Archive for March, 2006

VFP: Australian Visual FoxPro developer network

Posted on March 30, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

One thing we discussed at OzFox Lite was getting a list of Australian Fox developers together, the aim being that we could then contact each other as required. You can check out the Networking presentation here:
 
One action item was for everyone to add their details to the new page on Fox Wiki. So, here’s a reminder to Australian devs to jump over and add your details:
 
I’m hoping someone from NZ will do likewise for the Kiwi network…
 

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VFP: UT Mags available to all

Posted on March 30, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

I know this is old news now, but if you haven’t heard, Universal Thread is making their two magazines available free to Universal Thread members. You can read about it here:
 
Even at Sydney VFP UG the other night there were still some people who don’t use UT – if that is you then what could possibly be stopping you now?
 
Start here:
 
For OzFox Lite attendees that loved Larry’s excellent session on Visual MaxFrame, you should check out Burt Rosen’s article on VMF in the Dec 2005 edition of UT Mag.
 

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VFP: OzFox 2007?

Posted on March 30, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Since OzFox Lite on the weekend, I’ve been trying to catch up on work – I’m way behind. So, one thing I am lagging on is explaining our thoughts for the full OzFox (or OzFox Heavy as some have started referring to it as).
 
For now I have put a brief summary of the feedback from attendees at OzFox Lite (you can see that here). Whilst I haven’t had a chance to talk to potential speakers yet, I thought it best to get this up asap as I know some people from the conference are talking about it already.

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VFP: More OzFox Lite sessions up

Posted on March 30, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

I’ve posted a few more of the sessions from OzFox Lite up on the site. They include Andrew Coates’ session using VFP with SQL Express (see also his blog post pointing to the management tools), Eka’s on SQL Tips and Rahul’s awesome whitepaper on converting VFP up to SQL (22 pages of great discussion).
 
 
 

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VFP: OzFox thanks Win32ApiViewer

Posted on March 30, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

I’m still getting through my thank yous from OzFox Lite. And one that I should have mentioned earlier is a big thank you to Anatoliy for generously donating a few copies of his excellent Win32 Offline viewer to the conference.
 
I know you all know this, but I’m gonna say it again anyway – I reckon the Win32 Api site is one of the best resources around:
 
 

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VFP: Doug is blogging about FoxPro, Jamie too

Posted on March 30, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Great to see Doug Hennig blogging here:
 
With Craig and Rick this means the full admin team of SednaX is all blogging now
 
 
 
Also great to see Jamie Osbourne blogging again – I agree with his thoughts on Dev tools driving the real cash cows…
 
 

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VFP: Australian Visual FoxPro developer network

Posted on March 30, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

One thing we discussed at OzFox Lite was getting a list of Australian Fox developers together, the aim being that we could then contact each other as required. You can check out the Networking presentation here:
 
One action item was for everyone to add their details to the new page on Fox Wiki. So, here’s a reminder to Australian devs to jump over and add your details:
 
I’m hoping someone from NZ will do likewise for the Kiwi network…
 
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VFP: UT Mags available to all

Posted on March 30, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

I know this is old news now, but if you haven’t heard, Universal Thread is making their two magazines available free to Universal Thread members. You can read about it here:
 
Even at Sydney VFP UG the other night there were still some people who don’t use UT – if that is you then what could possibly be stopping you now?
 
Start here:
 
For OzFox Lite attendees that loved Larry’s excellent session on Visual MaxFrame, you should check out Burt Rosen’s article on VMF in the Dec 2005 edition of UT Mag.
 
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VFP: OzFox 2007?

Posted on March 30, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Since OzFox Lite on the weekend, I’ve been trying to catch up on work – I’m way behind. So, one thing I am lagging on is explaining our thoughts for the full OzFox (or OzFox Heavy as some have started referring to it as).
 
For now I have put a brief summary of the feedback from attendees at OzFox Lite (you can see that here). Whilst I haven’t had a chance to talk to potential speakers yet, I thought it best to get this up asap as I know some people from the conference are talking about it already.
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VFP: More OzFox Lite sessions up

Posted on March 30, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

I’ve posted a few more of the sessions from OzFox Lite up on the site. They include Andrew Coates’ session using VFP with SQL Express (see also his blog post pointing to the management tools), Eka’s on SQL Tips and Rahul’s awesome whitepaper on converting VFP up to SQL (22 pages of great discussion).
 
