Student Observations on Weekly Presentations

Calvin Waterbury cjw at
Tue Jan 25 20:49:43 EST 2011

Hi Mark,

No need to to apologize since you are expressing your thoughts and 
opinions as I did mine.  I take them for who you are and as a way to 
learn you better, but it doesn't follow I will necessarily agree.  ;)

"RULES"  Who said anything about "RULES?"  I certainly didn't! I took 
pains to make sure the reader understood *my* comments were simply 
that... "mine."  They were *my* opinions and views relating to my 
experience.  Unless you can tell me that you have received numerous 
emails from trembling people who were intimidated by "my opinions," I 
question how fair it is to state...

"I am afraid that your e-mail scared off dozens of people who were 
thinking they might do a presentation at some time. These people have 
seen your e-mail and are now backing off. I would like to say to those 
people: don't worry, we are not going to demand anything from you."

Did you receive any emails from "dozens?"  This is important for me to 
know as I will have to do a major overhaul to my present understanding 
of how to communicate.

On the issue of "... not demanding anything..." I am *not* demanding 

I guess it really comes down to "why" people are presenting?  I'm 
persuaded the whole point of sharing something via "presentations" 
(maybe this moniker should be renamed?) is to communicate knowledge and 
understanding. If I am "sharing" via a USTREAM session, my intent is to 
make what is mine, yours.  I want to let what I understand be available 
to let you add it to your understanding, if you wish.

The concept of making a "presentation" just to do a "presentation" is 
absurd.  If I do a USTREAM session and don't show the screen properly, 
you will not be able to follow, especially if I never offer enough 
commentary.  Further, if I use my own custom naming conventions that 
have no relation or context to what I am working on additional confusion 
is added to the mix.  How easy would it be for you to understand if I 
chose to use animal names for different parts of a construct, instead of 
related verbiage that makes sense in the routine's context?  The answer: 
very difficult at best.  If I did use animal names and didn't watch the 
chat, how would any questions on the chat seeking clarity ever be seen?

I'm not really sure what you were trying to convey in your remarks and I 
have no desire to make any enemies here, but when someone offers a 
criticism of my offerings that had no ill intention and was 
painstakingly crafted to ensure the same, they had better be prepared to 
substantiate their rebuttal.  This does not mean I can't learn from 
correction, but I can't learn if I don't understand the point(s) being 
made.  Keep in mind, I may attack a *message,* but I try hard to never 
to attack a *messenger.*

Frankly, you might consider how the criticism of my comments you offered 
has "...scared off dozens of people who were thinking they might..." 
offer their own criticism of how things are around here?  I can assure 
you the acceptance or the resistance of such criticisms as I have 
offered by long-standing members will speak volumes to any others as to 
what they can expect.  The response of ensconced membership to critical 
comments and suggestions from the masses *will* encourage or discourage 
a free-flow of dialog.

In closing, I would like to reiterate my original comments were my own 
personal and unique observations.  Nothing was intended (nor do I expect 
it was universally construed) as heavy-handed directives or "rules."   I 
agree there are no "RULES" to follow in "presenting," but if anyone is 
interested in myself (maybe others?) as participant(s) to gain anything 
from what is being offered, common sense should dictate what conventions 
should be adhered to.  Given the above, I ask you or anyone else to 
please highlight and explain which of my five suggestions were outside 
the realms of common sense?

Mark, my comments above are a friendly response to your friendly 
rebuttal and I look forward to further friendly dialectic.  Since I am 
very new to this group I need to state if anything I have stated or the 
way I have stated it seems to have violated the context of an amiable 
debate, please advise me via private email.  I love a healthy argument 
with an intelligent person, but I hate hurting anyone's feelings.  You 
may depend on me to make any public correction or public apology if 
deemed necessary.

