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Mas FoxPro (More FoxPro) campaign (in English)

March 22th, 2007: This page is opened upon an idea from the Visual FoxPro Spanish community, to start a campaign to ask Microsoft to continue with the Visual FoxPro development, release the full source code as Open Source or make an agreement with a 3rd party for development of future versions of VFP.

This campaign belongs to the community; Portal Fox and their MVPs act as a vehicle (hosting) for the campaign.

We invite to all communities from any country, users and customers using Visual FoxPro to support the campaign. Spread the word! This is the key to have any possibility of success

Remember that you must register for adding any comment (a special signup page is being developed to allow everyone to sign the petition, even if they are not registered in the Wiki). Portal Fox guarantees that your email address will not be shared with anyone, but remember to use a secondary email address, cause other Wiki users can send you emails via a form in this Wiki.

Join Mas FoxPro campaign: http://www.masfoxpro.com

Sign petition: http://www.masfoxpro.com/Especial:Firmas

Campaña Mas FoxPro (in Spanish)

A petición de la comunidad hispana de Visual FoxPro, abrimos esta campaña, el 22 de Marzo de 2007, para pedir a Microsoft que continue con el desarrollo de Visual FoxPro, que liberen el codigo fuente completo en Open Source o que hagan un acuerdo con una tercera parte, para que esta siga con el desarrollo de Visual FoxPro.

Esta campaña pertenece a la comunidad, Portal Fox y sus MPVs actuan como vehiculo (hosting) para que la comunidad se pueda expresar.

Invitamos a cualquier comunidad de otros paises, idiomas, usuarios, clientes vuestros que utilicen Visual FoxPro, etc ... a que apoyen la campaña. Corre la voz! esta es la clave para que pueda a llegar a tener éxito.

Unete a la campaña Mas FoxPro: http://www.masfoxpro.com

Recogida de firmas: http://www.masfoxpro.com/Especial:Firmas

99.00 dollar special upgrade pricing to DBASE. http://www.dbase.com/FoxProUpgrade.asp

I pulled this from craig's blog. I was not aware this existed. Interesting if this NDA includes signing a petition. - Mark

As an MVP, I was required to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and can't talk about many things Microsoft tells me. If an MVP breaks that NDA, then he should be dropped from the program.

No, there's nothing about a petition in the NDA. It just states that the signer isn't allowed to disclose anything that's stated to be bound by the NDA. For example, at the MVP Summit, MS usually shows upcoming technology and we're not allowed to disclose that information for obvious reasons. -- Doug Hennig

For years we knew FoxPro was someday going to be put to rest, that day has come. We are being misled by Microsoft and the Roadmap leads to no where. Microsoft’s goal is a subscription based publisher model and weaving development tools (.NET) into their server operating systems. Microsoft’s decision is purely financial and borderline monopolistic.

The arrogant comments of Griver and Somasegar implying VFP developers are not intelligent enough to maintain an open source VFP in conjunction with too lazy to learn a new programming language are quite disturbing.

Unfortunately this issue has segregated the VFP community. The elitist in the VFP community are not going to sign the petition out of loyalty to Microsoft, Griver and Levy. It is a pathetic, futile, waste of time attempting to convince these individuals to sign the petition their position and silence speaks volumes.

The elitist are applying a wicked double standard with no desire to effect their standing with Microsoft while simultaneously making minimal effort, mainly by blogging, in a smoke and mirror attempt to give the impression of supporting the VFP community. Their motive for propagating Microsoft’s spin, a vested interest in maintaining a customer base to sell VFP services and add-on tools.

The petition is the only instrument available to attempt to persuade Microsoft to take action, it is a worth while cause. Spend your time more productively contacting your clients and developers to add signatures to the petition instead of wasting your time debating the elitist and feeding their egos, they deserve nothing less then the same silence and contempt they are showing the VFP community. Despite their historical accomplishments, now is the time when their support and loyalty to the VFP community matters most, make no mistake about with whom they stand.

It has nothing to do with loyalty to Microsoft, any double standard, any hidden agenda, or any other conspiracy theory. I suggest you read http://doughennig.blogspot.com/2007/04/why-i-havent-signed.html for my reasons and http://rickschummer.com/blog/2007/04/masfoxpro-petitionah-letter-to.html for Rick Schummer's. -- Doug Hennig

Why don't you let us know who YOU are? Personally attacking YAG, Ken and whoever else does not wish to sign is not accomplishing anything. Attack Microsoft if you must, I think there is probably much justification there. But these guys have done more than anyone to get VFP where it is today and I'm sure it was not their idea to end it, but rather a business decision by Microsoft.

I'm a rebel and I signed the petition, but I also understand if someone chooses not to, whatever their reasons are, that's their choice. Attacking someone is not a good way to change their mind. That said, there may be some other ways to get something done. I'm not normally a litigious type, but my father was a leader in a major labor union and I learned there are many ways to get a big corporation's attention. Perhaps several U.S. state attorney generals and governors would be interested in our cause.

Anyone thought to write a letter to their state reps explaining the economic hardship this action by Microsoft is causing? Trust me, if a politician or lawyer decides there is a class-action or some type of injunction that could be filed, it will surely get Microsoft's attention. They are a big corporation and they can handle it.