 
 
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VFP: OzFox thanks Win32ApiViewer

Posted on March 30, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

I’m still getting through my thank yous from OzFox Lite. And one that I should have mentioned earlier is a big thank you to Anatoliy for generously donating a few copies of his excellent Win32 Offline viewer to the conference.
 
I know you all know this, but I’m gonna say it again anyway – I reckon the Win32 Api site is one of the best resources around:
 
 
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VFP: Doug is blogging about FoxPro, Jamie too

Posted on March 30, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Great to see Doug Hennig blogging here:
 
With Craig and Rick this means the full admin team of SednaX is all blogging now
 
 
 
Also great to see Jamie Osbourne blogging again – I agree with his thoughts on Dev tools driving the real cash cows…
 
 
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NET: CodeCampOz is coming up at the end of April

Posted on March 29, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Here’s another reminder to Australian developers to get along to CodeCampOz in just under a month’s time.
 
Covering .Net, SQL 2K5 and BizTalk aswell as general developer skills, this is an excellent 2 days of learning.
 
It is organised by Greg Low and Mitch Denny.
 
btw if anyone is interested, here’s my post about last year’s event.
 
 

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NET: CodeCampOz is coming up at the end of April

Posted on March 29, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Here’s another reminder to Australian developers to get along to CodeCampOz in just under a month’s time.
 
Covering .Net, SQL 2K5 and BizTalk aswell as general developer skills, this is an excellent 2 days of learning.
 
It is organised by Greg Low and Mitch Denny.
 
btw if anyone is interested, here’s my post about last year’s event.
 
 
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TFS: The pain of Windows updates?

Posted on March 28, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Scotty Wakefield blogs about how our Team Foundation Server went down over the weekend. Most likely due to a Windows Update on the SQL Server, but we’re still not sure. And no, before you ask, we don’t have Automatic updates on (who in their right mind would on a production server?)
 
But in Australia we’ve just had the Commonwealth Games and someone in their wisdom (the same kind of person who would have Automatic updates on me thinks) decided to extend daylight saving by a week (I’m not joking – I can see O/S readers shaking their heads).
In possibly one of the worst Microsoft patches to have been released, there was an update sent to handle this on servers, client PCs and some applications (eg Outlook). We needed to get the update onto some of our servers and so we had to install the update. I don’t know for sure, but I’m thinking it likely the update (or tag alongs that came with it) clobbered our TFS SQL Server instance. We had a bunch of other problems throughout our servers too – some had their time adjusted, others didn’t – all in all a bit of a debacle.
 
Two days downtime really hurts. Fortunately Scotty managed to keep the dev team working even though TFS was out (and source control, project management and client portal with it). He had it all up before close of business today, but was looking pretty frazzled after two days of frustration.

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VFP: FoxPro User Group speakers to be given prizes?

Posted on March 28, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

One of the great things about an event like OzFox Lite is that you get to see how talented some of our local Fox developers are. What a shame we don’t see more of them speaking at user groups. In fact, what a shame we don’t have more user groups!
 
So, let me remind you (and I am directing this primarily at the Australian Fox community) that Andrew Coates said he would organise Microsoft support for anyone who made the effort to start a FoxPro user group. Sydney and Melbourne have user groups going already, so now the call is out for Fox User Groups in Brisbane (Vic, we need you mate), Adelaide (Sid – is this going to be your baby?) and Perth (Larry – you da man!).
 
And as an incentive to bring out the great speakers lying dormant in the community I am working with Andrew to get prizes for anyone who gives a presentation at a Fox user group… stay tuned!
 
C’mon Australia let’s get the Surge happening! Next will be New Zealand (Tyron, are you ready…)
 

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VFP: How to start blogging

Posted on March 28, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

At OzFox Lite I encouraged people to start blogging (especially the speakers… why present to just 50 people when you could be presenting to hundreds all around the world?). I figure the more people blogging about Fox the better.
 
And in response I’ve had a number of people ask how they can start blogging. So, here are two easy options to get started blogging asap… (both are free)
 
1. Blogger
I personally use Blogger. Go to www.blogger.com and click on the ‘Create your blog now’ button. Blogger will guide you through the rest. At the end it will tell you the URL for your blog. You can start blogging immediately. 
 
2. Foxite
This is a blogging site specifically setup for the FoxPro community. Go to http://weblogs.foxite.com/user/CreateUser.aspx and create your account. The administrator will send you notification when your account is ready.
 
