Archive for February, 2007

VFP: OzFox 2007 Keynote

Posted on February 25, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Rick Schummer opens the keynote with an overview of the Sedna and SP2 CTPs.

The Sedna enhancements include a whole bunch of stuff, let’s go through some of them.

First up Rick demonstrated the enhancements in the data Explorer. Beginning with the new optuins form, he highlighted the showplan option. You can picj the location of the upsizing wizard, which allows you to interchange and use your own version of the wizard. Things like button styles are now optional, and there is a new backup option.

There were some tips like the F5 run command in the Query form (it was there previously, but no one knew about it ). The query form now presents errors if they occur. Very handy.

NET4Com is the updated library for accessing .NET framework classes. Rick makes a good point about this wrapper class, in that it is a method for giving you access to all of the framework, not just the trivial examples that are included in the current release. And it will work for future .Net frameworks aswell – this is an approach, not a limited set of trivial examples. This is important to remember – I have to say I had previously been a little critical of the release, thinking it was limited to what came with the examples.

Next up an overview of the components coming from DBi Technologies. Microsoft has arrived at a relationshop with DBi that means that some of their ActiveX controls will be shipped for free with the Sedna release.

Rick then handed over to Doug who picked up with the My namespace.

The great thing about My is how easy it is to use. Whilst many of the My functionality can be called using API calls, here all the programmer needs is a single line of code. And making things easier is always a good thing right?

Next, onto the Upsizing Wizard. Besides the performance enhancements (more than an order of magnitude better can you believe it?) are some nice options for handling NULLs, and upsizing dates as NULL, plus a whole bunch more (eg more support for different connection methods).

But then the big bonus – unattended upsizing. Doug went through the code for programming an upsize of data, without having to go through the wizard approach. And even cooler, as it runs it fires events that you can bind to. Awesome. And it is even faster (can this be possible!) than the Wizard. Amazing.

Next, the Vista Toolkit. This was probably what I was most interested to see, since it is the newest component to be added to Sedna CTP.

Doug outlined the main parts of the Vista Toolkit. This includes some things that can be installed on XP (such as MSFeeds and Desktop Search) and then others that are Vista only. The main one is the Vista Common Dialogs. There is also the new XAML features and the XPS provider.

The new common dialogs have two main enhancements. First ofcourse is their nicer cleaner look. But the real bang is in the enhanced functionality.

Craig Boyd’s test bed form shows some of the cool features.

Having the Show details functionality is really cool. Footer information is also very nice. Having the progress bar built in to the dialog is really nice. And you can hook into the events so that you can control the progress bar. I love it.

The open dialog gives acces to things like Search built into the dialog. And it captures the events that the user performed on the dialog. This is really nice.

Having the desktop search abilities available is really nice. Set filters and order by clauses and click Execute. Very nice.

Hooking into the Search features is very powerful. The speed at which the search completes is astounding. Searching files, outlook properties and even RSS feeds is extremely easy and very fast.

Next, Doug showed the XAML capabilities now possible. This was very impressive. I hope this ships, but as Doug explained, it hasn’t been confirmed yet.

VFPx is a community project for extending VFP, with a number of projects all being maintained and built by community members. doug went through a few of the projects such as the GDIPlusX project.

Rick took over from Doug and demoed a few of the demos from VFPx. First up was Kevin Ragsdale’s Desktop alerts project. Rick showed the ‘toaster’ popup. Very nice.

Rick also called for more help with the projects. The community members seemed to have a common charateristic of over-committing themselves (I can relate to this one). So, guys like Kevin or Carlos or Cesar have made huge starts to the projects, but now we need help pushing the projects along. You can play a part.

Next was the ctl32 balloon tips demo. Sweet. And the coolest thing I liked was the Long Text ability. You can replace some of your longer tool tips with this very nice balloon.

Next was the ctl32 Status bar. Very nice.

And the thing that Rick mentioned that I was pleasantly surprised by was how stable the code base is on some of these things already. Rick is confident enought with the ctl32 and Desktop alerts projects that he is using some of the components in his production systems already.