But let's stop attacking the individuals who I know are good people of integrity just trying to earn a living like we are. Get a little more creative if you are passionate about this. Emotional reactions are for children. -- Randy Jean

http://visualbasic.about.com/od/imhoinmyhumbleopinion/a/BradJSueMS.htm

Randy, What are your thoughts on getting the organizers of the VB petition to join the VFP effort. I think MSFT screwed us a bit worse then them however at least VB.NET exists. If someone could post a document I will be game to send it along with the petitions. I asked people to stop flaming and that did no good. I think alot of us are let down by the lack of interest in the petition by the well respected members of the VFP community and further comment on my part would be repetitive my opinions are known. - Mark

I say it's worth a shot, especially if we're talking a class action. The bigger the class, the better. It would be good if we can find a good software attorney that may be looking to make a name and would be willing to do some pro-bono work. Do a Google search for "Microsoft Class Action Lawsuit". There may be other class filings that are similar enough we could join with them. Maybe we should take this over to the Mas FoxPro wiki. -- Randy Jean

Hey Randy yeah I googled it. Everyone is suing Microsoft it brought back 1.2 million results, They are being sued for everything. I will look around and if I found something interesting I will post a link. - Mark

Hi, I don't know too much regarding laws and less specially in the US laws. If anyone knows this and proposes a plan we will study it for sure. Contact with managers at masfoxpro dot com Pablo Roca


To everyone who stated the petition effort is a waste of time please review the following article regarding the effects of the VB petition.

http://news.com.com/Microsoft+walks+VB+tight+rope/2100-1007_3-5620821.html?tag=st.prev

Below is the web address to the VB petition which contains links to other articles.

http://classicvb.org/


Does anyone know what large companies MSFT talked to as indicated in the article found on Computerworld?

"As far as forming a partnership with a third party is concerned, we’ve heard from a number of large FoxPro customers that this would make it impossible for them to continue to use FoxPro since it would no longer be from an approved vendor.

Secondily based on how FoxPro is licensed what difference does it make, I get VFP through my MSDN subscription.

- Mark

SIGNATURES ON PETITION (in English)

Interesting Post Found on Tek Tips thought I would share it with you guys...

Imaginecorp (IS/IT--Management) 16 Mar 07 21:05

I have been reading most of the “Blogs” from these VFP “Experts”, MVPs etc, telling us little children not to worry, comparisons with Word… Good God!
Are these guys for real? Are they even connected to the real world? Have they ever walked the streets selling a product? I don’t think so. Apart from Rick’s West Wind, what have they done? Writing useless frameworks that the naive buy, or books that clearly plagiarize VFP help, but with cutesy titles, or speaking at conventions does not qualify in my book. Sorry. I am just pissed… Though I expected this, was hoping with the user base, Microsoft would not pull the plug…

These guys are MSFT cheerleaders they are not going to bite the hand that feeds them.

What a bunch of crap! This was my response to that message on Tek Tips:

"I've been developing and selling vertical market applications since 1988. When I speak at a conference, I talk to dozens of other developers about their experiences and plans for the future. Every single day, by phone and email, I communicate with developers at other companies. Does this qualify me to be "connected to the real world"?"

Dude, personally attacking people is not cool. I'm pissed, too, but you're just ranting and not making any sense. I personally take offense to "Writing useless frameworks that the naive buy". I would hold up my apps developed with my commercial framework of choice (VFE) against any VFP or non-VFP app out there trying to do the same thing and do not consider myself naive. Also, Doug created DBCX and SDT. Hardly useless. And frankly, I've never heard of you. And who the heck puts a 1mb bitmap image on their home page? http://www.imaginecorp.com - Wow! -- Randy Jean

Clearly, Imaginecorp (whoever that is) is spewing without knowing what he's talking about. I know most of the MVPs very well and believe me, none of us are Microsoft cheerleaders. Our blog comments are based on reality. You can either piss and moan about things you have no control over or you can move on and make the best of our situation. I choose to do the latter. -- Doug Hennig


Pablo, Doug and Mark. My 2 cents for what it is worth is I don’t understand why MSFT could not provide an interpreter as part of Sedna that takes VFP code and generates C# code and winforms. I would not even care if the reports didn’t get converted as part of the migration crystal provides a good alternative. It seems like that would solve this problem. The VFP core would no longer have to be modified and VFP would become a static development environment. If people wanted to use the VFP IDE and language they would have that option or we would have the option to run through the migration tool then maintain the application in .NET. It seems like that would be more then an acceptable solution if MSFT would create the shell for this tool then release the source on Codeplex I think the VFP community could maintain this. Would this be technically feasible?

I like the idea. Without giving this much thought it seems like it "might" be doable but someone would have to be well rounded in both C# and VFP to pull this off. There are definitely issues that would need to be addressed I think the SQL implementation would be tricky since VFP supports different SQL standards (i.e. SET ENGINEBEHAVIOR) that are not backward compatible with SQL Server's standard. There are other people on here more qualified then I am that can comment on this. Perhaps Doug has an opinion and take a break from debating the petition *smile*. - Mark

It's not impossible, but this could be not easy to achieve without the FoxPro source code. There are many things to deal with (data access is just one of them). IF there were a path also a budget would be needed, so this is quite difficult to do. The etecnologia guys are in this swing and doing good things. Pablo Roca


I'm not affilated with Imaginecorp see post below..

Doug, it is not pissing and moaning, it is about being pissed, Microsoft basically jacked the VFP community by dropping a product, without a suitable data centric replacement tool or upgrade path. I don't think imaginecorp is that far off base. .NET clearly is not a suitable replacement tool for FoxPro. Orcas and LINQ is far from ready for prime time, perhaps you can review Rick's blog. Besides the fact it is not DATA-CENTRIC, and wont be for the foreseeable future if ever! Microsoft is simply trying to force us into the .NET world which is a terrible choice for NON-Internet LAN based applications development and is even worse of a development tool for Vertical Market Applications, have you ever to tried to get that platform to run on non bleeding edge hardware?!?!?! With all due respect Doug, (and you are one of the MVPs I did have respect for prior to this) It is nonsensical BS when the only negative you can find is breaking up the FoxPro team and your friends! It gives an impression you are only interested in protecting your best interest as a "Consultant working for Microsoft" so you can continue to make boat loads of money from Microsoft. Did YAG call you guys and ask you to defend MSFT's spin? You have made a ton of money from the VFP community and this is how you repay us by not even signing a petition. It would have been better for you to say nothing at all then insult us. We all know the petition wont do anything but we least the true "VFP Community" is sticking together in expressing our disapproval with Microsoft's decision. I seriously hope dBase capitalizes on the situation and gets their act together as that is the closest development tool replacement for FoxPro that is currently available.

