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Showing posts from January, 2006

Ken Goes Live!

On his blog, Ken Levy has announced that he's going to become a product planner over on Windows Live.

While it's sad to see him leave the Visual FoxPro community, it's good to know that the community is going to be seeing some new stuff real soon on the Sedna side. Ken was a big proponent of moving the xBase stuff into a more flexible license for developers to work with.

As for Ken, let's see, we've got former VFPer's working on Windows Live, Development
Architecture, Visual Studio Data access, Borland, and
FileMaker...hmmm...maybe we will take over the world soon.

Good luck Ken and keep in touch! Maybe we'll get to see a LiveX someday!

Todd Cochrane and the IE 7 Beta Interview

If you haven't listened to Geek News Central Revealing Technical News before, now's the time to do it.

Todd interviews Margaret Cobb from Microsoft's Internet Explorer team (with the IE 7 beta being released today) - now that's a coup!

Of interest: "Which sort of tells me that the IE7 team and the Windows Media Player team may not be talking to one another as I don't think from numerous conversations that the IE7 has any plans what so ever to support enclosures."

So How Do I get involved with SednaX?

The SednaX project has been filled so far with lots of talk and ideas but not a lot of direct output (this led Craig Berntsonto keep it off his 2005 highlights) but that's about to change.

I interviewed Craig, Rick and Doug on what the plan is and how the 400+ developers who have signed up can start getting involved with this open Visual FoxPro community project.

As noted in the interview, it's important to note that SednaX doesn't have to rely on Dotnet components (although there may be some benefits there) and that each project will have its own timeline. It's not a "packaged" solution - but more of a organization of several related projects.

We touch on the commercial vs. open aspect of the project as well - so commercial developers (such as Doug and Rick) can know what to expect from such a project.

What also struck me was Craig's comment about "tricks up their sleeves" from the Fox team themselves - as things like source control are still bei…

Fixing the Dragnet Timeout

I use SourceGear's Dragnet product for tracking issues and the one thing that's always bothered me is the timeout. So I would modify the timeout in the Web.Config file as well as the IIS but it still never seemed to take it.

Much like Rick Schummer's post about reading magazines for the right tips, subscribing to the SourceGear forums is also a helpful place.

I've linked to the topic but for those who don't want to click, the answer is in the IIS setting "shutdown worker processes after being idle..."

As per users gmagana and kbonnin, In the IIS 6 Admin: Application Pools -> Properties -> Performance -> Shutdown worker processes after being idle for (time in minutes).

So I created a new pool just for the Dragnet app and set it to 720 minutes which should be sufficient so it won't time out.

What's sad is that the original report on this was made in April 2005 and then updated again in September and I've been living with it for months now…

Now this is coffee....Flava Pods

For Christmas, I received a great B&D Home Café system and so we were just aching to try some "other" coffees - not just the ones that came with it. Enter Flava Pods.

mmm....when you hear flavours like Mocha Cinnamon swirl or Cinnamon Bun, you've got to wonder if it will be anything like it. Wow! I think we are fairly early in their customer list (our invoice # was 927) and the package was hand-written, loved the personal touch!

The coffee? Excellent. Really enjoyable and it arrived with individual pod pockets (so each one is sealed separately). If you do have one of the various pod-based single-cup coffee makers, check out FlavaPods. Excellent stuff!

Flava Pods Rating
Cinnamon Sticky Bun: Heavier than most but you can detect the trace of sweet cinnamon. I have to try it again.

Mocha Cinnamon Swirl: Much more like cinnamon (to me, at least) - very yummy on cold days.

Breakfast Blend: Excellent morning and day coffee. I almost want to switch from my regular pot of coffee in…

Toni's Looking for automated testing

(Argh! after writing a nice little opus, Blogger crapped out on me and I lost it)

At any rate, it looks like Toni is looking for automated testing tools.

Yes, I wrote an article about the VFP Test Harness and FoxRunner but both of these tools (as Toni and I have discussed ) have a steep learning curve (kind of like having to learn a scripting language to install an application).

Now I've tried Vermont Creative's High Test Plus which worked well EXCEPT that it didn't handle testing different directories or screen resolutions very well. Heck - I even used Microsoft Test, a tool so unknown that you can't even find a good Google page for it except for all the people who used to have to use it.

While I was looking in the archives, whatever happened to AutoManual? Roger Woodsmall's tool was more for documentation but hey! it did test every little piece of your application and took a screen shot of it to boot.

While yes, I suppose one could argue that if you did proper uni…

Opening the doors to VFP XSource

As Ken noted on Visual FoxPro: January 2006 - Letter from the Editor, the XSOURCE.Zip file for VFP 9 has its own license agreement, which includes the right to modify and redistribute.

This is great news - why? Because now you don't have to try and reinvent the wheel, you can simply enhance it without worrying about breaking it.

For those who like to play with the EULA - this is a Microsoft Permissive License that says "Microsoft grants you a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free patent license under licensed patents to make, have made, use, practice, sell, and offer for sale, and/or otherwise dispose of the software or derivative works of the software." as well as "Microsoft grants you a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free copyright license to reproduce the software, prepare derivative works of the software and distribute the software or any derivative works that you create."

Great news!

Who is Frank and why is he against VFP?

Not sure --- but Craig's fighting back with his latest promo, which when it started reminded me of the Matrix.

I also like the first one.

The issue now though is - what to do with them?

A few ideas here:
1 - Related animated GIF versions that sit on web sites (ya, kind of 90's but they do remind people of the product)

2 - Have a VFP day a la Dean Gray where every VFP site shows a clip

3 - Burn CDs/DVDs that start with one of those clips and then contain :
a) the Learning VFP library
b) the latest VFP runtimes
c) samples of popular applications written in VFP
d) sample versions of developer tools (anything that's available in shareware)
e) industry related posts about VFP.

and send these CDs/DVDs to companies that you know used to work in VFP and have since stopped.

d) - what do you think should be done? Let's discuss on the SednaX Site.

Who knows ... maybe Microsoft would help in getting a list of those companies but that may be unlikely since VFP registrations ar…

Someone needs Morae....

I love usability testing, especially as depicted in this cartoon from Bug Bash.

I had an opportunity to discuss user interface design with someone who worked for Nortel among others and it was amazing to realize how important user interface design was between engineers as well as from developers to end users.

That's why I was very excited about Morae, a usability recorder that tracks both user experience and actions and allows users to manage it. For one, it just reduced the need for someone to install a see through glass.

Want to see how it worked? Check out the case study for Project Aardvark.

Anyone else try it out?


Bug Bash � Archive � Behind the Window