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Showing posts from June, 2005

IT Conversations: Lawrence Lessig - Re: Mix Me

While subscribed to it, I have stayed out of the Creative Commons discussions, choosing to focus on the "joy" of development - knowing I would have to get into it at some point later on.

However, I saw that Eric was giving a talk on how to make marketing for geeks more understandable and then just yesterday, I was driving home from a Montreal client visit and listened to this podcast from Lawrence Lessig given at the O'Reilly Emerging Technologies conference in March.

This talk blew me away. It puts every DRM debate into a very basic context - and the possible repercussions of recent actions by the US Supreme court are frightening. The Q&A is especially useful when someone essentially says "I need a license that says don't copy my work, but if you mess with it, that's ok with me". And the discussion that ensues.

In short - our entire society is based on remixing. We remix letters to create words, remix words to create paragraphs, remix ideas into in…

Ajax and Atlas

I tried to link to this via Dare (where I originally found it) but his site was down.

MS has a project called Atlas which is designed to make it easier for anyone to build an AjAX-style web application. Of course, it will require ASP.Net 2.0 but that's awesome.

As Scott notes:
All of the pieces of AJAX – DHTML, JScript, and XMLHTTP – have been available in Internet Explorer for some time, and Outlook Web Access has used these techniques to deliver a great browser experience since 1998. In ASP.NET 2.0, we have also made it easier to write AJAX-style applications for any browser using asynchronous callbacks, and we use them in several of our built-in controls.

Can't wait - everything old is new again.
Atlas Project

MAKE: Blog: Audible does Podcasts - the complete guide (and HOW TO)

Phillip goes through Audible's podcasting support in great detail noting a great many of the issues with it.

I think I may have the same problem with the formats, especially if iTunes does this as well. Right now, I'm preparing for a day visit to Montreal and am loading my Pocket PC with podcasts. If I had downloaded an ACC file, I would be out of luck.

Podcasts as a distribution method need to be free (unless they ARE DRM'd - not the other way around). All of the companies offering this need to figure that out a bit better, if Phillip's take is any indication.

MAKE: Blog: Audible does Podcasts - the complete guide (and HOW TO)

Updated: A Microsoft evangelist talks to Paradox developers (in 2004) and rips FoxPro

Who is this Frank Fischer, MS .NET evangelist of Microsoft Germany, anyway?

I found this by doing a technorati search for FoxPro - this was on the first page - obviously they are pinging the right blogs if something from 2004 was listed on the first page.

The Fox Team should do something about MS "evangelists" spreading their words. While Ken and everyone else is stepping away from declaring Sedna a "release", this guy actually says:

* Q: What about Foxpro ?
* R: We are forced by customers to maintain it. We have an eight-year commitment to maintenance. But don't move to it: it's a dead-end. Use VS instead.

(of course, he's a DotNet evangelist but he could have worded it a bit better).

Interesting comment though: Until Longhorn, .NET is built on top of COM. Starting with Longhorn, the building direction is reversed: COM has been rebuilt on top of .NET


Tag: FoxPro

Microsoft talks to Paradox developers - Riff Blog

The Story of Sedna: What Parallels with FoxPro?

According to John Koziol, "and then I read the legend of Sedna, the Artic goddess and about fell off my chair laughing at the loose parallels to VFP.""

After reading the linked story of Sedna, I'm a bit worried.

Of course, this one might be a bit better : "her severed fingers develop into sea mammals" could relate to how FoxPro's features are finding their way into other MS products.

Maybe John can elaborate...

The Story of Sedna

Thoughts from the FoxPro Prague DevCon from Bob Lee

Bob Lee posts some thoughts and lots of pictures from the Prague FoxPro Devcon. A beautiful city for sure. Great post, Bob.

And good job trapping Ken for more clarification (I'll bet Ken will get tired of answering this at every event). According to the blog,

"Ken did say that nothing was firm as far as a number like VFP 10.. But that we as developers should not be so concerned about the name of the product, but more of what the product will enable us to do in the future."

