Meeting Recap for January 13, 2001

Hi Everyone,

I want to thank everyone that attended our first GRAFUG meeting and invite those who weren't able to attend to make it to our next meeting (see below for details). We had a total of 13 people attending and they varied from newer FoxPro developers to those who have been using FoxPro since the old FoxBase days. Everyone was very enthusiastic about the new group and really excited about the future of GRAFUG.

NEW MEETING TIME:

One of the things we discussed was the day & time of future meetings. The Lansing group meets at 9:30am on Saturday and after the meeting many people go out to lunch together at a nearby restaurant. The Detroit group meets at 6:00pm on Thursday and they go out to dinner together at a nearby restaurant after the meeting. Both the Lansing and Detroit groups encouraged us to have our meetings prior to a meal because a lot of learning and exchanging of information goes on at the informal lunches and dinners.

Therefore, we have decided to change the GRAFUG meetings to start at 11:00am and run till about 1:00pm. Then, anyone who wants to, can go to lunch together after the meeting. There were a few people who were a little concern about waiting until 1:00 to go to lunch <s>, so the idea of donuts at the start of the meeting was suggested. Members are going to take turns bringing the donuts each month and Dave Russell volunteered to bring the donuts to the February meeting. Thanks, Dave (remember -- I like CHOCOLATE)!

TOPICS:

We didn't have a formal presentation at our first meeting. Instead, we used the time to go around the room and have everyone introduce themselves and explain what they'd like to learn from future GRAFUG meetings. People also mentioned things that they'd be willing to present at future meetings. I was very pleased to see that people were just as willing to give as to receive! Here's a list of what people showed interest in learning and/or presenting (in no particular order) ...

  • Cold Fusion

  • FoxFire Report Writer

  • Optimizing Queries

  • COM Objects

  • Using Wrappers

  • XML

  • Web Development

  • Web Connect by West-Wind

  • SOAP

  • Exchanging data with Goldmine

  • Security issues, avoiding hackers , firewalls

  • Cool Tools and Utilities others have discovered or written

  • Office Automation with Excel, Word and Outlook

  • Dynazip

  • Stonefield Database Toolkit

  • Install Shield

  • Installing from the web

  • VFP and windows scripting host

  • Access & Assign methods

  • Project Object & Project Hooks

  • Frameworks

  • Programming Palm Pilots and other hand-helds

  • VFP 7.0

  • N-Tier design

  • Windows DNA

  • Visual Studio .NET

  • X-Case

  • Visual UML

  • SQL Server

  • ADO

  • MCSD Certification

  • Mixed language applications with Visual Studio

  • Printing issues

  • Remove Access

  • Distribution, Installation & Upgrading issues for custom applications

If there's anything on this list that you'd be willing to present at a future GRAFUG meeting or there's something else you'd like me to add to the list, please drop me an email and let me know. I'll need to start putting together the "Topics" list for future meetings soon. Also, if there is anything on this list that is REALLY important to you, let me know and I'll try to line someone up to present that topic soon.

MARKETING FOXPRO:

Another topic that was discussed heavily at the meeting was the future of FoxPro. Everyone agrees that it is a wonderful tool and much better than many of the other tools out there. But we also agreed that Microsoft has done a poor job of marketing FoxPro. Many corporations are ditching FoxPro or not choosing to use FoxPro because they can't find developers who know FoxPro.

Therefore, it's up to us to get the word out. We discussed many ideas of how to raise the awareness of corporate-types so they will choose FoxPro and continue to use FoxPro for development. Here's some of the suggestions ...

  • Get one or more of the local training centers to offer a FoxPro class

  • Announce the GRAFUG meetings in college newspapers

  • Post flyers announcing the GRAFUG meetings on bulletin boards at local

  • colleges

  • Post flyers announcing the GRAFUG meetings at local computer companies,

  • such as Gateway

  • See if we can get some 3rd party vendors, such as SBT, to announce the GRAFUG meetings to their dealers

If anyone has the connections to do any of these, please let me know. We need all the support we can to promote FoxPro in the business community to keep this wonderful tool going strong!

