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Showing posts from March, 2007

Power of CSS

I noted Goran's earlier post about tables vs. css, especially about how tables are more consistently rendered than CSS. While I'm fairly well versed in basic CSS (cascading style sheets), I primarily think of it for font and basic style changes. Then I came across css Zen Garden: The Beauty in CSS Design - this site really shows the power of CSS. The basic HTML is simply a bunch of text using div statements - it's the CSS that creates the full effect.

It IS noted on the page that CSS isn't browser consistent - but it does give a great showcase of what is possible.

Great site!

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In 21st century development, separate runtimes appear to be more popular than ever

Mike's post about the "Business Decision" to kill VFP reminded me I had this older post that was still stuck in drafts. As Mike says "Microsoft was hell bent against dynamic languages. But now? Microsoft is investing in creating versions of Python and Ruby for .NET and of course already has Jscript. If these dynamic languages can be developed for .NET, there's no reason VFP can't be ported to .NET."

I recall a time when the promoted disadvantage of FoxPro applications was that it required a separate runtime. "True applications don't need additional runtimes" was the mantra of many a developer, usually C at that time, but then when Visual Basic received native support as well, its developers joined that group (even though their support typically consisted of bundling the runtime directly with it).

Of course, it also made it easier to distribute VB applications when standard Office applications installed it by default as well. I even recall s…

Forward to Fox in 2007

Awesome that Kevin Cully is going to be holding his Fox Forward conference again. Hopefully this time I'll be able to make it down to Georgia for Friday September 7th; Saturday September 8th; and Sunday September 9th, 2007!

And it looks like he's looking for some good sessions on a wide variety of items:

1. FoxPro Technologies
* N-Tier Applications And Foxpro
* FoxPro Framework Shootout
* New FoxPro Sedna Capabilities - Taking it to the max
* The SednaX Project
* Comparing WWWC and AFP
* Calling .NET constructs from VFP
2. FoxPro leveraged technologies such as ActiveX Controls, Plug ins, Backend databases, etc.
* GDI+ - Look at what's now possible
* Extreme UI Controls in FoxPro (Cubes, Mapping, Animations, etc.)
* FoxPro to alternate backends - MySQL, PostgreSQL, Firebird, DB2
* WWWC and Apache
* Linux as a development platform for FoxPro
* Open Office automation…

Future of (your) Development Lies in You, Not Microsoft

By now, I hope most FoxPro developers (and others) have read the announcement and the various follow ups (and no this isn't meant to be link bait but more of an exhaustive way of reading about it all)

E-Week
Mary Jo
Craig Berntson
Yag's Thoughts and Comments
Alex Feldstein
Doug Hennig
John Koziol
Rick Schummer
David Stevenson
Randy Jean
Andy Kramek
Mike Feltman

and I'm sure there will be more before the week is up. As is always the case when these announcements hit, people will be asked "how could we possibly have been developing with a tool that's no longer around?"

I think Doug actually put it best when he said "I can continue to purchase VFP licenses for new development staff for several more years and I can continue to receive support from Microsoft until 2015. That's not definition of dead."

But in my correspondence with a colleague, yag's comment about resistance to learn a tool that is 18-23 years old (C and C++) instead of newer tools. How many app…

MS VFP starts its departure - are you ready for community-based VFP?

Looks like Craig Bailey got the first link up on this but every FoxPro developer needs to see it here

What does it all mean? Well, yes - no more "Microsoft" VFP after Sedna and SP2 - although it is supported through 2015.

But perhaps more importantly - all of the Sedna code is being released into Codeplex - so we can all extend it further. This is a very strong point as it means we, as FoxPro developers, can continue to expand on the tool and make it better.

There will always be areas that we might gripe and complain (for example, why can't we get a pre-processor at compile time?) - but we can find ways around it. Myself, I would love to see them release more internals to the code under a similar license but I don't think that will happen.

However, if you've read the other Craig's blog of late, you'll see that Microsoft is now switching whole-heartedly over to a 64-bit platform, which VFP was never going to support. Whether this is a good move for Microsoft…

Poking around SQL Server's Transaction Log

I recently had the opportunity to try and figure out why SQL Server was doing certain things in one of my applications. This application was using CursorAdapters and for some strange reason, data was being cleared out (for no apparent reason, of course).

But in my searches, I started looking for a tool that would let me read SQL Server's Transaction Log. Sure, you can always restore it to a certain point - but when your customer has run their system for several days and then comes back and says "there was a problem a few days ago", you really don't want to suggest they re-enter all their data. I just wanted to know what the heck was going on with those SQL statements.

Now, you might expect (as I did), that Microsoft would offer such a tool directly within the SQL Server 2005 Manager but no - their "logs" are all about "Login Failed" or "Starting the service". Useless if you really want to see what's going on.

Now, if you Google SQL Ser…