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Here, There and AlphaAnywhere

I had a great conversation last week with Richard Rabins from AlphaSoftware.  Long time Fox developers might remember Alpha 5 - that's the same company but they now have an offering called Alpha Anywhere which is a fast way of generating HTML 5 based solutions for web-based and mobile based solutions. Before you think about "yet another HTML 5 App generator", while you can do client-side javascript, you can also do server side scripting with their language, which is very similar to VFP.  They've also got a fairly well known CTO, Dan Bricklin (of Visicalc fame). He's done a lot of "native" development for iOs and various platforms so it's interesting for him to jump into the full HTML 5.

They have a demo version you can look at to get started but are also filled with lots of AlphaAnywhere.

I'm going to be publishing our talk in a FoxShow next week but one of the great things for Fox developers is that he's hoping to be at the SW Fox conferen…

Why VFP Developers should look at SW Fox 2013

For 10 years now, the Southwest Fox conference has served as a great gathering for FoxPro developers, looking for insight, ideas and inspiration on moving their development applications and skills forward. Over the years, there have been spotlights on moving VFP applications into the cloud, onto mobile, integrate better with .Net and lots of other technologies.

While Visual FoxPro isn't receiving internal code updates from Microsoft, Visual FoxPro (or VFPX) continues to grow into a larger tool in the developer's arsenal. While Thor continues to deliver more power in the actual FoxPro IDE, new interface features grow what FoxPro applications can actually do.

But the core of FoxPro (fast and efficient database access) remains - and for all the tools or applications provided with Oracle or SQL Server or Postgres or whatever, VFP still provides the best data access environment that I've ever worked in. That means for developers who still need to deliver solutions, VFP will sti…

Looking forward to Southwest Fox 2013

Doug Hennig: Southwest Fox 2013 Speakers and Sessions Announced

Doug's written up some of the sessions he's looking forward to and I have to say the sessions announced for Southwest Fox cover a wide gamut for the FoxPro (and xBase++) developer. (full disclosure: I'm speaking so I'm excited about that too)

Like Doug,  I'm very excited about Eric Selje’s Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Continuous Integration and VFP

When VFPX first came about, Alan Stevens had done some work on an MS Build target for VFP. This never really took off which was too bad. Continuous Integration is so wonderful that once you have it, you will wonder why you didn't do it earlier. It's a great way for ensuring you compile, teaching your team, identifying conflicts and just feeling good about your approach.  We're using it extensively at one of my clients and it really has helped identify the culprits (gulp!) who break code.

Hope to see you there

Programmers vs. Developers vs. Architects

I received an email this morning from Brandon Savage's newsletter. Brandon's a PHP guru (works at Mozilla) but his newsletter and books have some great overall perspectives for developers of all languages. However, this last one (What's the difference between developers and architects?) kind of rubs me the wrong way. Either that, or I've just missed the natural inflation of job descriptions. (maybe, it's like the change in terminology between Garbage man and Waste Engineer or Secretary and Office Administrator)

So maybe it's just me - but I think there's still a big difference between Programmer, Developer and then of course, architect. The key thing here is that every role has a different perspective and every one of those perspectives has value. The original MSF create roles like Product Manager, Program Manager, Developer, Tester, etc - so every concept may pigeon hole people into different roles. But the statements Brandon makes are often distinctions I…

Thanks for all the fish, Calvin!

Calvin Hsia, Microsoft developer and one-time movie star,  combines two posts into one to note one great tip and one tip of the hat....

1. If you weren't involved with FoxPro in the early 90s, you may think that Microsoft's MVP program was the brainchild of a marketing expert, but in fact, it came from Calvin's listing of the "most verbose people" in Compuserve's FoxPro support forums. The program is now 20 years old, despite cutting VFP out of the program. Way to go, Calvin!

2. Onto the cool tip, when .Net first came out years ago, I was asked to evaluate the conversion of a fairly dynamic VFP application into .Net. One of the biggest roadblocks was how to handle dynamic scripting. We asked around and even .Net experts couldn't come up with an ideal situation. In other applications, I've ended up using pre-compiled DLLs, loading dynamically, to achieve similar results but I've always wanted a better solution.

Calvin's solution? Using CodeDomP…

Fwd: Great Post: Realizing Your Potential As a Developer

http://www.aaronstannard.com/post/2013/02/06/10-Reasons-Why-Youe28099re-Failing-to-Realize-Your-Potential-as-a-Developer.aspx
After going through a week where I had to step in and review a developer's testing process before sending it to a tester because the tester kept on finding easy bugs, this post rejuvenated me.
You Know You're Failing to Realize Your Potential as a developer when you:
Don't Want To LearnDon't Want To CommitDon't Want To UnderstandDon't Want To Code (Just analyze)Don't Want To Ask Don't Want To ShowDon't Want To Read