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Showing posts from 2003

Top Ten Fox News Highlights/Lolights of the 2003

1. A new version of VFP on the way. Europa was announced and previewed to many, ending the annual "is this the last version of VFP" and yet starting a new one. (Will Europa be the last version of VFP? - sheesh, doesn't anyone have anything better to do with their time?)   2. Blogs come in big-time. Just as Ted Roche showed me what a blog was at DevCon 2003, there seemed to be a huge rush to the technology with just about everyone and their dog getting a blog. Except one - where is the blog from the Fox developers?   3. DevCon announced for 2004. Surely I jest - but many people seemed to read in that since Advisor had not announced where DevCon would be in 2004, that it may not happen at all and that meant that MS was surely planning on killing off FoxPro, right? Wrong! DevCon 2004 in Las Vegas (but in a resort??? - go figure that one out) means that there is still some money to be made on the conference circuit. Even if the numbers

Interviewing Steve Jobs (and the basics of freedom to steal)

Interesting that he didn't bring up the Apple lawsuit! Apple Computer only has the license to the name because they promised NEVER to get into the music business (to compete with Apple Records by the Beatles)! There's a lawsuit pending and we'll only get this resolved ages from now. I use MusicNow (YES! - it's on Subscription) and have to say I really like it - although in a few days, I will be receiving an AudioTron unit from and if it can't play Apple iTunes songs or MusicNow songs, I will never download from those sites. Artists deserve the rights to be paid for their music. Those who want to download it for free - you know, enjoy it but if you really enjoy it, BUY IT!!! This is like kids who taped records for their friends - if you really wanted it, you would go out and buy it. I buy music all the time - I don't download it now because I subscribe and I love the idea. This is why people like NetFlix - you subscribe and you get

Mapping Sites

For those of you who do "globe-trotting", this site ( ) has to be one of the best there is. I originally found it when looking for some friends in England in a small town and it actually found the street name. Yes, I know this information is available in many places but this site actually lets you go down to street (and with aerial photos) levels for multiple countries around the work, including many former eastern-block countries.   Very cool!  

FoxFinalVersion - Do you believe this?

I can't believe this discussion. I mean cripes - did everyone jump up when Win Me was identified as the last version of 16 bit windows? If you choose your development environment based on it being the "very latest", then your applications must be on some very shaky ground. To this extent, I agree with Whil Henzten - Fox apps will be around for quite a few more years. FoxFinalVersion - FoxProWiki

Even in today's age, in times of sadness, Trekker info still rules

Today, I came across a story on MSNBC that Kellie Waymire had died recently. No idea who she was (based on the name) - so I did a search online. Even in today's age when information access is everywhere, the BEST tributes to her were from Star Trek fans. ( , , )   This is not to slight the main web site ( ) where obviously a statement was made but rather by how she was recognized.   She was a actress who starred on various Star Trek episodes, Friends and as well Six Feet Under. So no, by major "awareness" factors, she was not a major star. At the age of 36, her loss of life is a terrible thing and my thoughts go out for her family and friends.   However, what I find interesting (which is why I post it

Mind Manager

Wow! Just tried this tool and was really surprised at how well it works. After just writing down some ideas on a project I was on, I exported it to PowerPoint and wham! all done. For only $199 for the Business Edition (non Tablet-PC but comes with a version for Pocket PC), I'm almost sold! Gonna keep on trying it for the 21 day demo but check it out! The Scobleizer Weblog

Wallop Screen Shots Snoozer,3018,a=111812,00.asp   The social network map looks like something TedRoche ( ) showed me in June but done via web sites or blogs,( ), albeit with a nicer GUI but still essentially the same. I don't expect this will go anywhere except maybe in a new FrontPage analysis tool.

Where are the MS Fox Blogs?

OK - MS has jumped big-time on the Blogging bandwagon - so my question is: where are the MS Fox Blogs?   I can appreciate that Calvin and a few others may be too busy to discuss but seriously, Ken, Randy and Yag should all have blogs going at this stage.    

