Conference Input Wanted

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Susan Smith
Posts: 678
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 4:24 am
Location: Southern California

Conference Input Wanted

Postby Susan Smith » Thu May 07, 2015 2:57 pm

Hi all,

It's time to get our conference rolling!
I'm sure that you've seen the messages that I have posted recently with the hotel details and dates. (If not, please see the "CONFERENCES" section on the forum to revisit those.) But now we need to get the CONTENT happening. The 2015 conference will be a little different. In the past, the Business Rules Group has largely played "catch up" with new BR topics. There were so many new features added to BR that it took us quite a long time to catch up to the point where we had presented them all (or most anyway). You can only fit a certain amount of content into each conference and the new things were coming faster than we could learn them and present them! But in the more recent past, especially since Dan left, much of the work on BR has been concentrated into a more narrow focus and we haven't seen the same QUANTITY of new features added. There is nothing wrong with this. It's just how it is. Thus, we have "caught up". So now comes an opportunity...


Some topics have appeared at conferences on a repeated basis because people ask for them again. This is usually because the topics were of interest the first time, but because developers weren't able to immediately implement those features and make use of the information, they wanted a refreshed course when they were ready. We have an opportunity to revisit some prior topics (not necessarily with the same presenters) for those people who felt a little left behind in recent years.
1. Do you have a repeat topic that you would like see covered again? (Naturally, this is subject to the availability of a presenter willing and able to do such a presentation!)
2. Is there a topic that you are interested in, but you don't KNOW if it was covered before? (Maybe you are relatively new to the group.)
3. Is there a non-BR topic that you are interested in learning more about? We have a certain amount of space for non-BR topics, though since this IS a Business Rules Group conference, we must balance our content to keep to our mission statement.


This is a group run by volunteers. You get what you give. We LOVE to see what each other is up to in the BR world! It's a source of inspiration and inevitable leads to many saying "I didn't know that you could do that in BR!" Remember that none of us went to BR school! There are many ways that we picked up this language, and we all use it in different ways. You might think that your favorite technique is something that "everybody knows". But I can assure you that this is rarely the case! And I confess that my very favorite part of EVERY conference is seeing what others are up to and how they do their stuff!
1. Would you like to present on a particular topic of interest to you, or something that you feel might be helpful to the rest of the group? It can be big or small, long or short.
2. Would you like to show off what you are working on or something that you just completed?
3. Do you have a NIFTY NEATO? (some small technique, "look" of a screen, or programming hint) These are always very popular because they don't require a lot of time from the presenter/sharer, yet they create those "aha!" moments for the rest of us. If I had my way, I'd fill the entire conference up with Nifty Neatos!

Please email me your thoughts. I'd like to know what/who we have to work with for this conference and start to solidify our plan. And don't be shy! If I don't get a healthy response, we will have a LOT of discussion time ;)

I'm looking to hear from you ASAP!

-- Susan

Posts: 309
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 6:02 pm

Re: Conference Input Wanted

Postby gordon » Sat May 16, 2015 8:44 am

Greetings everyone.

For several years BR advanced well beyond the user community's ability to incorporate its features. It also advanced with respect to its capacities. However, it eventually became less and less stable. So in 2012, I stopped the development of new features and focused on cleaning up the instabilities. Meanwhile many of you have started taking advantage of some of the new capabilities.

Fortunately during that time Gabriel provided a modern programming interface that has also improved over time. ScreenIO and FileIO enable all of us to make a quantum leap in or applications without the drudgery of a lot of finite coding. If you haven't seriously looked into them then you should do yourself a favor.

Meanwhile Laura is continuing to develop the programs, documentation and video tutorials that will enable the rest of the world to adopt BR without having to get a degree in computer science first.

There are still some improvements that I intend to make this year in the areas of date processing, SQL support and the Web Server. But I expect those improvements to be complete by the time of the conference. So by the conference it will be time to resume focusing on the future. I will present my ideas concerning the design of BR 4.4, where I want to position BR in the marketplace, and how I intend to get it there. And you, hopefully will evaluate my presentation and shoot holes in it where appropriate. In addition we may do a tad of blue sky discussion.

So, the conference should be exciting, entertaining, and just may help you decide what you want to take advantage of for the future of your company. If there have been any developments within your products that you would consider sharing, now is the time to let Susan know about them.

