Friday, December 29, 2006

Signup Information for January 4 Shakedown Webinar

To register for the shakedown webinar on January 4 (covering the
implementation of virtual functions under single inheritance) click on
this link,

fill out the required fields, then click "Register Now." Shortly
thereafter, Webex will send you email telling you how to join the
meeting when it starts.

The presentation itself will start promptly at 10:00AM Pacific time on
January 4, but before you can join, you'll need to make sure that the
Webex MeetingManager software has been installed. This is supposed to
happen automatically when you join the meeting, but I'm believer in
taking steps to thwart Murphy, so I encourage you to install the
software in advance by following this link:

Installing this software in advance will also speed your entry to the
meeting, because there will be no need to download and install the
MeetingManager at that time (unless they've done an upgrade in the
interim, which is always possible...).

My expectation is that many of you have never used Webex before, so
I'll be in the virtual meeting room about 10 minutes before the
presentation starts to give a brief overview of the Webex features
you're most likely to find useful, e.g., how to raise your virtual
hand, how to send text messages during the talk, how to modify the
Webex screen layout, etc. (Unbelievably, Webex has no canned video
explaining this stuff.)

My understanding is that there is no limit to the number of people who
can attend this webinar, but only the first 125 people to call in to
the meeting will be able to speak. Anybody beyond that will be able
to hear, but not speak, though everybody in the meeting will always be
able to use text messages to submit comments and questions during the
presentation. Calling in to the phone bridge (audio portion of the
webinar) should be toll-free from a variety of countries; a link to
country-specific situations will be included in the email you get
after you register.

I look forward to having you in the webinar on January 4. Please
remember to show up about 10 minutes early if you want to have me
explain the basics of the Webex client interface.

If you have any problems or questions about signing up for the
webinar, let me know: smeyers@....



Thursday, December 28, 2006

Free "Shakedown Webinars" on Implementing Virtual Functions

Executive Summary: I'll be holding free online webinars on January 4 and 11 to
evaluate webinar technology. The webinars will cover the implementation of
virtual functions under single and multiple inheritance.

"Webinars" are live seminars broadcast over the Internet. At their best,
webinars give me a way to offer an experience akin to a face-to-face seminar,
but without the need for us to be in the same place. Because the seminar is
live, you can still ask questions or make comments during the presentation. You
can still see the presentation materials as I display them, and you can still
see me point to and annotate specific parts of the materials as I speak. You
can even watch me during the presentation, though my current webcam provides
only low-qualify video. For my part, I can still whip up code examples, and I
can still bring up web sites and walk you through them. The experience can be
much as if I were there with you, except I'm not.

The foregoing assumes that everything goes well. That's quite an assumption.
Before I can embrace webinars, I need to have a better understanding of how they
really work for the kinds of things I want to use them for. That's where you
come in. I've done small-scale testing of webinar technology, but now I want to
see how well it works with more people in more places using a wider variety of
platforms. To that end, I'm scheduling a two-part webinar for the next two
Thursdays: January 4 and January 11. Part 1 will cover the implementation of
C++ virtual functions under single inheritance, while part 2 will extend the
treatment to multiple inheritance. Both seminars will be free, and both will
tentatively take place at 10:00 AM Pacific Time (GMT-8 hours). Each should run
no more than an hour. Because one of the things I want to examine is
telephone-based audio versus VOIP-based audio, part 1 will use a conventional
phone bridge (i.e., you call a toll-free number to connect to the audio part of
the webinar), while part 2 will use VOIP (i.e, you'll need audio capabilities in
your computer to hear the presentation or to speak during it).

Some of the details of the webinars are still undecided, so at this point, I
suggest you simply set aside the days/times (4 and 11 January at 10AM Pacific
time) if you want to participate.

These are "shakedown webinars," so a primary goal is to learn what doesn't work
as well as it should. To that end, after each webinar I'll explicitly ask for
suggestions on how I can make future webinars more effective. There is a school
of thought that lecture-based webinar presentations are inherently ineffective
-- that they are vastly worse than face-to-face versions of the same
presentations. I'm hoping that this is not the case, but I'm a guy who likes to
buttress his hopes with experience. In addition to testing the technology
behind webinars, then, we'll also be testing the practicality of moving my
face-to-face presentations to the web in the first place.

The webinars will use Webex, a browser-based system that runs on many platforms;
the full list is available at . To use it, you'll
need to download and install some software, though this is normally handled
automatically. If this sounds intrusive or scary, please withhold judgement
until you've had a chance to see how things work on your platform.

I'll send out a more detailed description of how to sign up for the seminars
when I know them myself -- within the next few days. I hope you'll want to
participate in these shakedown events, because the more people who attend, the
better I'll be able to evaluate how well Webex is up to the tasks I have in mind
for it. Besides, the implementation of virtual functions is interesting stuff:
vptrs, vtbls, how vptrs get set, dealing with invocation of pure virtual
functions, object offset adjustments under single and multiple inheritance,
thunks, vtbl deltas, compiler options to let you know what's going on, etc. --
all this will be covered in the talks.

If you're interested in helping me evaluate webinars and webinar technology,
please set aside about an hour on January 4 and 11 at 10AM Pacific time, and
watch this mailing list for more information on how to participate.



Thursday, December 21, 2006

Upcoming Talks in 2007

The first half of 2007 is looking to be a busy set of conference months for me.
I'll be speaking at the new Software Development Best Practices India conference
in January (in Hyderabad, Chennai, and Bangalore); at Software Development in
Santa Clara in March; and at the Embedded Systems Conference in San Jose in
April. As always, details on my upcoming public talks are available at .

It's not quite official yet (so it's not yet at the page mentioned above), but
I'll almost certainly be giving a talk at the inaugural Boost Conference in
Aspen, Colorado, in May. You can read about that conference at . In fact, there still time to submit
talk proposals -- check out . FWIW, my talk there
will likely bear a close resemblance to the newest entry in my list of training
seminars: "An Introduction to TR1 and Boost." Details on that are at .

Whether at Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Santa Clara, San Jose, or Aspen, I
look forward to seeing you at one or more of these events in the first half of