The session ended with a call to action to be involved. Join a user group, join an online forum, become part of the VFPx initiative (even if just as a tester), create a blog (if you don’t have one already), and keep supporting the product.

The future of VFP is very bright.

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VFP: OzFox 2007 Keynote

Posted on February 25, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Rick Schummer opens the keynote with an overview of the Sedna and SP2 CTPs.

The Sedna enhancements include a whole bunch of stuff, let’s go through some of them.

First up Rick demonstrated the enhancements in the data Explorer. Beginning with the new optuins form, he highlighted the showplan option. You can picj the location of the upsizing wizard, which allows you to interchange and use your own version of the wizard. Things like button styles are now optional, and there is a new backup option.

There were some tips like the F5 run command in the Query form (it was there previously, but no one knew about it ). The query form now presents errors if they occur. Very handy.

NET4Com is the updated library for accessing .NET framework classes. Rick makes a good point about this wrapper class, in that it is a method for giving you access to all of the framework, not just the trivial examples that are included in the current release. And it will work for future .Net frameworks aswell – this is an approach, not a limited set of trivial examples. This is important to remember – I have to say I had previously been a little critical of the release, thinking it was limited to what came with the examples.

Next up an overview of the components coming from DBi Technologies. Microsoft has arrived at a relationshop with DBi that means that some of their ActiveX controls will be shipped for free with the Sedna release.

Rick then handed over to Doug who picked up with the My namespace.

The great thing about My is how easy it is to use. Whilst many of the My functionality can be called using API calls, here all the programmer needs is a single line of code. And making things easier is always a good thing right?

Next, onto the Upsizing Wizard. Besides the performance enhancements (more than an order of magnitude better can you believe it?) are some nice options for handling NULLs, and upsizing dates as NULL, plus a whole bunch more (eg more support for different connection methods).

But then the big bonus – unattended upsizing. Doug went through the code for programming an upsize of data, without having to go through the wizard approach. And even cooler, as it runs it fires events that you can bind to. Awesome. And it is even faster (can this be possible!) than the Wizard. Amazing.

Next, the Vista Toolkit. This was probably what I was most interested to see, since it is the newest component to be added to Sedna CTP.

Doug outlined the main parts of the Vista Toolkit. This includes some things that can be installed on XP (such as MSFeeds and Desktop Search) and then others that are Vista only. The main one is the Vista Common Dialogs. There is also the new XAML features and the XPS provider.

The new common dialogs have two main enhancements. First ofcourse is their nicer cleaner look. But the real bang is in the enhanced functionality.

Craig Boyd’s test bed form shows some of the cool features.

Having the Show details functionality is really cool. Footer information is also very nice. Having the progress bar built in to the dialog is really nice. And you can hook into the events so that you can control the progress bar. I love it.

The open dialog gives acces to things like Search built into the dialog. And it captures the events that the user performed on the dialog. This is really nice.

Having the desktop search abilities available is really nice. Set filters and order by clauses and click Execute. Very nice.

Hooking into the Search features is very powerful. The speed at which the search completes is astounding. Searching files, outlook properties and even RSS feeds is extremely easy and very fast.

Next, Doug showed the XAML capabilities now possible. This was very impressive. I hope this ships, but as Doug explained, it hasn’t been confirmed yet.

VFPx is a community project for extending VFP, with a number of projects all being maintained and built by community members. doug went through a few of the projects such as the GDIPlusX project.

Rick took over from Doug and demoed a few of the demos from VFPx. First up was Kevin Ragsdale’s Desktop alerts project. Rick showed the ‘toaster’ popup. Very nice.

Rick also called for more help with the projects. The community members seemed to have a common charateristic of over-committing themselves (I can relate to this one). So, guys like Kevin or Carlos or Cesar have made huge starts to the projects, but now we need help pushing the projects along. You can play a part.

