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Ken Levy has hinted that the Fox Team is working on versions of VFP beyond 9.0 so that FoxPro apps will be running in 5+ years. Check it out here.

Fox is great but what would you do if MS announced the last upgrade of Fox will be in 2005?

A. Continue to develop in Fox.
B. Switch to C#.
C. Look into some other 3 tier solution that works in Windows, Linux and Unix.

Joe Kuhn
D. Crap your pants
E. All of the above

The answer is E.

I'll do whatever my company wants me to do and/or find another job if what they request of me doesn't pass the reasonability test of what is humanly possible - I've already been faced with the dilemma of needing the .NET skills but not having them - I had to get the job done so I did it in VFP. Is it ideal? No. Is it future proof? No. But the client needed a web service NOW and they needed it to work. I always give them the options of finding another developer, waiting for me to learn or pay for my training. Life is short. If I were an in-house developer with lots of time to do experimental work it would be different. But I am expected to be a steady revenue stream or I am out of a job. Right now, the way I make my clients happy and generate revenue is with VFP. I feel like after 5 years of learning/doing OOP/nTier, etc. I deserve to get more ROI before I jump into something new. FWIW, I did 2 years of almost nothing but Uniface and Oracle development - If you haven't heard of Uniface, it's a 4gl and is used in a lot of very large enterprise systems including airline scheduling, healthcare, financial services, etc. I hated it. This was after doing years of FP 2.x development. When I finally got back to doing Fox work I had to learn this new OOP stuff, etc. It was a HUGE learning curve for me. I'm not ready to go through that again just yet nor do I think it's a must that I do. When I hear people telling me that I have to do this NOW I keep trying to think of the business case for it and there really isn't one, at least in my case. So what's the angle? Sell more books/training? I don't know. Why do people go on TV pushing the idea of buying houses for no money down? Same thing in my mind. Calm down people and get back to work. -- Randy Jean

Anyone care to venture what Fox's final version will be?
I'm guessing it'll be 10. And I'm guessing sometime between now and the release of version 9 we'll get formal notification and/or a strong hint. Version 10 will be a closure version. Some clean up bug fixes, some final features and off we go into the wild blue yonder...But that's just my guess. The steering of Fox features, particularly try/catch and others, towards C# is just too strong. (?!)

Company worth is an issue when your code base is in a language Microsoft is no longer actively enhancing.

I don't know if I'm sad about closure or excited about a new future. Joe Kuhn

[2003.11.22 09:02:57 PM EST] Joe, our company is almost in a state of panic that we immediately need to learn and convert our applications to C#. Why? Because the fear, uncertainity and doubt (FUD) is becomming so widespread that VFP 9 will be the last release. It has been repeated many times that we must go to C# since our competitors will use a marketing tactic stating that we are developing in a dead language.

M$ needs to step up to the plate and immediately let us know that there will be a version beyond VFP 9. If the current feature set is locked in place for VFP 9 then we need to know if anyone is working beyond the VFP 9 feature set.

The fact that Ken Levy is now only part-time VFP manager and loves to promote "Whidbey" is NOT a good sign. I have little choice in this matter as I am just one of several developers that will either need to jump on the bandwagon or unfortunatley look for another job and that is not an option. That is the reality of my situation and one that I think Joe and others fear as well...
[2003.11.23 11:38:03 AM EST] We've talked about putting in some view capability with .Net so that customers can look at their data through their browsers. It's a starting point and it makes sense. Read only.

Also, it is some consolation to me that the programming problems remain the same. The problems being - to isolate the data access code from the middle tier in case you want to switch databases and do the same with the interface. Hey, the interface is about to change from Fox forms to browser forms in .Net! If our middle tier is isolated we should be ok, right? Joe Kuhn
Your commercial value, and your company's commercial value, is directly related to how much value you generate for your customers, and not related at all to whether Microsoft supports FoxPro which, by the way, it hasn't for a long while now. The time when any new features in FoxPro has had a material difference to your ability to deliver value to your customers has long since passed. The next version of FoxPro has no bearing whatsoever on the ability to create probably 100% of the software you'll ever need to create.