A lot can happen in 2 years and Sedna release has been mentioned to be first part of 2007.

No Carrier's Comments

CastBlaster v0.17 beta Now Available - no USB Support

Hey all!
Cast Blaster Public Beta is NOW AVAILABLE (but does NOT support USB soundcards - argh)

Direct link here

According to the forum:
You can order a license at http://www.shareit.com/product.html?productid=300031272 and use it both for this beta and for the final release version 1.0.


CastBlaster :: View topic - CastBlaster v0.17 beta

Update: I can't believe it doesn't support USB soundcards. All these podcasters talk about needing great microphones, etc - so you go out and buy something like the M-Audio and you find you can't use it. Very frustrating. Not sure - why this is such a tricky thing to support.

MS at Gnomedex: I Don't Want to Wait for Longhorn to see you "get" something

It's interesting to read all the feeds from Gnomedex - I'm excited by a lot of what was announced so far but I'm looking forward to see what Audible really announces and here's why:

1. RSS in Longhorn. Yeah, that's really great except one thing: MS has a bad track record of getting all the upgrades to happen (realistically, it really happens when people replace their machines). So while I'm excited by what's coming with IE 7 , I don't like waiting for stuff.

2. Podcasting. I know Curry is doing some announcements about Podcasting and the like but I was REALLY surprised that Microsoft hasn't done something about it in a BIG way yet. (maybe they will announce later today so I'll update if need be)

Windows Media Player isn't as big as iTunes but it likely is on just as many desktops and it has built in support for online music providers such as Napster, MSN Music, MusicNow and Audible, among others. These are , for the most part, web-based pro…

Ken Levy and Sedna on Channel 9

Eric points to Ken's videos of Visual FoxPro 9 and Sedna on channel 9.

In Prague, Ken referred to Sedna as the "next release of VFP" and a release of 2007 however if you watch the video, you'll hear Ken talk about regular public updates so that all of that great extensibility Ken shows in the report designer is going to be available before then.

The way Ken describes Sedna in the video is , in my opinion, a much cleaner way of describing what Sedna is, beyond the roadmap. The roadmap goes out of its way to say this is "not a new release of VFP" but the video shows "vintage Ken" (I believe Scoble referred to him being prepared with the "swiss army knife of demos") - going through these great features that the team is in the middle of adding (he added one feature the same day the video was done).

And the feeling that I got out of it was more of Sedna being a way for everyone to partake in the great things the FoxPro team is working on, be…

Microsoft to Serve Up SQL Server 2005 Preview

If you read far enough below,

"In fact, Anders Hejlsberg, a top Microsoft software architect, is working on Visual C# 3.0 and has produced compiler technology that accelerates data integration. The Visual Basic team is working to deliver similar functionality, based on Microsoft's FoxPro technology base, sources said."


Microsoft to Serve Up SQL Server 2005 Preview

The Mindjet Blog

My favorite Mind Mapper tool , Mind Manager has a blog that's been out for a while. I saw that one of their main guys (Hopie) is talking at Gnomedex and he linked to the blog.

Now, my real question: WHY Can't I get an OPML export out of MindManager?

I'm running the older version but I really want to start using MindManager for my FoxShow - I figure I should be able to do something with the scripting api but alas, all of the links to the older MindManager 2002 files have been removed from the site. Guess it's time to upgrade.






The Mindjet Blog

IT Conversations: Scott Cook - Larry's World

I popped this onto my PocketPC last week and listened to it recently. I use a rotating playlist which always keeps my choices fresh.

If you don't know much about Intuit or ever wondered if CEOs still want to change the world, this show is definitely worth a listen.

It almost makes me want to switch from MS Money.
He talks about how Quicken came about, their approach to design, the challenge they faced when getting rid of the QIF file format and more importantly, how software can change the world.

A GREAT show to listen to.

IT Conversations: Scott Cook - Larry's World

CBC's shop offering staff discount to podcasters and bloggers

This should be of great interest to other Podcasters and bloggers.