Mark

First of all, Mark, I'm not happy about this announcement either. No where did I ever say I was. However, my feelings haven't changed. MS made a business decision based on many factors, including declining sales. IMO, the decision was made several years ago, although they didn't officially announce it until now. It's their product; they're entitled to do what they want with it. They don't owe us anything beyond what they've promised (technical support, critical fixes, etc.). Nor do we owe them anything.

Second, I'm sorry if you or anyone else feel I've insulted you. That wasn't my intent. I was pissed off at Imaginecorp because he directly attacked my credibility (since I'm the one who made the comparison to Word, he was referring to me). He made statements implying I and others have been ripping off the VFP community. That's what my "bunch of crap" comment was about. It wasn't about someone's right to be pissed off or feel abandoned.

Third, I haven't been silent on this. I've blogged about it and discussed it with others on the Universal Thread and many, many private conversations. As I said, I'm not happy about the announcement, but wasn't surprised by it since MS essentially gave us the bad news two years ago in the VFP Road Map. But it doesn't make any sense to me to hang my head and cry or jump up and down screaming at the world. It won't make me feel any better, it won't change MS's mind, and it takes away time and energy from productive work. That's the reason I haven't signed the petition; it's a well-meaning but futile effort. It has nothing to do about not speaking out against MS. I consider myself to be a positive, forward-thinking person. I'd rather focus my efforts on my business, my friends, and my family and try to make the best of the situation than concentrating on things that I have no control over.

Fourth, "you are only interested in protecting your best interest as a "Consultant working for Microsoft" so you can continue to make boat loads of money from Microsoft" is a pretty insulting comment. How can I continue to do work for MS when the product I worked on isn't being continued? Believe me, this affects my revenue stream as much as it does yours, maybe even more so. "Did YAG call you guys and ask you to defend MSFT'S spin?" Absolutely not. If you know Alan, you'd know he has a lot more integrity than that. I was hoping you'd think I did too, but apparently not. My blog comment was intended to calm folks down and see the reality. The sky is NOT falling. I'll continue to use VFP for at least 10 more years. You'll notice that no where have I said I'm moving to .NET and so should everyone else. I'm sticking with VFP until the end. I'll continue to write articles, blog about it, and help other members in the community as long as there is a community.

Finally, I respect your and everyone else's opinion about MS's decision and the future of VFP. You have every right to be pissed off, sign petitions, and continue discussing this issue. I simply wish that you'd respect my opinion that the world is not coming to an end and that I'd rather write code than wring my hands. -- Doug Hennig

Doug I understand exactly what you are saying and I agree with most of it. I chose to sign the petition because 1) it only took 5 minutes and 2) it may or may not have an effect on what happens next. I don't hold anyone's decision to sign or not as any indication of their integrity in any way and I think that doing that is a juvenile reaction to a person's right to decide what they sign or don't sign. I can also say that never has anyone at MSFT ever asked me to put forth any opinion or position on any issue in any way, not Alan, Ken, or anyone else. Their integrity is much better than that and I think they know that it wouldn't do them any good anyway. -- Jim BoothOffsite link to http://www.jamesbooth.com

Well the petition is not about crying, moaning or screaming, also don't want to give the impression that this is the end of the world. As I said in other places over internet the sky is not falling, the clouds are disappearing and the sun (no no that Sun) is giving a new point of view to FoxPro developers to choose another alternatives, to look over cross-platform and other things we missed. Microsoft have his rights for do want they want. Also we (the customers) the same, and we have the right to not trust more in Microsoft. Maybe futile, maybe Microsoft will not change his mind ... but for me for sure it makes me feel better supporting the community. I owe this to my peers. Jim 5 minutes? hecks too much. Pablo Roca

Pablo that is why I am here as well. I felt an obligation to support your effort and the VFP community. - Mark

Doug,

I want to thank you for your time to engage in this debate, instead of remaining silent like so many others. Just to make sure there is no confusion this is not a personal attack and in no way am I questioning your software development skills they are top notch.

Now having said that:

Of course, everyone has their right to their opinion and to sign or not. But based on the post above and reading through some of the links, it appears the VB petition was able to get some things accomplished so perhaps this petition may do some good. However after reading Gonzo’s blog which indicated Ken "enlisted" members of the VFP community to support sedan it appears that something else is going on here especially given that the majority of the people who are closest to the VFP team, YAG and Ken have not stepped up to sign this petition. If you put yourself in our shoes as an outsider even if that is not the case it definitely looks that way.

Perhaps someone can contact Ken, Gonzo or Randy who apparently have knowledge on the subject to clarify GONZO'S blog entry for us until that time we have to take it at face value. Here is the link again and people can draw their own conclusions.

http://gonzmax.blogspot.com/2007/03/eschatology-of-visual-foxpro.html

No one should take seriously the notion VFP can be used for the next 10 years unless they are planning on remaining frozen on the current hardware, operating systems and version of office (if the application utilizes automation). This is based on the following and please corrects me if I’m wrong.

1) Fox for DOS had issues with clock speed (which MSFT did fix)
2) Fox for DOS has problems printing on the XP environment
3) Early Versions of VFP did not support the ISIMPLEFRAME interface and I believe it was in VFP 6 this was finally corrected.
4) VFP 9 SP1 has problems with new excel file formats.

1,2,3 all required core fixes in order to correct which is what MSFT stated it is not going to do with VFP 9 going forward. Given the changes in .NET, Vista and (64-bit operating systems) and how quickly they are occurring, I assume it will be sooner rather then later before VFP begins to lose compatibility with the new platforms and applications.

