How to get features implemented into a future version of Visual FoxPro.
To maximize the probability of a getting a particular new feature, the feature requires forethought and elucidation for its business case and its benefits to the product and its effect on the positioning of VFP.
In other words, you need a Use Case for it. Why should the Fox team throw scarce resources at this?
|The least effective way of getting new features into the product is submitting just a list. At best this tends to produce the easiest, not necessarily the most important, new features.|
Here are some questions to consider answering when elucidating the feature request document:
- What other products have this feature?
- What are examples of how this feature would be beneficial? How would it make your life easier? What must you do today to achieve the same thing?
- How does this new feature help position VFP relative to its competitors and its Visual Studio siblings?
- Is this something Visual Basic needs too? In other words, does pioneering this have a collateral benefit to Visual Basic in a following version?
- Is this feature a core feature, or is it an xBase piece? If it's an xbase piece, could an outside contractor handle it?
- If this feature is a new function, what are its parameters, how would it work exactly, and what exactly would it return? How will it behave given NULL values? What new error messages might be required?
- If this new feature involves an interface, what would that interface look like exactly (mock one up), and how would it behave? Would it be modeless, modal, or would it be an adjunct to an existing interface?
- If this new feature involves run-time behavior, how would things like
HIDDEN be handled, and how would scoping behave?
- What will it take to document the new feature? Is there any implication for the Mastering Visual FoxPro CD? What other communication vehicles are likely to be required to teach developers about this, like a white paper, for example?
- What other functions are in play here, for example what would be the "See Also" functions that may need to be examined and, at very least, documentation changed?
- What are the downside risks of all this? Be forthcoming about it. What's it really worth? Might this be an Active Doc in hiding, a frivolous feature?
If you really need a feature, don't just throw it out there and hope it sticks. Consult with peers, elucidate the case for it, and present it formally. The FoxPro Wiki is an ideal place for this type of elucidation processes.
See Microsoft Feedback Center for VisualFoxPro
Contributors: Steven Black John Koziol Rhodri C Evans
Category Fox Versions, Category Vfp Wish Lists, Category Vfp Future
( Topic last updated: 2005.10.27 02:57:53 PM )