Monday, October 31, 2005
In an upcoming show we'll talk to Rainer as well as he gets prepared for the 12th dFPUG conference.
While I continue to hear about this framework to help web developers be more productive, I find myself thinking very much about West-Wind WebConnect 5.0, still in beta and the buzz that was generated at the Southwest Fox conference about it.
No, they aren't the same thing (one is open source, the other isn't) - but the key goals are the same - simplicity in web development.
Saturday, October 29, 2005
But perhaps more importantly is the following comment:
Parts of Sedna will be written in VB 9.0, and our current plans are to include all of the source code (VFP, VB, C++, etc.) of Sedna with Sedna.
And then considering his comment in the October newsletter about attempts to make aspects of the VFP source available and then also possibly making a change in the EULA to make it distributable...
Combine that with the SednaX project and you have a very COOL open community (not open source) initiative.
It will be interesting to see what (if any) other features from VFP show up in the VB 9 language.
Friday, October 28, 2005
Congratulations to all teams involved - the first of many releases that MS has coming
I, for one, certainly hope Rick's last issue is dealt with - nothing worse than telling us versionitis is going away only to have it come back.
Ok guys - enough time in the sun - get back in and finish off Orcas
I agree with the B-man -
"We just can't make our customers wait three or four years for the things which should have been on more interim cycles," (Balmer) said at last week's Gartner Symposium/IT Expo in Orlando. "
DevBlog: VS & SQL Server 2005 Available
Thursday, October 27, 2005
I'm thinking of a cartoon Fox listening to a headset or a stylized logo with the Fox logo.
Anyways shoot me an email at foxshow / gmail.com if you have some ideas.
Some caveats here:
1. It can't use the MS Fox Head logo (that's copyrighted - since the show is Creative Commons - the logo can't use copyrighted stuff)
2. While I was thinking of using this
I would rather something a little more "serious" - although it can certainly be fun.
Adding your own Loop - it's very cool - and easy to do - just add a bunch of pictures. People can comment on each one (like Flickr) but the slideshow context is a very neat idea.
And there are sponsors throughout to help make it worthwhile. I just wish there was sound....
FilmLoop is here
FilmLoop Invitation from Guy Kawasaki
Well this means you can submit bug reports, ERs, etc directly to the Fox team directly through this site, you can review existing bugs, etc.
And hey! Emerson Reed and j_h_p_l were the first to take them up on it.
What's especially cool are the stats
41627 registered users
Is there any way we can get that shown to be specific to a product or technology like, say, VFP?
All in all, another example of how, as Craig says, Microsoft IS supporting Visual FoxPro.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
So let me try to make this VERY simple for anyone "on the fence" over what NOT FOR RESALE means... It means, "NO YOU CANNOT SELL THIS SOFTWARE!"
I guess that would be kind of like those signed personalized copies of Visual Studio or XP that some individuals got that were promptly offered up to the highest bidder.
Microsoft Small Business Community Blog : Ok, say it with me... "Not For Resale."
Ah - I see I didn't need to mirror it. Oh well - I'll remove it after the other one is reloaded.
Of course, Google's official word was "We think it's an exciting product, and we'll let you know when there's more news."
� Google Base - Web 2.0 Central: Web2.0, Ajax, Beta, Alpha, Startup, Companies
Claudio Lassala in Software Development: Can you please put some comment on that Regular Expression?!
I haven't been a big fan of personal database programs for a long time now. The only one out there these days that I care for at all is Microsoft's Visual FoxPro. Yes, I can say good things about Microsoft products—when they really are good.
Great quote - thanks Ted.
Ted's Radio Weblog
Also, almost missed this but there's a new case study as well, where they talk about automating Visio with VFP. Hey! didn't I write about that somewhere?
Ken Levy's Blog
In Fox Show #28, I was commenting on how Jon Sigler is now working a FileMaker and there was another name from the past who was front and center at a recent Oracle Developer's conference. In the show, I threw out the name Robert Green, which is wrong. Ken Levy has pointed that out to me.
But does anyone recall the news story? So much for the power of Google and search - it was a very short story but the essence was "developers must have done a double-take when they saw ________ at the recent Oracle conference"
Thanks for the correction, Ken - now who was that masked man? It was Tod Nielsen.
