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Showing posts from June, 2003

The Design of Everyday Things

Great article (oldie (2002) but goodie!) on the the user interface design issues facing toilet paper rolls. (yes I'm serious!) Click here to see it on Donald Norman's site Every time I give a session on user interface design (VFP Devcon this year), I'm always tempted to go back and look at how to improve my own applications. Certainly, new work that is being done on Foxfire! 8.0 (click here for a preview) shows some of these ideas but the general problem is always there for every developer: when building a product or a project under deadlines, interface design decisions almost always get shuffled aside until the first day you put it in front of a customer. What a pity! The basic idea of the inductive user interface is obvious to so many yet so resisted for a great number of reasons. In many ways, it's like the new Help that Microsoft continues to improve (not the one in Fox but rather in Office XP and Messenger), where F1 resizes your application screen to 80%
Improving the VFP Menu Designer As many in the community know, I have a strong affinity towards menus, having creating GenMenuX way back when and it still runs even under VFP 8 without any modifications. One of the questions that came out during the closing session was will there ever be any changes to the Menu Designer? Now, no one on the panel was a Softie (from MS) so no one can say what their plans are, however, I have been recently working on a new Menu Designer that works with the existing MNX file structure but makes it easier to do all the great things that can be done with VFP 8. A few key features: - in-line editing of labels. So you can double-click on a label and change how it reads. - a property sheet to control what options are selected. The property sheet allows users to set ALL of the available attributes for a menu - built-in link to GENMENUX and menu generation. In fact, when you save your menu, the MPR file will be automatically created so you can
Just got back from VFP DevCon 2003 in Palm Springs, California - where the lows were 98 degrees and the highs were 110! Note: Thanks to Ted Roche ( ) who showed me his Blog and inspired me to do the same! Overall, it was a great conference! Great to see both old faces and new! Total Attendance: Around 375. Highlights: A sneak peak at what MS has planned for Europa, the next version of VFP! Announced items include an improved report designer, the removal of many existing SQL limitations, brand new data types (VarChar and VarBinary) and Index types and lots of other goodies to improve the extensibility of VFP! See the wiki or Ted's Blog for more details or you can wait until I post them here! And... there will be a DevCon next year, although they couldn't give us a time or place!