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Showing posts from November, 2005

Calvin shows Excel's Gradient bars in VFP

Calvin's post shows how to write gradient bars in your grid. The actual execution is a bit wonky if you're not running on Windows XP but you can still see the results here. Note: this reminded me a little of Mike Brachman showing colored browse windows in FoxPro DOS way back when - except that the colors move with the form because they are directly attached to its HWND. Nonetheless, it's a cool example of what's possible when you grab some features from some DLLs (in this case OLEACC.DLL and GDIPLUS).

VFPConversion's has a newer look and feel

I may have missed this earlier but the VFP Conversion site has been updated and it makes finding things a lot easier. Granted, Dan and Kevin look out of place with all of those haircut-challenged people but you can choose to read articles or blogs. What's particularly cool though is you can build your own RSS feed, filtering on developers, managers or just articles. Welcome to

Name Twins: Would the real Andrew MacNeill please stand up?

Markus Egger sent me an email over the weekend, noting " this is scary..." Wrong spelling apart - what I found most interesting is that there is an Andrew McNeil who works as a senior product consultant for CIN Com in Australia with a comment like "While legacy thinking may be a problem, 'herd thinking' may be an even greater contributor to problems in IT organizations," McNeil says. "This thinking leads to a silver bullet mentality, which causes technologies to be over-hyped then subsequently [creates] a backlash." But of course, the first search result was from Mr. McNeil who is the director of Institute of Alcohol Studies, who "thinks a major factor in high consumption among young people is the affordability of alcohol," (note only the Cached version of the site shows this reference anymore) and follows on with all kinds of funny comments like "Andrew, if you have the cojones to set me straight" It reminds me of

Presenting Gates vs Jobs: A study in contrasts

Great post comparing Steve Jobs and Bill Gates presentation styles - one that I saw mirrored at the Visual Studio launch. Considering that Microsoft Press publishes Cliff Atkinson's Beyond Bullet Point , it's amazing that Microsoft still allows people to present this way. Yes, it's hard - especially if you're presenting online because you can't see their faces but then again, I don't imagine that when they're on stage in front of 2000 developers, Bill or Steve are looking at anyone's faces either.

Craig Bailey: What coffee were you drinking?

A few of us were chatting around the coffee machine at work the other day discussing what would happen if Google bought Visual FoxPro from Microsoft. Now that's an interesting conversation...for one, GoogleBase would likely be super fast and incredibly cool. Microsoft is on a " disruptive " streak these days - how could FoxPro be made more disruptive? Well, Craig's started that one off. I wonder what wwGoogle would look like? I'm intrigued by what Rainer said on the FoxShow about what's coming for the FoxExtend platform. In fact, I even had a dream last night (bad sign when you're dreaming about work!) where I was describing ways that FoxPro could really take advantage of the new RSS and SSE services. Unfortunately, the details were in the part I can't recall. Is it hard to make a product as old as FoxPro disruptive? I don't think so - look at what Rick Strahl did with West-Wind. I remember back in 1994 seeing someone in Germany

Southwest Fox 2006 Dates Announced

From Bob Kocher: There are still some details to work out so specifics will have to wait a week or so. For now, I am extremely pleased to announce Southwest Fox will return to Tempe, AZ Thursday, October 19, 2006 through Sunday October 22, 2006. We have a great new location this year and we are working on a couple of new and exciting ideas. from Rick's original post: Shedding Some Light: Southwest Fox 2006!

Why Good Programmers Are Lazy and Dumb

Great site, noted from Wildfire. I particularly like this image:

Using NewsGator Folders smartly

1. Why is it that Newsgator can't always find the right feed when I use the Subscribe with Newsgator shortcut? It couldn't find the proper link to even though FireFox and other browsers could. It's just very frustrating. 2. I know a lot of people are coming up with great ideas about OPML and such as a way of sorting or weighting different topics - I use the Folders in NewsGator online all the time - it would make MY life (maybe others as well) a lot easier if I could assign Locations to individual Folders as well as specific blogs. For example, I have a folder called 10 Blogs I Must Read Immediately (which only has 3 in it right now) and then I have folders for FoxPro, Diversions, Microsoft, Podcasts, Tech, Product Stuff, etc. It works very efficiently as I can create my own type of Attention planning piece there - the only thing is - I wish I could have new blogs suggested for those different folders. If the Folders concept grew just a little fu