SQL TOP N - Watch Out in VFP 8 and earlier

The TOP N clause in VFP 8 doesn't work reliably unless you put in more than one sort order. ( and even then it's a bit funky)   Consider the CUSTOMER table. USE HOME(2)+"NORTHWIND\customers" SELECT TOP 5 * from customers ORDER BY 1 This gives you only the first 5 records.   But if you add another table into it. USE HOME(2)+"NORTHWIND\orders" IN 0 SELECT TOP 5 * from customers, orders WHERE customers.customerid=orders.customerid ORDER BY 2 This returns 6 entries.   As soon as you combine two tables and pull data from both, then the TOP n doesn't return only the top 5 entries.   Confused? Yeah - it's a PITA.   It's an aberration that you can't really work with. As a result TOP N isn't something you can always rely on.   SELECT TOP 5 customers.customerid,orderid,orders.freight,customers.customerid,customers.contactname from customers, orders WHERE customers.customerid=orders

MS Researching Blogs

I posted this as a comment to Teds but wanted to put it here as well: What's interesting about Wallop is the comments I read after they presented it at PDC. Someone referred to it as a "bliki", a cross between a Blog and a Wiki. A Blog really is just like a personal Wiki, although arranged by date (or recent topics). The Wiki obviously brings much more to it. When comparing them to learning management systems and the like, a Wiki is almost always the better choice, because of the automatic links.Instead of having to "blog-roll" Ted, I could simply type TedRoche and it would automatically link me. Once again, I think Microsoft will be attempting to leap-frog the technology. You can read more about what that entire Social Computing group is doing here: Some of the stuff has already been done but others look very cool! Ted's Radio Weblog

Gator Feature: Custom Newspages

I found this out from the forum but I thought I would share it here because there are some gotchas with this.   So you've switched from FeedDemon to NewsGator but find yourself missing the Newspaper view (like I did). Fear not - you can do the same thing with NewsGator , at least to some effect.   First: group your feeds into logical folders. For example, all my Fox community blogs are in a folder called FoxFeeds, all my MS feeds are in another folder called MS Blogs, etc, etc)   Then right-click on the group folder (FoxFeeds, MS Blogs) and choose Properties.   Click to the Home Page folder and set the home page to be "file:c:\progra~1\newsga~1\NewsPgSF.htm"   Be sure to check the option to Make it your default view for the folder then sit back and enjoy!   True, it doesn't do columns and sections like FeedDemon but it's still VERY slick and all within Outlook!

Be careful of IE Security

Just something I discovered. I had reset my IE security to high for some reason or another and then tried to log into various sites and found they wouldn't work.   Here's why: IE Security Settings on High DISABLE support for META REFRESH , a feature that many web sites use while processing data. Check this under your IE Advanced Security settings if you find pages simply appear blank instead of being correct.

DevCon Announced

Thanks to Craig for monitoring for this. Advisor has announced the next VFP DevCon to be held Sept. 29 - Oct 2 in Las Vegas. No announcement of the hotel. I think Vegas is a great location. I can drive there in about six hours. The hotels are cheap, food is cheap, rooms are cheap, airfare for others is cheap. Kudos to Advisor! On a related note, Ken Levy has publically hinted that DevCon will be the official launch for VFP9. Let's look at the calendar and see how accurate this could be for release dates. VFP 8 was released in February. Typically, VFP has been on an 18 month schedule. That would put release at sometime around July. Ken also recently stated on the Universal Thread that the Fox team added three months to the schedule to allow for additional testing and QA. Now we're looking at October. The dates look about right to me for release about the same time as DevCon. FoxBlog

Tom's corner - Lessons learned @ PDC 2003

A little old but I was very interested in Tom's last comment: The Microsoft guys in Redmond are _really_ listening and are determined in bringing the best product for their users. I had several chats with Microsoft people and everyone was having the same attitude: "please provide feedback, please tell us what you think". No one had the attitude of "we do it right, you're wrong if you don't agree", which is very nice. They were all helpful. Tom's corner - Lessons learned @ PDC 2003

Avalon and XAML Great for Developers, But maybe Fox should do it first

XAML or XUL (Mozilla's version) - two ways of building user interfaces via XML. Column posts some great problems with this issue: Is this going to be compiled at run time into the application or via a compiler via and C#? I don't know. Based on the demos I've seen, it would seem that XAML is loaded and compiled via some sort of software processing system because there was a noticeable pause between the window being created and the UI coming up. Great - more application delay! Now how do you explain this to your customers? Don't get me wrong - I LOVE The idea. Maybe FoxPro should support the first incarnation of it. After all, it's a LOT faster than any of the .Net stuff for parsing strings, etc. BetaNews | Commentary: Avalon and XAML Great for Developers, But...