Both options are good, and whilst Blogger has more flexibility in site design, Foxite has the advantage of new bloggers appearing in the list instantly (in contrast if you blog on Blogger it might be a while before you are found by other Fox developers…) 
 
How to add blog entries
Both sites allow easy adding of posts via their web site. However if you blog a lot this will become tedious.
I use Qumana for adding blog entries as it supports Blogger (btw I am using 2.0.2.96 – I have not used the beta of 3.0 yet), I don’t think it supports Foxite (but someone may correct me on this).
 
What to blog about?
Blog about anything Fox related, even (as Andrew Coates suggested) if it is just a snippet of code you post because you want an easy way of finding it again!
 
Once you’ve added your blog, email me or leave a comment here so I can get you in my list.

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VFP: Sydney VFP User group is ON tomorrow night (Wednesday 29 March)

Posted on March 28, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Just confirming that the Sydney Visual FoxPro User Group is ON tomorrow night.
Unfortunately Scott has had to pull out of his presentation, but John Burrows and I will be presenting.
We’ll be resuming our Q+A time as well.
 
See you there, 6:30pm at Microsoft, North Ryde.
 
 

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TFS: The pain of Windows updates?

Posted on March 28, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Scotty Wakefield blogs about how our Team Foundation Server went down over the weekend. Most likely due to a Windows Update on the SQL Server, but we’re still not sure. And no, before you ask, we don’t have Automatic updates on (who in their right mind would on a production server?)
 
But in Australia we’ve just had the Commonwealth Games and someone in their wisdom (the same kind of person who would have Automatic updates on me thinks) decided to extend daylight saving by a week (I’m not joking – I can see O/S readers shaking their heads).
In possibly one of the worst Microsoft patches to have been released, there was an update sent to handle this on servers, client PCs and some applications (eg Outlook). We needed to get the update onto some of our servers and so we had to install the update. I don’t know for sure, but I’m thinking it likely the update (or tag alongs that came with it) clobbered our TFS SQL Server instance. We had a bunch of other problems throughout our servers too – some had their time adjusted, others didn’t – all in all a bit of a debacle.
 
Two days downtime really hurts. Fortunately Scotty managed to keep the dev team working even though TFS was out (and source control, project management and client portal with it). He had it all up before close of business today, but was looking pretty frazzled after two days of frustration.
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VFP: FoxPro User Group speakers to be given prizes?

Posted on March 28, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

One of the great things about an event like OzFox Lite is that you get to see how talented some of our local Fox developers are. What a shame we don’t see more of them speaking at user groups. In fact, what a shame we don’t have more user groups!
 
So, let me remind you (and I am directing this primarily at the Australian Fox community) that Andrew Coates said he would organise Microsoft support for anyone who made the effort to start a FoxPro user group. Sydney and Melbourne have user groups going already, so now the call is out for Fox User Groups in Brisbane (Vic, we need you mate), Adelaide (Sid – is this going to be your baby?) and Perth (Larry – you da man!).
 
And as an incentive to bring out the great speakers lying dormant in the community I am working with Andrew to get prizes for anyone who gives a presentation at a Fox user group… stay tuned!
 
C’mon Australia let’s get the Surge happening! Next will be New Zealand (Tyron, are you ready…)
 
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VFP: How to start blogging

Posted on March 28, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

At OzFox Lite I encouraged people to start blogging (especially the speakers… why present to just 50 people when you could be presenting to hundreds all around the world?). I figure the more people blogging about Fox the better.
 
And in response I’ve had a number of people ask how they can start blogging. So, here are two easy options to get started blogging asap… (both are free)
 
1. Blogger
I personally use Blogger. Go to www.blogger.com and click on the ‘Create your blog now’ button. Blogger will guide you through the rest. At the end it will tell you the URL for your blog. You can start blogging immediately. 
 
2. Foxite
This is a blogging site specifically setup for the FoxPro community. Go to http://weblogs.foxite.com/user/CreateUser.aspx and create your account. The administrator will send you notification when your account is ready.
 
Both options are good, and whilst Blogger has more flexibility in site design, Foxite has the advantage of new bloggers appearing in the list instantly (in contrast if you blog on Blogger it might be a while before you are found by other Fox developers…) 
 
How to add blog entries
Both sites allow easy adding of posts via their web site. However if you blog a lot this will become tedious.
I use Qumana for adding blog entries as it supports Blogger (btw I am using 2.0.2.96 – I have not used the beta of 3.0 yet), I don’t think it supports Foxite (but someone may correct me on this).
 