I do agree with you MSFT has a right to do whatever they want with VFP however I feel equally they have an obligation to their customer base to provide a reasonable upgrade path so we can continue to support our customers and this is totally where my frustrations lie. MSFT failed to do so.
Further they give the impression on the FoxPro Website the .NET somehow is a migration path and this is not the case for most applications.

"We have provided some guidance and will likely develop more, to help you migrate to.NET. The .NET for Visual FoxPro section on MSDN has several useful links. (http://msdn2.microsoft.com/vfoxpro/bb190277.aspx). Feel free to send me email about your migration questions. I am happy to help."

In closing I found an interesting article from info week or bit wise I wish I would have saved the link. If I find it again I will post it. It implied MSFT’S real objective is to tie application development tools [.NET] to their operating systems and especially their servers and implement a publisher base pricing model. Besides increasing revenues this will keep MSFT customers from moving to other platforms and continuing to upgrade their platforms. MSFT could not accomplish this goal as long as tools such as VB6 and FoxPro existed. MSFT decision has nothing to do with 64-bit environment. It is solely about forcing companies to use their tools and operating systems.

Mark

Mark, I'm not disagreeing with most of the points in this debate except the need to sign the petition. I agree VFP is the best development platform for desktop database applications. I agree that we as a community are frustrated that MS isn't continuing development of it. I just disagree that anyone should be forced into signing something they don't believe will have any impact. I think others should sign it if they feel so inclined; they have every right to do so. I just don't understand the attitude that somehow by not signing it, I'm not supporting the community. Doesn't writing more than 100 articles over 10 years, presenting more than 200 sessions at conferences and user groups, writing blog entries describing how to do some complex things in VFP, being a co-administrator and a project leader for VFPX, and spending thousands of hours online helping other developers show that I support our community as much as anyone else? Putting my name on a list somewhere is somehow more important than all of that? Would it make you feel better if I signed it knowing that I thought it was futile? Do my opinion and my sticking to my principles (not putting my name to something I don't believe in) not count?

Tell you what: I consider myself to be an open-minded person. If someone can give me a convincing argument about why I should sign the petition, I'll do so. "It can't hurt" isn't a convincing argument. In fact, I'd argue that this petition has done more harm than good for our community, since some people now have an us (the signers) against them (non-signers) attitude and are looking for conspiracy reasons why someone won't sign (see the "you must have an agenda" comment below). "It'll show you support the community" is also not a convincing argument. As I mentioned above, I think the things I've done over the past 15 years and continue to do speak more loudly than putting my name on a list. In fact, to give more people than just reading those this topic to try to convince me, I'll post this on my blog (http://doughennig.blogspot.com/2007/04/why-i-havent-signed.html ). -- Doug Hennig


Doug,

Most of us are frustrated because individually we have no pull with MSFT, we do not even have access to anyone at MSFT who does. I highly doubt someone would read my blog :) ... At least you and other MVPS have that access to an extent to MSFT.

Without a petition or outcry from the VFP community do you have another alternative to influence Microsoft to do something to assist the VFP community? I can ask you the same question I'm yet to hear a compelling reason not to sign. Ok if signing does no good what have we lost?
Unless someone can foresee the future who knows if it will or will not. I know for a fact doing nothing will yield no results.

The only evidence I can offer for signing the petition other then opinions previously stated is based on an article linked above and the results generate by the VB petition which no one can deny it did have a limited effect.

1) It generates press, most of the articles that discuss the demise of VB also talk about the petition. The press will probably have more effect on Microsoft then the petition itself to get Microsoft to openly discuss this matter and take some action.
2) The VB petition and campaign, influenced MSFT to make programming changes to VB.NET to make it more developer friendly for the VB community without it more then likely MSFT would not have done anything.
3) MSFT finally gave a detailed technical explanation of why VB could not be ported into .NET which is more then what we are getting from YAG and [Milind] LELE.

What is the alternative to let MSFT off the hook, kill VFP and everyone goes on about their lives. Our customers get stuck in a hardware software configuration they can not escape from without an expensive rewrite and seat licensing for SQL? No the sky is not falling but MSFT is costing us a lot of time money and we have ever right to be pissed about it. Doing nothing and being silent and letting this blow over is exactly what Microsoft's wants. Well folks you can do that it you want. But I commend the people who started this petition and I'm going to stick with them, the only disadvantage is it is splitting the VFP community but without fox is there really a community left at all anyways?

Doug I once again want to state I appreciate the time you are spending on this topic with me. I'm not beating you up at all. However getting the name of yourself, Rick, Steve etc on this thing would carry alot more weight then mine. As you guys have influence over the VFP community.
By not signing Doug to be frank others that might be undecided may follow your lead and view this as a waste of time as well which obviously I dont believe it is regardless of the outcome.

On a side note flaming others on here is not productive, I encourage everyone to voice their opinion but be respectful. Doug is correct he has done alot for the VFP community and his opinions should be valued regardless if we agree with them.

Mark


Doug, anything that could potentially move the language forward should be reason enough. Why is that not good enough for you? It would have probably been better if you had kept silent on the subject instead of offering up such flimsy excuses - you're embarassing yourself. Your argument is also flimsy. Should we not vote in the general elections because we think it will do no good? Apathy is a ridiculous excuse for inaction.

The embarrassment should be for those people who want to force their views down someone else's throat and then claim conspiracy when their efforts fail. Also, it should be embarrassing for someone to make such rude comments anonymously; at least have the courage to sign your name. However, I haven't completely discarded the idea of signing; please see http://doughennig.blogspot.com/2007/04/why-i-havent-signed.html. -- Doug Hennig

Signing the petition -- whether it accomplishes something or not -- can be seen as a good gesture of solidarity. I'm not so sure that 'not signing' the petition should be taken as the opposite!