A truly interesting Scoble link

Trying to keep down the noise/signal ratio, I try not to link too much to Scoble because either : a) everyone else already has b) if it's a microsoft story, it's usually redundant because of COURSE he has the story (and although I'm interested- there's no sense in linking to it) c) it's too much about Seattle and the West Coast which is nice but I'm not there so... d) I'm just not interested e) he no longer links to me - (KIDDING!) But his no-GYM posts have been really quite fun. What I really enjoyed though was this blog about the SunShine movie and Gia Milinovich, who is blogging it here . OK - it's a SCI-FI movie - so big time geek alert - and so the blog has lots of cool posts about Sci-Fi trivia (et al) but this post about suttirat (a new adjective and name of the costume designer) was so cool. She actually BUILT communicators. From the post: "The comms units are a cool and geeky bit of kit. Suttirat got her inspiration for th

Conferences: DevTeach - no Fox Tracks

Just found out this morning that DevTeach won't be offering a separate Fox track this year at all. No - Jean-René isn't abandoning FoxPro but it's simply the economics of it - I imagine that with the last conference, there were a lot more sponsors and such from the DotNet world than from VFP and as a result, there's no loss there. The real factor is that not enough VFP developers were attending. I wasn't at the last show but it would appear that the VFP developer showing was fairly low. That's really too bad for Fox developers as J-R puts on a great conference but not bad if you want to visit a great city and learn more about the internals of Visual Studio. I'm sure Markus and Kevin will do a great job of lining up great sessions. So now you either consider Advisor DevCon , Southwest Fox or any of the amazing European and Australian conferences. Hey Markus - how's the VFP Road Show looking? Maybe that would be a good thing to wrap into a VF

Found: Translating for Instant Messengers

This is interesting. I'm communicating with a Russian programmer through MSN Messenger using this Paralink Online Translation utility. But the translation definitely needs some clarification but it works pretty well. Know what I think? I think someone should come up with an IM client that does automatic translation. Anyone know of one? Update: Paralink has one . Very cool - not completely integrated but close. Free Translation Online

Maybe Ray Ozzie can change Microsoft...

Boy, that "Microsoft is not evil" comment from BuzzOutLoud is going to continue to grow with Ray Ozzie's new stuff. Microsoft's Simple Sharing Extension for RSS is being released under the Creative Commons license Attribution share-alike license. And it answers one of my biggest complaints about the way Microsoft has done things for developers. To quote but we decided we’d never get short term network effects among products if we selected something complicated – even if it were powerful. What we really longed for was "the RSS of synchronization" ... something simple that would catch on very quickly. That's the spirit! What's funny is that he uses a Lotus Notes example to show what's he talking about: Notefiles replicate by using a very simple mechanism based on GUID assignment, with clocks and tie-breakers to detect and deterministically propagate modifications. Something like this could easily be represented in XML. Now we&#

Why hold competing conferences?

On Friday, I noted Andy Kramek's post about the timing of the next Advisor FoxPro Devcon which is scheduled for August 27-31 in Phoenix, Arizona which would appear to conflict with the Southwest conference in Tempe, Arizona a few weeks later. Not only did I post about it, I also emailed my editor at Advisor asking if they were aware of the scheduling and why this might possibly be considered a bad move on part of the community. Not only did I hear from them, I also heard from Ken Levy who wanted to assure me that "Microsoft has nothing at all to do with the dates, locations, or speaker selection at any VFP conference world wide, and that the VFP team is not involved in any decision making there". That's good news - in fact, he heard the news when he first arrived in Frankfurt. So why would Advisor decide to do this? Well, for one, the FoxPro devcon isn't their only conference. As it turns out, they are offering several conferences: GroupWise, Access, .Net, Lotus,