Alan Schwartz once told me: take good care of your customers, and they will take good care of you. So in my view, given your "sad vs excited" comment above, all this has a lot less to do with Visual Foxpro, and its next version, than you think.

More to the point, in the future, I absolutely guarantee you, with 100% certainty, that so long as there are computers there will be a development environment that is fast, general, flexible, data-centric, very comfortably abstracted, complete, rich, interoperative, un-bloated, and pointedly not on the Microsoft boat-ride. You can take that to the bank, Joe. Currently, the list of such development environments is very short, and .NET isn't on that list, contrary to what some people want you to think. -- Steven Black

I appreciate your emphasis, but we do that. I'm lamenting the eventual loss of a great tool. Joe Kuhn

The slowdown you may be experiencing is industry-wide. If times are slow for you, then consider yourself lucky that they haven't full-blown stopped. It's a tactical mistake, in my view, to assume the grass is greener in other development environments. Clearly it's not. I see no evidence whatsoever that knowledgeable and valuable Fox developers are, on balance, doing any worse than peers that develop in other languages. Times are *very* rough right now for people who've hitherto survived on mailed-in efforts throughout the 1990's. It's going to get worse for these people. People with focused Developer Value Chains can expect much better prospects. -- Steven Black

And it will be 64-bit and support tables up to 64Gb.
If it is, it will probably support tables up to 8 Exabytes:
2^31 = 2GB
2^63 = 8EB (or 8,589,934,592 GB)
Just a thought. -- Peter Crabtree
Times aren't slow for us. On the contrary, we're so busy we can hardly keep up - precisely because of our user/customer emphasis.

If we can continue to do this with .Net why shouldn't we? You obviously think we won't be able to. Why?

You come across as pissed. That doesn't help me. I may be interested in your story, but in the end I've got to decide which direction I'm going to go. I can get on the MS bashing bandwagon or the MS is great bandwagon, but sometime in the future I may have to decide what development environment I'm going to work in next. And I may end up in another MS language. I want my decision to be objective and the best choice, not emotional. Where's your list of alternatives? Give us your thoughts. You objective picks are highly valued.

The purpose of my original post is to try to get some kind of time frame set in my mind since MS seems to be afraid of pissing people off. It'd be better for me if they'd just say what they're up to with regards to Fox's future. Joe Kuhn

Huh? I think that you may have *completely* misunderstand my point of view. This topic is pointedly not about aout .NET, bashing Microsoft, or any of the dimensions you introduce above. At least not so far. I thought this is about "guessing" that V 10 of Fox will be the last, based on some perceptions that may or may not be accurate. Have you seen the industry-wide developer unemployment figures? Have you seen Microsoft Product Life Cycle DatesOffsite link to
? Have you see the Europa Features?

Certainly you will have to make tactical and strategic decisions for yourself. But let's not confuse that perogative, which is always there, with my core message that prospects may, in fact, be quite good for good Fox developers in the scheme of things, for some not-so-obvious reasons.

Sometimes the worst mistake someone can make when in a niche market is wish they weren't in a niche market. Look, if you want to literally talk yourself out of FoxPro as a development option in your future, then that's probably the easiest foregone conclusion that anyone can make. Intellectually there is no easier "get" than linear thinking that says hey, it's tending downwards, thus and therefore...

My take is simply this: VFP is tending downwards relative to what? VB? Visual J++? MS Access? Java? Realtive to what else, Windows 95, The Internet, and all the other things that had great promise? We've been having these Fox-is-on-the-outs perceptions for years! What, precisely, is doing so much better than VFP over the past 3 years? 5 years, 10 years? And what of going forward by these increments? I just don't see it, and I don't see the need for panic.

There is a *huge* hole that .NET currently doesn't fill, and will probably never fill. For reasons of bloat and ongoing OS requirements alone .NET will have massive problems being all things for all people, which it its laughable brand promise (see Brand Marketing). This is why niche markets exist, thrive and, on balance, are far more profitable than mass markets. Typically not more profitable by a pinch, but by streets.