What to blog about?
Blog about anything Fox related, even (as Andrew Coates suggested) if it is just a snippet of code you post because you want an easy way of finding it again!
 
Once you’ve added your blog, email me or leave a comment here so I can get you in my list.
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VFP: Sydney VFP User group is ON tomorrow night (Wednesday 29 March)

Posted on March 28, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Just confirming that the Sydney Visual FoxPro User Group is ON tomorrow night.
Unfortunately Scott has had to pull out of his presentation, but John Burrows and I will be presenting.
We’ll be resuming our Q+A time as well.
 
See you there, 6:30pm at Microsoft, North Ryde.
 
 
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VFP: More OzFox Stuff – Craig Boyd keynote

Posted on March 27, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Two of the mini-highlights of the conference were the OzFox Lite promo and keynote by Craig Boyd.
 
I’ve now copied both up to the web site for your enjoyment.
 
The promo is roughly 3MB and can be found here.
 
The opening keynote is 22MB and can be found here.
 
Visual FoxPro Rocks!
 
Enjoy.
 
There are other links being added as well (check out the News page)
 
 
A big thank you to Craig Boyd for taking the time to produce these – I’ve told him he needs to be putting together a promo for every country. What do you reckon?
 
 

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VFP: Threader code again

Posted on March 27, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Not sure why the previous post got chopped, but here it is again…
 
The code from my session on simulating multi-threading in VFP (Visual FoxPro) is available from the OzFox site (go to the Session descriptions page here and scroll to the bottom). I had a whole bunch of suggestions over the weekend to improve it, so I may update this in the coming weeks.
 
Also, check out the great OzFox Lite promo (that Craig Boyd put together) shown in the opening session of the conference.
 

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VFP: Threader code from OzFox Lite is available

Posted on March 27, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

The code from my session on simulating multi-threading in VFP is available from the OzFox site (go to the Session descriptions page here and scroll to the bottom). I had a whole bunch of suggestions over the weekend to improve it, so I may update this in the coming weeks.
 
Also, check out the great OzFox Lite promo (that Craig Boyd put together) shown in the opening session of the conference.
 
 

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VFP: More OzFox Stuff – Craig Boyd keynote

Posted on March 27, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Two of the mini-highlights of the conference were the OzFox Lite promo and keynote by Craig Boyd.
 
I’ve now copied both up to the web site for your enjoyment.
 
The promo is roughly 3MB and can be found here.
 
The opening keynote is 22MB and can be found here.
 
Visual FoxPro Rocks!
 
Enjoy.
 
There are other links being added as well (check out the News page)
 
 
A big thank you to Craig Boyd for taking the time to produce these – I’ve told him he needs to be putting together a promo for every country. What do you reckon?
 
 
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NET: CodeCampOz and CodeCampNZ

Posted on March 27, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Developers around Australia and New Zealand, you should be making your way to one of the code camps coming up in late April.
 
For Australian devs I can wholeheartedly recommend CodeCampOz, co-organised by Greg Low, one of our speakers at OzFox Lite. I was there last year and can tell you it is a great place to learn about .Net, SQL Server and BizTalk. I anticipate this year’s Code Camp being even better than last year, simply because last year many of the sessions were about stuff in the Visual Studio beta products. You may recall some of my frustrations with seeing so many presentations have crashes etc… But there will be none of that this year. The product is released and the sessions are all applicable to stuff you are doing now. There is real value in attending this event (and it is free – so that would be infinite ROI right?).
 
Details are on the Code Camp sites:
 

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VFP: OzFox is over – Visual foxPro conference

Posted on March 27, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

And before you knew it, it was over…
 
Well, we certainly had a great time over the weekend.
For anyone looking to make contact with the speakers, here is a quick overview of how to contact some of them:
 
I will be posting session notes during the week as I receive them.
 
Greg posted a nice piece on his experience here. And check out Paul Stovell’s post – he’s a .Net guy who turned up to listen to Adam and ended up staying for more (thanks for the kind words Paul – glad you enjoyed it).
 
As I said in the close yesterday, none of this conference would have happened if it weren’t for the great support of Andrew Coates and Microsoft. If anyone tells you Microsoft isn’t supporting VFP in Australia then you now know better. And if anyone tells you the wider developer community doesn’t support FoxPro, then you now know better too.
 