Longhorn - and the UI of the future will be

"Among the features shown off were transparent windows, animated windows that pop open and a new taskbar on the righthand side of the screen that displayed a clock, buddy list, and news and other information streamed onto the desktop via an RSS feed. " ooohhh...ummm - don't I already have that? (hopefully it's an intelligent RSS feed that combines from multiple sources) Quite frankly I don't WANT my news streaming onto my desktop - I have too much news right now when simply clicking on newsfeeds in Outlook (thanks to Gator) Granted I was not present but if this is the best the news media had to offer about it...I'm worried. There is something to be said about "cluttered" windows (which is why Apple trotted out their new Panther software with a better Alt+Tab view). People today suffer from information overload. The System Tray was supposed to only hold a few icons but now every company loads onto it so much it looks like an old TSR list

Wherever You Say, Yvonne, I Will Go

Well - at least they've realized that a friendly voice is better than the mechanical sounding voice from typical SAPI applications. Now - the big question: does it work in Canada? All of these great GPS navigation systems are completely useless unless you are in a major US city. Hate to break it to the designers but there are other places in the world. Wherever You Say, Yvonne, I Will Go

October Hentzenwerke news: FoxTales - Behind the Scenes at Fox Software released

Great new things from Hentzenwerke! 1. FoxTales: Behind the Scenes at Fox Software released 2. Painless Legacy FoxPro Applications on Modern Networks ebook released 3. Big, big, big sale - it's Halloween! 1. FoxTales: Behind the Scenes at Fox Software released ------------------------------------------------------- FoxTales: Behind the Scenes at Fox Software chronicles the rise and sale of Fox Software by one of the early developers, Kerry Nietz. Kerry joined Fox Software fresh out of college in the late 80's, and was responsible for the Report Writer, the Screen Painter, the Foundation Read, and other parts of Fox that you still use every day. While doing so, he found the time to keep a detailed diary of events in Perrysburg through the day that the development team packed up their offices and moved to Microosft. This is his story. We've been shipping this book to Seattle and Toledo by the crate; get your copy before they're all gone! No s

Solid features boost iTunes for PCs

You know - there is an alternative here. I subscribe to MusicNow ( which doesn't always have ALL of the latest songs but is pretty good about keeping up, offers $.99 cent purchases, excellent radio stations and unlimited access to a HUGE variety of music, all for $9.95 a month. It's integrated directly into WMA (which I like because I can switch between the two seamlessly). Still, I will take a quick look at iTunes - if nothing else, I still bleed six colors. Solid features boost iTunes for PCs

RE: Thoughts Regarding OutSourcing

(Some ideas gleaned from 5 small specs that were outsourced to an overseas programmer)   1. Always keep an idea as to how much time it would take to do it yourself and make sure the time and effort it takes to write it down and discuss it is worth it. Example: I outsourced a project because it shouldn't have taken that much time but I didn't have that time. When our O/S company told me they hadn't done it yet (see next point), I had to put the time in. As it turns out, it only took me an hour to fulfill the functionality. Now I have testing to do but it really only took a little bit of time. I easily wasted that hour with emails asking about its status. (Note: the hour to spec it was worthwhile because it ensures the functionality is documented)   2. Only give away ONE task at a time. They might complain that there is a lag between the work but it's the only way to ensure prompt delivery of stuff.