Just like Visual Interdev is history both as a product and as part of Visual Studio (see Microsoft Product Life Cycle DatesOffsite link to
), I wager that many parts of .NET will cease to exist long before VFP is retired. This may sound like a crazy statement, but look at the past promise associated with Visual J++, for example, or Visual Basic. Had someone said five years ago that VFP will long outlive both these products that would have been crazy. The installed base of applications is a much more accurate predictor of future demand requirements than is marketing hype. That's just a fact.-- Steven Black

Even if Foxpro dies tomorrow, it may live on for a long time if MS does the right thing and pass it on to someone who can simply maintain it. For example, look how long ago Borland dropped Visual dBase, but I was doing a search the other day and found out that it still exists! Even the DOS version for crying out loud! I think if MS drops Foxpro, that is, discontinues maintenance releases, then there will be lots of developers out there that will be looking somewhere else besides .NET - me included! It would be nice to start a list of development languages that we could come up with should that unfortunate event happen.

I think you keep missing Steve's point. VFP does not appear to be going anywhere soon, and by the time it does, the landscape will have changed to the point that creating a list of "hot" alternatives today would be mental masturbation. -- Mike Helland
Steve and Mike, You seem to be saying we should continue to develop in Fox even if MS stops enhancing the language because it has everything needed to write effective software. Have I got it? Joe

Absolutely. You (we) have had, for many years now, more software development capability than you (we) will ever need, or use. In the scheme of things, from a capability standpoint, the next version of Fox is about as momentous as the next version of Excel or Word. Anyone who is serving his customers at the pleasure of Microsoft, or whose value-chain depends on Microsoft's support of his favorite development environment, is strategically in a pretty pathetic position. In other words, if your value proposition is dependent on what Microsoft says or does, then you're probably fucked no matter what you do. Good luck. On the other hand, if your value proposition is to delight customers by reliably delivering phenomenal value to their businesses, then the next version of Fox (or Excel or Word) doesn't count for very much at all. I say: beware of the numerous bozos in this industry who always have easy answers conveniently at hand in the form of the next version of anything. -- Steven Black

Beautifully said, Steve. Completelly agreed! Fernando Alvares

Steve, I think that you overlook one aspect of the value chain. What happens when the consultant leaves ? Most clients have a desire to find people that can maintain their applications, and finding Visual FoxPro people is becoming considerably more difficult as time passes. Finding qualified people to work on Visual Studio .NET is significantly easier than finding qualified people to work on Visual FoxPro. Rod Paddock

Huh?? Rod, let's start with something I am certain we can both agree: finding reliable, qualified people is never easy. It's a little more difficult to find such people in niches such as Fox, but it's *not* onerous, in any city or town in the Western world. I know, because referring people is part of what I do.

More to the point: there is a considerable difference between a truly qualified person, and a person who purports to be qualified but, in actuality, has little practical and verifiable experience. Maybe you mean with .NET it's "easier to find people game to try"? Honestly, this may shock you: I can't name a single qualified, experienced and reliable .NET developer, and that includes *everybody* I know, with no exceptions. On the other hand, I know quite a few folks who are seriously kidding themselves and their customers, who pretend that they can just "skip" the multi-year period required in any art to achieve expert-level knowledge.

In my view, the difference between any given .NET developer and any given Fox developer at this stage (Nov 2003) is the Fox developer likely has, on balance, has several years more experience in his environment, several more projects in his or her portfolio, far more experience with fully road-tested frameworks, and far more likely to know his/her limitations, and to know the limitations and idioms of the developement environment. In other words, far better versed in most of the important components of mitigating Application Development Risk. Nothing (nothing) resonates positively all through a software developer's value chain like risk minimization.-- Steven Black

You and I can agree that finding qualified people is difficult in all cases. To add to Jim Nelson's comments below it comes from my clients that finding VFP people is becoming increasingly difficult. I don't hire people but my clients do and they are telling me that VFP people are hard to find.

Where you and I disagree is that there are no qualified people to do .NET development. I cannot speak for anyone else but I have partcipated in a number of projects that are in production today. This is not to toot my own horn but we have successfully developed applications in .NET. I have ALWAYS believed that the value proposition is in learning the requirements of the user and developing applications that meet them. In my opinion the tool is irrelevant.

