Archive | FoxPro

The most powerful desktop database development environment in the known galaxy. Sadly owned by a company not interested in promoting it.

Ancient Fox Manuscripts Unearthed

Ancient Scrool

Ancient Fox Documents Unearthed

The Boston Computer News Network was an email newsletter sent out by the Xbase Special Interest Group of the Boston Computer Society. Les Pinter, the organizer of that group, commissioned a group of local volunteers to come out with a FoxPro-specific version of the newsletters. The timing was great; MS had just bought Fox, VFP 3 was coming, DevCons were awesome. Here are the first few newsletters, recovered from an old dusty cave in the frozen northeast, scraped off an old 3½″ floppy.

Some classic stuff out there for old geezers: Arnold Bilansky facing down Bill Gates, the first demo of VFP3 beta in Boston, Arnold and Ted’s excellent adventures in San Diego, and more. Contributors include Brad Shulz, Whil Hentzen, Dale Gilstrap Leopold, Ken Levy, Harold Chattaway, Stephen Sawyer, and more!

Notes from Python Special Interest Group, 20-Nov-2009

Eight people attended the Python Special Interest Group, held a week early to avoid the Thanksgiving holiday. Anticipate a reschedule December meeting as well.

Last night’s meeting was a vigorous and far-reaching discussion of MySQL, Oracle, the future of MySQL, Maria DB, automation using Python, automation using Visual FoxPro, Twisted, IE6, Zope, Plone, Django, MS SQL Server, pyodbc, SQLAlchemy, Cascading Style Sheets, IE6, FireFox and FireBug, User Agents, IE6, how not to insulate a bungalow roof, the (Python!) cssparse module (, Fortune’s selection of Steve Jobs as “CEO  of the Decade”, Lenovo netbooks and Ubuntu, the Millennium, why calendar years are one-based and not zero-based, distributed version control systems, master-slave and master-master replication using MySQL and Postgres, svn and git, and more! Whew! You should have been there!

Thanks to Bill for organizing the meeting, to all for attending and participating, and to the Amoskeag Business Incubator for providing the great facilities!

Stay tuned for an announcement of the December meeting, and hope everyone has a good Thanksgiving!

Ken Levy leaving Microsoft

Ken blogs, “After working at Microsoft for over 7 years as an employee and almost 5 years before that as a contractor/vendor, I’ve decided it’s time for me to do become independent and start my own company. My official last day at Microsoft is July 18th. I’ve enjoyed all the years working at Microsoft since the early 90s, especially with great people making many friends along the way.”

Read about his new venture at: Best of luck, Ken!

Continuous Learning Curve: Javascript

I’ve avoided spending too much time delving into Javascript. My four-year switch from Windows-uber-alles (including VFP, VSS, SQL Server, Ingres, Oracle, HTML, OLE, ODBC, SCC, COM, XML, MCSE, MCSD, XSLT, DCOM, RSS, MS Office, Exchange, MAPI Bad, SMTP Good, MVP and more acronyms!) to Linux-Apache-MySQL-Postgres-PHP-Python-Ruby, not to mention XHTML, CSS, bash, Smarty, Django, TWiki, dojo, et al had kept me busy enough. But a new client assignment needs a highly-interactive web site and dropping in great big globs of someone else’s Javascript is not going to solve all the problems; at a minimum, I’ve got to be able to read it, debug it and tune it for the client’s particular needs.

Did you know that a limited version of Safari, the O’Reilly online library, is included with a membership to the Association of Computing Machinery? I’ve been an ACM member for years and been meaning to get around to trying this out. My Javascript studies seemed the perfect occasion. I’m reading Shelley Power’s Learning Javascript online and getting quite a bit out of it. I love when you settle down with a book and start going “Oh, is that what that meant?” or “Now I get it!”

State of the Computer Book Market, Part 4 – The Languages – OReilly Radar

Over at O’Reilly, Mike Hendrickson posts State of the Computer Book Market, Part 4 – The Languages – OReilly Radar. Bear in mind in the world of lies, damned lies and statistics, these are statistics. Like measurements of job posting vs. languages, or web pages vs. languages, these aren’t an indication of what languages are in use out there, or what languages are suitable for use. This is just a measurement of what book titles sold the most, grouped roughly by language. If the best book on your favorite language is years old, it’s probably shown as small here. If a bunch of crappy books got published on the language-of-the-week, and the authors and publishers did a good job of getting a buzz going, it’s probably scoring high. Don’t use this to decide whether to use vi or emacs, tabs or spaces.

But it’s interesting data.

