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Why xSharp might be the tool FoxPro developers have been waiting for

In the latest FoxShow episode, I interview Robert van der Hulst, one of the main leads on the xSharp project. Unlike many product team leads, Robert has a secret advantage - he actually USES the product. The interview answers a number of questions VFP developers may have about this initiative.






While he's been a direct team member of a variety of products in the xBase market (he hails from the Clipper and Visual Objects world), he has always looked at the product based on the idea of "how can I use this as a business?", an idea many business line developers think about.



XSharp uses the open source Microsoft Rosyln compiler but translates the language constructs found in the xBase and VFP world so that developers can more easily port their application into the DotNet world. While DotNet was introduced almost 20 years ago, there are still a number of applications that use it for critical parts of their business. But what if you could take key pieces of your application (suc…

Fighting for Funding: What would you pay for?

It's funding (whether private or public) that decides the reality of ideas like GPS, interstellar travel, the Internet and more - what would you pay for? f you listen to podcasts and haven't listened to Levar Burton reads, you may want to consider it. It does offer some very interesting stories and Levar's readings are incredible.

One recent listen was "The Best We Can" (by Carrie Vaughn) about first contact with aliens - you. can READ the story here but Burton's read really does make it come to life. What was neat about the timing, however, was this story that just landed a few days ago. That the project of sending flying rovers to Saturn beat out the project that would catch the surface of a comet.

We (or at least I) often think of NASA as being an organization with a single goal but, in fact, there are lots of projects that engineers come up with that have to fight for funding. From solar sails (which also had a Levar Burton Reads story) to this recent one…

Attending Southwest Fox 2019 could change your life - Find out how

Southwest Fox is coming up in October and as I do every year, I spoke with the organizers Rick, Doug and Tamar on the FoxShow.

Deadlines for Southwest Fox:
Super-saver price (before July 1): $695
Early-bird price (before August 1): $770
Regular price (August 1 and later): $820
This year, I took a different approach with separate shows for each organizer but the main message is still the same : July 1st is their Go/No-Go date.

Conferences don't talk about this very often. I don't think developers really question if Apple will hold their WWDC in June or Microsoft will hold their Build conference - but that's because those conferences are vendor-led.

Southwest Fox is a community-driven conference - it's not driven by a company with an agenda. Listen to the interviews and you can hear how important each of the organizers feel the live connection between speakers and among attendees.

Why who you are may define what you Hear

Twenty-thousand Hertz just had a spectacular episode - Sonic Illusions. I encourage everyone to listen to it and perhaps more importantly the underlying message.

It starts off referring to the whole Yanni Laurel thing which has been explained in a number of places but one of the psychologists, Diana Deutsch, noted that the idea of sonic illusions could also be explained by dialect. She noted an instance where a two tone sound was heard one way by students in Southern California and another way by herself. While the story was about a specific type of sound, it also noted that this might account not just for sounds but also for understanding words.

But this isn't about trying to help your New England aunt understand their Bronx-born Jewish New Yorker or how North Englanders talk with a different lazy accent than their Yorkshire counterparts. If the way you hear sounds is different, it may also be affecting the way you hear words and the way you react to conversations.

When someone w…

eero icons - What the heck?

How to change icons used by eero....Formerly titled: Eero router - Nicknames and icons

If you've extended your wireless network using eero, you have downloaded the app. I upgraded my network when I noticed a bunch of dead spots in what should have been a fairly reasonable coverage space (1700 sqft home). With two eero devices, our home is pretty well covered.



Click on Connected devices and every device connected to your network is displayed. The eero app identifies the manufacturer and, with some devices, even the name of a given device. The eero app may also show an icon that represents its use.




Some of the more obvious icons are those for phones, laptops and TVs. Unfortunately, the majority of devices get a fairly generic "wifi" icon.



But you can change this. Give devices a nickname using certain key words and the icon will change.
(Note: once you give a device a nickname, I haven't found a way of getting rid of it).

Unfortunately, the list is fairly limited. Othe…

Airtable - Last Modified Date/Time

I've spoken about Airtable before. A perfect replacement for tracking spreadsheets and smaller database solutions for businesses and individuals, Airtable fits into that niche market where smaller FoxPro and access-like applications have been used.

It recently introduced a new field type that many have had to create themselves - Last Modified Time fields.

Why is this a big deal?

It shows that Airtable continues to evolve on an ongoing basis. No, it hasn't provided the much requested off-line mode but the full set of features including third party integration and team features makes Airtable a great way for people looking for solutions in their offices.

Many of the key features end-clients and developers want are directly built into Airtable  - auditing, custom field types and more. It also gives IFTT and Zapier integration, allowing for automation in ways you may not think possible.

For developers, it provides amazing API features.Airtable's self-documenting REST API shoul…

On Moving Offices

One thing I've noticed in larger organizations is that there would be a seemingly sporadic initiative to move employees into different office spaces. Most recently, I left my office to go to a meeting. During the meeting, I received a message telling me that my office had been moved - all within an hour! Yikes! It has taken me several weeks to get used to NOT opening the door to the previous area, interrupting someone else who was moved.

It always frustrated me and seemed like a waste of space and effort. While I can appreciate moving offices when roles or projects change, the idea that companies should simply switch offices seems a bit off.

And then, I read this article. At the risk of copying perhaps too much, I always worrying about dead links so the highlights from research by Sunkee Lee are:

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“The idea is to encourage people from different worlds to mix and match ideas so that you come up with the best from both,” Lee says. “That boosts both individual and collective per…

VFP 10? Maybe not - but definitely more than just 9 and available for 64-bit Windows



I was in a meeting the other day and someone mentioned Visual FoxPro 10. Well, we all know this doesn't exist but I received a follow-up email with a note from the developer of the LienWriter.

Definitely curious, I took a look online. There were some posts online about it but nothing really earth-shaking. The best place to see it is the actual site.

When I took a closer look, there was some things to be aware of:

1. It's NOT VFP 10 - It's VFP Advanced.

2. It's continually in development. There are updates that resolve other bugs on a fairly regular basis. The final release of 2018 was updated with a 2019 release in February, fixing several bugs.

3. The 64-bit IS 64-bit. What does this mean? It doesn't use MSVCR7 - but rather MSVCR10. This is a C++ DLL that VFP uses. In the 64-bit version VFP Advanced uses MSVCR10. You can build an executable with the 64-bit version, distribute it on a machine with nothing more than MSVCR10 and the VFPA.DLL, and it will ru…