There was also a stack of great feedback about the potential full OzFox. I’ll be posting details of the full OzFox later this week.

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VFP: Threader code again

Posted on March 26, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Not sure why the previous post got chopped, but here it is again…
 
The code from my session on simulating multi-threading in VFP (Visual FoxPro) is available from the OzFox site (go to the Session descriptions page here and scroll to the bottom). I had a whole bunch of suggestions over the weekend to improve it, so I may update this in the coming weeks.
 
Also, check out the great OzFox Lite promo (that Craig Boyd put together) shown in the opening session of the conference.
 

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VFP: Threader code from OzFox Lite is available

Posted on March 26, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

The code from my session on simulating multi-threading in VFP is available from the OzFox site (go to the Session descriptions page here and scroll to the bottom). I had a whole bunch of suggestions over the weekend to improve it, so I may update this in the coming weeks.
 
Also, check out the great OzFox Lite promo (that Craig Boyd put together) shown in the opening session of the conference.
 
 
Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

NET: CodeCampOz and CodeCampNZ

Posted on March 26, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Developers around Australia and New Zealand, you should be making your way to one of the code camps coming up in late April.
 
For Australian devs I can wholeheartedly recommend CodeCampOz, co-organised by Greg Low, one of our speakers at OzFox Lite. I was there last year and can tell you it is a great place to learn about .Net, SQL Server and BizTalk. I anticipate this year’s Code Camp being even better than last year, simply because last year many of the sessions were about stuff in the Visual Studio beta products. You may recall some of my frustrations with seeing so many presentations have crashes etc… But there will be none of that this year. The product is released and the sessions are all applicable to stuff you are doing now. There is real value in attending this event (and it is free – so that would be infinite ROI right?).
 
Details are on the Code Camp sites:
 
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VFP: OzFox is over – Visual foxPro conference

Posted on March 26, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

And before you knew it, it was over…
 
Well, we certainly had a great time over the weekend.
For anyone looking to make contact with the speakers, here is a quick overview of how to contact some of them:
 
I will be posting session notes during the week as I receive them.
 
Greg posted a nice piece on his experience here. And check out Paul Stovell’s post – he’s a .Net guy who turned up to listen to Adam and ended up staying for more (thanks for the kind words Paul – glad you enjoyed it).
 
As I said in the close yesterday, none of this conference would have happened if it weren’t for the great support of Andrew Coates and Microsoft. If anyone tells you Microsoft isn’t supporting VFP in Australia then you now know better. And if anyone tells you the wider developer community doesn’t support FoxPro, then you now know better too.
 
There was also a stack of great feedback about the potential full OzFox. I’ll be posting details of the full OzFox later this week.
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VFP: OzFox is go

Posted on March 25, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

I’m writing this at the end of the first day of OzFox Lite. Andrew Coates is in the home stretch of his talk on VFP and SQL Express. After this we head out to dinner and then some Xbox 360 action (yes Microsoft have come through with a 360!).
 
All in all I am extremely pleased with the first day. Greg Low kicked us off with an overview of the great developer tools in SQL Server 2005. Greg is a fantastic speaker and had us all excited with some of the great features in SQL2K5 (the XML functions were a highlight).
 
Next, I spoke on my Simulated Multi-threading in VFP (I’ll post those details next week some time).
 
Adam Cogan guided us through lessons in proper project management of your application development. What a fantastic session – chock full of great tips.
 
Sunny Chandra had us fired up about Fox and specifically using it in a hosted environment (eg Terminal Server). By the end of his session the whole room was inspired to head out promoting VFP to the world.
 
This afternoon we had a mini-networking session where people got up and introudced themselves to each other. This was a great way to learn about what people are doing with FoxPro in Australia and New Zealand.
 
Chris Sainty was up next, talking us through West Wind Web Connection, including some coverage of the new WC5 features, and especially the VFP9 features it takes advantage of. He hightlighted a few of the tools he used in his web development. Great stuff, and a top presentation from a first time presenter at a conference. Nice work Chris!
 
And now Andrew Coates is demonstrating how easy it is to talk to SQL from VFP. He’s demonstrated upsizing a VFP database to SQL Express, and is now talking to SQL data through views and SQL pass-through. Awesome.
 
OzFox Lite continues tomorrow.