Next was the ctl32 balloon tips demo. Sweet. And the coolest thing I liked was the Long Text ability. You can replace some of your longer tool tips with this very nice balloon.

Next was the ctl32 Status bar. Very nice.

And the thing that Rick mentioned that I was pleasantly surprised by was how stable the code base is on some of these things already. Rick is confident enought with the ctl32 and Desktop alerts projects that he is using some of the components in his production systems already.

The session ended with a call to action to be involved. Join a user group, join an online forum, become part of the VFPx initiative (even if just as a tester), create a blog (if you don’t have one already), and keep supporting the product.

The future of VFP is very bright.

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VFP: Dick Cheney pulls out of OzFox

Posted on February 23, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

In a shock announcement, Dick Cheney has pulled out of attending OzFox this weekend.

Cheney, a passionate Visual FoxPro supporter, had hoped to attend the OzFox conference, but after being greeted with protesters and abuse upon his arrival to Sydney, the US Vice-President decided it would be inappropriate to attend, and instead cut short his visit (now leaving on Sunday).

In a statement released earlier today, the former database programmer and part-time politician expressed his disappointment about not being able to attend the conference. Citing the unexpected negative response he received from Sydney as ‘a concern’, he felt it would be ‘detrimental to the conference if his name were in anyway associated with it’.

OzFox organisers were unavailable for comment, except to confirm there was now one extra place available at the conference should any last minute registrant be interested.

The conference starts this Sunday at 12:30.

Register here.

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VFP: Dick Cheney pulls out of OzFox

Posted on February 23, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

In a shock announcement, Dick Cheney has pulled out of attending OzFox this weekend.

Cheney, a passionate Visual FoxPro supporter, had hoped to attend the OzFox conference, but after being greeted with protesters and abuse upon his arrival to Sydney, the US Vice-President decided it would be inappropriate to attend, and instead cut short his visit (now leaving on Sunday).

In a statement released earlier today, the former database programmer and part-time politician expressed his disappointment about not being able to attend the conference. Citing the unexpected negative response he received from Sydney as ‘a concern’, he felt it would be ‘detrimental to the conference if his name were in anyway associated with it’.

OzFox organisers were unavailable for comment, except to confirm there was now one extra place available at the conference should any last minute registrant be interested.

The conference starts this Sunday at 12:30.

Register here.

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VFP: Sedna February CTP released

Posted on February 22, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Milind’s February letter points us to the latest Sedna CTP release

You beauty! Just in time for OzFox. I wonder if I can get this onto all the conference memory sticks in time…

The most interesting part of the release is the new Vista common dialogs – can’t wait to see it in action (attention: plug for OzFox keynote in progress 🙂

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VFP: Sedna February CTP released

Posted on February 22, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Milind’s February letter points us to the latest Sedna CTP release

You beauty! Just in time for OzFox. I wonder if I can get this onto all the conference memory sticks in time…

The most interesting part of the release is the new Vista common dialogs – can’t wait to see it in action (attention: plug for OzFox keynote in progress 🙂

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VFP: OzFox 2007 is only 3 days away

Posted on February 21, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

That’s right folks, only a few days to go until the FoxPro mayhem starts… www.ozfox.com.au

One thing I’m really glad about is that we’ve easily covered all our costs this time! This might sound strange, but as some know, last time I ran the conference we made a big loss. Much of this was my fault and I’m especially thankful that Peter (Talman’s MD) has given me another chance to run it.

The other great thing is that Nicole (from Talman) has done a great job organising everything (and in fact is probably the reason we have covered costs :-).

So, sitting here a few days out I’m feeling great. Everything is organised, all costs are covered, the speakers are just about to arrive and the weather is looking fantastic. It’s gonna be an enjoyable, stimulating conference.

Tomorrow morning I’m picking up Doug and Rick from the airport and showing them around this wonderful city. If the weather is the same as today it is going to be ideal for them.