See here and here - uh, unless you can read Chinese you won't have much luck with that last one - but funny enough, the English version didn't turn up on Google but hey wow! Google's translation did a good job - "Tod Nielsen is the Oracle whole world sale support and market department vice- President".
Too bad I can't find the original story.
Monday, October 24, 2005
Well, if you read further into the article, it's not that it's about databases themselves (hopefully Feinberg isn't so naive as to think that tracking numbers isn't a job for a database- but then who knows) - but rather it's the DBAs.
a point made by the Gartner analysts is that there's a bit of urban myth to the idea that data must always be stored — or cached — in a database. Sometimes when you really think about the business processes that the data must support and then the degree to which the data must persist to support that process, you may realize that you don't need a database after all. As data is moved closer to its source and only kept in one place, not only is the quality is better, according to Friedman, "the data is where you need it, when you need it and only lasts for as long as you need it."
Well - except when you need to track where it went, etc.
However, for that, I do agree that
" The result is that structured data and SQL will take a back seat to XML and XQuery. "
It's an interesting idea and one that especially holds true after Steve Black's session on how to sell VFP.
Forget about talking about databases - and talk about information flow. I have always maintained that a database is simply the repository of information and those who like to make the arguments for and against specific formats are primarily guardians trying to protect their own little "kingdoms". Best part about FoxPro is that it works with all of those formats.
But it's also a valuable time to think about the LINQ project - because if I can grab all of my data from its various sources with a single object declaration (better examples here)- then I should be VERY happy about that.
Sunday, October 23, 2005
link to Coding Horror cracked me up.
What's more though - if you read the real Legend of Stinky, you'll find it even funnier (in spite or perhaps because of the bathroom humour)
One of my favorites:
""Well, at the beginning we tried COM components, especially Patrik was agile about that, but we encountered many problems with that compatibility stuff, new version of the application didn't work with old version of components or vice versa. So, to make things simpler, I just threw away all that component stuff and put everything into one exe file. Since then we haven't got similar problems. Who needs COM anyway?"" - funny as it may seem, I actually had a similar discussion just recently.
I've got to read the rest of these stories - they are hilarious.
FOR i = 1 TO num
It would take longer than just using the direct values. So what happens if you used variables or #DEFINE statements.
I first thought "i'll use constants" , adding the following
#DEFINE cn1 ASC('a')
#DEFINE cn2 ASC('b')
and changing the logic to:
FOR i = 1 TO num
The Result? A little faster but nowhere close to the performance improvements gained by using the literal values. Why? Because it is simply replacing the cn1 and c2 with the ASC('97') statements.
But even when I changed the #DEFINEs to variables and assigned the values, they still weren't improved.
The only time it came close was if I explicitly did
#DEFINE cn1 78
#DEFINE cn2 79
Here's a basic breakdown (non scientific) of my times:
With literal values: 3.781 seconds
With functions: 5.187
With variables: 5.11
With DEFINEs and Functions: 4.98 - 5 (I did run it twice)
With DEFINEs and Literals: 3.782 seconds
So the rule has to be - if you can avoid using functions and variables by using constants or the literal values, do it.
Friday, October 21, 2005
If you subscribe to the FoxShow, you'll also notice it is posted there as well but in Windows Media Format.
Guys - this is something that should definitely be put into the SednaX project.
Liquid Web Project Streamer - aksel - FoxTabs
For example, in Canada, we're today at 90 cents a litre - but in truth, about 40% of that is taxes. Here's another site that explains it in more details. As the index shows , 98 cents a litre in Ottawa is really 66.9 cents when you take away the taxes.
So when we compare ourselves to the US, we always say when they pay far less than we do in Canada (using Markus' example, Canada we would be paying about $3.75 a gallon, far closer to the European example)
But then Markus actually then puts it into perspective - compare how far it is for 100KM and then look at the changes across the board.
Don't single out the US - everyone in North America is getting the short end of the stick when it comes to rising gas prices. (oh, except the Canadian government who makes money when the price goes up)
Congrats guys - can't wait to give it a listen!
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
The opening keynote, Tips and Tricks I learned from Drew and Steve Black's What Do I Say session (as noted in Andy's own review of Southwest:
SW Fox 2005 is over, Get Ready for SW Fox 2006 - kudos to Bob for getting Steve to give that original session) - what else was taped?