I look forward to a pretty enjoyable and high energy conference this year. See you there.

Susan Smith
Posts: 678
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 4:24 am
Location: Southern California

Re: Conference Input Wanted

Postby Susan Smith » Sat May 16, 2015 10:16 am

Thank you Gordon. I'd love to tag on to your message here. One of my very favorite things about these conferences is that I ALWAYS come home with ideas that I didn't expect. Sometimes it is from the scheduled presenters and other times it is from casual discussions while a small group gathers around somebody's laptop to see something that they are working on.

Since we are pretty much "caught up" with the new features that have been added to BR so far, I would love this conference to focus on the smaller things: what you are doing with your GUI features in your screens, a new way to interpret and old BR feature, pushing the boundaries of BR by connecting to other get the idea. Fill in the blanks for yourselves. But to do this, we need two things: people with ideas and suggestions from people who would LIKE some ideas!

I mentioned Nifty Neatos in my last message. I would be thrilled if we filled up our conference full of 5-10 minute Nifty Neatos - for HOURS, ALL DAY LONG. I know that I would go home encouraged, inspired and charged with ideas. Wouldn't you? But it's to plan a conference. not knowing what we have to work with. So to reiterate what Gordon mentioned, if you have something - big or small - that you'd like to share with the group, please speak up. This is YOUR conference. Sometimes you get out of it what you put INTO it. Those of us who work to put it together want these few days to be something meaningful to you. If you would like to learn more about a particular topic (a very elementary topic or a complex one - they are ALL beneficial), give me a holler. I will do my best to find somebody to illustrate that and make it more clear. If you HAVE something to share, let me know that too. We need you!

If the response is sparse, this is what will happen: We will have lots of casual discussions at the conference, which is great too. Many of my favorite inspirations at past conferences were born of moments like these. And you know how it goes in our group...when someone voices a question, the discussion gets lively and we all learn. So either way, I know it will be wonderful. But let us TRY to put together a foundation to build on in order to tailor it to your needs as best we can and make sure that we cover the things that you want.


-- Susan

Susan Smith
Posts: 678
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 4:24 am
Location: Southern California

Re: Conference Input Wanted

Postby Susan Smith » Mon May 18, 2015 10:44 pm

Business Rules Group Members: In order to better tailor our conference to your needs. PLEASE take a few moments to Email me your thoughts on the following. If you prefer, you can leave your comments here in the forum. Some of these questions are based on responses I have received in email to my earlier queries on this topic. I want to get a feel for the larger group and where EVERYONE stands. This is not a proposed conference agenda. Rather, it's to help us know what we NO LONGER NEED to ADDRESS at our conferences...what topics do we retire for good?

1. Are you using BR versions prior to 4.1? What version(s) are you using? Stand Alone? Client Server?
2. Do you support non-GUI (legacy) applications that do not use the more recent 4.0 features such as listviews, buttons, combo boxes, grids, fonts, etc? Do you write NEW non-GUI screen programs? Or are all of your new screen programs written with a GUI interface? (I'm primarily talking about input programs, not reports or utility programs)
3. Do you need some help making the jump to GUI interfaces? Anything in particular?
4. Are you using NWP? (Native Windows Printing)? Are any of you in need of help in moving to this?
5. Are you using ScreenIO or do you intend/want to? There are new features since last time AND new users, so I want to get a feel for the interest.
6. Are you using BR 4.3? We have had a few presentations on installing and using BR 4.3 as well as Client Server issues, but this was at the more recent conferences. Not everyone was ready to make the jump at that time. Have we left people behind on this one? Are there some of you who need more information presented on this?
7. Are there older BR concepts that you would like us to expand upon? CONFIG OPTION statements? Screen processing statements? Working with Excel using CSV or HTML files? Printing to PDFs? Using Proportional Fonts? Printing with RTF?
8. What about other BR concepts: Debugging in BR? Security Issues in our programming (encryption, etc)? Something else?
9. What about non-BR topics? Backup strategies? External program editors (MyEdit is one)?

Hopefully, this gets you thinking. Please let me know your thoughts ASAP. Some of these topics can probably be retired for good. Which ones? You decide. Which new topics might you like to see? Tell me now! The conference is in 4½ months. Time to get the planning underway!

-- Susan

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