Signing the petition - I agree with Mark and others on here, members of the Fox community need to sign. There are no excuses unless an agenda exists. We supported them, they can sign if only in a symbolic show of support.

Here is Soma's email address somase@microsoft.com


Randy I'm not affiliated to Imaginecorp. I do not even know who they are. My original post is below it was not attacking anyone just mainly voicing frustration with MSFT and supporting the petition and curious why some people aren't. - Mark


There are a lot of VFP developers and companies mostly small and medium size
businesses that are going to be adversely effected in the coming years.
I'm outraged by the lack of an explanation given by Microsoft with regards
to this decision. I expected, and the FoxPro community as a whole deserved,
a lot more from Ken and YAG. I invested (or should I say wasted) a lot of time
and money in VFP and so have my clients.

Moreover Microsoft is not providing any meaningful upgrade path. .NET is not
data centric and is nowhere near as stable as VFP despite the nonsensical HYPE
about this development platform not too mention it's high cost of ownership.
They try to spin LINQ and make it sound like the next best thing when FoxPro
has been performing the same basic task since FoxPro for DOS.

After reviewing the signatures on the petition I find it interesting that many of the
conference speakers and foxpro "GURUS" have not signed the petition and have not publicly
expressed their frustration with Microsoft OR with the fact [Milind] Lele does not [have] a background in VFP.

What is the reason behind the silence on this topic ?

Mark Gordon (Uniontown PA)

Mark: there is no "silence", at least on the part of many of the MVPs that were present at the announcement meeting. Many of us, myself included, blogged about it. Read Doug Hennig's comments above as he stated it much better than I. This is not news. We had been told two years ago in the VFP Roadmap. The decision came as no surprise. I do not personally like it or agree with it but it is Microsoft's business decision and it was not a secret to the community for a long time now. You are entitled to your opinion, and everybody that is welcome to sign the petition. Just don't put words in my or other attendees mouths. -- Alex Feldstein

Alex - I'm not try to put words in anyone's mouth. Writing a blog, which will not go to Microsoft and signing a petition which I assume will go to Microsoft are two entirely different things. I appreciate the time people are spending blogging but then to not sign the petition sends mixed signals as to what is really going on. Especially in the context of the core group of names that are missing and the excuses as to why (Pablo listed below). At least if you are not going to sign be straight and state I don't want to rock the boat with Microsoft. I could respect that. With regards to the Roadmap, VFP's death is not a surprise MSFT's handling of it is. I assumed MSFT would have created a reasonable upgrade path into .NET or some other technology and then issue a press release. Not just kill a product and say too bad. To top it all off a MSFT VP SOMA made a comment to the effect we don't want to learn another language give me a break. All we are asking for is a reasonable alternative. As many people disagree with me, it is interesting that no-one so far has come to MSFT defense in this thread that .NET is a reasonable migration path. Apparently my comments on that topic are not too far off base. - Mark

Alex, you and many others keep saying it was not a secret and well known to the community. I take issue with this. Up until March 13, 2007, the roadmap NEVER said there would definitely NOT be any future versions or that the final end of VFP core support/development was at hand. Sure, there was lots of rumor and conjecture since they were not committing, but we hadn't had a real commitment on Fox from Microsoft since they purchased Fox Software in 1992 and we had weathered the rumors before. "Top Microsoft executives have already seen the Visual FoxPro Roadmap details, and the Visual FoxPro team has already started working on enhancing Visual FoxPro beyond version 9.0" - this is from the Roadmap FAQ. Was this just a lie? I find it interesting that they completely obliterated the previous VFP Roadmap page with the recent update and the announcement so it cannot be shown that we were being strung along up to this point. Read Ken Levy's blog archive for the past couple of years. Stories like "Bill Gates shown VFP award winning application", etc., etc. The past 2 years, in my mind, seemed like momentum was building for VFP to be continued indefinitely by Microsoft. So, I'm sorry, but I didn't get the memo and thinking back, I guess I was somewhat surprised, regardless of what my blog says :). Was I just being overly optimistic by reading all the MVP blogs that the future was bright? Again, I know VFP will continue to work - but we're trying to sell a vertical app that we just finished a year ago!! How well do you think that's going to go over if they find out it's written in VFP? You see, there are more than just one type of app or business model using VFP. Just because it may not have an immediate impact on your bottom line doesn't mean it i the same for everyone. -- Randy Jean

Randy, you've got a point in the vertical market app issue. It is true that it affects different people in different ways. No, the Roadmap did not say explicitly it was pointing to the end of the road and it did not give a date. But it was also clear that it would not "be continued indefinitely". I don't work for Microsoft so I can't tell you what and when it was decided. I personnally believe that the date was not set at the time of the Roadmap. I think they (upper management) did not know when. But it was kind of clear to me that there would not be anything much more substantial coming after V9.0. Maybe it was not clear to the community at large but it should have been. Some people mentioned it and I even remember a post from Craig Berntson at the time saying so. Do I like it? No. I don't like it and I don't defend Microsoft but I understand their decision from a business point of view. There's nothing I can do to change their minds. I think the community did do great wonders to change their minds more than once, but I feel there's not a repeat this time. I'm sorry to say that and I wish it was different. -- Alex Feldstein

Alex, I read through the roadmap again not sure where you derieved this from "But it was also clear that it would not "be continued indefinitely". Are you speaking in general terms. If so I suppose that statement holds true right now for C#, VB.NET ETC. If you read through the roadmap wiki page randy pulled up especially craig boyds blurbs a lot of developers did not connect the dots to foxpro's demise based on the roadmap. If people dont sign the petition and speak up I can assure you that MSFT will not do anything. -Mark

This just in: Microsoft will not continue .NET platform indefinitely.... stay tuned....


The following better known FoxPro developers are supporting the petition.
Randy Brown (Former VFP program manager)
Tamar E. Granor
Marcia G Akins
Andrew Kramek
Jim Booth
Carl J Warner [Yes, I support the petition as far as MS continuing further development.]
Thank you for your support !

