I was a little busy in the week-end (also because of having to install Windows 7 on my main computer, and all of the software I use along with it), so this is my summary of the online CodeRage 4 conference of the last week.

I attended some selected sessions, including the two "keynotes" by Michael Rozlog and Michael Swindell. The first included an updated roadmap, which was later published on the web at the address http://edn.embarcadero.com/article/39934. The new public roadmap mimics the one introduced at Delphi Live last May, but not published online at that time. On one side, it is nice to have it in print. On the other side, the total lack of any sort of time frame (not release dates, but at least some generic indication like the year we can expect them) makes this roadmap less helpful than it could be.

The session by Michael Swindell, on the last day, was a very interesting overview of the business challanges and opportunities for (small) ISV. The discussion ranged from marketing to deployment issues, but covered also why and when Delphi matters for this type of developers. I found it very interesting. Too bad Michael could not attend the questions at the end of his early morning presentation, having finished recording his session late that night. There is one specific point (application versus web site) I'll blog about another time, as it is certainly worth focusing on.

Out of the technical sessions I focused mostly on those related to Delphi 2010, learned a few new tricks, and enjoyed attending presentations by team members who wrote some of the new features. It is always nice to have their perspective, although I have to say that at times they are not the best presenters in terms of content flow and choice of examples. 

My own sessions were well attended (I peaked at 160) and raised a few questions, my dog barked in the background while the mike was turned on (as it happened almost every year), and I had a funny experience having to talk by myself waiting for Anders to ask me the attendees questions. I though it was fun, not sure if attendees like it. I know I promised to make downlaod files available, but having spent almost 3 days rebuilding my PC is causing me lots of delays in the actual work, so full source code will have to wait.

Overall, I wasn't really impressed by the audience of CodeRage 4. I saw an average 120 people online in each session and probably less than 50 in the chats. Of course, few people can afford attending 9 hours for 4 days, but still for a free online conference you'd expect more. What's likely is people know the replays will become available (and they already are, see http://conferences.embarcadero.com/coderage/sessions) so they opt for a custom made program afterwards. This is likely the case considering how jammed the replays downlaod server was this week. On the other hand, the Q&A and the interaction are a key portion of this event... that most people end up missing. Maybe it is time to rethink the format...

Meanwhile, I'm getting ready for some face-to-face conference around Europe (EKON, SDC, ITDevCon...) waiting to see if we'll have another Delphi Live or a similar event (or even daring to hope for an Embarcadero Conference, "EmbarConf") in the US. We'll see what the future will bring us.