Framework Review: The Calm before the storm

I know I've been warned but something tells me I'll be getting a lot of "feedback" from people on my Framework reviews. For one, not enough detail. For others, I whitewashed it. Can't keep everyone happy so let me just say right now:   The purpose of the framework reviews in FoxPro Advisor is to help developers who are looking for a framework see what is out there and what is involved in picking up a new framework. So if a framework doesn't have an application helper or something that helps a new user get started but is simply a blob of procedures, it's obviously not as easy to pick up as something with an Application Generator. But I WILL be trying to get under the hood so readers can see how difficult or easy it is to expand on stuff. Since we have limited space, I am deliberately going to focus on how quickly you can build an application, how difficult it is to change the application and how much learning you have to do to

NewsGator - Awesome NewsGroup Support

NewsGator has GREAT News Group support. After figuring out how to change the font for the posts, my posts are now all showing in a nice Verdana font and I'm finding the tool much more useable.   Apparently new features are coming imminently...I still have FeedDemon up but it may be changing soon....   Andrew MacNeill    

Great Lakes Closing Session: Where Whil's Heading

Great but short closing session from Great Lakes: Where To Go. Whil's comment: "People ask me what to do...for years, it hasn't been clear, but now it is." Whil is heading into Linux full steam ahead but that doesn't mean that Fox is dead. A quick survey of the audience showed (gasp!) about 40% of attendees were STILL maintaining FoxBase and FoxPro/DOS code. (WOW!!!!) That's 10 years old code - that would mean that in 10 years, we may still be able to work maintaining VFP 8 or later code. That may be a bit of a stretch but the numbers would certainly make sense. From Whil's thoughts: ten years ago, the Fox market was 2 million, it's now about 200,000 developers... user group attendance is down from 200 to about 9 to 20 - Dot Net is not where it's at because it means, for other reasons, competing with 10 million other developers currently moving to Dot Net from VB, C+, etc. Linux on the other hand represents a much more open opport

NewsGator Plug-ins

Tried newsgater as a news reader. It runs within Outlook. Interesting...I like some of the features but the actual posting is done as an Outlook post (instead of an email) so it doesn't look as nice. looks very cool for $29.... NewsGator Plug-ins

Great Lakes Last Day

Last day of Great Lakes....not a lot of activity in the trade show but definitely saw a lot of people yesterday and this morning. Picked up Kerry Neitz's FoxTales book (heavily promoted by Toni Feltman of F1) about war stories from Fox Software (available from Hentzenwerke Rich Simpson's ReportEngine control still continues to amaze...during the show, he developed a way to do real cut and paste while running a report (huh? Imagine copying a Visio or Project diagram and pasting it directly into a VFP report while it's running - very cool). Drew Speedie put me on the spot on Monday night ('hey Andrew! how's that TB?') right during his MaxFrame presentation. Maybe I'll sic "Muffy" on him... Nice to see some familiar faces...and put faces to names (Laura, Dan Greenberg, etc) The next big show? Russ Swall's Essential Fox next June. What will happen? Well bets were being laid as to who would provide the

Airports, Hotels & Wireless

Ok - the new Ottawa airport opened Sunday...guess what? No wireless...sure it's bigger but is it better? A few gripes: no desks to work at (the old terminal had them), the displays are way too small (only one display for 12 gates). Yes they have glitches ( doors don't open, etc, etc) but those are bugs that can be worked out. The gripes are things that MUST be addressed. It's a new airport - why don't they have wireless? Chicago (where I was stuck for about 3 hours) doesn't have it but it's an older airport (so they can be forgiven)   Hotels...Hotels should have this built in as far as I'm concerned. Modems? Come'on - it would not cost that much for a hotel to put  $500 of wireless routers on a few floors and have them service the area. They could even charge for it. Jeers to Hilton (where I am) and the Hyatt for not doing it. Someone should call Boingo!!!

Great Lakes Workshop

Finally made it to WhilFest...(a day of traveling on a plane isn't much fun)   Attendance looks around 200....the wireless network is also a bit funky but I think I've got it going now...found out I'm running a version behind on my wireless driver so that could be it.   Looks like a lot of people switched their box to Linux last night...wonder what that means for the EULA?