I am disappointed that far more haven't signed the petition. What are their excuses or reasons for not doing so?

I assume because they are friends of YAG and Ken Levy and don't want to jeopardize their relationship with M$FT.
As much as the Fox community knows of YAG and Ken, they are not irreplaceable or untouchable gods at MS.
Agreed, but they do have influence over the big names in the VFP community to assist with damage control over MSFT'S VFP announcement. http://gonzmax.blogspot.com/2007/03/eschatology-of-visual-foxpro.html. The following is an excerpt from the that web page.
[Damage control? The bird is deceased.]

"Once VFP 9 was released, the Team went into a sort-of caretaker mode with Ken enlisting some community members to support Sedna. "

It is not that far of a reach to assume the same thing occurred when the End Of Life announcement was made. This does lend some
credibility to the suggestion Doug and the rest are either being silent or in cheerleader mode.

Skeleton crew mode may be in effect now-- blurb from a web site forum 04/25/2007:
MS has replied to two bug reports as "resolved" with "won't fix" as status. Is this the kind of support we are going to get till 2015???
The following quotation is part of a message from Randy Brown (former VFP program manager) on the UT (Message-ID 1206802 from 21/03/2007):

“In the past, there have been numerous efforts to kill Visual FoxPro. And this is not just internal to Microsoft. I can recall discussions with prominent 3rd party VFP developers encouraging us to kill the product so that they might benefit (via .NET training, conversion tools, frameworks, etc.) from the exodus of VFP developers over to .NET products.”

I think, that is the main reason. There are too much, who will benefit from the new situation.

Rolf Otto
Well really many FoxPro big guys are missed. I don't say the word guru cause I hate it. Anyway you can count at least 19 MVPs there.

Two MVPs created it (Luis Maria Guayan and myself).

So not all the MVPs are in the cheerleader way. I don't understand that a FoxPro MVP or a well known developer won't support this campaign or other, but no one is obliged to do. So is his choice.

Agreed with Mark when he says "it is not pissing and moaning, it is about being pissed". Also is not a battle against nobody .. is in favour of FoxPro and the community.

As for reasons for this well know guys. I heard/read from them this:

- I'm not going to waste time in signing this. (Wasting time? 60 seconds? hecks) Correction: I see this as a waste of time

- I must to choose what battles I pick. (This is not a battle)

- I'm not signing (no reasons given and not asked)

- silence

- I do not think that there is any value in such kind of activity. But as it is a community effort the XXX user group will support this campaign for sure. (This guy didn't signed but also didn't critised the campaign in public, and posted an announcement regarding the campaign at his users group)

Pablo Roca

I have to comment on one of these reasons. The waste of time comment was mine. I did not say "I'm not going to waste time on this". I said "I'm not signing it because I understand the reasons, although I may not agree with them, and I see this as a waste of time."

I am not arguing against anybody signing. I don't see it accomplishes anything as it will not change Microsoft's decision. Note that the wording I used is different than what Pablo understood. It is certainly a communication issue in English so I understand what he got out of it, but I think my meaning is clear on my wording. -- Alex Feldstein

Ok understood Alex. Anyhow I'm not agreeing with you. I think that supporting our peers is never a waste of time. Pablo Roca

Alex thanks for talking the time to respond, if you would please enlighten us on the reasons. I'm sure everyone here has read the blogs and announcement letters from MSFT and for the most part we are not buying it. I think the reasons stated on the wiki make more sense then anything Microsoft has publicly said. I see no harm in signing except for an unwillingness to say anything publicly against M$FT.

The reasons have been amply explained in my blog, at the UT, and here in this thread. I don't get what you are "not buying"? Was there a sinister, ulterior motive on the part of Microsoft? Are they the "evil empire"? Please! They are a for-profit public corporation. They can and do make the business decisions they want. Some are good, some are bad. As stated before I do not like it, but it is reality so I learned to live with it. I still use VFP and will for a long ti,e. I also use other development tools and have for a while. I see that as my professional obligation to be up to date and help my clients/bosses as best as I can. Otherwise I would not be relevant in my chosen market. -- Alex Feldstein

I think the main point here is: you can agree or not with MaxFoxpro initiative; what Pablo and many of US don't understand is that you all could spend 1 min adding your signature to the petition even if you think it is pointless. The fact that most of you haven't signed means that you, as part of VFP community, don't care about what M$ did, even if they have their reasons or not. -- Victor Espina

Victor, You are entitled to your perceptions but there's no need for ad-hominem attacks. You are saying that people who decided not to sign do not care about what Microsoft did. That is simply not true. As you know, many - if not all - of the attendees to the announcement meeting have long histories in the community. Excluding Microsoft's employees there, that cannot openly comment, how do you know what was said? How do you know if questions were not asked? You had people there that have excellent credentials and standiong in the community, such as Doug Hennig, Tamar Granor, Rick Strahl, Rick Schummer, Christof Wollenhaupt, Rainer Becker and more. Do you have any idea of the criticism of Microsoft and defense of the community that went on? Have you ever heard Rainer? He can be one of the strongest critics. You did not hear the questions asked by any of them. But all of them understood the reasons and none was surprised by the announcement as it had been know since the Roadmap two years ago.

I apologize if somehow what I said was understood as any kind of attacks. What you say is true and I just wrote in Doug's blog, I'm very aware of how much Doug and many other had done in the past for VFP. I just find hard to understand why Doug and other are having so a hard time finding a good reason to sign the petition. I guess I'm kind of frustrated about that, but is not my intention INDEED to attack or misrespecto Doug or anyone else.

