Monday, May 31, 2004

VFP - Open Letter to Microsoft

Link to a letter from the international community to Microsoft.

What's interesting about this and it should be noted is NOT that the team isn't doing what they can do - but rather a plea to get that channel wide open so that every FoxPro developer knows what they can do and what they should expect MS to do to help promote VFP.

MS has already stated that VFP has at least 6-8 more years ahead, if not longer. Asking how long now is almost a redundant point. What is more valuable is how MS can help promote the product.

For example, there was some buzz right before VFP 8 was released that MS might get some marketing materials about FoxPro into the hands of government or Fortune 500 companies. I've never seen it so I don't know if that ever happened but the Brazilian letter brings up a great point about Clipper. Many companies still think of Fox just as a replacement for Clipper. Lack of awareness? Definitely.

But the issue for MS becomes this -

1. how can Ken, John, Randy et al with their limited staff hit every company?
2. What type of marketing would be helpful to YOU (developers) in talking to existing customers? MS did publish a few items about FoxPro when 8.0 was released but maybe they weren't clear enough?

Would it be better if they printed a million copies and sent them to every customer who ever owned VFP?

I just recently got an email from someone in Canada who basically said "How can i be a great programmer in visual foxpro if i MUST learn how to use other kinds of programming languages ?" While this may be a little naive (of course, you have to accept other ideas and realize there are other languages) - it says something very important.

FoxPro solutions work on their own - so why not promote them that way as well?

VFP - Open Letter to Microsoft

Friday, May 28, 2004

The Other Shoe...

Ah the joy of watching an end user use your application. Glad to see MS still does it. It's one of my favorite parts of building applications.
It isn't just about knowledge transfer from the "guru" to the "learner" - it works the other way too. I got an idea for a new feature in one product after watching my wife, Trish, simply try out a product. All of the assumptions and "learned" behavior go right out the window and instead, you're left with thinking "how can I make this process easier?" while still "how do I ensure the user is learning?".

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Name Validation

Here's a cool little prototype ASP.Net application that validates names. Not very complex right now but look for it to expand.
The FoxPro database behind this contains over 468,000 name definitions in it so if you can't find your name in there, it may not be a valid name. The web service for this isn't fully exposed yet as it's in beta but look for it soon.
Imagine being able to validate data entry by end-users via web services or through a COM interface. Wow! no more really silly typos!

Monday, May 24, 2004

Xerox Revolutionizes Displays

Very cool...guess Spielberg wasn't that far off in Minority Report...

Can't wait for display providers to make this an affordable option! No more need for constantly reprinting art work.

Xerox Revolutionizes Displays

Microsoft MVPs and the Community (by John Koziol)

Great post John and a reminder as to how the MVP program first got started and why it succeeds...

I think your one statement makes a very detailed point:
"can anyone point to another industry where craftsmen (and women) routinely help folks who are or could be potential competitors? "

If nothing else, software has proven time and time again that people all over the world can have the similar ideas at the same time and not be stealing from each other.

In the area of software, provided there are no lawyers involved, it truly can be the market that decides if an idea has legs or not.

The MVP program (and the communities that sprout out around it) allows everyone to learn the same tips and tricks that everyone uses. It benefits everyone.

Microsoft MVPs and the Community (by John Koziol)
Microsoft MVPs and the Community (by John Koziol)

Friday, May 21, 2004

Mac Platform Endures as Apple Splits Hardware Division

Of course, the Mac platform will endure. While the iPod may be the latest "must-have" gadget, the Mac has shown that it can still turn the entire industry on its ear, especially in recent years.

All of these pundits saying "Apple should get out of the desktop business" - simply don't understand why Apple succeeds.

Besides, I can see there being a very legitimate reason for Apple even splitting out the iPod - the lawsuit between Apple and Apple Corp (The Beatles).

Mac Platform Endures as Apple Splits Hardware Division

One small step against spam. One giant step for Yahoo and Microsoft - TechUpdate - ZDNet

Let's hope something happens on this sooner rather than later...

One small step against spam. One giant step for Yahoo and Microsoft - TechUpdate - ZDNet

Thursday, May 20, 2004

FoxML - Available now

I was thinking of a tool just like this when I started playing with XAML and the FireFox browser.

Still a few little bugs but really cool idea!

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Not Again ?!? - Apple Seeks Patent for Translucent Windows

So just as soon as MS gets out of the lawsuits with Sun, we get to see Apple's lawyers getting bored with their time again.

I wonder where the guy who was sitting in the coffee shop saying "you know it would be really cool if..." is today.

Apple Seeks Patent for Translucent Windows

Friday, May 14, 2004

New Blogger : Known Issues

I don't mind some problems but not being able to email a post with comments is terrible!

Sorry for those who have been trying to read while the page keeps getting re-loaded....

Blogger Help : Known Issues

Test Blog for Comments

There's a bug in the new blogger interface. Comments are not supported for email-driven posts.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

New Blogger: Built-in Comments (finally!)