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VFP: OzFox is go

Posted on March 25, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

I’m writing this at the end of the first day of OzFox Lite. Andrew Coates is in the home stretch of his talk on VFP and SQL Express. After this we head out to dinner and then some Xbox 360 action (yes Microsoft have come through with a 360!).
 
All in all I am extremely pleased with the first day. Greg Low kicked us off with an overview of the great developer tools in SQL Server 2005. Greg is a fantastic speaker and had us all excited with some of the great features in SQL2K5 (the XML functions were a highlight).
 
Next, I spoke on my Simulated Multi-threading in VFP (I’ll post those details next week some time).
 
Adam Cogan guided us through lessons in proper project management of your application development. What a fantastic session – chock full of great tips.
 
Sunny Chandra had us fired up about Fox and specifically using it in a hosted environment (eg Terminal Server). By the end of his session the whole room was inspired to head out promoting VFP to the world.
 
This afternoon we had a mini-networking session where people got up and introudced themselves to each other. This was a great way to learn about what people are doing with FoxPro in Australia and New Zealand.
 
Chris Sainty was up next, talking us through West Wind Web Connection, including some coverage of the new WC5 features, and especially the VFP9 features it takes advantage of. He hightlighted a few of the tools he used in his web development. Great stuff, and a top presentation from a first time presenter at a conference. Nice work Chris!
 
And now Andrew Coates is demonstrating how easy it is to talk to SQL from VFP. He’s demonstrated upsizing a VFP database to SQL Express, and is now talking to SQL data through views and SQL pass-through. Awesome.
 
OzFox Lite continues tomorrow.
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VFP: Capturing screen images

Posted on March 21, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

A great post by Cesar Chalom referring to code from Brazilian Gelson Bremm.
 
The post has code for using VFP to capture screen portions via Win 32 calls. No other controls required.
 
Cesar has been putting out a bunch of GDI+ articles over the last 2 months. Well worth checking out.
 
 
 

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VFP: Capturing screen images

Posted on March 21, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

A great post by Cesar Chalom referring to code from Brazilian Gelson Bremm.
 
The post has code for using VFP to capture screen portions via Win 32 calls. No other controls required.
 
Cesar has been putting out a bunch of GDI+ articles over the last 2 months. Well worth checking out.
 
 
 
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VFP: OzFox Lite is on this weekend

Posted on March 20, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Yes, only a few days to go until OzFox.
 
I guess if you’ve been reading my blog then you don’t need reminding about all the great stuff that is happening at the conference. But in case you are looking for a quick summary of reasons to come (say, to tell a friend), then here are my top reasons to attend:
 
1. Sessions
We have Australia’s two Microsoft Regional Directors, Adam Cogan and Greg Low, joining an already strong lineup of speakers including Andrew Coates, Scott Scovell, Sunny Chandra and others, discussing SQL Server, Crystal Reports, Terminal Server, AJAX, Design Patterns, West Wind Web Connection, business skills and more.
 
2. Networking
We have a whole session devoted to networking: what it is, why you should network, how to do it, and then a chance to get to know all the other VFP developers at the conference.
 
3. Relax with the biggest Xbox screens anywhere
A big night of Xboxing awaits us on Saturday.
 
4. Add your voice
Let the developer community know that the Fox is alive and well in Oz.
 
5. Cost
OzFox is free. It doesn’t get easier than that.
 
You can register here:
 
 

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VFP: OzFox Lite is on this weekend

Posted on March 20, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Yes, only a few days to go until OzFox.
 
I guess if you’ve been reading my blog then you don’t need reminding about all the great stuff that is happening at the conference. But in case you are looking for a quick summary of reasons to come (say, to tell a friend), then here are my top reasons to attend:
 
1. Sessions
We have Australia’s two Microsoft Regional Directors, Adam Cogan and Greg Low, joining an already strong lineup of speakers including Andrew Coates, Scott Scovell, Sunny Chandra and others, discussing SQL Server, Crystal Reports, Terminal Server, AJAX, Design Patterns, West Wind Web Connection, business skills and more.
 
2. Networking
We have a whole session devoted to networking: what it is, why you should network, how to do it, and then a chance to get to know all the other VFP developers at the conference.
 
