Thursday, June 28, 2007

TSS DSL Keynote Recap

Martin Fowler and I just finished delivering the keynote on Language-Oriented Programming at The ServerSide Symposium in Barcelona, Spain. He and I have never presented together before, but we are both passionate about this subject, so it sounded like fun. And it was. I created a skeleton slide show in Keynote, to which he added and made suggestions, and we paired for about 1/2 hour the night before to make sure that it represented not only a consensus view but also good leaping off points for the presentation. We approached it like a public conversation: we had pretty minimal slides, and we took turns talking about the subject (along with minor disagreements) along the way.

There was a little bit of a frenzy just before it started. For some reason, some projector switching boxes just don't seem to like the Mac. My laptop worked fine in all the other breakout rooms (that only had one projector). In the main room, my machine could see that it was attached to an external monitor (I could see the resolution, the refresh rate, and every other detail about the external projectors), but for some reason they refused to show the image. I worked on this with an increasingly frantic IT guy from the hotel. We tried a Dell laptop and it worked fine. He kept insisting that there was something wrong with my machine, and I kept demonstrating to him that I could see his equipment just fine. I've encountered this problem before (see this entry, and it always turns out to be the switching box for the projectors, which for some bizarre reason has an affinity for Windows). Finally, as a last resort (time was running out), I exported the presentation from Keynote to a PDF file, copied it to a thumb drive, and moved it to the Windows laptop. I lost all the animations and other effects, but the slides looked OK. By this time, it was time to start speaking, so I opened the slide show full screen on the laptop. Unbeknownst to me, someone had set the machine to operate in kiosk mode when Acrobat is full screen, so the slide show starting playing without me doing anything. Finally, rather than try to figure out how to turn that off in front of 300 people, I just left it with the Acrobat Reader border showing and launched into the talk. As much as I love the Mac, it seems that the rest of the world still harbors ill-will for anything non-Windows. And it's not major stuff anymore -- it's the strange little things like switching boxes for projectors.

For anyone who saw the presentation, that was why it was in non-full screen Acrobat Reader view. Despite this hiccough, I thought the talk went reasonably well. Martin and I both have lots to say on this topic. When we started, I feared that we wouldn't have enough material, but he and I are both prodigious talkers, so we ended up having to rush a little to get to the end. I feel like we presented a pretty good summary view of how we both feel about this important subject.

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