To those who have registered, see you on Sunday. Here’s a link to what you should bring…

We’ve still got space for 2 more to attend, so if you haven’t yet registered, now’s the time…

http://www.ozfox.com.au/register.htm

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VFP: OzFox 2007 is only 3 days away

Posted on February 21, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

That’s right folks, only a few days to go until the FoxPro mayhem starts… www.ozfox.com.au

One thing I’m really glad about is that we’ve easily covered all our costs this time! This might sound strange, but as some know, last time I ran the conference we made a big loss. Much of this was my fault and I’m especially thankful that Peter (Talman’s MD) has given me another chance to run it.

The other great thing is that Nicole (from Talman) has done a great job organising everything (and in fact is probably the reason we have covered costs :-).

So, sitting here a few days out I’m feeling great. Everything is organised, all costs are covered, the speakers are just about to arrive and the weather is looking fantastic. It’s gonna be an enjoyable, stimulating conference.

Tomorrow morning I’m picking up Doug and Rick from the airport and showing them around this wonderful city. If the weather is the same as today it is going to be ideal for them.

To those who have registered, see you on Sunday. Here’s a link to what you should bring…

We’ve still got space for 2 more to attend, so if you haven’t yet registered, now’s the time…

http://www.ozfox.com.au/register.htm

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VFP: Goran Zidar Tab Menus update

Posted on February 20, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Yet another update from Goran of his Tab Menus concept. This one (which again I have to admit I haven’t had a chance to look at yet 🙂 has updates to both the code and doco, plus a script for generating the code to make the menus work.

www.craigbailey.net/Downloads/GoranZidar_TabMenus.zip

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VFP: Goran Zidar Tab Menus update

Posted on February 20, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Yet another update from Goran of his Tab Menus concept. This one (which again I have to admit I haven’t had a chance to look at yet 🙂 has updates to both the code and doco, plus a script for generating the code to make the menus work.

www.craigbailey.net/Downloads/GoranZidar_TabMenus.zip

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VFP: Code focus – Sedna Beyond VFP 9

Posted on February 15, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

This has already been blogged about by a few but I’m happy to add to the linking.

Code focus has released their Sedna based issues. Check it out here:

http://www.code-magazine.com/focus/vfp/

You can download the magazine as a PDF, but note that this only has summaries for some of the articles (eg Craig Boyd’s). The full articles are available as separate links. Make sure you visit each article online. You can also download the source code for each.

Not to be missed.

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VFP: Code focus – Sedna Beyond VFP 9

Posted on February 15, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

This has already been blogged about by a few but I’m happy to add to the linking.

Code focus has released their Sedna based issues. Check it out here:

http://www.code-magazine.com/focus/vfp/

You can download the magazine as a PDF, but note that this only has summaries for some of the articles (eg Craig Boyd’s). The full articles are available as separate links. Make sure you visit each article online. You can also download the source code for each.

Not to be missed.

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VFP: OzFox Xbox room

Posted on February 14, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

I think I forgot to mention this little tidbit: Yes, the Xbox room is back at OzFox 2007 this year!

Thanks to Andrew Coates and Microsoft, we’ll have a number of Xbox 360s and big plasma screens. There’s gonna be some very tired people at OzFox!

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VFP: OzFox Xbox room

Posted on February 14, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

I think I forgot to mention this little tidbit: Yes, the Xbox room is back at OzFox 2007 this year!

Thanks to Andrew Coates and Microsoft, we’ll have a number of Xbox 360s and big plasma screens. There’s gonna be some very tired people at OzFox!

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VFP: More on Goran Zidar’s TabMenus – source here

Posted on February 14, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Well this guy doesn’t muck around… Goran’s already delivered an update to the TabMenus prototype announced last night.

This time it includes source and a Word doc tutorial. Download it from here (1.4 MB):

http://www.craigbailey.net/downloads/GoranZidar_TabMenuSource.zip

Disclaimer: Now, I have to admit that I haven’t checked this version out myself yet – I’ve only had a quick scan of the Word doc. But given how busy I’ll be over the next few weeks chances are I won’t get a chance to fully check it out. So, I’ve just made it available here as is – I know many are interested in checking it out. And besides, I trust Goran… 🙂

But I do think you need to get blog Goran!