People have the freedom to complain. People have the choice to sign. I respect your decision to sign. Respect mine not to, on what I see as a pointless endeavor. I chose to continue doing the same as I was doing before the announcement, as I have been doing ever since the first announcement (Roadmap) two years ago. Not much has changed. -- Alex Feldstein

Alex, No we did not hear what these people had to say which is part of the problem. Nor have we heard them defending the VFP community with any passion. Being silent or not signing leaves the impression they support MSFT'S decision like you do but they will not voice an opinion. MSFT never stated that they would NOT PROVIDE any upgrade path or migration tool in their roadmap and just leave us hanging. MSFT somehow is pushing the idea the VFP'S migration path is .NET which is nonsense. If .NET is where MSFT'S wants us that is fine but at least they should provide us with some mechanism to get there. And by the way Tamar did sign.

- Mark


Pablo I commend you for your efforts.

If this isn't a battle what is, there is nothing left to fight for? Regardless of the spin or the technical realities of what Sedna is or isn't, Foxpro development was not an easy sell and now with MSFT'S press there are few companies that will allocate thousands of dollars for NEW software development into a FoxPro based solution.

I probably should not have used the title MVP and apologize to the MVPs that did sign. It is mainly the VFP TOOL developers, lectures and authors that are friends with manager's at Microsoft and could have spoke up for the FoxPro Community publicly and obviously aren't. The VFP community supported them for years by buying their books and products and they can not sign a petition, it is a disgrace.

Well, I also don't like the word battle, I prefer to choose a better possitive one. Pablo Roca

Soma Somasegar, corporate vice president of the developer unit at MS said in an interview last week: "It’s hard to hear that you have to go and learn something else."

Excuse me? Talk about disconnected from reality. Most of the Fox developers I know are well versed in several technologies and the ones that aren't would certainly be willing to learn something else! IF there was a good alternative or half-way decent migration path. And what does Soma mean by 'something else'? (hmmm...)

My 2 cents.

-- Tod Mckenna

Tod, I just read this article thanks for sharing below is the complete response to what you where referring to:

"Users don’t always welcome new tools, especially if they replace old ones. For example, there have been the petitions asking you not to retire Visual Basic 6 and, recently, Visual FoxPro. Change is always a little hard. It's hard to hear that you have to go and learn something else. Some of these transitions have been smooth, others not so smooth. We want to be mindful that when transitions occur, there is a good reason and real customer benefit to them."

IMO
1) We welcome tools that work and are suitable for the task at hand, MSFT just doesn't get it.
2) There is no benefit because there is no upgrade path
3) MSFT could not add enough substance to .NET to attract VFP developers, WHY because VFP worked so MSFT had to do something

IMO this is strictly about Money and using .NET. This JERK OFF could care less if there is not a smooth transition.

Mark

I think this quote from the CW VB 2005 article sums up things for many VFP developers:

Carl Zetie, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc., said it has proven much harder to upgrade a VB6 project to VB.Net than anticipated. "When VB.Net was first introduced, everybody focused on the skills issue. They figured the biggest barrier would be to learn the object-oriented methods," he said. "The biggest barrier turned out to be converting the applications rather than converting the programmers." Zetie said many of his clients have given up trying to migrate complex applications from VB6 to VB.Net because of the effort and risk. Instead, they maintain existing applications in Microsoft's Component Object Model (COM), do new development in .Net and interoperate between the two environments, he said.

And this was for VB applications that used roughly the same language and had migration tools. Similar tools for VFP probably wouldn't be very helpful, so I think MS considers Sedna the migration path. After the dust settles, maybe MS will make more of a marketing effort to move VFP developers to .NET, or maybe they are waiting to see what happens with community developments like VFPx. -- Joel Leach


Mark, VB6 situation is not comparable to what is happening to VFP. VB.NET allows to you to do ALL that you could do with VB6, but in a different way. The problem with VFP is that ANY of M$ develpment tools allow to do what we can do with VFP with the same level of easyness and productivity. As Tod said, many of US are "fluent" in other tools, so is no a problem of being forced to learning another thing... we ARE NOT Cobol programmers. Victor Espina
Also, for software shops like where I work, the clients usually do not have much input into the tools used as they are focused on getting a solution to their business problem, not the technical merits or longevity of the tool used. If you ask me, they (the small and medium businesses) are the ones that this is really going to cost and they really had no control over it to begin with. I love how glib people that have been able to move on can be. Maybe it's because they have no problem leaving clients and/or employers in the dust as they go on their merry way learning new tools every few months while the rest of us actually care about their clients and employers enough to want to help them save money (or get a nice big ROI) and not throw it away on the technology treadmill. It's not a matter of not being willing to learn new stuff (at least not for me). I already am and I recommend others learn as much as they can, too. But speaking for myself and my clients, I don't like seeing money wasted on complete re-engineering projects every few years just to feed the Microsoft machine, not because there is any business case for it. Code Monkey don't care about any of this stuff though. -- Randy Jean

-- UPDATED Zane G -- Mark and Tod you are exactly right! I use .NET a lot for internet development and .NET is not the best choice for a database application development environment in comparison to fox -- the reasons why .NET is not an upgrade path for VFP should be another category on the WIKI and it will be interesting to get others perspective.