As Tod notes:

# Radio Skills handbook: CBC Radio Skills is an essential first step towards understanding what makes good radio. Whether it's hard news or entertainment, there are many crucial things to learn about being a good storyteller. This book features helpful chapters on Story Development, Writing, Vetting, Interviewing, Performance, Action Plans and Further References.

# Storytelling With The Camcorder: CBCs Learning and Development department has created a comprehensive guide for journalists working in news and current affairs. It focuses on combining the technical and creative aspects of shooting with journalistic tools.

CBC's shop offering staff discount to podcasters and bloggers (I Love Radio .org)

When will people switch from Microsoft?

( I posted this on the ProFox mailing list but I liked the ending enough to want to state it here. Granted I've been wrong before - but people don't change unless they see the real benefit)Until someone comes out with a truly revolutionary O/S, I can't see it happening. Corporations move slowly - sometimes even slower than governments. Linux needs a killer application. The Mac had graphics. They got the niche market - everyone who is involved in graphical design prefers a mac. Just because the bitheads prefer Linux isn't going to be enough. Especially, when Linux/desktop tries so hard to look just like Windows just to get it into the corporate door. I remember back in 90 and 91, I was playing with Windows 2.x and a colleage pulled me aside and showed me this thing called OS/2. I simply shrugged. Minor revisions on an interface aren't going to cut it. This is why so many people still run Windows 98, only upgrading to Windows XP when they get a new machi…

What Defines a Release?

It's been a week over 10 days since the VFP Roadmap was first published and the opening keynote at the FoxPro DevCon has helped (or not for some) clear the muddy waters.

According to the notes taken from Alex and David, the VFP Team expects Sedna to look like:

* Limited core product updates
* New and improved XBase components
* .NET wrapper classes for use with VFP
* Additional product DLLs for extensibility

(this is similar to the notes published by John Koziol in the Universal thread). From Alex, "The most important theme I got from the meeting was Microsoft's VFP Group keen interest in hearing from us, the community on what direction this should take."

Malcolm Greene made a comment on the Talking Fox about the Fox Team's track record and how he would take a service pack over a full release any day.

I agree with that statement and it got me thinking about what actually defines a release. If you look at the way many products tend to get released, you o…

Apple chief to grads: Glad I dropped out

Well I suppose that's one way to get the grads to think about things.

But there were lots of inspirational messages in there:
"Your time is limited so don't let it be wasted living someone else's life," Jobs said to a packed stadium of graduates, alumni and family.

Apple chief to grads: Glad I dropped out - Tech News & Reviews - MSNBC.com

Update - here's the link to the actual speech.

David Stevenson: DEVCON keynote shows early Sedna ideas

David,

Thanks for the post about the opening keynote.

I'm intrigued by what Calvin discusses here as well, I hope they make that available publicly and it will be interesting to see if the Sedna Blog keeps up or if it was primarily for devcon.

But I'm very happy to see that Richard is working with both the Avalon and Fox teams on the interoperability issues. XAML is just text so FoxPro's native text processing functions are just a natural for doing quick updates on the Avalon work, as Ken discussed.

I do feel bad for Craig, though. After he thought he getting away from My, it seems like it's coming back.

FYI - David, looks like you were the first with a good review of the keynote. Alex's still isn't up yet. Thanks - it's greatly appreciated for all of those who are NOT attending this year.

David Stevenson's Talking Fox: DEVCON keynote shows early Sedna ideas

Fox, reincarnated

Interesting thought on Craig's FoxBlog.

This backs what Rick Schummer's original comment: that getting the VFP team to help with the other teams is only going to be great news for the overall way VS deals with data.

Meetings, Meetings, Meetings

Great post (and COMMENTS) on the Tom Peters blog about how to make meetings efficient.

I deal with a lot of online meetings and the most effective ones are structured - not completely structured but still structured.

The most important rule that comes out of a good meeting techniques is to have an objective. If you don't have an objective for the meeting, then don't have it. A status report is NOT an objective - sharing critical issues with others is. But if no one has anything to share, then it's simply not worth meeting.