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VFP: More on Goran Zidar’s TabMenus – source here

Posted on February 14, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Well this guy doesn’t muck around… Goran’s already delivered an update to the TabMenus prototype announced last night.

This time it includes source and a Word doc tutorial. Download it from here (1.4 MB):

http://www.craigbailey.net/downloads/GoranZidar_TabMenuSource.zip

Disclaimer: Now, I have to admit that I haven’t checked this version out myself yet – I’ve only had a quick scan of the Word doc. But given how busy I’ll be over the next few weeks chances are I won’t get a chance to fully check it out. So, I’ve just made it available here as is – I know many are interested in checking it out. And besides, I trust Goran… 🙂

But I do think you need to get blog Goran!

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VFP: Goran Zidar’s TabMenus

Posted on February 13, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Goran Zidar, a Melbourne based VFP developer, emailed me a prototype of his TabMenus tool. Basically it emulates an Office 2007 style ribbon in VFP. He asks whether there might be interest in him and his colleagues extending it and making it available to the community?

You betcha is what I said.

From TabMenus

Download the prototype here (note, no code just a simple demo at this stage) and post a comment on this blog if you’d like to see more. Hopefully if there’s enough comments we can convince Goran to get an enhanced version onto VFPx sometime soon.

From TabMenus

And Goran, we’d love to see you blogging mate…

http://www.craigbailey.net/Downloads/GoranZidar_TabMenus.zip

I’m looking forward to meeting some of Goran’s colleagues at OzFox :-), unfortunately he can’t make it himself 😦

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VFP: Goran Zidar’s TabMenus

Posted on February 13, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Goran Zidar, a Melbourne based VFP developer, emailed me a prototype of his TabMenus tool. Basically it emulates an Office 2007 style ribbon in VFP. He asks whether there might be interest in him and his colleagues extending it and making it available to the community?

You betcha is what I said.

From TabMenus

Download the prototype here (note, no code just a simple demo at this stage) and post a comment on this blog if you’d like to see more. Hopefully if there’s enough comments we can convince Goran to get an enhanced version onto VFPx sometime soon.

From TabMenus

And Goran, we’d love to see you blogging mate…

http://www.craigbailey.net/Downloads/GoranZidar_TabMenus.zip

I’m looking forward to meeting some of Goran’s colleagues at OzFox :-), unfortunately he can’t make it himself 😦

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VFP: OzFox 2007 local speakers finalised

Posted on February 13, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

There’s less than two weeks to go until OzFox 2007 hits Sydney…

You all know that Doug Hennig, Lisa Slater Nicholls, Colin Nicholls and Rick Schummer are the international speakers right?

Well, now I’m excited to confirm the local speakers for the conference. Joining Mark Crichton (announced last month) will be Alain Legrand, Bing Bao and Andrew Coates. You can read all about them on the site (here) but for those of you with only a minute to spare here’s the quick summary:

Mark Crichton will be covering ‘Getting a Visual FoxPro application to Market

Andrew Coates will be presenting on ‘Creating Office OpenXML Documents in VFP

Alain Legrand will be delving into ‘Using a data driven approach to application customization

Bing Bao will be analysing ‘Security and the VFP Developer

I’m really pleased with the local sessions we’ve got. When we first announced it I was little nervous about the quality that would come in, but I shouldn’t have worried – these speakers have put together some fantastic sessions.

Not registered yet? There’s still 5 places left if you get in quick. Register here.

I'll be at OzFox 2007

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VFP: OzFox 2007 local speakers finalised

Posted on February 13, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

There’s less than two weeks to go until OzFox 2007 hits Sydney…

You all know that Doug Hennig, Lisa Slater Nicholls, Colin Nicholls and Rick Schummer are the international speakers right?