So the new blogger interface is out ( - not quite sure how I feel about it. Maybe it's just the power user in me but it feels a little "too easy".
Some erroneous comments coming out from other blogs as well regarding Atom. The DEFAULT site feed for Blogger is Atom but you CAN easily change it back to RSS, which is what I do on all my feeds.
If you aren't blogging yet, you should take a look at Blogger. It's easy and it's free...

Customers await Sun-Microsoft integration - News - ZDNet

Yes - now that all those pesky lawsuits are dealt with, maybe technology companies can actually start working together on better technology, instead of more money for the lawyers....

If Windows has proven one thing in its history, it's that ideas in the technology area are fairly widespread and simultaneous inspiration is not only possible, it happens fairly regularly...

Sure there are always thieves and we need to be guarded about it - but we're usually talking about software and software paraphrase Nike, just do it - let the market decide, not the lawyers...

Customers await Sun-Microsoft integration - News - ZDNet

Preview: Google's Gmail Beta

Yes, GMail is pretty cool and as Jim notes, it's still cooking in the oven.

The conversation aspect of GMail is really cool - I find it better than using Outlook's categories or conversation thread (although I'm not quite ready to stop using Outlook altogether). What I really liked was being able to create my own labels (just like categories in Outlook) but easily apply them in a web-based mail client. They even have smart addressing (as you start typing the recipients, it pulls down a list of who you want to send it, too).

It's only a matter of time before all the spam really starts arriving to really test out its spam filtering but as with most things from Google, it's very clean and fast too.

Check out :

Preview: Google's Gmail Beta

Friday, May 07, 2004

CDs and DVDs Not So Immortal After All


Did you really think all those people using the CD tray as a coffee holder would make the product better?

CDs and DVDs Not So Immortal After All

online sales community
One of the hats i wear is in sales.Not everyone realizes that in some way Everything you do sells something:an idea, a person, A product, even yourself.
i found this site a few weeks back and keep on coming back. Great articles. Good forum, low cost and the best part is the rss feed.

Microsoft Turns On Channel 9


Maybe I've been just reading the wrong things but Channel 9 has been around for a little longer than that.

Microsoft Turns On Channel 9

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Apple developers to catch Tiger's tale - News - ZDNet

That's an interesting twist at the bottom of the article : "If Tiger goes on sale this year, it would mark the company's fifth version of Mac OS X in five years"

Wonder what their sales are actually like for the different versions of OS X, compared to Microsoft's?

The original OS X was a huge leap over the previous Apple OS, whereas many of the new MS OS's I would consider jumps but not leaps. Yet, people are critical over MS coming out with multiple updates for single packages while they laud others doing the same...

Then again, MS does it for the security patches

Apple developers to catch Tiger's tale - News - ZDNet

elegance . . and user interface design this link from scoble and it's a great article

From the last sentence:"Rather than adding more and more features for the mythical “power user”, or swing to the other end of the spectrum and dumb-down the interface for the mythical “average user”, smart developers are learning that good defaults and elegant interface design makes software better for everyone to use, regardless of their level of experience."

Read on..

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Keep a secret-why blogs work for corporate too
I use a blog for tracking news releases for mti as well as new updates to our beta products at micromega.

It's such an easier way to keep everything together.

No-you don't publicize secrets but you can talk about how things work and do just what robert is doing.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Laments on merx

Merx is the government of Canada's online contract system. Great idea but after ten years what it really Needs is an rss feed


Monday, May 03, 2004

Calvin and Kevin Bacon?

I'm sure everyone knows the concept of six degrees but did you know how close Calvin Hsia is to Kevin Bacon?

Go figure...

UVA Computer Science: Star Links

Saturday, May 01, 2004

FW: Do you only hang out with the fanboys?

neat post but the main point is :

Plus, life is more interesting when you're around people who disagree with you, or don't see the world the same way you do. | Comments

FW: Cool VFP stuff - Field repositories (by John Koziol)

The real question is.-. When does this get into vfp? Giving visual foxpro oop data management would be totally amazing!

Maybe in the next version...

"A field repository is kind of like domains in other databases or parent classes in OOP terms. You can create and maintain a repository of fields with attributes that are maintained by linking table fields with the repository fields. Any change in the repository get implemented in tables using the shared fields.

Using a field repository, though, LastName C(30) would be a shared, common field and guarantees the attributes are exactly the same from table to table. So, as I said before, you gain in your data some of the RAD pros you get from using object parent classes. Kind of a data structural inheritance.

Several VFP tools, commercial and public domain, incorporate this concept under a variety of names. Cool concept."

Related.. | Comments

FW: Corel WordPerfect Office 12: The Other Office Suite

While might get all the attention in the battle to unseat Microsoft Office, Corel's suite is the real number two in the market.

They just had their release party and the owner was commenting on how nice it is to be a private company because he could make outrageous claims ----like how bill gates will be using corel next year ---and not have to answer to a board. How true...reminds me of when Dr. dave Fulton ran fox...,1759,1579397,00.asp?kc=EWRSS03119TX1K0000594