MvpVfp2004 - Missing Names

VFP MVP awards are given to those who are actively helping VFP developers on "FoxPro" related topics. Mostly online contributes for "technical assistance", but also adding to that is speaking at VFP events, writing VFP articles and books - on the topic of "FoxPro". I see .... and yet Ted Roche and Whil Hentzen are NOT on this list... I guess being the sole publisher of VFP books, conference speaker (and organizer), User Group "constant speaker", initial Fox Blog publisher and general FoxPro promotion is not considered "actively helping to promote FoxPro" Whil's recent promotion was called "Fox is everywhere..." - I guess someone at MS missed this. MvpVfp2004 - FoxProWiki

Scoble: Make MS Dev More Transparent

  As he writes later in the day, they are already doing this. Devs read blogs for all kinds of reasons - the problem is that the media picks up on stuff and considers it gospel and this is what the Legal team fears.   This is kind of like Arnie's comments in CA. People attack him for (possibly) saying something over 25 years ago despite all he has done in the past to show his true commitments. The biggest fear the Marketing and Legal groups always have is that someone in the media takes a comment and then treats it like public policy.   In Ontario (where I live), we just had an election where the number one issue turned out to be that the (eventually) losing incumbent party sent out a quick email calling the competition "a kitten-eating reptile from another planet". This became the entire big MEDIA problem.   Get over it, reporters! Get over it , media and such. Stop looking for scoops in blogs. They are simply ways to communica

MS Response to Why Not Promote VFP and Citrix

David Dee (see post from 9/22) asked MS about promoting VFP by discussing items with Citrix...As noted in his comments, the response from MS was:   We do not test VFP with Citrix and it is not something we are focused on as a solution, mainly due to lack of demand. For web (or thin client) applications with VFP, we are promoting VFP with ASP.NET using VFP 8.0 with Visual Studio .NET 2003 and that is working well, and most companies we talk to who need web front ends to VFP applications are using or considering ASP.NET with VFP combined. Thanks for your feedback.   Huh?!?! - Until such time as Desktop apps are killed off completely (don't see that happening anytime soon), I actually prefer to recommend Citrix or Terminal Server based solutions than purely Web-based. Maybe David's problem was actually using the term "Citrix" instead of the more "MS-friendly" Terminal Server. VFP continually gets updated in service releas

Font Hints: Do Not Use Arial

I don't know why I keep using Arial as a font but I do. Here's a warning: if you use Arial as a font and put the letter "W" into a button on a toolbar, the top left part of the "W" will go missing. It's terrible - it's awful. Chalk it up to simply bad font design.    

Comments on VFP Awareness Editorial

Message Here's a note from David Dee on my recent editorial in FPA about increasing VFP Awareness. Please add comments     From: David W. Dee [] Subject: VFP Awareness I just read your comments about perceptions of VFP as a development environment.  It's something   that concerns a lot of people who've spent (years) using it and developing skills.   The direction that Catalyst Consulting has been taking is that VFP doesn't offer many advantages     when it comes to WWW development.  However, in a enterprise environment using Citrix and something     like HP's new blade-servers, VFP is absolutely perfect.  Citrix provides connectivity at a distance, while the new blade-servers (and their competitors) essentially offer a WAN\LAN computing environment where     VFP excels.   Besides it's overall excellence as an object-oriented development environment, the VFP database engine    

Help Design A New Version of Foxfire!

We're nearing the end of development of the new version of Foxfire! 8.0 and you might want to check it out by visiting our blog on   From there, you can download the latest beta, post comments on our recent posts and see why the new Live Design Surface area is really going to make reporting fun again!


My thoughts go out to all those who lost loved ones on that day - I know we all lost something inside.   It is hard to imagine that it was just 2 years ago that I was preparing my session at DevCon 2001 in San Diego when I first heard about the attacks. I woke up Trish with the words "the world has gone crazy". Those moments and the days that followed are etched in my memory forever.   I hope all have found some kind of peace inside.

Kids Playing...

What a great night yesterday... Trish and I actually saw children PLAYING by themselves, climbing trees, engaging in regular kid's play....T his was the first time in the 5 years we've been here that kids have not been "organized" by adults. We get regular soccer matches and the kids are always under regular supervision. Last night, this group of about 8 kids climbed a tree right to the top, worrying about falling...(ok, some had bike helmets on...)  it was really nice to see kids be kids again, in this age where everyone is worried about everything...

I Want An Interface That Works...