That said, there is a certain value of the "face-to-face" which no one can deny (and Ted knows I've tried - no way to get back to the original post). They really need to get video conferencing working better - has anyone tried the new video conferencing in MSN Messenger?. Maybe that will make it easier for "virtual" users to work together.

Skype goes a long way but it can still go further.

tompeters! management consulting leader…

Give Your Application An Identity - PLEASE

Yes, Rick, I've had the same situation as described in your post. (and I can certainly sympathize with your FoxPro Expert scenario)

I think it's because FoxPro 2.x and earlier was such a "power-user's" tool that many people who had dabbled with Lotus macros or dBase were able to create applications that did what was needed back when it was first built. But then that person left and no one knew how to update the "application", which, left without a name, was simply referred to as FoxPro.

I know of a few cases where applications run under the Development version of FoxPro, so they can make changes "on the fly".

Sadly, this impacts the "FoxPro" name in a fairly negative way. Every application has an identity , be it a sports pool or a mission critical application and when programmers don't give it that identity a name, simply referring to it as the tool used, then the repercussions can be greatly felt.

I know of several Excel or W…

Longhorn Outruns XP, Threatens Tiger - Really???

Michael points to an article in eWeek about how Microsoft may be ready to take on Apple after all but the entire article is based purely on speculation and even admits "But if Longhorn slips into 2007, Apple could have the next big cat version released or at least waiting to spring out."

This is the kind of journalism that belongs in weblogs moreso than a paper but then this is why eweek and other online journals are really having a rough time with bloggers and keeping readership up.

1. When Longhorn ships or even produces a real beta, then we can start a real comparison. Even with all of Scoble's comments about how "sexy" Longhorn will be (actually I think that was Vic's comment), the rhetoric is all about "wait and see - you'll love it".

2. Apple typically keeps everything under wraps until they're ready. So even guessing what's coming out from them is a matter of conjecture. Apple was rumoured to be switching to Intel for years b…

Boing Boing: Ecommerce sites use personal info to charge you more

This is disturbing not because companies are engaging in unscrupulous activities - but more because I do want the personalized service but not in this way.

Seth Godin has already explained how a good marketing story can make people feel like paying more for essentially the same product (at least it was described that way in this Church of the Customer podcast) - but at least that's honest marketing (oxymoron? hmmm)

I suppose it was simply a matter of time. It's just frustrating that there's so much potential for GOOD to come out of providing some of this information and yet some companies decide to make

If you read the full article, you'll see that we have to wait for a research study and CNN takes the word of a 23-year old who may be more than a little paranoid about it. (many of his comments sound like "preset" statements but then you never know with interviews these days.)

The premise behind personalized sales should be very straight forward: here is the…

Web Sites Driven by Visual FoxPro

I recently did two articles for FoxPro Advisor looking at Active FoxPro Pages and West Wind. At the time, I was looking for other web frameworks for FoxPro. Now it seems - I can't stop finding new ones.

FoxWeb and ActiveVFP.

If you know of others, please drop me a line as I am continuing the series of reviews on these web-frameworks iin the magazine.

Perhaps just as interesting, there seems to be a call for the Fox team to pick one and integrate it directly into Sedna - since the Universal Thread doesn't let you do direct links to individual topics, I'll just point you to the main site. It's under VFP - Sedna.

And John Koziol made a clarification on the UT regarding what Sedna (the next thing in the works by the Fox Team after VFP 9 SP1) will or will not be.

"As to how Sedna is created regarding the runtimes, the core binaries, and other components of VFP9, it's too early to make a definitive statement either way. Our goal is to leverage upcoming MS technolo…

Diversions - Uncyclopedia

Tired to regular encyclopedias? Check out the
Uncyclopedia

Interesting news: Canada and California have announced plans to merge. The new country will be called Caca.

