Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New Hentzenwerke Visual FoxPro Book

Jim Booth has released an update to the popular "Effective Techniques for Application Development with Visual FoxPro" book from Hentzenwerke.

Published by Rainer Becker (and dFPUG c/o ISYS GmbH) and Whil Hentzen in both English and German, the eBook covers Visual FoxPro pretty much from soup to nuts but as Jim notes, " Although there is a lot of Visual FoxPro specific information in the book, there are also discussions that transcend any particular development tool or language."


Hentzenwerke Moving from Windows to Linux

Saturday, October 17, 2009

SWFox Conference on Twitter

For those who aren't attending SW Fox, they're doing a great job keeping people up with live streaming as well as call-outs to twitters - for example, Eric's first day wrap-up.

But as well, Joel Leach over on Foxite is also posting his thoughts bout it, including individual sessions, like Dealing with Legacy code by Alan Stevens.

SWFox Conference (swfox) on Twitter

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What Is Your Best Experience?

Amazing how a post on one topic really touches on so many others. Anil Dash posts aboutCommunications and Perception, defending his role as a marketer and communicator. The one line that hits home is "By starting to place importance on experiences and appreciation instead of objects and consumption, we become more sustainable as a society while also becoming more creative as a culture."

Just last night, Trish and I were talking about music and concerts we've attended and certainly the best concerts we've seen were the ones that delivered the best overall experience instead of just the big artist (that's why seeing a Beatles cover band in the Cavern ranks right up there).

The best place by far to have an experience is in person - and one of those places, this year, for FoxPro developers, is Southwest Fox, starting today. Instead of just building a product, the opportunity to see how others are using it, and experiencing it, is invaluable. Attendees of any conference always talk about the value of the networking vs the value of the sessions. Get out and talk around. And then share them with the world, via blogs, tweets or just talking with developers back at home.

This isn't a "touchy-feely" post - certainly there is absolutely a need for objects and consumption. But the real value should be in their experience and appreciation. Your product will make you feel better knowing how other people are experiencing it.

That experience will also make your product and your development better.

(disclaimer: I say this as I stay packed away in my office, sharing my experiences over forums, blogs and other items.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Visionpace: Liar, liar, pants on fire!

Dave Aring has a great post on commenting that isn't specific to VFP but in any development environment. He takes on the Scrum and Agile belief that "all comments are lies".

I will readily say it - last year at SWFox, I made the suggestion that you really don't need to comment your code (at least to a certain extent) if you are using Source code control. After all, when you change something, you check it in, explaining why you did it. (in addition, it was a diatribe against comment headers in code - don't make me read the top of a program to figure out what you did in line 4931)

After reading Dave's post, obviously trying to figure out WHY someone did something by reading through the change log might be a little tough - so you may want to comment it a little. I like Art's point : "it's good to comment *why* something was done (as opposed to commenting *what* something does)"

The problem isn't that all comments are lies or that comments don't prove value, it's that when the code changes, the original comments aren't revised! (that is the one reason why Dave does note as the problem).

It's a great read:
Visionpace: Liar, liar, pants on fire!

Now, as Dave said
"If you have made it this far, you are just not getting enough billable hours in. ", back to billable hours.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

What You Should be Doing Next Week:: Blogging Southwest Fox 2009

I was going to title this "What are you doing next week" but unfortunately, I can't make SW Fox this year.

But the session list totally rocks. From basic VFP topics to how to use VFP with SourceGear's Vault and Subversion and a cool keynote from Sara Ford, I'm really going to miss the learning and networking opportunities.

So here's hoping those lucky attendees will share the love and live-blog some of the great sessions, or better yet, U-Stream them.

Here's hoping....
Doug Hennig: Southwest Fox 2009 is Next Week!

Update: Eric Selje - Salty Dog Solutions - will be blogging here