Well, now I’m excited to confirm the local speakers for the conference. Joining Mark Crichton (announced last month) will be Alain Legrand, Bing Bao and Andrew Coates. You can read all about them on the site (here) but for those of you with only a minute to spare here’s the quick summary:

Mark Crichton will be covering ‘Getting a Visual FoxPro application to Market

Andrew Coates will be presenting on ‘Creating Office OpenXML Documents in VFP

Alain Legrand will be delving into ‘Using a data driven approach to application customization

Bing Bao will be analysing ‘Security and the VFP Developer

I’m really pleased with the local sessions we’ve got. When we first announced it I was little nervous about the quality that would come in, but I shouldn’t have worried – these speakers have put together some fantastic sessions.

Not registered yet? There’s still 5 places left if you get in quick. Register here.

I'll be at OzFox 2007

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PERSONAL: Final car joy

Posted on February 4, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

One of the ‘great’ things about having a blog is that some people actually read it!

Now, as background to this post, you need to know that I had a few car parking (mis)adventures when over in Minnesota. Click here for the details.

So, when I returned to Sydney I thought all that was behind me. But here’s what greeted me when I went down to the work car park after my first day back at Talman:

http://picasaweb.google.com/craigjamesbailey/CarScratch/photo#5018244310625899410

Thanks to Scott Scovell for this little welcome home present. Nice one chap!

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PERSONAL: Final car joy

Posted on February 4, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

One of the ‘great’ things about having a blog is that some people actually read it!

Now, as background to this post, you need to know that I had a few car parking (mis)adventures when over in Minnesota. Click here for the details.

So, when I returned to Sydney I thought all that was behind me. But here’s what greeted me when I went down to the work car park after my first day back at Talman:

http://picasaweb.google.com/craigjamesbailey/CarScratch/photo#5018244310625899410

Thanks to Scott Scovell for this little welcome home present. Nice one chap!

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PERSONAL: New York photos

Posted on February 4, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Finally got around to posting some of our New York photos.

http://picasaweb.google.com/craigjamesbailey/NewYorkDecember2006

We were lucky enough to get 5 days in New York, just before Christmas. What a wonderful city. And as I mentiloned at the time, very safe.

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PERSONAL: New York photos

Posted on February 4, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Finally got around to posting some of our New York photos.

http://picasaweb.google.com/craigjamesbailey/NewYorkDecember2006

We were lucky enough to get 5 days in New York, just before Christmas. What a wonderful city. And as I mentiloned at the time, very safe.

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VFP: FoxPro resources

Posted on February 4, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Here’s a link to my FoxPro Top Tens presentation from last Wednesday at the Sydney VFP User Group:

http://www.svfpug.com.au/assets/2007/January/VFPTop10s_files/frame.htm

Basically, my hope would be that none of these links are new, rather they are just a recap of some of the great FoxPro resources available. But, there may be a new link or two for you (eg did you know that Rick Strahl has two blogs, one VFP based the other more .Net based?)

A word on how I chose these Top 10s. They are all resources I have used in the past or am currently using. There are some obvious links missing (eg one member reminded me about Experts Exchange) simply because I haven’t used them much. (My filter in the presentation was to only link to stuff I had used and could thus recommend).

If you’ve got any other ‘must-have’ resources that I missed, please drop a comment here.

 

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VFP: FoxPro resources

Posted on February 4, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Here’s a link to my FoxPro Top Tens presentation from last Wednesday at the Sydney VFP User Group:

http://www.svfpug.com.au/assets/2007/January/VFPTop10s_files/frame.htm

Basically, my hope would be that none of these links are new, rather they are just a recap of some of the great FoxPro resources available. But, there may be a new link or two for you (eg did you know that Rick Strahl has two blogs, one VFP based the other more .Net based?)

A word on how I chose these Top 10s. They are all resources I have used in the past or am currently using. There are some obvious links missing (eg one member reminded me about Experts Exchange) simply because I haven’t used them much. (My filter in the presentation was to only link to stuff I had used and could thus recommend).

If you’ve got any other ‘must-have’ resources that I missed, please drop a comment here.

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