Fair winds,
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 	Mark Schonewille <mailto:m.schonewille at>
> Tuesday, January 25, 2011 5:47 PM
> Hi Calvin,
> Thanks, I appreciate your comments and I'm glad that the presentations 
> are useful for you. Unfortunately, we can't and don't want to tell 
> people how to present and we don't want them to follow any kind of 
> rules. There is only one rule: THERE ARE NO RULES!!!
> I am afraid that your e-mail scared off dozens of people who were 
> thinking they might do a presentation at some time. These people have 
> seen your e-mail and are now backing off. I would like to say to those 
> people: don't worry, we are not going to demand anything from you.
> If anyone would like to do a presentation, no matter if you hardly 
> speak English or have never released any product, you are always 
> welcome to show us what you do with Revolution/LiveCode. We usually 
> have more than 20 participants and some of them like to see a really 
> informal video chat while others prefer a more formal lecture. There 
> is no "right" way.
> Sorry Calvin, I just had to say this. If the main goal would be to 
> teach, then you were absolutely right, but the true goal of the Live 
> LiveCode Code Event really just is to gather a bunch of people and 
> have some fun. I hope you don't mind.
> --
> Best regards,
> Mark Schonewille
> Economy-x-Talk Consulting and Software Engineering
> Homepage:
> Twitter:
> KvK: 50277553
> New: Download the Installer Maker Plugin 1.5 for LiveCode here 
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> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 	Calvin Waterbury <mailto:cjw at>
> Tuesday, January 25, 2011 1:59 PM
> Hello,
> First off, "BRAVO!" to all who take their time and knowledge to make 
> these presentations!  They have been extremely helpful in my learning 
> of LiveCode and in being introduced to the programming world outside 
> of Windows®!
> I also wish to convey my comments herein are not intended as 
> criticisms, but as a "reflection" through the eyes of a student.  If 
> nothing changes, I will still continue to participate and glean what I 
> can from each session.  I realize that "newbies" are in the minority 
> and I do not expect nor desire the presentations to be "dumbed down."  
> I can understand that spicing up a presentation makes for a less 
> mundane experience.
> My comments are from only seeing four presentations.  Perhaps the 
> presenters were having "off days?"
> Ok, with the above preamble/disclaimers in place, here are some 
> thoughts for your consideration when you present...
> 1. RECORDING - Please make sure you are recording, if you intend to do 
> so and let your audience know at the outset you are doing so.  Others 
> mileage may vary, but for me knowing I will be able to review the 
> presentation allows me to relax and look at the bigger picture and 
> more robust interaction of Q&A during the live presentation.  The 
> couple of times the chat had comments like "Is he recording?" and "Did 
> he turn on the recorder?" sent me into a quasi-panic of myopia and 
> tunnel-vision because I did not want to miss any details.
> 2. SCREEN VIEW - It is nice to match a face to a voice.  Seeing the 
> "camera view" of the presenter at the beginning and briefly "here and 
> there" during the presentation certainly assists the tardy as well. 
> Aside from these brief displays, it is very helpful if the screen real 
> estate, the "screen view" is allocated to the computer desktop and 
> specific windows where the coding action is happening.  Without doing 
> so, it is impossible to read the script, etc. windows.
> 3. DISTRACTIONS - Just a quick note to say I found the visual effects 
> and cartoon animations to distracting for my taste, besides taking up 
> screen area.  This is my own personal opinion and not necessarily the 
> opinion of any other participant(s).
> 4. VERBOSITY - I realize this comes easier to some than others, but 
> try to verbalize your thought processes as you are working through 
> your presentation.  This really helps to "connect the dots," 
> especially for those of us who do not have the same familiarity yet.  
> While I am a newbie to LiveCode, I am not a novice programmer and 
> "hearing" the logic spoken allows my experience to assist my 
> learning.  Also, if your presentation contains a bug, hearing the 
> logic may allow me to assist in debugging where otherwise I could not.
> 5. KEEP AN EYE ON THE CHAT - *We* are able to see and hear you via 
> USTREAM, but but the only way you can "see" or "hear" our feedback is 
> via the ChatRev.  I noticed more than one instance where the presenter 
> was oblivious to what the audience was trying to "say," especially 
> when there were problems like sound issues, performance, clarity, etc.
> Ok, there are my notes from *my* experiences.  Use what you feel is 
> valid and throw out the rest, but by all means please continue to 
> present!  :)
> I would like to encourage everyone to present something.  Everyone has 
> their own personal way of communicating and the way *you* might say 
> something could unlock someone's understanding where no one else's 
> would.  You don't have to be a guru-coder to present either.  Maybe 
> your presentation could be about how you lay out your LiveCode work 
> space, what ancillary tools you use to develop, etc.  I am working on 
> a project that I will present, hopefully in about six weeks, if I 
> haven't bit off more than I can chew. ;)
> FYI - I used to work in a television station years ago and have 
> coached people into getting over the intimidation, anxiety and stage 
> fright of being in front of an audience on camera.  I'll be glad to 
> help if you want to try and present.  Unfortunately, I will have to 
> defer the technical questions about using USTREAM to other experienced 
> presenters at this time.
> Fair winds,
> Calvin

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