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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.

Daniel Steinberg is doing an all-day Swift intro and a regular 60-minute session on Swift, along with more specific Swift talks from Steve Madsen on Swift/C interoperability and Mattt Thompson on AFNetworking with Swift.

As for new iOS 8 frameworks, Janie Clayton-Hasz has updated her GPUImage talk to incorporate a compare/contrast with Metal, and there are some TBAs that seem likely to fill in with hot new topics.

As for me? Actually, the one new thing I’m doing is a Core Image talk, and I strongly believe in giving this much-overlooked framework some screen time. It’s wildly underappreciated, despite being the lynchpin of many of the visual effects we see throughout iOS and OS X. Also, there’ll be a nice benefit for attendees who go to this session and Janie’s on GPUImage to compare two frameworks that are in the same general field, but are widely different in their application and results. Compare and contrast, FTW.

So I opted not to switch this with some new iOS 8 topic, nor am I going to do it in Swift, because I think the value of this talk is in understanding the framework, not the specifics of how it’s called in Obj-C vs. Swift. In fact, the “stringly-typed” Core Image should probably make for an easy conversion between languages, since most of the work setting up filters is a matter of setting up key-value pairs to configure the filter, and then pull out a resulting CIImage via another string key. Moreover, doing this session in Swift would lose attendees who haven’t had the time to dig into Swift yet, and who don’t have room on their MacBooks for two or more versions of Xcode, the production-ready Xcode 5 and a new-hotness Xcode 6 beta, each chowing about 8 GB of SSD after they’re loaded up with simulators, documentation, and other downloads.

In addition, I’m doing the all-day AV Foundation class and the Stupid Video Tricks session from the Spring tour. And with Jonathan Penn leaving the tour to go to Apple, the rest of us speakers finally have a shot at the coveted Best Session at CocoaConf prize that Jonathan has had locked up for the last year.

So anyways, the CocoaConfs will be awesome this Fall. And I’m mentioning this now because early-bird registration for Columbus ends Friday, June 20.

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