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Showing posts from September, 2007

VFP Runtimes - do we need an installer?

Years ago, the conventional wisdom was that you used an installer program to install the VFP runtimes on the user's machine and then possibly had an application update over it. On network applications (that resided on the file server), this was almost a requirement - the users couldn't run the application without the runtime - but you wanted to be able to install updates without requiring the user to upgrade their runtime files if necessary.

How necessary is that today?

In some instances, very. I still have some applications that reside directly on the file server, where is also where the data lies and thus having a separate runtime installer usually helps - but this can also be detrimental. Even with today's fast networks, the performance hits that come from running an application over the network instead of the local workstation can seriously infringe on the application.

The seeming hassle of creating a separate runtime for the application also strikes fear into some deve…

Automating Builds in VFP

This is an older post but I was rereading it and realized I hadn't talked about it yet.

While VFP developers wait for tools (such as Solution Explorer (update: removed link - domain expired) or the VFP/X Automated Build client) , this post shows how to do it using a tool that

a) doesn't natively support FoxPro

b) integrates with the FoxPro environment using the VFP OLE Automation.


Yet another useful addendum to Tod's initial post

Kok Kiet's Blog : Experience in Automate VFP Project Build

Converting XML to FoxPro tables

Many FoxPro developers are familiar with XMLTOCURSOR() which converts an XML file to a FoxPro cursor for review. This function works typically best with a single table in an XML file.

Unfortunately, it requires a fairly well structured XML file. For example, it can parse this XML perfectly:
<?xml version = "1.0" encoding="Windows-1252" standalone="yes"?>
<vines>
    <vine_lot>
        <id>1</id>
        <ripe_grape>4</ripe_grape>
    </vine_lot>
    <vine_lot>
        <id>2</id>
        <ripe_grape>3</…

Using VFP to fight crime and help police

Some FoxPro developers may be familiar with the WASP application that was featured as a Microsoft case study. Well, John Harvey has started coming back to his blog (FoxPro USA) and lets us know what he's been up to.

Best quote:
Most of the new development is supposed to be done in dot net, but
there's this thing called "get it done" or "just make it work, now".
So, enter VFP and Web Connection(thank you Rick Strahl).

What's very cool though is how little things are making a big difference and how easy it is for FoxPro to help do it.

Yes - any other tool could do it - but the point here is that you have a subject matter expert (John) combining his development tools to offer solutions that are of value to a large group of people.

Consulting companies often take the approach that things have to be complicated or very lengthy time-wise to build the best solution. This is where you hear end-users complain about "change requests" even for the smallest …

Lost and Found Again: MindManager on the Pocket PC

Regular readers may know that I am a big fan of Mindjet's MindManager tool - I started using it after hearing about it being a killer application for the Tablet PC and then just wanted to use it for everything. Unfortunately the last version that had a real version for the Pocket PC was 2002. I'm now on the latest version (7) which totally rocks and had just finished sending a "when will you get a mobile version?" to the company when I bothered to look in the forums and sure enough, found a link to this little tool. Pocket Mindmap

It supports all of the key features and best yet, if you only have an older version of MindManager, it's compatible with that version as well.

I think everyone has done this in the past - complain about something and then when you scratch a little further, you find the solution  - I also appreciate it's a pet peeve for just about every company. I know I've seen it a lot in development forums where information is just abou…