Archive | April 21, 2003

Edgar F. Codd, dead at 79

E. F. Codd and C. J. Date are responsible for much of the popularization of the relational database, arguably one of the most powerful tools for modeling data on a computer.

Here is his obituary from the Mercury News.

Visual FoxPro 8.0 Featured on Microsoft PressPass

From FoxCentral.Net: Visual FoxPro 8.0 Featured on Microsoft PressPass. A detailed press announcement called New Microsoft Visual FoxPro 8.0 Driven By Customer Feedback has been posted on Microsoft PressPass and submitted to journalists world-wide for education on Microsoft’s release of Visual FoxPro 8.0. The article contains quotes from Eric Rudder (senior vice president of the Developer and Platform Evangelism Division at Microsoft), Brian Jones (vice president of DPRA Inc.), and a brief case study of an award winning Visual FoxPro application.

Visual FoxPro Web Site Updated

From FoxCentral.Net: Visual FoxPro Web Site Updated. “The Microsoft Visual FoxPro Web site has been updated with new information and links for Visual FoxPro 8.0. There are weekly updates planned for the Visual FoxPro Web site and next month the following is just some of the content added for Visual FoxPro 8.0: New Evaluation Guide, new whitepapers, new sample downloads, updated free downloadable VFP 8.0 OLE DB provider with small enhancements from the version included in Visual FoxPro 8.0, and more. Refer to for more details. “


The ongoing difficulties with interpreting the Visual FoxPro EULA have brought forth clearly the problems with End User Licensing Agreements and the rights of consumers.

Last week, as part of installing a new cable modem, the technician needed to install software on my machine to activate the modem (I ensured he did remove it afterwards). As part of the install, a great big page of 4 point legalese popped up, to which he just clicked “Agree” and continued. Now, who is obligated to that license? Not me. I never touched the machine. Not him, the license was probably addressed to the owner of the box. However, I am probably liable for it, and I’ve got a lot less money to hire lawyers to debate it than the cable company does.

In the two most recent versions of Visual FoxPro, a number of the rules have changed, and I am sure most VFP developers are not aware of the rule changes:

  • An upgrade now (in VFP8) requires that you uninstall the previous version of the software, nonsense to developer who need to support their customers. Link here, here and here.


  • VFP8 (and 7 as well, I believe) can only be distributed using their MSM files and the Microsoft Installer technology. This is a limit by license, and not a technological hurdle. Many developers install their applications by dragging and dropping a few DLLs and registering a few of them. This, and technology that competes with the Microsoft Installer technology, appears to be improper.



  • Microsoft runtime DLLs must run “in conjunction:” with the Microsoft Windows platform. I’m not sure what that means. On top of? On a machine with the OS installed (dual boot?)? Whil Hentzen’s taken the point postion on this question (as I blogged here and is waiting on an answer…



  • On the flip side, it looks like the IDE can be installed on non-Microsoft Windows platforms, a loophole I expect to be closed soon. Running VFP on Wine is here , here and here.



  • Finally, the ultimate question: is any of this enforceable? Can Microsoft tie their applications to their platform? Are EULAs and click-through licenses legal?

    This is not what I get paid by my clients to figure out, although perhaps it must be, for the duration. I suppose clients need to be just as careful to follow the terms of OSI licenses as well.


Visual Studio 6.0 EULA

Visual Studio 6 EULA. First Post: Since there seems to be a lot of concern over the changes to Microsoft’s EULA, especially in regard to added restrictions on runtime distributables, I’ve posted the EULA from Visual Studio 6.0, of which VFP 6.0 was a part, and thus governs VFP 6.0 usage. Note that there are no restrictions on distributing royalty-free runtimes to non-Windows platforms. You may draw your own conclusions about the reasons such restrictions were added in later releases.


Who gave away their VFP8 autographed box?

I’m sure there’s a story here. A very few boxes of VFP 8.0 were autographed by the development and support team (I have a treasured VFP 3.0 box). I wonder if there was a “spare” or if there were some hard feelings. In any case, someone on eBay got a good deal! A picture named VFP8Autographed.JPG

Social Software Alliance forms

ssaSmall.gifJust joined the Social Software Alliance. Sorry I won’t make their BOF session in Santa Clara at the EmergingTech conference, but hope to keep tags on what’s happening online. The wiki is running “Nice Little Wiki” from, and , well, it’s a nice little wiki – some great features.

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This work by Ted Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.