PauseOnError Rocks Berlin

I’d have difficulty imagining a conference that could have gone much better. Egbert Friedrich was a super host, very kind, gracious and made sure we were all welcome in Berlin. Talks were exactly what you’d have hoped to see. Almost all were a bit chaotic and loads of audience participation. Everyone wants to do this again.berlin1

Berlin2Hotel was in a super location right on the bank of the River Spree, in the former East Berlin. There are several sections of the wall right by the patio area along the river. Previously this was right in front of the wall.

Sessions that stick out for me:

Yann Liquer-Solizo

Did a superb presentation on using the grid system for FileMaker layouts. When I say presentation it was very much in the Pause style, loads of questions and discussion. This ran for three hours rather than the scheduled one and a half hours. Would have gone longer, but we were getting quite thirsty so it moved to the hotel bar. Probably the best talk I’ve ever seen on FileMaker user interface.

His FileMaker tool for calculating grids is available for download at

Damian Kelly

Set the bar by having only one slide! He showed a screen shot of a single script, which was argued about for nearly two hours. We discussed what was right with it, what was wrong with it and in the end it proved a really good example of how a script that looks superficially good can actually have many problems.

Fabrice Nordman

Very good presentation on running scripts server-side instead of client side. Good examples of benefits and possible problems.

Volker Krambrich

Berlin3His presentation was very dry, but his incredibly incisive questions and observations in everyone else’s talks made us all think very hard about the topics at hand. At the end of Crispin Hodge’s Sync presentation, Volker asked a question that diverted the topic from FileMaker Go sync to how do developers from different countries deal with estimating and quoting. A very lively discussion ensued lasting another two hours. At which point we were all thirsty so the arguments moved to the bar – a repeating theme!

Peter Wagemans

Detailed thorough talk on FileMaker SQL. Very wide ranging talk, with loads of discussion. Key points that I wasn’t aware of – using prepared statements with FileMaker means that FileMaker will ensure that data types are respected. That’s not the case if you execute an SQL string with embedded data that’s not the case. Andries Heylen has come up with an awesome custom function that will return the SQL errors if you try the sql in data viewer – . The other thing Peter discussed was how there’s no way for server side plug-ins to separate the memory they use from the memory used by other plugins. Sounded pretty scary and I’d now be less inclined to use multiple plugins server side.

Since Christian Schmitz from Monkeybread was there, syntax highlighting in colour was de rigeur among the presenters as almost everyone was using the MBS plugin. It’s an incredibly impressive plugin, but it seems to do so many different things that I suspect most users find it overwhelming.

Must confess that I wasn’t quite confident enough to try my presentation without Keynote, so used it to lead into my session. As expected discussion ended up on a slightly different topic than I’d started on – refactoring existing code. Transition between the two bits could have been better, but we did have a good discussion that dealt with approaches for taking over existing systems with new customers.

Berlin is an amazing city. We stayed a couple of extra days to explore. Quite interesting seeing the remaining bits of the Berlin wall. The main Holocaust memorial is huge and disorienting. Many thanks again to Egbert for all his hard work in making this happen.

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  • wellwellwell, first off, thanks for all the compliments. :o))
    i’m still touched when i look back upon this event. partly because i met such a bunch of tremendous people, each one an inspiraton in itself! and, at least, some of the best techniques known today got a real “face”!
    but mainly because of they all were able to catch the idea behind this type of event and transformed it into such a… vibrant experience.
    since most of the people may have heard of pause on error but never attended one they were not completely sure what to expect. and that was a point i was seriously afraid of… what if they don’t catch the idea and just sit there and wait? oooooh no!
    the surrounding is one small thing but the other, more important is the personal interest and will to open up itself. and it was quite a serious relief to see people going that way and communicating that much.
    for example, on saturday russell watson repeated his session from thursday and the discussion was that intensive that the whole lasts nearly until the end of the day.
    or yann’s (Yann Liqueur-Salzédo :o) session: his way of designing interfaces was that… enlightening that he repeated it on request on saturday and since he’s normally doing his stuff in french the english session was recorded and will hopefully be available soon!
    or the “FM Chalenge”: Peter Wagemans and Koen van Hulle came up with such a simple but really great idea to create a merge letter system using ExecuteSQL. developing this idea further became a real collaboration between a few of the most brilliantest minds.
    all in all, it was such a sweet experience (in-joke ;o) that it will happen again in 2014. in berlin!

    p.s. due to the too many “Thankyou”s this time this word will be substituted next time by “Skol!” ;o))

  • hello, thanks for the article, but my name is Yann Liqueur-Salzédo, please 😉
    and yes Egbert did a incredible job and was a perfect host (thanks for the honey). Berlin is such a nice city at this time of the year it was a shame we didn’t enjoy it more… maybe because all the sessions was so great 😉

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