Enough about Longhorn (looks like Inductive User Interface taken to the next level - note: I do LIKE IUI)   Enough about a standard Linux GUI (one to make it look like Windows) - in fact, the more of these discussions I hear, the more I am apt to forego Linux entirely - it sounds too much like the Unix debacle...who wants an interface run by white coats, even when the white coats are really geeks spread out all over the world...   Where is the real next generation interface?   A few years ago, the guys and gals at PARC (the ones who originated the GUI) were experimenting with an interface idea called "Doors" (seriously!). Now what I saw of it wasn't that awe-inspiring but it still brings me to the main point...   Skins and themes are all very nice but they are all simply different variations of the same Windows "theme".   Some basic ideas that are still waiting around for something to click...   Pen-based com

Wired 11.09: The New X-Men

Great little item on Xtreme Programming... (which I would love to do but am loathe to let anyone work in my office when I can have them be a number of miles away)... Hmmm...anyone try it via a shared terminal server connection? Wired 11.09: The New X-Men

WhilBlog - Hey Whil!

And more join the blogging world... I must have been in a fog the last few days to have missed this....actually, no, we had company in and my time has been terribly eaten up (see musings) - it's incredible how much you miss those 20 hour work days when you can only work 10 of them... Hentzenwerke's Developers Studio Apartment

University of Michigan Hides Its Racist Policies

Go figure...gotta love "individual rights" policies... From: The Ayn Rand Institute [] Sent: Wednesday, September 03, 2003 1:27 PM Subject: Letter to the Editor: University of Michigan Hides Its Racist Policies Welcome to the brave new world of college admissions. The Supreme Court ruled in the Michigan case that raced-based policies are constitutional as long as universities are not too obvious about it. The University of Michigan has announced that it has changed its procedures accordingly and these will no doubt be used as a model by other universities. Now instead of using race explicitly by assigning a certain number of bonus points for applicants of the right race, Michigan will use race implicitly--which means they can do whatever they feel like doing provided they do not say they are doing it! Instead of being above board and in the open, racism will now be hidden under the table. Consider the irony of this. For decades leftists and

Splitting the Palm

What's interesting about Palm splitting into two different companies: software and hardware is that this is PRECISELY the approach that everyone said Apple should have done years ago to preserve the Macintosh software. Now of course, while the Mac is still a niche computer, it is easily the most recognizable niche computer and considered a "best of breed". I will be very interested to see if in 10 years, we still even recognize what a PalmPilot is anymore...

And so email will eventually become unusable - and so we only subscribe to RSS...

While I hate to say it, I'm starting to agree with this article. I'm a big believer in email newsletters and in sharing my email address with people who are interested in contacting me, but as these viruses and continuous SPAM are proving, it's getting to a point where many computer users may simply stop using this stuff and go back to other means. If you bought a computer today, thinking it would bring you into the new world and give you all kinds of great new features and ability to search online, and communicate with friends, imagine the surprise when 95% of your emails are all either viruses or SPAM. Is a computer on the Internet still that much more productive? Based on this idea, it really seems that the best strategy for notifying customers of new updates and articles of interest will be through RSS or hybrid type tools (like the VFP Task Pane's support for Email newsletters are going to easily be confused with SPAM so what's the poi

WebMenu Genie: VFP Meets the Web

If you're a FoxPro developer who is also working with web site design, you owe it to yourself to check out WebMenu Genie ( )   This shareware VFP application lets you generate complex Javascript menus for web sites in mere minutes. Tprice is very reasonable (under $100 for commercial web sites, $35 for personal use, shareware is limited to 4 menu items) and the features are phenomenal. From picture and transparent menu support to different special effects that you can add to individual menus, WebMenu Genie makes it easy for developers of any background to incorporate menus into your web site.   Definitely something to check out...  