In the Application Development Risk topic one of the final statements is 100% correct: In many ways, creating requirements and investing in analysis and design is all about minimizing risk.
Rod Paddock

I thought exactly the same thing for several years after VFP 3 came out. From this I draw the following experience: It's easy to *think* you're doing good work when you don't know better. I also know this: it takes many, many years to achieve expert-level knowledge of any non-trivial developement environment. Moreover studies constantly show that the difference between a good developer and a merely average developer is a factor of 10 or much greater. So I disagree: In my view the tool knowledge is a very relavent factor, and the deeper the tool the longer it takes to really know it. I have never seen a development environment that didn't present false views of the summit. And I still haven't met a .NET developer who isn't kidding himself about where he actually stands in late 2003. Y'all are at Level One, Rod.... Nothing wrong with that, except for the pretense that you're anywere other than at Level One. To start getting to Level Two, at minimum the rookie mistakes need begin to be enumerated, and the collegial self-agreement about how sweet and rosy things are needs to begin its inevitable dissipation... -- Steven Black

I see your point of view on this one. And I agree with some of what you are saying. I recall in the book PeopleWare that DeMarco found that there was an exponential gap between developers skill sets. I have seen this as I am sure you have. I also agree with the point that it does take some time to become proficient with a development tool. The level 1 to level 2 description you use. My question is: How do you get from level 1 to level 2 without actually doing anything in the tool? You and I well know that it takes real projects to figure out how to really use a tool. It is not possible to learn in a vacuum or from a book. So a question you may ask me is: Did you make "rookie" mistakes in your first applications? Yes. We made some incorrect decisions but we also made a lot of correct decisions.

Another question is did I deliver value to my customers? Once again the answer is yes. We have processed hundreds of thousands of transactions through our software.

Would we do things diffently next time around ? Once again yes. This is a constant learning process and I havent fooled myself into thinking I have learned all there is to know about .NET, SQL Server or development in general. Rod Paddock

Hmmm... I'd like to know which is the accurate "truth" - that it's harder and harder to find VFP work or it harder and harder to find VFP prgrammers??? It really shouldn't be able to be both.
Seems to me that enough questions come up (still) regarding FPD/FPW on UT to show that the install base is still well alive.
It's also pretty clear that .NET still is in its infancy. Even if you personally "know" of 50 installed (and working pleasingly from the user's perspective) applications, what does that truly indicate regarding the future??... I'm sure that OS/2 had countless more installs and it didn't fly! Enthusiasm for .NET is one thing, and a good thing, but it certainly shouldn't be confused with FACT. Microsoft is facing a situation that it has never before had to deal with to any degree - an existing PRODUCTION INSTALL BASE that is working satisfactorily and delivering on its promise. It may take much more than slick marketing to "sell" .NET to that VAST group of happy users. Not to mention MS' 'need' for increased revenue (making the future more expensive to users) which itself rises even more as it pours yet more and more money into marketing .NET. -- Jim Nelson

Imagine this. Your goal has always been to develop a service based business to the point where you can sell it and retire. You do so by giving your customer what they want and need to run their business and you do it quickly. It comes time to sell your business and a potential buyer walks in your door. You pick the scenario at this point:

1. MS is getting ready to announce then end of enhancements in the language all your tools are written in.

2. MS has just announced the above.

3. MS announced the above six months ago.

Also imagine that the competition in your service industry is large internet based fiascos that don't deliver change very effectively to their customers, but nevertheless, you're compared with them and must answer the question, "What have you got on the internet?" They're Java based, you're FoxPro based.

What do you do?

a. Crawl under a rock.
b. Get madder than hell at MS
c. Start developing in C# and put off retirement.