The latest FoxShow has interviews with first time attendee Kevin Ragsdale as well as Doug Hennig, who managed to turn a 75 minute session into 20 minutes.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
You're not alone - Andy Kramek gives the whole low-down as to the hows and whys but still doesn't explain why the functions are named the way they are.
As he states
"For example, to set buffering for a Visual FoxPro DBF file (which is a table) we have to use the heavily overloaded CURSORSETPROP() function. Why not a separate, unambiguous, “SetBufferMode()” function? To confirm a pending transaction, the command is END TRANSACTION. Why not “COMMIT” as in every other database language - a choice which is even more peculiar since the standard 'ROLLBACK' command is used to reverse a transaction?"
Could have been worse - we could have to issue a
SYS(2011,3) or something else that would have made Ken proud.
Yesterday, there was only one lonely member in the Visual FoxPro SednaX community and now there's 19.
I sense Craig is hearing some pushback from former community members but his post "Want to invent VFP's future?" is certainly a good read.
No, the community may not be able to get MS to do everything they want - but there have certainly been a number of times when a lone FoxPro developer has come to MS and said "here's what I did" and the reaction was nothing short of "wow".
And if you think about it - all of the little pieces found in VFP today - the FFC, the component gallery, the object browser, even the new Report Listener architecture - all of them are initiatives written, supported, developed, or architected by members of the community (heck, with few exceptions, most of the Fox team at MS is "FROM" the community)
So how to start? Maybe the best idea would be to look at the Wiki list of things people want to see and figure out which ones are definitely NOT going to be handled by MS. Ah the list has already begun on the message board.
Wow - remember File Maker? I recall, I think it was at the Miami FoxPro DevCon that Jennifer, Geri from Advisor commented on the similarities between the FoxPro and the FileMaker communities (Advisor puts on both devcons)...now they have even more in common.
FileMaker Names Jon Sigler Vice President of Product Management: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance
Monday, October 17, 2005
Calvin points out that on any VFP dialog, you can hit Ctrl+C and the entire text of the dialog is put into the Windows clipboard.
This goes for errors, messagebox, any native VFP form (in other words, ones that are built directly into VFP - not done through the FoxPro code itself like the Wizards)
Does that work for the C5 errors though?
Have to try that....
Friday, October 14, 2005
My application uses a Cursor Adapter class connecting to SQL server. When it runs in the VFP IDE, no problems whatsoever but as soon as I take it out to run it as its own EXE, after every few minutes, the Connection becomes invalid.
Frustrating as...well, you know. Something is timing it out but I'm just not sure where it is...then again, it may be because I'm running the VFP 9 SP1 beta.
EXCEPT - this is what happens when I do something like trucking.gada.be. Hmmm.....
Chris - you always struck me as a Windows fave and here you are wearing a red hat ....
Object not found!
It was found from Scripting News but it's so hard to read everything in there that I've separated the link.
It's hard to imagine the days of indie sw developers but there are lots of them. Rick Strahl manages to straddle being both primary coder and the business person behind West-Wind, along with other various jobs. But it's certainly not the life for everyone, especially when you develop an RSS reader that is being used by thousands of people.
But it would also do well for those "shocked" about the purchase to realize that Newsgator started as one of those types of tools as well and only became the entity it is in the past little while.
NewsGator is in an interesting position - while today, they can claim to be one of the leading (if not the leading) RSS aggregator companies - they are also in the arena that is waiting for the 600 pound elephant (named Microsoft) to arrive. With their acquisitions and new tools, I think they are heading the right way - for example, with a Newsgator subscription, you can view your feeds on virtually every device (Mac, PDA, Win, Outlook, MediaCenter, Linux, etc) and still only get the LATEST news - not just all of it.
They've also made it easy to localize which information you want to read on various sites. This reminds me of Rick Borup's post about too much information. With NewsGator, you might set up your PDA to only look at specific sites whereas your Outlook may get all of them and your Media Center may only show family oriented feeds. It's a great solution because it's something that although they are aware of it, Microsoft isn't dealing with it head-on in IE 7 (where the solutions are expected to be machine-based).
So read The Life - it helps show the reality of the single developer with that one great idea.