Why I Missed My Blackberry until I start using MSN Mobile

During the power outage last week, the first thing I tried to do was use my cell phone. No luck! It seems that on the network I was on, only incoming calls were accessible - I couldn't call out. (not quite sure why - maybe it was that guy on the cell phone who kept on calling all the radio stations). We actually had to find a non-cordless phone (cordless phones require electricity) and plug it in to call out and of course, now I can't find any of the phone numbers I usually call - why not? they are all on the computer.   To be sure, some of them were still on my phone so I could find some of them. Trish pulled out her old Zaurus ZR-5000 PDA and had some numbers in there, thankfully (after changing the batteries). It was then that I really started to miss my old Blackberry. Now, I'm really not impressed with RIM's support (they wanted to basically charge me for a new unit to fix my old one) which is why I stopped using it. But when I had m

New XML Editor in VS.Net

Thanks Ted for letting us hear at least a little bit of the new XML editor. Of course, the big thing here is that it MIGHT be available as a standalone download so we don't have to wait until Whidbey (CORRECTION from Previous posts: I thought it read standalone editor - just my wishful thinking) I know everyone thinks that XML is the NBH (Next Big Hype) and I will admit to being in that group. I love XML as a way for dealing with so many different data streams and more. But, realistically, I think it's important for an editor to exist that makes it easy to: a) build useful XSL stylesheets quickly b) understand the structure of the file c) modify and update the DTD schema I think that a lot of developers who have been working with XML tools in a theoretical or "tool" based environment miss the point that many developers, who are focused around getting products out, don't have the same time to learn how all of these new functions work, even though they c

Old but Useful: Visual FoxPro and .NET Interoperability

This is a very valuable article, as I recently discovered. I have a COM component which works great with VB, VB.Net and ASP but when we had some consultants working with C# and they tried to access it, they started complaining about problems accessing the dynamic components. With a few minor updates and looking over this article, I was able to show them that it was , in fact, possible to do exactly what they said wasn't (without a bunch of work). Visual FoxPro and .NET Interoperability

Power Outage: Gotta get a generator

How about that? Right in the middle of a presentation, at 4:15 yesterday, bang! all the power goes out.   At first, I thought it was just our area but then I realized it was a little more. Thank goodness I purchased that 10 minute UPS on my server and I ran everything off as a Terminal Server.   People that were watching the presentation had about 15 minutes to save everything and the meeting was still a success!   Still, you have to wonder how it could be that one outage could affect an area of 9000 miles. If that isn't a cause for a major alert, I don't know what is.   (for those of you not in on the goings on, pretty much all of north-east North America had a power outage for a period of (at this stage, at least 18 hours), affecting Ottawa, Toronto, Detroit, Cleveland, New York City and their respective states/provinces. Power is now coming on in spurts but we have all been warned to be ready for rolling blackouts.

For Those Who Like To Hack VCX files: Figuring out OlePublic vs. Not

From time to time, I need to go traipsing through the VFP VCX file to find changes or look at deleted records. Recently, I had to change a bunch of classes to OlePublic so they would be exposed in C# code (for some reason, C# can't see property objects the same way VB.Net can - still looking into that one)   For a few years, I've wondered why is there a COMMENT record underneath every class definition in the VCX file. Now I know, this is where OlePublic is stored (in the Reserved2 field).   So if you ever have to make a bunch of classes OlePublic and don't want to take half a day and go through all your classes to do so, just open the VCX file and replace Reserved2 with OLEPublic (case sensitive).   REPLACE ALL Reserved2 WITH "OLEPublic" for EMPTY(reserved2) AND Platform='COMMENT'   Then Compile the VCX file.   COMPILE FORM XXX.VCX   Just an interesting tidbit as you work....

Tip: Controls on Forms

If you have ever tried to design heavily graphical layout forms that use a lot of containers or controls, you may have run into a problem where VFP appears to hang.   This problem likely occurs if you are designing forms that have a lot of graphics or controls on them. For example, I was building a form that would allow users to drag and drop a graphical depiction of a trailer into a loading dock. There were to be 150 trailers on the screen. I created a control class that only contained labels and images. This is where I ran into the problem.   When VFP runs a form, it wants to find a place to rest focus. If it can't find one but the form contains a number of containers, it appears to go into an endless loop in its attempt to find one.   The solution is to put a control onto the form that looks for focus (like a textbox or a command button) and make it visible. This way, VFP will see the control and stop searching for a place to put the f