From Uncyclopedia's biggest morons:

* ... Susan B Anthony was Maxim's 4th hottest women of the 20th Century?
* ... most Uncyclopedia contributers dont check ther speelling and punchuation?

June 8: Mallaig Day (Scotland).

* 1789: Storming of Mallaig Railway Station.
* 1798: North Dakota moves to its present location from the River Thames.
* 1963: Doctor What changes his name to Doctor Who.


A good place to visit when in need of a little laugh.

How do you name your product?

Agreed Craig - Clipper Summer 87 was a riot - although it was kind of funny how long it lasted and by the time they came out with a new version (was that 5.0? - I can't remember), everyone had already moved off of it.

Still - I have to say , naming it 2005 is a lot better than naming it DotNet as MS did before they realized they would have to then have additional Dots to identify the version. Visual Studio.Net.1.2(Build 2321)June 5-2006-0400ZULU would not have made for a useful version #.

It gets worse when you consider FoxPro related products. Remember how VFP skipped over VFP 4 because they wanted to introduce a standard version for all MS Dev products and bring it in line with VB 5.0 at that time. We all have to remember that because it makes the argument of MS versioning not supporting a 10.0 product moot. (sorry Rick couldn't resist that one)

And then we have the community tools - does Visual FoxPro Express 3.0 work with VFP 7, will Foxfire! 8.0 work with older versions a…

Apple OS X runs on Intel hardware, has for five years...

Ted's Radio Weblog posted it among others all confirming Dave Winer's note this weekend.

I'm excited and intrigued by this. What will this mean for Windows and the Windows platform? Hmm....does this mean that Apple will now have the crappy audio features that PC users have gotten used to while Mac users have simply enjoyed forever?

Will six-color blood be dyed forever?

I anticipate that visual designers will stick with the Macs because they trust the single hardware/software solution offered for years by Apple. The corporate world, however, is a different story. Did Steve Jobs mention performance benchmarks? Now THAT would tell the true tale moreso than feature for feature comparisons..

Craig's take on the roadmap

Certainly a more negative but definitely realistic view.

I agree with Craig though - selling off VFP is a terrible idea - nothing loses credibility faster than a product that keeps on getting sold off (just ask SBT).

Craig - does that mean no more Project Explorer? That's too bad - that would certainly be a tool worth having.

FoxBlog

Microsoft's Visual FoxPro Roadmap

Well, the road map is up and it says ......

"The primary goal of Sedna is to expand on the ability of Visual FoxPro-based solutions to better integrate with other Microsoft products and technologies."

Hmmm....what that mean? Well it certainly states what it does NOT mean:

"Microsoft does not plan to merge Visual FoxPro into Visual Studio .NET, nor are there plans to create a new Visual FoxPro .NET programming language."

The one I wish they would do is bring back the ability to debug FoxPro in Visual Studio but I think debugging COM components is something that every developer wants an easier way to do, and because of the very nature of COM, it's very difficult to do.

But the real focus is noted in Ken's June letter, where he effectively says they are working less on specific language or engine features and more to ensure FoxPro apps will run well in 5+ years. In short, maintenance mode.

Which is GREAT news for developers who are tired of constantly having …

The secret life of an MS Author

I had previously subscribed to Peter Wright's userland account but iadn't realized he had switched to blogspot.

Some great posts from both the old and new posts, including where to find a great Monaco font for Windows and a note on how Design Patterns changed life for many. His note [Design patterns, in all their guises need a government health warning: "Warning: Use of these patterns without a clear and pragmatic view of the problem will seriously damage your project, and credibility"]

The secret life of an MS Author

Eric on Proper Airport Ettiquette

Some priceless tidbits:
"Note that you don't have to do all three. The minimal standard here is easy -- just pick one. If you choose any of these three options, those of us who are "addicted to hurry" will probably be able to avoid you."

"It is a foregone conclusion that children don't know how to behave in an airport...

No, the real issue here is all of those otherwise rational adults who believe that patience is some sort of a virtue. "

Have a good show, Eric.

Just ignore me when I get crabby like this.