Review of the European Xbase++Developers Conference, having taken place near
Venlo, The Netherlands, on Nov. 12th - 13th, 2004.
This Xbase++event turned out to be a very unique and invaluable
developers conference for various reasons.
All participants enjoyed an overwhelming amount of first hand
information, hands-on experiences and real-world deployed samples.
Furthermore, the development and fostering of business and personal
relationships and friendships, as well as the gathering of lasting
impressions and memorable moments were to pleasure everyone at the
This DevCon, having attracted more than 100 visitors from all over
the world, has been a great success for the Xbase++ community and
of course, for Xbase++as a product. Xbase++ developers had the
opportunity to came together and exchange their ideas, present their
products and get profound technical knowledge provided by the leading
The Conference took place at an originally preserved Mediaeval Castle,
and was organized as a two day event (Nov. 12th and 13th 2004)
Due to its cosmopolitan nature, most speakers and attendees had arrived
already the previous Thursday evening. Thus, having taken advantage of
the opportunity to get in touch with friends and fellow developers prior
to the offical commencement of the DevCon. The bar turned out to
be just the right spot for the social aspect of the event.
The foreseen session schedule turned out be quite intensive and tough for
every party: the speakers as well as the participants. With a total of
31 sessions and more than 10 speakers, these two days proved to be
packed with knowledge and tips and tricks stemming from years of dedicated
Xbase++development. Having started at 9:00 a.m. with an one hour break
for lunch, the last session ended - according to the conference schedule -
at 20:30 p.m.! The late afternoon sessions, however, always had a tendency
to be by and large overrun timeswise. The Database Technology session from
Steffen F. Pirsig took two and a half hours, covering everything from
performance and reliability issues up to new features in the forthcoming
A lot of new exciting stuff was introduced. Technologies, such as ActiveX
integration into Xbase++1.9. Mr Cherubini and Its Staff - from
Albalog Srl - showed Visual dBSee, a case modelling tool for Xbase++
allowing one to generate a full functional GUI application including the
database model in only 30 minutes. Turning to SOAP,
WebServices or transparent ODBC SQL access using products from Mr. Boris
Borzic. Once again, a marvelous job was done by Mr. Roger Donnay presenting
his eXpress++, focusing upon the possibility to almost instant migration
of Clipper applications to GUI applications.
Mr. Clayton Jones introduced his next version of TopDown - a powerful
GUI library including its ever growing feature-rich form designer, which
on its part allows to create ever more sophisticated user interfaces
within its own design environment.
Mr. Phil Ide - best to be described as "the guy who always extends a
helping hand next to everybody"!! - elaborated upon security concepts and
how complicated it can get to create a secure password.
Clayton, in another session, explained about Windows user interfaces and
how they work internally.
Mr. Marcus Hercz from DS-Datasoft showed us how to use XClass++ - a GUI
class library putting an emphasis on the creation of visually appealling
Mr. Pablo Botella portrayed the current stage of developement of his own
Xbase++UI library for Windows.
Mr. Joachim Dürr from Extended Systems lectured in great detail about
the Advantage Database Server.
Steffen F. Pirsig had the luxury to have held his keynote session in the
impressingly decorated interieur of the castle's chapel. Well, there
could not have been a much appropriater place for that, don't you think
as well? Steffen talked about the history of Alaska Software, elaborating
upon why development had not progressed that much in 2002 and 2003, in
comparison to the tremendous amount of work which has been achieved in
the year 2004 alone! He showed us the current state of Xbase++1.9 as
well as the plans for the future. Moreover, he emphasized that Xbase++
developers ought to get involved actively in the promotion of Xbase++and
Alaska Software, and when it comes to the enhancement of the product
itself. In sum, whenever you got a PDR which you want to have fixed -
vote for it on the knowledgebase, as this will help Alaska Software to
align resources according to customers' needs.
Steffen also gave us a lot of insight about what has been done to Xbase++
under the hood. His keynote presentation is available for download at
Besides all, developers could be seen everywhere bent over their laptops,
exchanging source code and knowledge, discussing ideas or simply showing
their impressive applications to fellow DevCon attendees.
A special thanks goes to all members of the XXP organizational committee
for their endless efforts to have made this conference a successful
event. The initial goals were more than outperformed, hence the mission
has been accomplished very well! Our best regards to all participants,
and would-be participants for future events like that.