3. Relax with the biggest Xbox screens anywhere
A big night of Xboxing awaits us on Saturday.
 
4. Add your voice
Let the developer community know that the Fox is alive and well in Oz.
 
5. Cost
OzFox is free. It doesn’t get easier than that.
 
You can register here:
 
 
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VFP: Andy Kramek’s Better Code

Posted on March 17, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Andy’s articles are one of the reasons I like blogs so much. These days most of my learning comes from blogs due to their easily readable, small bite, immediately available format. I find the published formats less attractive these days (sadly I usually have a pile of FoxTalks, Advisors and other mags gathering dust on my desk). But that is a discussion for another day…
 
Back to Andy’s posts. The big point for me in Part 1 is about knowing your user base. Are they pretty smart? – yes, then don’t treat them like idiots – I totally agree. I have a slight addendum that I’d like to make though – if you do have idiot users (and we certainly do for some of our products) then perhaps make things like the Delete message box an option (most products have a [ ] Confirm on Delete option tucked away in their Options settings these days).
 
However, Part 2 is where the real interest is. I am totally stunned with Andy’s findings on the effects of controlling indexes. I’ll be hunting through code tonight… imagine making a few tweaks to your setup to looping code and smashing the run times. I’d be putting that on the feature list for the next release… ‘The Sales Analysis report is now 45% faster’ – that’s got to be worth the upgrade price {g}.
 
Back in Part 1 Andy discusses the trap of over-informing – yes, we’ve all written that screen progress update code that is both (i) completely unreadable and (ii) slows performance. What intrigued me was how big the performance hit was. 15% is pretty substantial. And I’d be guessing that most of us developers have machines with decent graphics cards that absorb some of the overhead. On the ‘normal’ user’s desktop these performance hits are probably greater. More code hunting tonight…
 
Check out the articles here:
 

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SQL: Top 10 Complaints

Posted on March 17, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

I know I’m a bit late on this one (yep, way behind on my blogs) but I agree with Alex Feldstein that this is pretty funny.
 
My favourite comment however was the note about using TRUNCATE TABLE to shorten the name of tables. Priceless!
(I added my comment at the end of the post too.)

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VFP: Andy Kramek’s Better Code

Posted on March 17, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Andy’s articles are one of the reasons I like blogs so much. These days most of my learning comes from blogs due to their easily readable, small bite, immediately available format. I find the published formats less attractive these days (sadly I usually have a pile of FoxTalks, Advisors and other mags gathering dust on my desk). But that is a discussion for another day…
 
Back to Andy’s posts. The big point for me in Part 1 is about knowing your user base. Are they pretty smart? – yes, then don’t treat them like idiots – I totally agree. I have a slight addendum that I’d like to make though – if you do have idiot users (and we certainly do for some of our products) then perhaps make things like the Delete message box an option (most products have a [ ] Confirm on Delete option tucked away in their Options settings these days).
 
However, Part 2 is where the real interest is. I am totally stunned with Andy’s findings on the effects of controlling indexes. I’ll be hunting through code tonight… imagine making a few tweaks to your setup to looping code and smashing the run times. I’d be putting that on the feature list for the next release… ‘The Sales Analysis report is now 45% faster’ – that’s got to be worth the upgrade price {g}.
 
Back in Part 1 Andy discusses the trap of over-informing – yes, we’ve all written that screen progress update code that is both (i) completely unreadable and (ii) slows performance. What intrigued me was how big the performance hit was. 15% is pretty substantial. And I’d be guessing that most of us developers have machines with decent graphics cards that absorb some of the overhead. On the ‘normal’ user’s desktop these performance hits are probably greater. More code hunting tonight…
 
Check out the articles here:
 
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SQL: Top 10 Complaints

Posted on March 17, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

I know I’m a bit late on this one (yep, way behind on my blogs) but I agree with Alex Feldstein that this is pretty funny.
 
My favourite comment however was the note about using TRUNCATE TABLE to shorten the name of tables. Priceless!
(I added my comment at the end of the post too.)
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VFP: Craig Boyd and FoxPro Visibility

Posted on March 14, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Yet another ‘right on brother’ moment with Craig Boyd’s clear outline of why FoxPro is getting noticed more and more these days.
 
Read it here:
 
There’s a stack to like in this post but a few key points for me are:
 
1. Craig is essentially talking about ‘the right tool for the job’ as his cry for the Fox – I think it is great to play to the strengths of each development tool we use. So, in those small dev team projects, or heavily data centric apps, we use the product that serves us the best. VFP continues to fill an otherwise big gap in the development tool spectrum.
 