Daring Fireball: The Life
You can tell it wasn't part of the actual spec - after all, who would have made a requirement that the third parameter be "snoqualmie::flew"
In the last FoxShow, I noted how everything in Visual FoxPro is about extensibility. This illustrates the point further. Want to mess around with a wizard? This way you can do it interactively.
Calvin Hsia's WebLog : Run the wizards modelessly
"This is my first face-to-face run in with Rick. He exudes confidence and a certain amount of energy which makes me think... should I challenge him to a coding duel, or should I join forces with him so we can try and take over the world?"
Looking forward to the rest of the posts....
Universal Thread Conference Coverage - Southwest Fox 2005
It was a fun interview because Toni teaches database design at the university of Toledo as well so she sees both beginners and advanced users and the types of mistakes they make.
She also lets us in on what's in the toolbox for F1 Technologies and the new release of Visual FoxExpress.
Check it out.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Sheesh - the things that just seem to slip through....
Someone on the ProFox list was asking why his VFP objects created with
SCATTER NAME didn't have an AddProperty method.
For example, if you do USE HOME(2)+"DATA\CUSTOMER"
SCATTER NAME loCustomer
The object is essentially an Empty object and has no methods or events.
Which means you can't add new properties to it, right?
Not in VFP 9. (uh correction, not in VFP 8 either - thanks Colin for noting it) Kevin Cully of http://www.cullytechnologies.com noted the
AddProperty function that lets you add properties to objects that don't have
the AddProperty method.
=AddProperty(loCustomer, 'NewProperty', .T.)
Very handy as I use SCATTER NAME in lots of different places. Thanks for the
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Looks like a lot of new features are available - first and foremost a multi-user DBCX explorer and an improved App Builder interface.
I'm hoping to hook up with Toni for an interview right before Southwest Fox for the FoxShow so I'll be sure to ask her about it.
Monday, October 10, 2005
It's interesting that Neilsen jumps over the new "results-oriented user interface", as noted by Office 12's interface. His big statement: "We know from user testing that users often demand that other user interfaces work like Office"
It will be interesting to see how this plays out - but keep the key poitns in mind from the new Office 12 interface - it's still all about the document-centric vision.
What do I mean by that? The O/S used to be application-centric - that is you choose the application to do the job you need done. Windows (and the web for that matter) has always tried to be more
document-centric - you work in a document and choose the right tools to do the job.
This new results-centric approach says you choose the tools based on the results you want and it's the job of the interface to make it easier to show what the results are - in short, you don't have to deduce or figure out what the tools mean, the interface should make it plainly obvious to you.
MS has been doing this for a few years now -still it's very telling that Jakob Neilsen is noting the big change in Office 12 as the telling signpost for the next generation user interface.
His comment: "But Microsoft Word 2003 has 1,500 commands, and users typically have no clue where to find most of them." Well the question really should be - do you NEED 1500 commands? (ask that to any Fox developer who knows all about dBloat) - maybe the real solution is the 37signals approach of less is more.
Most people who are starting with word processing (and there are a lot of them) don't get the difference between spaces and tabs or tables or columns so having 20 different commands for each of them essentially creates the UI conundrum.
It's a good article to read though - whether or not you agree or disagree with his conclusion that the Office 12 interface is going to be the defacto standard.
Saturday, October 08, 2005
You need Less More, Less People, Less Time, Less Abstractions, Less Software - oh, and more constraints.
Well put - from one of the minds behind 37signals.
Friday, October 07, 2005
I LOVE the Podcasting support within it.
Google needs to get back onto the cutting edge instead of trailing as they have been with Google Talk and now Google RSS.
UPDATE: Reader does have built-in podcasting support but the audio transfer seems a bit off. Maybe it will get better. Check it out here
Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Alex Feldstein - Powered By Bloglines
Now, you can create indexes on temporary cursors just as with regular tables but there's a trick to be aware of.
When you create an IDX file on a DBF file that physically exists , the IDX file will still be there after you close the table.
However, if you create an IDX file on a temporary cursor, as soon as you do anything that may close the index, the IDX file is instantly deleted.