Joe Kuhn

Joe, if your product can't deliver it doesn't matter what language its in. If it can, it really doesn't matter what language its in. I have a Win32 app. In 5 years I might rewrite it in .NET if I'm around and have the energy. But for now, my competition has Unix apps. 5 years will come soon enough that I don't have to run towards its. Think about this, Microsoft can fail and .NET might not be around in 5 years. You won't see this in any magazine but I've talked to the enough developers in the proverbial god-like ranks to have the message sink in. Whether or not that happens, Win32 is here today, established, and even Microsoft doesn't intend to get rid of it anytime soon. -- Mike Helland
We're so busy we're actually looking at hiring. We're good at giving the customers precisely what they want. The question is should we develop that next piece in C# or Fox. Time to market will be faster with Fox. C# represents an investment and a bet on the future. Suffice it to say I've started something new last week and was directed to do so in Fox. Joe Kuhn
(Restored) I can assure you that Investors care mostly about how much customers perceive value in the product, whether the company has what it takes to find and deliver to customers or how much it will cost to reach that point; and competitive issues such as barriers to entry. Investors (correctly) perceive that if the above stacks up, technical risk can be immediately solved if it comes to it by writing a big enough cheque. If the above does not stack up, investing in technology is a waste of money, the company needs to focus on getting its fundamentals right. -- John Ryan
This topic seems to go further into the direction of 'FoxPro is going to die - start doing .NET' Maybe we should consider some facts first:

1. Microsoft did not predict the end of enhancement on VFP (yet)
2. FoxPro has been declared dead meany times in the past but is still alive and kicking
3. .NET is surely not the only alternative
4. no programming tool (not a single one) has a 100% certain and bulletproof future as needs of users and capabilities of hardware change not to mention big software companies wanting to get an increase in sales by providing the 'latest an hot' software tool and in doing so killing an existing (maybe good) one. Economics are constantly in evolution and .NET too will eventualy go away.
5. As a software developer you provide a service to your customers. The added value you deliver comes from your service they get. The software you sell is only a tool to provide that service. Most of the clients do not care about Fox or .NET. they care about solutions. So the value of the software tool you use is not very important to the value of your business.

You should never be afraid or stop learning new developing tools because they may enable you to enhance the service you deliver to your customers and enhance the value of your business. I'm not afraid of losing FoxPro. I'm not afraid of learning a new language. I'm very afraid not to find a developing tool that enables me to deliver a service so easy, fast, flexible and of high quality as I can do with FoxPro.

Frank De Baere

Tried to stay out of this debate, but I just have to add my 2 cents. I would not use the term "afraid", just not enough damn time to constantly be on the research treadmill. I must be one of the fortunate ones that seems to stay fairly busy with not only maintenance of existing VFP projects but getting several new projects in the door as well. I still find VFP develoment very rewarding and interesting. (For instance, we are currently working on touch screen applications for the energy industry, ie. ethanol, as well as several other legacy re-engineering projects)
Am I curious about .NET? Sure. Do I wish I had more time to learn? Sure! But, as I get older, my priorities change and I am less wiling to burn the midnight oil on researching new tools when the ones I use now are doing the job. And doing them very well I might add. I do attend the local .NET user groups, and I read, etc. So far, I have not seen signs of impending doom or the lack of being able to market my current skill sets. -- Randy Jean

By the way, I just read Les Pinter's article in the latest UT Mag. He talks about risking his life to preach the gospel of .NET - hey, to each his own. We need people like that. People that have the pioneering spirit. Wish I were like that sometimes. It seems so glamorous all that fame and publicity. But then I must also live in my own reality of mortgage payments, a daughter to put through college, etc. (maybe she will take some .NET courses!) I'm just not the type to go on the speaker circuit, write books, etc. I'm just a lowly programmer trying to eek out out a decent living. So thanks to Les and all those who continue to burn the midnight oil and share their knowledge with us "rank and file" programmers. I still think the Fox community, including those that evangelize .NET, is one of the greatest aspects about my career. Keep the faith! -- Randy Jean

The risk is not necessarily .NET but putting all your eggs in the MS/Windows basket. When your customers start asking about Linux, mySql, and open source, as mine are, how does the .NET story fit into that? VFP doesn't fit too well either. Why? Because of Microsoft's interpretation of the EULA - a good example of jerking developers around. -- BR

I don't know about the business perspective at all, really. I've spent my entire professional career in the not-for-profit world. I don't know if high-end aggressive upwardly mobile people can still make a lot of money with VFP. That's a different world to me. But in the various online forums there seems to be a very lopsided emphasis on high-end, enterprise-oriented work. That's not the only world there is, you know.

IMO, Steve Black is exactly right when he says VFP is a niche market. I'm in that niche--small-to-medium-sized for- and not-for-profit organizations that need systems that are highly customized and reliable--but not necessarily requiring big iron in terms of back ends or hardware. Furthermore, these organizations can't afford said big iron, so they won't be buying the next editions of Oracle or SQL Server or any of this other expensive per-seat-licensed stuff that so many people seem to think is necessary. It just isn't necessary to meet the needs of the market I work in.

