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Advice For Framework Vendors


Namespace: WIN_COM_API
A whimsical topic where you can share your pain with Frame Work vendors in general
See also Methodology Space.
Evaluation Versions for download.
Framework vendors would do well to recognize that choosing a framework amounts to choosing between candidate architectures. Thus if there was more material available about the architectures implemented by the frameworks, a design model survey, then better desision making by consumers may result.-- Steven Black

I agree with Steven. Perhaps using UML with some very high-level design models (Class, Object, Component, Sequence and Collaboration to name a few). If the architecture is known at a design level this would UML enable the framework. Moreover, it would document the framework in an industry standard notation that we can all get our wits around. -- Larry Rix

Every commercial VFP Frame Work available today shows some weaknesses in Big System s and needs to be tweaked in sometimes serious ways. Framework vendors would do well to try to provide more advice for tuning their frameworks for larger-scale development efforts. -- Steven Black

Could you elaborate on this one Steve? Just in general what areas do you see weaknesses in: team development support, access to business object from non-VFP interfaces, performance, etc.?
Performance mostly, but all these areas can contain pitfalls, really. When an application runs with several dozen to several hundred concurrent users everything changes. I think it would be great if those who've developed large applications with commercial frameworks -- the Frame Work makers included -- would document what the gotchas are, and what to consider doing about it.-- Steven Black
Encourage online peer support. In other words, for most vendors, keep it up or try to increase it.
Setup an online support board (some already have it).
Publish a list of notable clients by city and project size so people considering applying a Frame Work can email or call someone and have a chat about the framework's applicability to the project at hand.
Publish a list of good consultants knowledgeable in the framework's application.
See
Visual FoxExpress Consultants
Visual Max Frame Professional Consultants
FoxPro 2 To VFP Consultants
Two words: frequent updates.
OTOH, many developers fear frequent updates, because a new version of the Frame Work means that the entire application has to be fully tested again. How would you solve this issue?
Fix the Frame Work :-) Individual customers will chose what to do. Frequent updates is a positive force. For example it behooves the Visual Maxframe developer to isolate her Frame Work classes because Drew Speedie is so good at generating new features, fixing those that need it, and providing frequent updates.-- Steven Black
I don't understand why developers would fear frequent updates - it's not like you absolutely must install a new version of a framework every time a new version is released. No one's holding a gun to your head. If your organization finds that you need to re-test the entire application every time the framework is updated, you may want to find another framework - I'm running Visual Max Frame, and I haven't had an application break from an update to the framework once, other than the change from VMP 2002 to VMP 2003, and even then, the problems were minor. Note, however, that I carefully read the included documentation for any retrofitting instructions, which are clearly marked as such. -- Peter Crabtree
Make the updates so that nothing breaks, and that they may be run several times if needed. Bad example for this is VPM 5.0 to6.0a update - you needed to run each of the updates exactly once in the exact order, or restore from backup and start all over. It also copied a lot of code over your local code each time. -- Dragan Nedeljkovich

Answer the phone.
Quick email responses.
Honor your return policies. Mean what you say in the ads.
EverythingExceptTheKitchenSink - I get hit with a lot of questions for recommending a commercial framework to someone relatively new to VFP. One response I always hear is the fear of Framework Learning Curve. So I can see where the larger products that include everything under the sun are much more intimidating to a rookie developer. It would also be useful if the vendors of the larger frameworks included documentation on how to not use (or rip out) a particular feature set. (Example, I have a app that will be served well by Mere Mortals except it needs meta data driven menus, & the client questioned why I blocked out 2 days in design phase to analyze how to ditch the native menu classes without breaking the coupling with toolbars.) -- Rox
Category Frameworks
( Topic last updated: 2004.10.27 10:25:44 AM )