Actually, it is. My points here are not to knock .NET, nor is it my intention to pick sides. I just want either (a) continued VFP development, (b) a really good and honest reason why it stopped, or (c) a decent migration path that I can use to shuffle my VFP Apps through to get them into the land of 'something else'. -Tod

-- Your {b} and {c} points is exactly what MSFT SHOULD have done, if that would have happened I would not have any issue with MSFT issuing an End Of Life for VFP.


dBI is currently discussing a migration path for Visual FoxPro Users to dBase. We are offering a special upgrade price (currently $349.00 until April 30th) to any FoxPro users that decide to switch to dBASE. If you decide to purchase, just call customer service.

dataBased Intelligence
2548 Vestal Pky East
Vestal, NY 13850
Phone: (9am-5pm EST Mon-Fri)
888-322-7332 (within the US and Canada)
607-729-0960 from everywhere
Fax: 607-729-3830
customerservice@databi.com

What the hell? Microsoft can adapt Python, another dynamic language, into .NET but it can't do it with VFP? http://www.infoworld.com/article/06/01/05/73619_HNmsadaptspython_1.html -- WTF?!?! -- Randy Jean

With the DLR (http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=404) and LINQ on the way, now would probably be the best time to reconsider putting VFP into .NET, but they still say it's too costly. I think many of us would complain that VFP.NET is not as good as native VFP anyway, which is one of the reasons it wasn't done in the first place. -- Joel Leach


With apologies to Rush:

2010

We've taken care of everything
The code you write, the servers you ping
The graphics that give pleasure to your eyes
It's one for all and all for one
We work together, common sons
Never need to wonder how or why

We are the Priests of the Temples of Redmond
Our great computers fill the hallowed halls
We are the Priests of the Temples of Redmond
All the gifts of life are held within .NET

Look around at this code we've made
Equality our stock in trade
Come and join the Brotherhood of Man
Oh, what a nice, contented world
Let the banners be unfurled
Hold the Windows proudly high in hand

We are the Priests of the Temples of Redmond
Our great computers fill the hallowed halls
We are the Priests of the Temples of Redmond
All the gifts of life are held within .NET

[2007-05-07]
Since MS bought the rights of Foxpro from Fox Technologies about 15 years ago,
MS always had the goal of take rushmore core, drop Foxpro and improve SQL Server,
i think is the largest project about software and marketing and lie people,
VB developers know now that they were one of the puppets in this "business".
What we can do now? Move on, you don't have the money , so no much to do,
i think even with the money, the community, the customers, the PCs and the servers,
MS will not change their mind. Listen!,
this is a "master" plan with 15 years of development and finally they are finishing it.
They won us and still they are earning money, we lost our prefer tool new version,
some of our projects will stop or maybe all, we don't know, it's depends of us.
What we've learned ?, don't trust MS anymore, this it's the best example of what
will happen when you trust in "License Software" and even worst, what will happen
when the software (Visual Foxpro) is good. So How many "master" plans MS would
have since years ago? only they know, after all,
"what we think, what we need, what we do, doesn't matter".
Maybe they can take the previous line as their new slogan.

By the way, i signed the letter, Though it don't have effect on MS decision,
but at least is a sign that show how they have changed the world of our community,
so i have 8 years to migrate to another platform, does anybody know about any "master"
plan of MS to bought "Linux"?, please let me know.

Victor E. Torres Tejada
vtorres@o-negocios.com


Hi All

Was the petition ever sent to Microsoft and can someone post the response...

Just as a side note:
I made the move into Visual Studio from FoxPro and despite all the spin about Visual Studio this is a pathetic bloated development environment.
In some respects FoxPro for DOS was a better platform to develop applications in. There is zero native data binding in webforms, the code generated
by VS mixes data access into the UI breaking N-TIER standards and the bottom line is LINQ is not all that it is cracked up to be. Don't believe the
hype just take your VFP application and start porting into VS and see for yourself how bad it is. The amount of extra code you end up writing is incredible.

Regards,
Mark

http://dotbloat.blogspot.com/



Given the petition drive has failed I urge everyone to file a complaint with the DOJ and the FTC regarding microsoft's decision to stop development of Visual Basic and Visual FoxPro. Please reference masfoxpro.com and classicvb.com in your complaint. Perhaps with Government Intervention we might get Microsoft's attention to this problem.

What do you mean it's failed??

---
I'm yet to see any response from Microsoft about either the VB or VFP petition, please correct me if I'm wrong. The longer this drags on and more developers make the move to .NET the less success any campaign has to persuade Microsoft to even reevaluate the VB/VFP situation. This is not an action I really want to take but I dont see any other options left. If someone has another idea other then complaining to the EU and various government agencies please post them!
---
It's up to the community to do their own thing with VFP at this point. MS is basically out of it. If nothing else, over 5000 signatures is a good sign of the solidarity of the community to move forward.

---

Without m$ft releasing the core source code not the sedna add on. It is difficult for the community to make the necessary changes to vfp that will guarantee compatiblity with future version of office and operating systems that m$ft may release. More over we will be stuck forever with the current limitations of visual foxpro.

---

Well, not entirely true. Yes, without source code things like 64 bit would be difficult or impossible to implement, but, many, many other improvements have been or will be contributed by the community. For example, probably much more important than 64 bit for applications, as far as application speed, is support for multiple cores/multiple processors. There is a vfp multi-threading class available at codeplex that allows desktop vfp to take advantage of this without touching the source code.
Also, key new features can be added via FLLs by wrapping open source libraries like cLucene full text/search and many, many others. Flls might be a key in extending many of VFP's capabilities by the Open Source community.

---

Getting around the 2 gig file size limit without changing data structures would be helpful but more importantly foxpro is already having compatibility issues with office 2007 and excel file formats depending on the formating the import command will just crash VFP. It is also a safe assumption the new sql 2008 data types will bring interesting challenges for VFP UI'S against sql server database. As Microsoft releases new products these types of problems will become more apparent and needless to say without changing the core source there will not be anyway to solve them. In my opinion incompatibilities with newer MSFT technologies will be the biggest challenge for VFP.


Does anyone know if Microsoft ever responded to the petition?

They did not and they will not. Almost all the VFP team is in others teams right now and MS is more worry with his Visual Studio 2010 than with our 5000 signatures of Mas FoxPro. We better get used to the way MS pays for loyalty.

How does dbase plus stack up to foxpro. Has any studies been done. It does seem from their website it looks like a good alternative to foxpro, especially later as fox becomes redundant in the face of os upgrades.

Gus van Diermen (http://www.vandiermen.com.au)
( Topic last updated: 2010.03.25 08:42:41 AM )