I also agree with Steve when he says there's always going to be a need for systems that work the way VFP does now--because these organizations aren't going to jump on any Longhorn bandwagon anytime soon. It comes as a shock to a lot of people that most of these organizations are still running Win 95, Win 98, and Win NT--and are very happy with those products. Furthermore, they have low IT budgets and they are going to do whatever they have to do to avoid jumping onto the hardware/software upgrade merry-go-round. These are hard-headed people; they know there's really no value added by the merry-go-round, and they ain't getting on it. It's very instructive that people are still running FP DOS. I'll wager people will still be running Win 9x OSes in these types of organizations when Bill Gates gets his platinum/diamond Rolex and steps out the door.

I constantly hear from people that their computer vendors say they "have" to buy Win XP on their new machines because "that's all that's out there". Presumably they are thinking they'll be forced to buy Longhorn when it comes out too--an OS where VFP won't be "native"--as if that's going to make a significant difference in terms of what they want to do with the data. They're utterly amazed when I tell them their vendors lied to them, that while their particular vendor may have a contractual obligation to sell them only MS's latest and allegedly greatest, there are in fact vendors who can sell them any MS OS they specify--or Linux or OS X or Unix, or a machine with no OS at all, for that matter. Imagine their amazement, some years down the road, when they've been told the only way they can do data is with SQL Server, .NET, and IE, and I tell them no, there are alternatives, and they're a lot cheaper? As Steve implied--one version of Word or Excel is pretty much like another. All the marketing hoopla of the
last decade or so hasn't made a bit of significant difference in how word processors or spreadsheets perform. And the kinds of things small-and-medium-sized organizations need to do with data haven't changed either. Heck, there are tens of thousands of them out there that haven't even figured out that there ARE useful things they can do with data. They are prime new customers just waiting to hear from you.

So I don't know, folks. If you want to get rich by riding the next big internet bubble, maybe you should leave VFP behind. But if you want to continue to take on interesting and challenging projects and produce top-quality systems with the most versatile data-development tool in existence, and you want to feel that you've done a fair day's work for a fair day's pay, you can't do better than work with small and medium-sized for and not-for-profit businesses, crafting stuff that does important work for people who do important work. -- Ken Dibble

Thanks for summarizing that so well, Ken. I wish I had that gift. I always disagree that VFP (and FP) are in a "niche market" simply because the small/medium businesses world is 1000+ times larger than the big/enterprise market. So it seems to me that the big/enterprise market is the "niche". --JimNelson

I've been using FP/VFP for the last 6 years to deliver high quality tax software to thousands of accounting professionals nationwide. They also don't need big iron to get the job done. They need fast, flexible, affordable software to handle their tax processing needs and VFP fills that niche (if it is one) very well. Maybe there is another product that can do what VFP does - but I haven't found it ... yet? -- John Fatte', CPA

Since I have watch Fox from it's early days to today, I won't say that it will disappear even if MS drops support for it. Look at Foxpro since MS took over. We haven't had a true Windows version until Foxpro 6.0. (and that being at the win 95 ui level) 2.5 was ok at the win 3.1 ui level. yet given that there was a install base that uses it. Unfortantly a few things have passed fox by. Per data Internationalization. Code Page dependancies that are all but gone in NT based systems, and it doesn't sound like that will be fixed even in Europa. those are the things driveing away from Foxpro not future items still 2 to 3 years out. Douglas

In the non-software world we only buy new "versions" of tools and products when the current tools or products we have no longer solve the problem at hand. Why is this so often not the case when it comes to sofwtare?

Although I am looking at .Net I have yet to find for my own business a problem that needs the .Net solution right now. In my business VFP has managed to provide me with a tool that has allowed me to address all the problems I have come across for the past 10 years+.

How many tools have been heralded by MS as the next best thing since sliced bread only to disappear and be replaced with the next "best thing". The truth is that VFP developers who simply stuck with VFP over the past 10 years probably did better than the guys jumping ship to each new product only to see that product come to an end.

