Rik Brooks 
Consultant Author Lecturer Programmer

Rik Brooks, Consultant, Author, Lecturer, Programmer

Practical Object Orientation using PowerBuilder 12 is now available as an Amazon Kindle book. I've now started the long awaited Mobile Programming with PowerBuilder. In that book we will develop an application called The Consultant. It is a combination PIM with recruiters and companies. It will keep track of events such as interviews and jobs with their related skill sets. I'm finishing up the database design now.

I am writing The Definitive Window. If you would like to be a reader please write me at rikbrooks@aol.com I'd love to have your help. In return you'll get a mention in the book, a free copy of the book when it comes out and a free copy of all the code.

The Second Edition of The Definitive Datawindow is out. It covers PowerBuilder through version 12.


I am Rik Brooks and I try to be humble, really I do – but it's hard to be humble when you are just so right.

When I started programming the PC was considered a toy. 'Real' programmers worked on mainframes or mini computers. PC's were the toys that they programmed for fun when they got home from their real work on reports in RPG or Cobol on the 'real' computers.


I ignored that. Yeah, they weren't paying PC programmers as much as mainframe programmers but I loved the PC and if I would rather live in a studio apartment eating egg salad sandwiches and riding a 49cc scooter while programming PC's than drive a cool car and own my own home while doing something that bored me.


So I have been programming PC's since they were invented. I have seen a lot in those years. Each time I have accurately predicted the future of technology and have moved to that future.


When event-driven programming first emerged with the advent of that odd little device with the improbable name 'mouse' I saw the value and jumped on the technology. It wasn't easy. Years of top-down, waterfall programming left me ill prepared for functions that could just 'happen' out of nowhere without be called by another. My mind resisted the kind of programming where I could never be sure of when a function might happen or what the rest of the program might be doing when it happened.

But I learned and encouraged others to join me. Programmers resisted. They didn't want to give up their structured programming but eventually they had no choice, it was either learn this metaphor or change careers. Their cheese had moved.


Shortly after that came the Graphical User Interface. Again I saw the value of it and jumped on the technology. The only reasonable language that supported the GUI back then was Actor, a Smalltalk like language. I learned the language and started providing Windows applications.


Then Object Orientation emerged. Fortunately Actor supported OOPS so it was easy to learn. Programmers again did not want to change to the Object Oriented metaphor and again I encouraged them to expend the effort and learn. Again I was right. Now nobody can conceive of a non-oops development environment.


Then came PowerBuilder. PowerBuilder satisfied the needs of an industry with several disparate and highly complex metaphors. It made event-driven programming, OOPS, and GUI programming easy. It freed the programmer to think about application logic rather than how to open windows.


Over a decade later PowerBuilder began to wane. Bad management took its toll and what was leader in the industry was usurped by the emerging .NET languages of C# and VB.NET. Again, I saw this coming and moved to those two languages. I left my beloved PowerBuilder behind because PowerBuilder refused to keep up.


Today there is another paradigm shift that is happening right before our eyes. Programmers are again ignoring it. Professional PowerBuilder programmers are largely happy to maintain the applications that were written in the 1990's and ignore what is about to happen.


...and like before, technology will force them to come out of their sleepy little worlds into the future.

Mobile programming has arrive. I'm sorry, you may ignore it now, but it will catch up to you. The good news is that Appeon will allow you to easily write applications using the same PowerBuilder skills that you already have. There is a small learning curve but it is minimal.


So, follow me on this new adventure into the world of mobile devices using PowerBuilder and Appeon... or join me later, it's your choice.


But the fact is, you WILL arrive at the same conclusion