INDEX on customer.city TO t
DIR t.idx && the file is there
SET INDEX TO
DIR t.idx && the file is STILL there
SELECT * FROM customer WHERE region ='WA' INTO CURSOR wacust
INDEX on city TO wat
DIR wat.idx && the file is there
SET INDEX TO wat.idx && Error file does not exist
Why ? Because the SET INDEX TO statement clears the previous index and attempts to reset it. But when it clears it, FoxPro recognizes that it is a temporary cursor and thus deletes the index.
issue a SET INDEX TO ADDITIVE and that should keep it there.
You may have seen the FoxCentral ad for +Macros 3.5 - I'm writing a review of it for FPA but it's also being talked about in the upcoming FoxShow. It's essentially a collection of useful FoxPro pieces, including some text editing macros, a better Data session window, and stuff like that. (many frameworks provide similar tools for viewing tables) The ActiveDesktop has a very cool surprised me with a Project Manager pane (shown here) that only appears when you click on it - you then find the file, double-click and the project pane disappears. Very cool.
It's inexpensive ($60 US) and has a free 30 day trial.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
It was about how Isaac Newton "discovered" gravity. Of course , he didn't discover it - in fact the biggest part of what he did was NAME it.
Which brings us to Avalon's renaming. Yes, I know it's been known for a while but I was listening to Buzz Out Loud (Cnet's podcast of indeterminate length) and Veronica ("I love apple above all else) commented on how she had seen the new Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and really liked it...except what's with the name?
In the days when people complain about Miicrosoft's ability to come up with cool names, Avalon wasn't bad but its renaming has me scratching its head. It's easy to get excited about a new operating system named "Tiger" (roar!) or , heck, even "Vista". But hey, everyone raise your hands and get excited for the brand new ......
"Windows Presentation Foundation"
Doesn't exactly send a chill through your bones....
But enough about WPF - it's only a feature right - sure it doesn't Flash right out at you - but then when was the last time a product launch sent a Zorro to Europa (or Sedna, for that matter)?
It only takes a nano-second to realize that the name game is still constantly being played. MS may feel obligated to stamp the Windows trademark name on everything, but as long as they do that, this is a game that they will always lose. Who cares, right? No one really cares about the acronyms, right - Mr. WIMPy interface - who needs a WIMP when you've got a LAMP?
"The product is what matters. "
Maybe in the minds but not in the hearts of consumers and users.
(as a side note, hotel buildings change names regularly - the hotel in Ottawa with the revolving restaurant has been the Holiday Inn, the Radisson and most recently a Marriott - when we were in Hawaii, the Hilton resort in Waikoloa was formerly the Hyatt, AND STILL referrred to as the Hyatt but the people on the Island - names DO stick!)
So as I was reading the Big Moo, I thought of Avalon and WPF and what Newton could have called gravity instead?
How about the Newton Declivity Theory? (NDT) - that would have stuck, right?
Or IEM - Isaac's Elevation Model?
What if to this day, we continued to use the old way of announcing one's self, I am Andrew, son of Donald, son of Karnac? My name isn't Andrew, I am DO2 - Donald Offspring #2. Or better yet, DO70?
It's a moot point now - as the product has already been named but there is definitely something to be said for a product to be keeping its name.
Check out the book - it's short, funny and absolutely worth every penny (and proceeds go to charity)
Meanwhile, I'm back to Europa.
Monday, October 03, 2005
As well, he notes that What's New In Nine is now available online here!
Visual FoxPro: October 2005 - Letter from the Editor
First BaseCamp, now this.
Collaborative writing software online with Writeboard. Write, share, revise, compare.
So when does the beta begin, Rick?
Shedding Some Light: September 2005
Here's the solution: go to your Blogger settings under comments
Turn on Word Verification - that should clean it up.
David Stevenson's Talking Fox: Republished Blog to Stop Spammer Comments
I'm thinking of turning them off or forcing logins but we'll see.
Update: well that was easy. Google's added WordVerification to their comments. That's the "enter the words in this image" code verification tool. That approach should make it a little easier at least for some time. Thanks Blogger! (uh, google)
In my recent interview with Ken Levy on the FoxShow, he noted how everything he discussed at the summit will be made publicly available (almost joking "what nda?") - within the next few weeks.
It's an interesting interview because I had asked members of the community for questions - well, Ken had seen those and went to great lengths to answer most of them (even the ones about EULA and 64-bit).