More Bad News for RIM: RIM loses patent-infringement ruling

It's really too bad that a company that made a GREAT product (although their tech support policies were terrible) are essentially going to lose out due to just really stupid things. Whatever happened to "let the market decide." RIM had to shape up anyways because they had too much competition in the PDA market but this really sours me on the company even more. RIM loses patent-infringement ruling | CNET Speaking of patent infringements, wonder what's happening with that Business Objects lawsuit? - When good software goes bad

Survey finds widespread dissatisfaction with tech support. I guess, no one likes being told that the coffee cup holder on their new computer is really a CD. - When good software goes bad - Aug. 8, 2003 Best TRUE story I've ever heard was from a local vendor- get this one. Compaq iPaq - 1 only - H3650 model - a funny story: a customer bought it, took it home, and brought it back claiming it did not work. We gave him his money back, no problem. At our expense we sent the product back to HP and they called us laughing, saying that their diagnostic tool had discovered an amazing fact: that the ON button had not been pressed. So we have an opened but retail boxed iPaq here - it can be yours for just $299 (it's $100 below our cost) - and like I said just one available

VFP 8 OLE DB Provider Available

The Visual FoxPro OLE DB Provider (VfpOleDB.dll) exposes OLE DB interfaces that you can use to access Visual FoxPro databases and tables from other programming languages and applications. The Visual FoxPro OLE DB Provider is supported by OLE DB System Components as provided by MDAC 2.6 or later. The requirements to run the Visual FoxPro OLE DB Provider are the same as for Visual FoxPro 8.0. This free download version of the Visual FoxPro OLE DB Provider is a updated version from the one included in Visual FoxPro 8.0.

Getting Respect: A Plea from ToG - Interface Guru

"I have met the enemy and he is us." When Pogo mouthed these words so many years ago, he must have been thinking of software designers, or interaction engineers, or human interface folks, or whatever we who create the interaction model for our products are calling ourselves this week. We've been complaining bitterly, these last 25 years, that we get no respect, that we are thought of as nothing more than decorators, if we are thought of at all. Guess what? We have no one to blame but ourselves. We have sat on the sidelines, perpetually powerless, whining, instead of changing up the game so we can win.    

Boston User Group Gets Ken Levy

Boston VFP User Group on Tuesday, August 12, 6:30pm at the Microsoft offices, 6th floor, 201 Jones Rd., Waltham MA, presents: Ken Levy, Microsoft VS Data Product Manager, will be presenting the latest news for Visual FoxPro. Ken will also discuss and demo Visual FoxPro 8.0 along with VFP 8.0 working with VS .NET 2003. Ken will also show demos and discuss Europa (next version of VFP) and Whidbey (next version of Visual Studio .NET). In addition, Ken will show some exciting demos of the new XML/XSLT editor/debugger for VS .NET. For more information on the latest news that will be discussed, refer to

Using Windows APIs with VFP Desktop Apps

Want to integrate external Internet and local content into your Visual FoxPro desktop applications? Then look into the Shell APIs that allow using Windows components easily in your own applications. This article digs into using the ShellExecute API, the InternetExplorer.Application COM object and the Microsoft Web Browser ActiveX control for displaying Web and Windows content dynamically in your own applications. Article includes lots of short immediately useful samples and a detailed reference of how to use the HTML DOM object model from VFP.

Using Blogger and want to do RSS?

If you are using  and want to know how to let everyone know how to use this great feature called RSS, it's really easy! Just upgrade to BloggerPro! The upgrade is free, right now and it works great!   RSS is essentially an XML file that contains all of your latest updates. When you use a tool like FeedReader or RadioLand, people who subscribe to your RSS file, will be notified instantly when you change it. This is the reality of Publish and Subscribe that was touted so many years ago.   When you have an RSS feed being created, then put a link to it right on your main Blog page or in the template. For example, the RSS for my page is:   Ted Roche's is:   I know Ted uses RadioLand for pulling all the news from various sources - I use FeedReader ( ) - it works great and it's free!   Another great tip fo

FoxPro's Hidden Communities

If all you ever do is work with FoxPro out of the box, the closest you may feel to other developers is what you see in the VFP 8 Communities Task Pane but there is a lot more!   After a few emails from Boudewijn Lutgerink, I found - kind of like a European version of the UT with lots of cool stuff on board.   Great place to visit and free signups!