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New CMD-D Conference Targets Automation

Well, this is exciting — the Apple world has a new conference dedicated to automation on 9 August 2017 in Santa Clara, California. CMD-D offers a packed 13-hour day of sessions on many aspects of scripting and automation. For those new to automation, there’s an optional Scripting Boot Camp on the day before, 8 August 2017 (more details on that will be forthcoming).

The conference is organized by Mr. Automation himself, Sal Soghoian, with help from Macworld Expo producer Paul Kent and PR veteran Naomi Pearce. It’s sponsored by the Omni Group and Apple device management firm JAMF.

The speakers lined up so far are top-notch, which I would say even if they weren’t all friends. Sal knows more about Apple automation than anyone, and he’ll be talking about power features of AppleScript, AppleScriptObj-C, and JavaScript for Automation that even most experts don’t know. John Welch has been in the admin trenches for longer than I can imagine and will be talking about when automation is a must and when not to bother. Jon Pugh was one of the original members of the AppleScript team and will be sharing stories about how AppleScript was created. Andy Ihnatko… well, everyone knows Andy, and he is slated to discuss automation as a martial art practiced against “tedious, repetitive work.” And finally, Jason Snell, who has become one of the premiere podcasters in the Apple world after leaving Macworld, will be hosting a live Six Colors podcast session with the speakers on the present and future of automation.

Other sessions include a deep dive into Automator, automation’s role in managing hundreds or thousands of iOS devices, how to use the Apple-acquired Workflow to automate tasks in iOS, an introduction to the Omni Group’s cross-platform scripting solution for their apps, and even an open-mic automation slam for attendees to share their most impressive solutions while competing for an award. I hope it’s a big shiny gear.

CMD-D will take place in the Santa Clara Convention Center, which is near the San Jose International Airport and not far from the airports in both San Francisco and Oakland. You can register independently for the CMD-D conference and the Scripting Boot Camp for $295, or sign up for both for $590. That’s early bird pricing, which is good through the middle of June; after that, each day’s fee goes up to $395 and the two-day pass increases to $790. Lunch and afternoon snacks are included.


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Comments about New CMD-D Conference Targets Automation
(Comments are closed.)

Richard Fairbanks  2017-05-17 02:40
I (and many others) really wanted Apple to adopt Hamish Sanderson’s SwiftAutomation for 10.13, but apparently not enough people responded (or Apple is still addicted to its “not-invented-here” dogma). Hamish’s AppScript was an inspirational start, and SwiftAutomation would have been a long-held dream come true.

Apple’s (Sal’s?) choice to use JavaScript for system-level automation was a new low point, among many, going back decades. (How many people remember WestCode Software’s OneClick?) Apple continues to slowly and methodically “dumb down the herd.”

These are very dark days for Mac system-level automation; that Hamish is not a speaker at CMD-D is a glaring omission. Adam, for decades, I have had great respect and appreciation for you and your crew!, but this page is just hype over a dying carcass.

Blessings to you, Tonya, and to everyone at TidBITS!
Appreciate the sentiment, although I'm not a fan of current US Border policy of Free Cavity Searches For All, so would not be attending anyway, even if Sal did have the basic courtesy and professionalism to send me an invite. (Which he does not.)

Please do not rag on JavaScript though. Whatever its faults as a language, by dint of canny placement and power of network effect it is neverthelss THE MOST POPULAR and widespread language IN THE WORLD! A first-class JS-AE bridge could have tapped up to a MILLION EXISTING JS USERS on macOS alone and turned them into a VAST NEW MARKET for MacAutomation OVERNIGHT!

I can only imagine the WebKit team were more than a little miffed when management took their thrilling new (if mediocre to us) JavaScriptCore project off them and handed to Sal’s team to run straight into the ground. Cos I know how I felt after 6 weeks of work desperately trying to help them make JXA be that success, only for Sal to throw all that investment back in my face.

Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-05-19 15:03
Folks, let's avoid the personal invective. No one owes anyone anything by default, and everything is far more complicated on the inside than it seems from the outside.
Richard Fairbanks  2017-05-19 15:57
Adam, that you were gracious enough to allow my post in the first place speaks volumes about your (and your team’s) integrity. Your long-established and highly respected stature in the Mac community is well-earned.

However . . .

When a company (Apple Computer) hoards hundreds of billions of dollars, nothing “is far more complicated on the inside.”

Certainly, we should be grateful that we may (finally!) be getting an upgrade to HFS+. Let us pray that Apple considers user data also worthy of checksums.

But those of us “who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world” and have devoted our lives to that end, have not been treated with much respect by a company that now focusses primarily on making gadgets for social networking. You know very well, Adam, that I am not alone in this sentiment!

Bless you, Brother (and to you too, Hamish!!).
Adam, I’ve nothing against Sal on a personal level—I don’t know Sal the person. I do have everything against him as Automation Product Manager—a role he proved hopelessly unfit for. If he didn’t want me calling out his faults in public he should’ve accepted/declined my advice & expertise with grace & attitude back when I was offering it in private. You don’t see me treating others badly for calling me out on my own errors—it’s the highest form of complement when they take the time and effort to explain exactly why and where you’re screwing up and how to put it right.

OF COURSE Apple owes us nothing—we’re only customers. We can choose to buy a product or not. But millions—no, BILLIONS—of users are being casually stripped of the rights to control & shape their own tools, while the one person IN THE WORLD best positioned to change this ACCELERATES IT INSTEAD, all cos he can’t rise past his own ego. Sorry I’m techy, but these stakes are 7 BILLION times bigger than you, me, or Sal’s feels.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-05-19 16:52
I have nothing against criticism of Apple when it's deserved (and we do it all the time), but I can guarantee that there are powerful forces inside Apple (and all other major tech companies) that are pushing and pulling policy in numerous unknown directions. What seems obvious to us from the outside could be completely untenable internally for multiple business, technical, and political reasons.

I don't like it either, and it's not an excuse, just a reality that we should all keep in mind. What comes out of a large company is never the result of everyone coming together and saying "What a good idea!" There are always multiple factions, winners and losers, and the buck stops pretty high up in many of these companies.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-05-19 17:11
There are always at least two sides to every story, and often many more. Regardless, this is neither the time (what's past is past, and Sal is no longer employed by Apple) nor the place (this article is about the CMD-D conference) to air personal or professional grievances.

I will delete any future comments on this article that go beyond the topic of the CMD-D conference, along with anything that refers to an individual.

Frankly, I'm perturbed by this entire exchange. Creating CMD-D has taken Sal and Paul and Naomi a significant amount of time and effort, and I see it as a highly positive contribution to the Apple community. I dislike having TidBITS used to distract from that.
Richard Fairbanks  2017-05-20 16:06
Adam, you have been most gracious; I have no need to further elaborate upon my part of this thread. Please allow me to close with a quote from George Bernard Shaw:

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
Mike Detmar  2017-05-23 14:11
Hello all. I'm interested in knowing more about iOS and Mac deployment automation solutions. I work for a company that uses an MDM to deploy and manage +10,000 company owned iOS devices. We use Apple's Device Enrollment Program (DEP), and Volume Purchase Program (VPP). We're trying to learn more about what tools are available to automate the process of initial deployment, device replacement process, etc. We're also starting to enroll and manage MacOS devices in our MDM. I've reached out to the organizers of the CMD-D conference for more details because I think that this may be a good start for us.

We are engaged with Apple and our MDM vendor, but I'd also like to hear from others about tools, technologies, books, seminars, and web sites where we can learn more about the automation of the iOS and MacOS device management process. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. Thank you.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-05-23 15:29
CMD-D is definitely a good place to start with this, but you should also check out JAMF own conference, the MacTech Conference, and various other sysadmin-focused events. Here's our full list of conferences for the year:

Also, you might want to join the MacAdmins Slack group.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-06-29 14:31
AppleScript pro Ray Robertson will now be teaching a one-day AppleScript class the day before CMD-D, on August 8th. Learn more at: