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Best CocoaConf Fall Tour Ever

In previous years, planning for Q3 speaking dates has been an enormous hassle, thanks to the Apple NDA: you can’t talk about any of the stuff coming in the new version of iOS, so you have to deliberately pick older topics, with a possible eye to getting new stuff ready to go depending on when Apple announces and releases the new bits, and whether that lines up with your conference dates.

Last year, I just threw up my hands and did evergreen topics that were largely outside the Apple sphere of influence: A/V encoding and Audiobus.

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This year, thanks to Apple backing off the NDA, speakers are free to dig into the new stuff introduced at WWDC. This suddenly transforms August’s CocoaConf Columbus from having old, crusty, but NDA-safe material, to instead being one of the first conferences that can dig into the iOS 8 technologies.

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Dub Dub Disclosure Conference

Interesting development coming out of WWDC this year. When we all logged into the dev center to get the new iOS 8 / Mac OS X 10.10 / Xcode 6 bits, there was a new developer agreement to acknowledge. One of the few people to actually read it, Ole Begemann, noticed that it has a surprising new provision:

Further, Apple agrees that You will not be bound by the foregoing confidentiality terms with regard to technical information about pre-release Apple Software and services disclosed by Apple at WWDC (Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference), except that You may not post screen shots, write public reviews or redistribute any pre-release Apple Software or services

In the past, all of us developers have had to tip-toe around the new SDKs, APIs, and tools until they’re officially released, which leads to embarrassing situations like WWDC recap sessions at CocoaHeads where we say “well, if they were going to put an Obj-C wrapper around Core Audio, they might…”. This new change in policy would seem to indicate that we’re no longer compelled to engage in such silly antics.

Fry: Not sure if NDA is still on, or if I just broke it

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AVMutableCocoaConfPresentationInstruction

I’m speaking at three of the five CocoaConfs for early 2014, teaching an all-day AV Foundation Film School class and a regular session on Stupid Video Tricks, which is also all about AV Foundation. (In DC, I also reprised Get on the Audiobus to fill in for another speaker).

UPDATE: I’m also going to do “Stupid Video Tricks” at next week’s Ann Arbor CocoaHeads.

I first taught the class in Chicago, and then added one more project for DC and San Jose based on how the timing worked out. To speed things up, I created starter projects that dealt with all the storyboard connections and drudge-work, leaving big holes in the code that say // TODO: WRITE IN CLASS for the stuff we do as a code-along. The class projects are:

  1. Play back a video file from a URL
  2. Capture into a video file (and play back in another tab, with the code from 1)
  3. Edit together clips and export as a new .m4v file, first as a cuts-only edit (easy), and then with cross-dissolved (quite painful and clearly marked as an hour of outright drudgery)
  4. Processing video frames at capture-time with Core Image

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I Am A Spy In The House Of Love

So I tried something different this year. I took a pass on the angst and nerd drama of the WWDC ticket lottery and saved my pennies for a completely different conference, Streaming Media West. As much as I like working on media applications, I’ve long believed that I’ll be far more useful as a consultant the more I understand the content side and the problems that clients are likely to bring my way. I really like the magazine and its website, and figured I could pick up some useful knowledge both for my development work and my aspirations to do more livestreaming of my own.

tl;dr, was it worth $2,500 of my own money for ticket, hotel, and airfare? No. Not in any obvious way. But the fact that it didn’t pan out may itself provide valuable insights.

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Outclassed

Two speaking appointments, one listening…

Two weeks until CocoaConf Atlanta, where I’m doing sessions on Audiobus and A/V encoding teaching the Core Audio all-day class. Probably the last time for the Core Audio class, but I’ve said that before too. Still, thinking pretty seriously about doing all day AV Foundation class on CocoaConf’s Spring 2014 tour.

And then of course, there’s CodeMash and my half-day class on Roku in January. But I talked about that last time. And it’s sold out anyways.

In between those is a thing I haven’t done in a while (not since WWDC 2009): going to a conference as an attendee, paying a hefty admission fee because I dearly want to learn more about the topic, from the small group of people that know what they’re doing. I’m talking about the Streaming Media West conference, held in Huntington Beach, CA the week after CocoaConf Atlanta (in fact, I’m flying there directly from ATL).

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Indoor Waterpark + Roku Streams = CodeMash 2014

For those of you who dig tech conferences held in the middle of winter at indoor waterparks, CodeMash sessions are up, and I’m doing something different this year. I’m teaching a half-day class on Roku development, on January 8, 2014.

Details are on the sessions page — you can’t link to a specific session, but if you filter by “precompiler” classes and type equals other, you’ll find it. Of course, this is three months away, so I don’t have the class materials prepared yet, but my plan is to get a quick win by streaming something simple like the Apple “BipBop” test stream, and then move on to building out a more sophisticated content browser with the various UI widgets.

Actually, we’ll probably dedicate the first hour just to getting set up. Everyone needs to get their Rokus onto the Kalahari wifi, put them into developer mode, get the IP address, and get set up to send zips to it with FTP and watch the debug messages with telnet. Also, everyone’s going to need to see the output from their Roku, either with a second monitor or (preferably) a capture box into their laptop. Lots to wrangle, and makes me appreciate the relative convenience of Xcode and its iOS simulator.

