GRAFUG Meeting November 10, 2007

General Information

Next month is officer elections, please come and cast your vote.

Announcements

We started our meeting by presenting a check from the Southwest Fox conference to our user group in the amount of $100. This is the “User Group” rebate based on 4 GRAFUG members attending Southwest Fox. Thanks everyone!!

In continuing the Southwest Fox theme, we passed along the announcement of next year’s SW Fox conference. The date is October 16-19, 2008 (www.swfox.net). Everyone should make every effort to attend next year.

Main Presentation

The presentation this month was a group efforts on what was learned at SWFOX.

This conference was the best conference in years!! The enthusiasm was outstanding and everyone was really psyched about FoxPro. During the keynote they asked for a show of hands of how many people were attending their first conference. At least a quarter of the hands went up. That’s really awesome! Southwest Fox made a commitment to have beginner and fundamental sessions and it really paid off. An interesting side affect, many experienced developers attended those sessions too .. it’s always great to refresh your memory on things you have forgotten .. or learn new things that you never knew existed! 

During the keynote, three different initiatives were presented that all had the same basic concept which is .. leverage your FoxPro code in the .NET language. I’m stealing information from Steve Bodnar’s blog to describe these:

 Christof Wollenhaupt first demoed a little VFP application he wrote to learn foreign languages and talked about how it would be cool if VFP could be used to build and deploy applications to other platforms such as pocket pc's and Linux Devices. Then he showed how to use his Guineu application to deploy VFP apps to other platforms. He demoed this language app on the Pocket PC, Linux, SQL Server stored procedures. Check out http://www.guineu.net/ for information.

Then Toni Feltman showed tools from eTecnologia: .Net Extender and .NET Compiler for VFP. In the first example she showed a VFP form then when run used .NET controls on the VFP form. In design mode, all you really see is a place holder, but you have access to the full functionality of the .NET controls. Toni then talked about the Compiler which is also still a work in progress, but shows great potential. See http://www.etecnologia.net/ for more information.

I'm sure I have this next part all wrong: Next up were Alan Stevens and Craig Boyd to talk about a Super Secret Project. Alan mentioned again that "Your code is not obsolete" his mantra for the weekend. Alan and Craig are working with Ken Levy on a way to build applications out of Visual Studio! Craig, in his typical way, raced through his explanations with passion and then showed us something called "VFP Studio 2008" He talked about "isolated shell projects" in Visual Studio. Craig showed a VS "New Project" dialog and said we'll be able to create VFP projects in VS. Craig and Alan stressed that this is based on technology that they just received from Microsoft on Monday. They said that this new technology, the isolated shell, is separate from Visual Studio and doesn't require a license to Visual Studio.

We talked about the issue with Advisor magazine, which is that it is discontinued in its current form. It’s now an online magazine that is combined with several other database related magazines. It’s not just FoxPro now. They are saying that it’s a benefit to us, but many of us don’t see it that way. We don’t need all the non-FoxPro stuff. And once your subscription is up for renewal, the new price will be 3 times what it is now.

We also talked about the release of SP2 for Visual FoxPro 9. It’s extremely important that if you have previously installed the CTP or beta version of SP2, you must completely uninstall VFP, reinstall VFP 9, then install the SP2. It’s also worth noting that if you are running on Vista, you may have to delete the FFC files out of Virtual Store if you’ve ever opened them.

We talked a little bit about Test Driven Development and the use of FoxUnit. Mike Potjer saw this session at SW Fox and it motivated him to do some research into this.

We also talked a little bit about the VFPx project on CodePlex (http://www.codeplex.com/VFPX) and encouraged everyone to participate. Cathy Pountney also announced that she is working with Barbara Peisch on putting together a “Reporting” project to submit to VFPx. 

We also talked a little bit about blogs and using a reader to combine all the feeds into a simple mechanism for getting information from numerous blogs. Cathy Pountney uses the reader in Office 2007. Mike Potjer showed the reader in Google. There are lots of other readers available. The point is, several FoxPro people are blogging and it’s worth subscribing to their blogs so you can learn what they have to say. Especially with the fall of FoxTalk and Advisor, finding written material on FoxPro is getting more difficult. We will be adding a section to the GRAFUG website with a list of blogs.

And speaking of blogs … Cathy Pountney had another announcement … she now has a blog (www.cathypountney.blogspot.com). She hopes to make regular posts and she has ideas for three regular series. The first is “Cool Tool” where she’ll talk about interesting tools and utilities. The next series is called “Gotcha” where she’ll talk about bugs (er .. features) that she’s stumbled across and give advice on any helpful work-arounds. The last series is called “How Do I …?” and Cathy intends to write up individual answers to often asked questions about how to accomplish various things in the FoxPro, especially with the report writer.

Next Meeting

Our Next Meeting is December 8, 2007, 10am-12pm. 

As a reminder, we need to vote for officers at our next meeting, December 8. Sharon Hodgson is stepping down as the Secretary so you can’t nominate and renew her J. If anyone would like to volunteer for any of our positions (President – Cathy Pountney, Vice President – Jody Meyer, Treasurer – Mike Potjer, Secretary – Sharon Hodgson, and Webmaster – Jody Meyer), please let us know. We’ll make sure that all nominations are mentioned in the reminder email for December so absentee votes can be tallied.

Be a Volunteer

If you wish to volunteer to be a speaker for a future meeting, information and a link for topic submission can be found on our website: http://www.GRAFUG.com.

 

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Sharon Hodgson

GRAFUG Secretary

hodgsons@optimalinternet.com

www.GRAFUG.com

www.optimalinternet.com