September 06, 2007
"Thank you"s Are In Order
In my haste, yesterday, to get something about K.O.K.O.P.E.L.L.I. "up and running", I neglected to mention those VERY patient folks who tested the application, offered constructive criticism, and generally harrassed me to get it done. Without their help, it would have taken much, much longer. So, in no particular order, I would like to acknowledge the following humanoids for their help:
Brad Pitt (just checking to see if you are paying attention)
For those of you who are really weird, YES, it WAS in a particular order - ALPHABETICAL (by last name).
Thanks again to everyone.
September 05, 2007
K.O.K.O.P.E.L.L.I. is koko-licious!
The world’s greatest software application is about to be released. OK, maybe not the world’s greatest, but certainly, this country’s greatest software. That COULD be a bit of a stretch, too. Why don’t I tone it down a bit and just say that a useful piece of software is now available? It will be particularly useful if you are planning on attending the Southwest Fox 2007 Conference in Mesa, AZ USA from October 18-21, 2007. K.O.K.O.P.E.L.L.I. is its name and you can read more about it at Rick Schummer’s blog, http://www.rickschummer.com/blog, and download it at http://www.swfox.net/kokopelli.zip. Allow me to tell you a little bit more about it.
Several years ago, a co-worker, Doug Carpenter, and I were annoyed by the time we “wasted” in trying to come up with the optimum conference schedule when attending a developer conference with multiple sessions. It seemed like we would spend several hours with pencil and paper trying to pick and choose the correct combination of times and sessions to get the best bang for our conference buck. It was then that we embarked on the quest to come up with some semi-intelligent, intuitive software that would do the scheduling for us. It was that software, “The G.O.D.D.E.S.S.”, which debuted at the DevEssentials Conference in Kansas City in 2004. K.O.K.O.P.E.L.L.I. is the next generation of this type of software.
Written in Visual FoxPro 9, Kokopelli (K.O.K.O.P.E.L.L.I. is too difficult to type) takes the attendee’s preferences and converts them into a SUGGESTED conference schedule that all but guarantees, by the time the conference is over, that the attendee will have seen every session they wanted to see. You will need either VFP8 or VFP9 installed or have the run-time files available to run the executable. If you need the run time files, leave me a comment and I will e-mail them to you (about 11 meg.).
Once you download the zipped file, unzip the file into the directory of your choice and just run the executable. Take the time to both READ the help (4th page of the page frame) and/or use the graphical help by clicking on the Help! button. This is all the help you should need. I do have a couple of warnings however. If you keep them in mind, you will have the best chance of getting the optimal schedule.
First, although it may appear to be so, it should NOT be your goal to “pick” the session in each time slot that you want to attend. The software will eventually do that for you. YOUR job is to rank the four sessions in each time slot as if they were the only four sessions you could attend the entire conference. i.e. Of the four sessions in the time slot, which one would you MOST like to attend? Which one would be your 2nd choice? Third choice? It is so important that you understand this concept; I am suggesting that you read this paragraph over again. Do the same thing for EACH time slot (ignoring what you chose before in other time slots). To reiterate... Treat EACH TIME SLOT as an entity unto itself. By following this plan, Kokopelli will determine which sessions are most important to you and present a schedule that should meet your needs and ensure that you have had a chance to attend the sessions that interest you the most.
Second, the generated schedule is ONLY A SUGGESTION. No one is twisting your arm and forcing you to attend a particular session. I think you will be amazed at how well it does in creating a schedule for you. You can always tweak the rankings to fine tune the schedule. If you have any questions, concerns, comments, feel free to comment them here and I will answer them and guide you down the right path.
Lastly, we tried to come up with a form that isn’t your standard Visual FoxPro/Windows form in appearance. We hope you like it and appreciate the Southwestern theme of the form.