If you blog, support the EFF

Saw this on Anil Dash 's site. It's important to every single blogger out there today, even the ones who just want to talk tech. The US recently followed suit to Canada where any kind of commentary on a blog is akin to being a political contribution. I'm not typically political on this blog but I do want to support organizations who do stand for protecting our rights. The RIAA has shut down Mashuptown who went out of their way to promote the artist's iTunes records. So why support the EFF? Because they are supporting you and your rights: - blog anonymously - keep sources confidential (think how Mini-Msft must feel) - Fair use of intellectual property (you do quote sources don't you?) - Allow Reader's Comments - Freely blog about elections - Blog about work (but be smart about it!) - Access as media Check out the EFF's How to Blog Safely guide .

Andy Disses the latest ILL-Advised Move - updated

First thing I heard of this Andy - I've been down in the weeds of work for the past few days but it certainly doesn't pass the smell test . Hmmm...I'm an editor with FPA - wonder if they'll tell me why did this. Sounds like a surefire way of getting out of the FoxPro conference business. I know sometimes they've come back and said they were asked to organize their shows around other schedules such as launch, etc - I certainly hope no one from the MS Data Team has anything to do with this. Update : I have been told by Ken that in this case, the timing had nothing to do with the MS Data team. I'll update more in a separate post. FoxPro ILL-Advisor

Need a Lat/Long for a US address? Now you can get it for free

You can access it as a web service, directly over the web or wherever. I deal with a trucking software company and I always used to hear that this information wasn't freely available - so the data may be slightly out of date but being able to pull this so freely is great. Pass it an address, city and state and it can come back to you in CSV or XML. a free US address geocoder

Bricklin's WikiCalc: Very Cool

Just saw this over on zdNet but then wanted to try it out. I think David may be right when he talks about the potential of what this could do. Wikis aren't just for group blogging or information - now you've got a live application for it as well.

Tod Nielsen gets around...

First PM at Microsoft, then SVP at Oracle and now CEO or Borland. Seeing as he had just become the SVP at Oracle in September. Tod was the guy who I mentioned on the FoxShow at the same time as Jon Sigler who moved over to FileMaker.

Sony BMG caves to outcry, drops DRM software

Nice to see that with enough public outcry, Sony will react in the right manner. I guess now I can cancel those "No Sony" buttons. As noted: The whole ugly affair has turned into a nightmare for Sony BMG, and deservedly so. People were understandably angry about Sony installing software on their system that would cripple Windows if they tried to remove it while giving other malware authors another route into their systems. Thomas Hesse, President of Sony BMG's Global Digital Business Division didn't help with his assertion that what people didn't know wouldn't hurt them. Well now they know, and Sony is the one left with egg on its face. Let's see what it comes up with next from its apparently bottomless bag of proprietary technology and bad DRM. Sony BMG caves to outcry, drops DRM software

My life as a Code Economist

Eric Sink (Update: I previously said Eric Rice - who does AudioBlog, not SourceGear - thanks to Ranjith Anthony for recorrecting me) continues his posts, certainly qualifying him to have one of the most valuable site for software developers and managers. This one is on Testing, or debugging, or the horrors of shipping on Halloween. Especially in the wake of Microsoft's launch of Visual Studio, this post is an exceptionally good read. He describes each bug with four qualifiers: frequency, severity, cost and risk. Sound obvious? Read it - print it and then send it to your nearest manager. This is an article worth reading especially when he compares levels of severity: # The top of the graph represents a bug with extremely severe impact: "This bug causes the user's computer to burst into flame." # The bottom of the graph represents a bug with extremely low impact: "One of the pixels on the splash screen is the wrong shade of gray." How many times have you had t