EDIT: Jeff Kelley reminds me I should score some Amazon affil linkage out of this. So if you want a top-of-the-line HD-only, HDMI-only box, check out the 3rd generation Roku 3, whereas I’ll be rocking the 2nd gen SD/HD Roku 2 XS.

Also, as I discovered the hard way at CocoaConf San Jose, a Roku on someone else’s wifi is worthless without the original remote control: there’s no way to connect it to the wifi, which in turn means you can’t find it with the Roku smartphone app. So, yeah, I was very careful to put that in the requirements/prerequisites for the class.

Anyways, that’ll be fun, and very much in CodeMash’s spirit of trying out new things. CodeMash registration is next Tuesday (Oct. 22) for alumni, and the following Tuesday (Oct. 29) for general public. Last year, each sold out in a WWDC-like 30 seconds; in fact, it was the CodeMash 2013 experience that convinced me that WWDC 2013 would sell out in less than a minute.

So, if you make it in, and want to learn Roku programming, I’ll see you in January!

Conferences Are Coming

Fall’s coming, evenings are getting shorter (sorry, Southern Hemisphere, but roll with me here), and the Fall conferences are gearing up. Last week was CocoaConf Portland, and here’s me teaching the iPad Productivity APIs class (from the CocoaConf Flickr):

Chris Adamson in iPad Productivity workshop

One thing I need to get in before the jump: CocoaConf organizer Dave Klein was on episode 15 of the My Appventure podcast, and the show notes page linked above has a 20% off code for the next three CocoaConfs: Columbus, OH (Sept. 27-8), Boston, MA (Oct. 25-6), and Atlanta, GA (Nov. 15-6). I’m teaching all-day classes the day before each of these: iPad Productivity in Columbus, and Core Audio in Boston and Atlanta.

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CocoaConf Tour (Late 2013) and Core Audio video

A couple speaky/selly things real quick…

As mentioned in earlier posts, I’m speaking at all four of the upcoming CocoaConfs. I’m reprising my all-day tutorials:

  • iPad Productivity (UIDocument, autosave, iCloud, PDF/printing, inter-app doc exchange) in Portland (August) and Columbus (September)
  • Core Audio in Boston (October) and Atlanta (November)

I’m also doing two regular hour-long sessions, on Audiobus and A/V encoding. For Audiobus, feel free to abandon any angst that this much-loved third party tool for inter-application audio will be obsoleted and abandoned by Apple’s announced introduction of an inter-app audio framework in iOS 7. The Audiobus team announced that Audiobus will adopt Apple’s new APIs when running under iOS 7, meaning you’ll get compatibility with both Audiobus-enabled apps and those that use Apple’s new APIs. So it’s still well worth learning about if you’re into audio; I’m working on some demo code to show it off. Thinking I might bring back the Dalek ring modulator code from 360iDev a few years back and wrap it as an Audiobus effect (Hi Janie!)

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Never Mind the WWDC, Here’s the CocoaConfs

So now CocoaConf Alt isn’t happening. A story at Loop Insight lays the blame more clearly at Apple’s feet for pressuring the Intercontinental hotel, which apparently has some contractural relationship with Apple during WWDC (it’s not said what… possibly housing Apple employees or off-site partner meetings?), and that this contract forbids the hotel from hosting a “competing” event.

I’ve spoken at nearly all the CocoaConf conferences, and I have no reason to doubt Dave’s version of these events. Indeed, while some commenters would like to portray this as a spat solely between the Intercontinental and CocoaConf – and leave Apple out of it – that position doesn’t square with the facts. If the Intercontinental knew they were contracturally prohibited from hosting CocoaConf Alt, they wouldn’t have signed a contract with CocoaConf in the first place, right? Daniel Jalkut makes the best case for letting Apple off the hook, suggesting that someone at either the Intercontiental or Apple got a trigger finger and killed the event when they didn’t necessarily need to. That the Intercontinental realized it was in a conflict-of-interest scenario after the fact is possible, but it’s no more plausible than the idea that Apple doesn’t like anyone riding on their coattails and sent the hotel management a nastygram.

For what it’s worth, that latter scenario is the one that rings true to me. (Or, to haul out a tag I haven’t used in a while, nefarious skullduggery!).

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April 2013: Kind of talked out

And a week late, I’m finally writing my follow-up post to CocoaConf San Jose. Not that anybody’s missing anything, I think, because I’ve been doing the same two hour-long sessions for the CocoaConf Spring 2013 tour: “Core Audio in iOS 6” and “Mobile Movies with HTTP Live Streaming”. I’ve tweaked each repeatedly, although this time the only one with slides new enough to post to Slideshare is the Core Audio one, since I added some slides at the end to do an overview of Audiobus.

I’d hoped to get a full-blown Audiobus demo ready in time for the conference, but client work took priority, and in the midst of an 11-hour flight delay in Denver, I didn’t have the tools or the stamina to pull it off.

Actually, I’m thinking I may work on digging into Audiobus enough to get a whole one-hour talk on it ready for CocoaConf’s Fall tour. Doing so would also help me deal with the fact that some of the Fall conferences will likely fall inside the iOS 7 / OS X 10.9 NDA period, leaving us unable to talk about the new hotness from Cupertino. Audiobus is an interesting new topic that would not be encumbered by the Cupertino cone of silence.

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