than elegant. That being said, I would definitely be willing to start an outline of what I think the Beginners Corner lessons should cover, and attempt to flesh it out. I would be open to any and all input on this topic. As Jacque said, to get this off the ground we need volunteers/authors to justify the time it will take to modernize the template. Now that Richard has changed this from a proposal to a project, hopefully we'll see this initiative start to take form.

I think perhaps the "request a lesson" idea should take a back burner to coming up with a solid list of stacks that need created, and start getting the author slots filled for them. As I've said, the list you've drafted is a great starting point, and I think we could easily work it into a more manageable list.

Again, many thanks to you, Jacque, Richard, and any future contributors to this project!

--Sefro

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Re: Project: 2015 Scripting Conferences

Post by [-hh] » Fri May 30, 2014 12:12 am

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Re: Project: 2015 Scripting Conferences

Post by Sean O'Connor » Fri May 30, 2014 11:41 am

Just been reading through this post and find it interesting. as a suggestion how about adding a stack on project planning as well? perhaps even tips on learning stratdgies for the beginner.

I actually have a set of the conference stacks and find they where well presxented, thorough and despite being dated. still relevant to this day..
so bascially as i see it, the only changes that are realy needed are

1) remove references to revolution and replace with references to livecode( already mentioned in the thread)

2) cosmetic update inline with the current interface design of livecode( again already mentioned by other contributors)

3) use of new features etc( as already discussed in the thread already)

4) guidance notes on project planning and learning strategies.

oh and as I write this I have thaught of another idea....short quizzes to help consolidate understanding of concepts discussed within the stacks


I look forward to seeing how this progresses over time and if the spirit of the original stacks carries through then I suspect that you folks are onto a winner.
when the going gets tough the tough get going.

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Re: Project: 2015 Scripting Conferences

Post by sefrojones » Fri May 30, 2014 8:09 pm

[-hh] wrote:
The stacks from the 2005 scripting conference are historic documents, they were pretty much on top of time and graphical "xtalk design" when created. Why change them?
They are younger than me and I look outdated since ..., or imagine the original Gutenberg bible "B-42" had been overprinted 50 years later, because it looked outdated.

Hermann
Hermann,

My main reasoning behind updating the stacks is that they were previously (to my knowledge) linked to from the livecode site, but were removed because they look outdated. I think the added visibility, if RunRev were willing to link to the updated stacks, would be a good thing. I can see what you are saying in terms of the stacks being historic documents, but I am thinking more along the lines of Updating the Encyclopedia Bitannica as opposed to overprinting the original Gutenburg bible. I'm not suggesting we fly the originals into Mordor and drop them into a volcano when the project is finished. :D One idea I had, if updating turns out to be an unpopular idea, is to link to the relevant "Series I" stack from the newly created stacks as kind of a deeper look into the topic at hand. I'm still hoping I can persuade you to see my point of view :twisted:


Sean O'Connor wrote:Just been reading through this post and find it interesting. as a suggestion how about adding a stack on project planning as well? perhaps even tips on learning stratdgies for the beginner.
Sean,

This is a great idea! I also like the sort quiz idea as well. I think as this starts to take shape, project planning as well as suggested guidelines for naming variables/functions/handlers would make great additions to these stacks.

jacque wrote: I have received one private response saying the live conferences were valuable. I'd like more opinions on that too.
Jacque,

I am still on the fence as far as the live aspect of the conferences. I think that it would be great to do, but as time is always an issue, and these stacks are straight forward and informational, live meetings may not be necessary.

I'd be interested in your opinion on updating the original stacks vs preserving them as-is. Care to weigh in here?


Thanks,

--Sefro

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Re: Project: 2015 Scripting Conferences

Post by jacque » Fri May 30, 2014 11:27 pm

A few thoughts:

I haven't had time yet to contact RR about new images (this week is the release of a large software project for me and it has been very hectic.) I will see what I can do when things calm down, hopefully next week. It would be helpful if someone with more time can go through one of the existing stacks and make a list of all the images we'll need so we know what to ask for. There aren't very many. I agree that replacing the images (or at least the logo) and changing all instances of "Revolution" to "LiveCode" would be a good idea.

I'm sorry I used the term "new" in my topic list because I would avoid that in the stacks. In six months, new things will be common and the stacks will look outdated again, so "new" features should be presented like any other topic. I also would like to see these stacks focus on only basic, beginner information because that is their primary purpose. The existing series was intended to build on itself, so that people could start with the first one and work their way through them in order. However, they also were written in a way that anyone with basic knowledge of LC could pick up a single topic and understand it. I'd like to keep that focus, and avoid anything too advanced.

I'm not sure "project planning" fits in. It would make a great blog article or outside tutorial, but it isn't a basic LC concept. Also, there are a hundred ways to plan a project depending on the content and presentation, and I'm afraid new users would take such a stack as gospel and then find later it isn't suitable for their needs. I also don't think we need a "beginner's corner" because the whole first series addresses that and assumes no previous knowledge of LC.

Quizes: sorry, but I don't like it. The stacks are a reference, not courseware. Notes: Yes, there is already a card at the back of each stack for user notes.

Requesting a topic here in the forum is a fine idea. Let's keep requests focused on basic, essential information that a new user would need to know. I've found that learning the syntax is usually less challenging than figuring out the basic behaviors of the engine; you can generally find the syntax you need with possibly some help from the forums, but understanding how the engine works and what it does with your stack isn't as well documented. That was a focus of the conference stacks that'd I'd like to keep.

Suggested revised list of topics:

Behaviors
Basic databases
Sockets
Managing Screen Resolution: Auto-scaling and scripted repositioning
Printing: built-in Rev functions and using printing templates
Standalone Settings: a walkthrough
Unicode

We already covered Standalones but there are new panes for mobile now so I think it should be revisited. I removed Files because we've already covered that and there is little difference between files on a hard drive and on mobile, outside of the file paths. I removed "the future" because it will be out of date too quickly. Players were covered in the Multimedia stack, and images have also been covered already (though I need to look again, there may be room for more.) Sockets are not necessarily the internet, so it gets its own topic. I'm not sure about including Intenet separately; I could go either way. From a beginner's viewpoint, internet access is as easy as using a URL instead of a file name, though we could address the "load" command and its relatives. You could convince me. I removed the server topic because once you know LC you already know the server; the scripts are similar. The main difference, outside of the surrounding tags, would be how web pages and a server work, and that isn't LC-specific. Text was already covered extensively, but Unicode was not and is tricky, so I think that needs its own topic. We can assume that users have understood the text chunking topic stack already, so the Unicode stack can refer to it. Platform differences are mentioned in a topic stack where they apply; you could convince me it needs its own topic but I lean to the view that users want to know the differences based on the subject they are reading, rather than seeing a list of things out of context.

That said, if you disagree with an omission and can make a case for it, please do. I'm going to stress the idea that these stacks are for new users though, and that we need to be concise and very basic. Think about what you wanted to know in the first few weeks you used LC; that's where we're aiming.

For the live discussions, I'm still wavering. (Hermann, looking at the downloads won't help, many people downloaded the stacks who never attended a live session.) When we had our very first intro conference with Kevin presenting we had about 100 people. Every week attendance was less, and by the end there were only a dozen or so who showed up. The decreased attendance made me wonder if the live sessions were valuable. Apparently people didn't think so, even though many continued to download the stacks.
Jacqueline Landman Gay | jacque at hyperactivesw dot com
HyperActive Software | http://www.hyperactivesw.com

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