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Long Horn

Namespace: WIN_COM_API
Another Windows.

The next wave of releases, or the "Yukon wave," will be led by the next major release of Microsoft SQL Server, code-named Yukon, which Gates said would deliver the unified storage architecture foundation for future products in the Microsoft .NET Enterprise Server family and the "Long Horn" wave of products.

Long Horn is the code-name for the next major release of Windows, which Gates said "promises the greatest breakthroughs to date for information workers." He noted that Longhorn will see applications, operating systems and Web services tightly integrated in how they store, present and manipulate data.
But isn't FoxPro's strength in how it "stores, presents and manipulates data"? What will FoxPro's place be in a Longhorn world?
Will it go from being a niche product to being a legacy product? And when will FoxPro stop running on the latest version of Windows altogether?
Remember FoxPro no longer runs on the Mac and I think that all ports to Linnus, etc. requre emulator programs.

Kenn Leland, The Software Connection, 09/07/02
Those are important considerations, Kenn. I personally feel confident that MS knows that it will have to at least continue to ensure that VFP runs on future Windows operating systems, just as there are countless other products that will have to be able to run on them. In addition, VFP is not "just a product" (like Bob or Eudora or Magellan, for instance) but is acknowledged as a "development language". This imparts extra weight in MS' considerations of its (VFP's) future. The VFP "community" may be relatively small but the developer base is much larger and, most importantly, the user base is very much larger than that!

As long as MS needs to (at least) support VFP on future Windows releases they will have to keep some staff knowledgeable of VFP's innards, and this being the case there is no value in just having them sit around awaiting new input for revisions from the Windows OS developers. So they still have good and sensible reason to continue to add features to VFP, if only to keep the assigned development staff fully cognizant with the product's internals.
In addition there is still the major unknown - how well will .NET be adopted by the huge base running business-critical applications in today's environment. Y2K showed us all just how long applications can last. We know that our little piece of this huge installed base still has lots of FPD/FPW applications returning good value to their users! .NET remains a far-from-certain success, and this is yet another reaon why MS is smart to continue development of VFP. It is a decent hedge against a less than anticipated adoption rate for .NET and the MS VFP Team can continue to implement features that ease 'migration' to other expensive MS software like SQL Server and even towards .NET. In addition, VFP is a helpful assist in keeping Linux at bay. Too heavy pushing by MS towards .NET could be a turn-off to many managers, mitigating earlier consideration of Linux than might otherwise be contemplated. By retaining/growing a viable alternative in the form of VFP (with or without SQL) there is more of a chance that they will consider remaining in the MS fold. And expanding VFP's feature set to include many of the features available in competing products they can make it even more attractive. Especially when products like Delphi have Linux "equivalents".
All in all I see a period longer than a decade before we should really have to worry about the future of VFP. -- Jim Nelson
I think you're missing that being a development language in no way guarentees the product a future - I'd point to Visual J++ as an example. I think that we're in a much better position to survive, even as a legacy product, with a scalable, non-emulator-dependent codebase that has strong hooks to the operating environment (a la .Net) through something like a clearly-defined InterOp layer. If we have that, as long as our apps can keep playing in the sandbox, we really don't care that there are not new versions of VFP emerging. I've played with too many languages that are no longer 'in vogue' or deployable to be willing to slit my throat because VFP might go away in a couple of years -- Ed Rauh

I hope you don't mind, Ed, but I relocated yours so as to not break mine into two pieces. -- Jim Nelson
It seems that in Long Horn, the filing system will BE a database... however, it's not clear what kind of access will be given to that database: VFP's strength is in data access, not necessarily in data storage (since the DBF format has always been subject to corruption), so if it can access the Long Horn database directly, that would be great, and would leverage VFP's strong points. - ?wgcs

Here are some of my thoughts/speculations about Long Horn (correct me where you know better):

Long Horn integrates the database (Sql Server) with the Filing system results in:
1) The filing system will be able to be addressed through standard system calls (for backward compatibility) so that nothing precludes VFP's storing DBF files inside the OS filing system.
2) VFP will probably be able to address the system database (filing system) in a similar way as it can now address Sql Server databases.
3) No more Missing MDAC/DAO, etc, that has to be installed with an app to get to a "standard" database... it's in the OS.
4) The registry (which is just a database) will be able to "go away"... or, rather, just use the system database, much like the "Favorites" database and "Start Menu" simply are stored as shortcut files in a hierarchy of directories (folders).
5) Relational Database rules might make it possible to create "links" under Long Horn much like symbolic links in UnIx.
6) (Most Important): Just because the filing system is a database, doesn't mean you don't need a development environment to access the database: VFP isn't "just another language"... it's a data-centric language; If VFP were to natively access the Long Horn database, more power to it: It wouldn't need the DAO/ADO/MDAC crutch objects that VisualC and Visual Basic use to get to data.
An Alpha preview of Long Horn, here: -- Esparta Palma
Originator: Fernando Alvares (2002.09.04 )
Category Windows OS
( Topic last updated: 2003.04.17 04:23:33 PM )