Archive | November 8, 2005

Dabo does DataSets!

Ten-time Microsoft MVP Ed Leafe and Fox/Wine/Python guru Paul McNett have been working on a Free (price and license) framework in Python to create data-intensive rich client applications that will run on all major platforms (thanks to Python) and support all major databases.

On his ProFox mailing list, Ed Leafe announces Dabo reaches another milestone:

If you had to give one reason why Fox rocks, what would it be? The UI and reporting tools are good, but there are other products out there that do those things as well or better. The language is OO and can be quite elegant, but it is also procedural and can be quite ugly. And DBFs are not exactly the ultimate data store around.

No, if I had to name the killer feature, it would be this: an internal data engine. With this, you can do things that other languages simply cannot. You can pull a data set from SQL Server or Postgres, and then manipulate that data quickly and powerfully, using Fox’s SQL engine as well as its Xbase commands. You can select a subset from that cursor, and then join that subset to another cursor. All in Fox, and all natively.

This was the piece that Dabo lacked, and that I felt would take it from a second-rate data framework to a first-class product. Well, I’m thrilled to announce that Dabo now has such an internal data engine! Data in Dabo is held in objects called DataSets, but which are very much like Fox cursors. These DataSet objects now understand SQL, allowing you to send it any valid SQL statement and get back the results in another DataSet object.

Congratulations, Ed! This is a really exciting step! Fox Rocks because it has a rich development environment, a powerful means of iterative development using the command window, and a very capable local data engine for cursor manipulation. With the integration of SQLite (via pySQLite) into the data layer, Dabo developers can still use the backend data of their choice and have a powerful local engine for manipulation, the best of both worlds.

Tod Nielsen, CEO of Borland

Tod Nielsen and Chris Caposella yuck it up in the 'Challenge Me!' skit at Microsoft's Visual FoxPro Devcon, Orlando, 1993Borland Appoints Tod Nielsen as New President and CEO. Tod Nielsen and Chris Caposella yucked it up in the ‘Challenge Me!’ skit at Microsoft’s Visual FoxPro Devcon, Orlando, 1993. They were the marketing team for Microsoft’s new at the time acquisition, Visual FoxPro. He rose through the company’s marketing arm, but spilt a few years ago after a term as vice president of the platform and developer group in 2000. He joined CrossGain as CEO but was temporarily benched as part of a Microsoft non-compete violation controversy. Next, he was the the chief marketing officer at BEA, a job he left Aug 24, 2004 to “pursue other interests”. I last noticed Tod at Oracle.

Tod’s a sharp guy, and Borland a company with a lot of history and potential. Hope it works out well for both!

Apple switchers growing

OSNews links to an Apple Insider article that can’t have been well thought through: Over 1 Million Windows to Mac Converts So Far in 2005?. “The momentum generated by Apple’s iPod digital music players and related products continues to translate into new Macintosh sales according to one Wall Street analyst who estimates that over one million Windows users have purchased a Mac in the first three quarters of 2005.”

Great news! I’m a switcher, though in 2004. But, digging into the article,

“If we assume that all of the growth in Mac shipments during the past three quarters resulted from Windows users purchasing a Mac, then purchases by Windows users exceeded one million,” the analyst said.

Well, that’s silly. No current Mac user bought a new Mac in the past three quarters? If so, Apple is doomed. Apple users often keep their machines running for years, as they don’t have the rapid decline-to-obsolesence of WinTel boxes, but I’d guesstimate a 4-year-lifecycle on average and so a rough estimate of 20% of sales to current Apple users still yields a respectable 800,000 switchers this year and projects around a million by the end of the calendar year. There are lies, damned lies and statistics. Let’s leave the exaggeration to the other guys.

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