FoxPro Advisor, RIP

From the Advisor website:

This information is for you, if you are a current subscriber to any of these Advisor magazines, journals or guides: Microsoft Access, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Visual FoxPro, Microsoft Visual Studio, Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Professional Development, Microsoft Visual Basic .NET, IBM Lotus Software, IBM WebSphere Software, IBM Workplace Software, Novell GroupWise, Business Collaboration, Corporate Compliance, E-Discovery, Law Technology… Your subscription has been upgraded to DataBased Advisor, giving you more than 10,000 articles, tips and downloads — at no charge.

And another kicker:

Even though a new subscription to DataBased Advisor carries a much higher price tag, you are getting it at no extra charge for the duration of your current subscription.

Looks like new subscriptions are $277 a year. Good luck to John and Jeannie on this new venture!

Hentzenwerke Moving from Windows to Linux

MySQL-VFP book cover Followers of the Hentzenwerke Publishing empire know that Whil Hentzen has the largest catalog of Visual FoxPro books and an impressive collection of books bridging the gap from the Windows world into the Linux/Free/Open Source world. Whil’s been working for quite some time to put together a book on working with VFP and back-end data servers other than SQL Server. I was one of the many community members who contributed comments, criticisms and ideas to the book, and was honored when Whil chose to designate me as technical editor. Whil Hentzen announces, MySQL Client-Server Applications with Visual FoxPro now on sale:

After far too long a wait, the eagerly awaited companion to our Client/Server Apps with VFP and SQL Server book from years ago is here. The brand new 414 page MySQL Client-Server Applications with Visual FoxPro covers Client-Server apps from the perspective of the hugely popular open-source SQL database, MySQL. Learn how to install, configure MySQL and then connect specifically with VFP. Then get your hands dirty bringing data – both flat files and DBFs – into MySQL databases. Build a variety of user interfaces. Learn about development and deployment scenarios with this multi-platform backend. Each step of the way, real world problems (‘What if the connection fails?’) and potential solutions will be discussed.

The book is on sale only for a short period. Get your copy now!

VietNamNet – Over 50,000 PCs infected with data-destroying viruses

Many fans of FoxPro complain FoxPro doesn’t get enough press. Some even argue that any PR is good PR. Not in this case, I think:

VietNamNet – Over 50,000 PCs infected with data-destroying viruses “In mid July, we received many reports from financial and monetary institutions saying that their data files FoxPro and SQL were destroyed. The reason is virus W32.Ukuran.Worm,” said an official of BKIS.


Ed Fosters Gripelog || No Shame Over Bogus Eli/New Hill Subscriptions

Over at Ed Fosters Gripelog, No Shame Over Bogus Eli/New Hill Subscriptions takes on one of the worst operations I’ve ever had the misfortune to get tangled up with:

I’m occasionally accused of focusing too much on the minor sins of the technology giants instead of exposing more of the outright scams perpetrated by lesser-known companies. And there might be something to that criticism. But one reason I lean that way is that at least the Microsofts and HPs have enough of a sense of shame that they will try to fix some of the problems we air. That doesn’t tend to be true of the shadier outfits, such as the Eli Journals/New Hill Services publishing operation.

The FoxTalk journal was one of the best. I published my first FoxPro article with them, back in 1992, and subscribed for over a decade. It’s sad to see them go out in such an ugly manner.

Garrett Fitzgerald: Mas FoxPro

Garrett Fitzgerald blogs Mas FoxPro: “In view of Microsoft’s decision to abandon future development of Visual FoxPro, there is a movement afoot to ask MS to open-source the product, so the community can take it forward. If you’d like to see this happen, one thing you can do is sign the petition that PortalFox is running.”

It’s an admirable notion, but just because Microsoft doesn’t want to continue development, doesn’t mean they are willing to turn their tools over to a potential competitor. That would be altruistic.

There’s no doubt the software contains all sorts of embarrassing comments, perhaps undocumented calls to APIs Microsoft doesn’t want others to know about or use and probably some ugly work-arounds. It would be very educational to read the source and understand some of the obscure behaviors of FoxPro: where the phantom record really hides, how “Workarea Zero” works and why Error 14 reports Error while reporting Error 14, but I’m afraid the final journey of Visual FoxPro code will resemble the final scene in Indiana Jones, with the crate of source code wheeled back into the misty distances…

UPDATE… ComputerWorld covers the petition with an article that covers the history of FoxPro better than any other I’ve ever read in the trade press. This is the best press FoxPro has gotten since PC Magazine gave it the Editor’s Choice award, and that was some time ago.

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