Personally I dont think its a VFP vs. .Net issue at all. Developers should be (a) trying to use the right tool for the job and (b) enhancing their skill set and learning new things. Thats just good business. Will .Net be the right dev tool in the future? I dont know but I sure will be buying VFP9 and VFP10 and ..... Jos
Jos and Randy Jean, FoxIsGreatBut Joe Kuhn

The next version of VFP is slated for the end of 04 and is reported to contain enhancements to the report writer. I think if there VFP was going to be discontinued, I don't think the report writer would be updated at THIS point in time. Think about it! Why would you enhance a tool that has gone virtually unchanged since the days of Foxpro 2.5 (DOS) at the END of a products life cycle? Applying just a modicom of programming logic tells me that you don't make changes to the report writer that will further enhance the viability of VFP if you want people to move to another development language. The report writer is a key element of VFP and improving it makes VFP even more valuable as a software developement and delivery tool. This whole talk of discontinuing VFP makes no sense when maintaining it costs so little and will continue to keep those of us dependent on it Microsoft supporters for years to come. Why give us even the slightest reason to consider another tool which may very well be a non-MS product
- such as Delphi! .... John J. Fatte', CPA

You know what is black as in hearse black? Yup, the VFP9 splash screen. IMO, that's rather ominous. And, indeed the fact that Ken Levy is now, what, Visual Data or whatever.
Keep in mind that, before Ken was hired at MS, he was an XML evangelist/guru. I'm sure VS and whatever could use his expertise in that area. And I would bet he can absorb things in those other areas he's visiting that could very well end up later in a VFP.Next that will only help us all who decide to stay the course. And Longhorn will certainly add possibilities that a new VFP could take adavantage of. But, those at MS who will be delivering taht to us need time to absorb what is going on around them in order to best help VFP and MS at the same time.
Wow, how Ken's reputation precedes him and he now has mythological status. And darn those pesky facts. Sorry, if I'm getting too cheeky here, but let's set the record straight, shall we?

And you can see it here at the Wiki at Ken Levy. Ken worked in the VFP Group as a contractor from sometime in either late 1995 or early 1996 until May of 1999 when he went to Data Channel as XML guru. Ken did a number of tasks as a contractor like creating the Component Gallery. I'm pretty sure that I'll be safe by saying that Ken learned his XML at Microsoft. Ken's a bleeding edge kind of guy, but no, Ken did not invent XML. And in August of 2001 Ken was made the Product Manager of VFP. Ken is a great guy and an absolute genius. He loves VFP and he can make it do the darndest things.

And this part is not about Ken or any of the former or current members of the VFP team at Microsoft, but the reality is that there are many opportunities at Microsoft for competent people that a lot of Fox people move on. I actually do not believe Ken has moved on. I think that 'they' have changed the name of the group to the Visual Data Group for whatever reasons. And my guts says it's not a good reason.

And believe it or not the with perhaps one or two exceptions there is absolutely no one left from the original Perrysburg team. Sure, that was ancient history, but a lot of the original team are either in other groups at MS or they've retired. But, make no mistake about it. The former VFP people at Microsoft who moved into other groups have made huge contributions to the Microsoft technology. It's quite surprising. Consider Rudder for one. And make no mistake that the core group of the VFP group that have brought you VFP since about VFP5 are the most dedicated and skillful that you'll ever run across

Is there a missing "killer feature" needed to make VFP viable? I don't think so. Exclusion from the CLR means there is no technical roadmap in that direction. So what else do we need to deliver value to customers? The fact is that a VFP developer can deliver almost any value today in the data management arena, as long as the customer is willing. Customer willingness is different for everybody. If people are experiencing unwilling customers then you need to change your proposition or join somebody whose customers don't care. Simple. The rest of the VFP FUD is mostly opportunists who wanted to be early adopters in .NET to elevate themselves to guru status and haven't ended up with a big enough herd to pay their bills. That's the only real urgency around here. -- Peter Newhook
If you are old enough, you will remember the day that quartz watches came out. Battery driven and cheap. Watches became throw away items. Most watchmakers quit the business. Now think about those that didn't. Today they are in high demand and demand high prices.
( Topic last updated: 2005.05.31 05:22:28 PM )