Wednesday, March 14, 2007

MS VFP starts its departure - are you ready for community-based VFP?

Looks like Craig Bailey got the first link up on this but every FoxPro developer needs to see it here

What does it all mean? Well, yes - no more "Microsoft" VFP after Sedna and SP2 - although it is supported through 2015.

But perhaps more importantly - all of the Sedna code is being released into Codeplex - so we can all extend it further. This is a very strong point as it means we, as FoxPro developers, can continue to expand on the tool and make it better.

There will always be areas that we might gripe and complain (for example, why can't we get a pre-processor at compile time?) - but we can find ways around it. Myself, I would love to see them release more internals to the code under a similar license but I don't think that will happen.

However, if you've read the other Craig's blog of late, you'll see that Microsoft is now switching whole-heartedly over to a 64-bit platform, which VFP was never going to support. Whether this is a good move for Microsoft or not, who's to say. Software development is changing and it's all about choosing the right tool.

Most businesses won't be changing to 64-bit anytime and until they do, VFP is still one of the best tools around for data access. And as long as MS continues to improve its Vista compatibility with Sedna (which I'm still not even that fond of), then it's still the right tool for many data-based 32-bit applications and as the VFPX projects show, there's no shortage of what you can do with it.

I still want to find other ways of baking new stuff with VFP, be it linking with open Web APIs, other databases and more. It's not the tool - it's what you do with it and with FoxPro, you can and still will be able to do a lot.

But yag, thanks for letting everyone know.

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Update: Mary Jo notes it also here.


Garrett said...

Ok, it's official: I am chopped liver. :-)

Andrew MacNeill said...

Nonsense. Now we can feel good about really promoting FoxPro without having to worry too much about MS coming down on it.

But nice picture there! :)

Garrett said...

I meant that I thought I had blogged it first, but nobody noticed. Then I remembered the International Date Line. :-)