2. Know your product – I am a little disappointed that more people in Australia aren’t taking advantage of the great SQL Server integration in Visual FoxPro. As Craig points out: VFP knows data. But that doesn’t mean you have to always store the data in a VFP backend (as good as it might be). Once you free your self up to use VFP with other data stores you basically open yourself up to a huge world of opportunity.
 
3. It’s still here – and whilst we can’t have complete confidence that the roadmap won’t all change tomorrow, we can be confident that it will be supported for a long time yet. I’m still confused when people complain about how Microsoft doesn’t support VFP and we should all be petitioning Microsoft etc. If the tens of millions of VB6 developers complaining about lack of support for their product didn’t change Microsoft’s attitude, then if anything we should be jumping with excitement about how the VFP team still has plans for enhancements over the coming years.
 
4. It’s about community – the growth and strength in VFP this year and next will come primarily from the awesome community the product has backing it. Sure, there are a whole bunch of things I’d love to see in VFP (multi-threading is my top choice btw) but it is a pretty safe bet that that is never going to happen. So, as a community we will work out the tools and techniques for getting around those hurdles (it might even mean using a different language for some parts of our projects).
 
Craig’s final list is spot on, but the pick for me is always the built in reporting engine.
In this day and age I think it is amazing that we have the only real tool for building super fast, database intensive, easily deployed royalty free, report slick, applications that are so stable. And since we’ve been using the tool for so long we can build them pretty quickly too.
 
Seems like a completely unfair advantage to me.
 

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VFP: OzFox Lite – exciting speaker news : Greg Low

Posted on March 14, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

I’m very excited to announce that we now have SQL Server legend Greg Low giving two sessions at OzFox Lite.
 
Greg Low is a Microsoft MVP in SQL Server, and one of only two Microsoft Regional Directors in Australia (the other is Adam Cogan, also talking at OzFox Lite). You can view Greg’s profile here.
 
At OzFox Lite we will be covering using VFP with SQL Server in detail, including how to convert VFP data to SQL, how to easily talk with SQL Express and more. Greg’s sessions will be focussing on the the great developer features in SQL Server 2005.
 
So, Australia, we now have both of Australia’s Microsoft Regional Directors; Developer Evangelist Andrew Coates; local guru Scott Scovell and Melbourne expert Sunny Chandra amongst many others. It doesn’t get much better than this.
 
March 25 and 26 in Sydney. If you haven’t already, then please register here (it’s free to attend):
 
 
 

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VFP: Craig Boyd and FoxPro Visibility

Posted on March 14, 2006. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Yet another ‘right on brother’ moment with Craig Boyd’s clear outline of why FoxPro is getting noticed more and more these days.
 
Read it here:
 
There’s a stack to like in this post but a few key points for me are:
 
1. Craig is essentially talking about ‘the right tool for the job’ as his cry for the Fox – I think it is great to play to the strengths of each development tool we use. So, in those small dev team projects, or heavily data centric apps, we use the product that serves us the best. VFP continues to fill an otherwise big gap in the development tool spectrum.
 
2. Know your product – I am a little disappointed that more people in Australia aren’t taking advantage of the great SQL Server integration in Visual FoxPro. As Craig points out: VFP knows data. But that doesn’t mean you have to always store the data in a VFP backend (as good as it might be). Once you free your self up to use VFP with other data stores you basically open yourself up to a huge world of opportunity.
 
3. It’s still here – and whilst we can’t have complete confidence that the roadmap won’t all change tomorrow, we can be confident that it will be supported for a long time yet. I’m still confused when people complain about how Microsoft doesn’t support VFP and we should all be petitioning Microsoft etc. If the tens of millions of VB6 developers complaining about lack of support for their product didn’t change Microsoft’s attitude, then if anything we should be jumping with excitement about how the VFP team still has plans for enhancements over the coming years.
 
4. It’s about community – the growth and strength in VFP this year and next will come primarily from the awesome community the product has backing it. Sure, there are a whole bunch of things I’d love to see in VFP (multi-threading is my top choice btw) but it is a pretty safe bet that that is never going to happen. So, as a community we will work out the tools and techniques for getting around those hurdles (it might even mean using a different language for some parts of our projects).
 
Craig’s final list is spot on, but the pick for me is always the built in reporting engine.
In this day and age I think it is amazing that we have the only real tool for building super fast, database intensive, easily deployed royalty free, report slick, applications that are so stable. And since we’ve been using the tool for so long we can build them pretty quickly too.
 
Seems like a completely unfair advantage to me.
 
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