LINKS:

Here are some of the websites and newsgroups that were discussed by the group ...

In addition, Rick Bean, president of MMFUDG (the Lansing group) sent me this list of good links.

As Glenn suggested, using Outlook Express (or any other Newsgroup viewer), you can check out the following NewsSevers/Newsgroups:

  • msnews.microsoft.com

  • microsoft.public.fox.books

  • microsoft.public.fox.chatter

  • microsoft.public.fox.events

  • microsoft.public.fox.fox2x

  • microsoft.public.fox.fox2x.setup.environment

  • microsoft.public.fox.fox2x.xplat

  • microsoft.public.fox.helpwanted && 2nd most active

  • microsoft.public.fox.internet

  • microsoft.public.fox.programmer.exchange && 1st most active

  • microsoft.public.fox.vfp.3rdparty

  • microsoft.public.fox.vfp.dbc

  • microsoft.public.fox.vfp.forms

  • microsoft.public.fox.vfp.grids

  • microsoft.public.fox.vfp.language-menus

  • microsoft.public.fox.vfp.lck-api

  • microsoft.public.fox.vfp.oop

  • microsoft.public.fox.vfp.queries-sql

  • microsoft.public.fox.vfp.reports.printing

  • microsoft.public.fox.vfp.setup.environment

  • microsoft.public.fox.vfp.web

  • microsoft.public.fox.vfp.xplat!

  • microsoft.public.vsnet.vfp

  • news.devx.com

  • vfp.general

  • <your isp's newserver> && this will generally "mirror" this group, it isn't sponsored by a specific site

  • comp.databases.xbase.fox

GRAFUG WEBSITE:

Another suggestion for the website was to have some type of "Job Exchange" page where employers could list available jobs and contracts and members could list themselves as available. Many of our members, including myself, are independent developers and always looking for new clients and projects. If anyone has suggestions about this concept or has designed a similar web page and would like to share the code, please let me know.

AGENDA:

Dan Dunn of Aargus Corp. sent me the following suggestion for future meetings. I liked it so much that I plan to follow the agenda for the February meeting and we'll see how it works for everyone. Thanks, Dan!

  • Meeting Opens (5-10 minutes)

    • Meeting leader announces any FP news that members would find of interest or any other news tidbits that may be appropriate. Members contribute 

  • Feature of the Day

    • Presenter of featured FoxPro item of the month does 45-60 minutes.

  • Cool Tool of the Month

    • Mini-Version if item 2 that might be a special class or method someone has put together that members would find useful. Should be limited to 15 minutes or less.

  • Marketing Minute (actually 10 to 15 minutes)

    • How to promote FoxPro to the local business community and raise awareness of the product.

    • Marketing tips that may be useful to independents in promoting their services to the business public.

    • Work exchange. Does anyone need any help with a project.

  • Problem Solvers (time as remaining)

    • Portion where anyone can present an issue that they may be trying to solve in FoxPro in an attempt to see if anyone else has a solution.

  • Adjourn for Meal at Local Restaurant.

NEXT MEETING:

The next GRAFUG meeting will take place on Saturday, February 10th. The meeting will start at 11:00am and run till 1:00pm. Following the meeting, those interested will be going to lunch at a local restaurant. (Click here for directions)

The Feature Presentation will be "Report Writer Tips & Tricks" presented by Cathy Pountney.

I'm looking for someone to present the "Cool Tool of the Month". If you know of a cool tool that you think you could show us in 15 minutes or less, let me know.

CONCLUSION:

Finally ... those of you who attended the meeting know that I like to talk a lot. Now you know I can write a lot too <s>. I hope everyone finds this information helpful and if you have any comments, please send them to me.

I look forward to seeing everyone at the next GRAFUG meeting!

Cathy Pountney

GRAFUG President & Secretary

cathy@frontier2000.com

 

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