Thoughts from the Ottawa Rocking the Launch

So yesterday was the Ready to Launch event in Ottawa, celebrating the release of Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005 and the, uh, imminent release of BizTalk 2006. No Wifi - (which I found really hard to believe at a tech event) - which meant the GPRS on my ipaq6315 got a good workout but because I don't have a good Pocket PC blogging tool for blogger (anyone know of one? - and no I don't mean moblogs - that's a PITA - I'll rant on that later) OK - so we get the idea that they are ready to "Rock the launch" based on the music and the bouncing balls (where everyone applauds when they pop! - clean up crews must really like that). Visual Studio Rocks - where have I heard that before? Back in 2004 and before... Funniest pre-show comment: "do we have to watch this?" - one of the Microsofties who was managing registration (yes, likely a hired hand) My first thoughts? Well, let's say 45 minutes on PowerPoint for a DEVELOPER launch? Jef

Hope your last name isn't Bryant...(or Guei)

Wow - it's moved from Nigeria to the UK now...just got an email "My name is Susan Bryant, I am an artist with my husband Tommy Bryant, We own Sus Art World in London(United Kingdom)I live in London United Kingdom, with my two kids, four cats, one dog and the love of my life my husband Tommy Bryant." and of course it goes on to say "I'll give you 10%" for every transaction on my money orders"... Well it's to be expected - Microsoft said they would work with Nigeria to crack down on it - so now the spammers move around. Shakespeare needs to be updated: First you kill all the lawyers, then the spammers, then the phishers... Update: (and now an email from Sarah Guei from Cote d Ivoire as well. I really do feel for the people whose names actually match the spammers - they must show up on every no-receive list everywhere)

Loyalty to Visual FoxPro: the SednaX Generation

Priceless - Korby Parnell's Gotdotnet Wunderkammer : Loyalty to Visual FoxPro: the SednaX Generation : "May you stay long, do great things, and spread the good word about CodeGallery. Note: gotdotnet will be down today for a significant upgrade." Don't stop the discoverability - on that note, I'll be at the Ottawa Visual Studio Launch tour today - not sure if I'll blog it, podcast it or picture it - or all of the above. Could be fun...

How many lines of code is ideal for your program?

While looking at the refactoring project over on SednaX, I found myself writing up some quick little code analyzer classes designed to see whether or not a function should be refactored or not. Looking at that chart, it shows FoxPro has some numbers like 35 single lines of code per function. Wow - that seems low but maybe not. So tell me - what do you consider to be the ideal number of lines per code / function for readability, maintainability in your programs? Take the Poll and let me know...

Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 E-Learning

While the jury may still be out as to the overall quality of Visual Studio, there's still not an excuse not to learn it. Microsoft E-learning is offering FREE courses and clinics (for 90 days) on all aspects of VS for both Web and Desktop based development. Have to sign up soon though - offer ends Nov 17th.

A slideshow is worth a thousand pictures

Late last month, I made a post about FilmLoop, and someone noted that Slide has been doing it for a while as well. Then I went to Nial Kennedy's photos from the Live event and saw a show done via Flickr. Reminds me of blogging tools - so many companies doing similar things, competing - which is good, right, Ted ? Now, FilmLoop has drag and drop but you have to download a player, Slide also has a player/intergration tool wih a sidebar. The tool you use is the one you like - but I really enjoy the concept of the slideshows over going to personal web sites and having to choose the pictures to view.

FoxTabs beta available

Awesome! STILL beta - but then what isn't beta? Every software obviously required more testing when it breaks when you need it the most. Great stuff guys! I LOVE the Recent Files option - only what's that Solutions popup for? Craig Bailey's thoughts: VFP: FoxTabs beta available

Windows Live Ideas � Page d'accueil de Andrew

Uh - how do I explain this to Americans...especially those who are behind building Just because someone is from Canada does NOT mean they only speak French. I sign into thinking this will be the second coming (despite the reviews ) - hmmm...decidely underwhelmed....but then I say, maybe what's new will have something. Oh they have something - in french . Now I'm not sure why - maybe because I said I wanted the weather in Ottawa, but the rest of the site is in English - is it something weird with my profile? (wouldn't be the first time) But worse - you can't change it to English. What's up with that? (and before you ask, YES my settings were set to English (UNITED STATES). Anyways - I'll hold off on final judgement but definitely underwhelmed. Even Google home page provides more right off the bat and that's been out for a while.... Come on guys - EXCITE ME - the dev teams' work on LINQ shows that you have a l