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Writing The History Of FoxPro


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FoxPro History Web Site is now in The Netherlands

Hi fellows,

I'm very happy to announce that, since dec-19-2003, The History of FoxPro web site (www.FoxProHistory.org) is being managed by our great fellow Eric den Doop, running in a server located in The Netherlands (before that, the web site was running in a server located in Brazil).

As most of you know, Eric was recently appointed as a MVP (Most Valuable Professional) for his fabulous work in the FoxPro community. He runs www.Foxite.com (The Home of The Visual FoxPro Experts) and is a well known expert in VFP. Besides Foxite, Eric attends in many developers groups and forums.

I want to thank very very much to all those people that during the two years that I run The History of FoxPro web site, since its creation in oct-16-2001, gave me fundamental help and support to make it what it is.

I want to give a special THANKS! to Lisa Slater Nicholls, that extraordinary person that I had the honor to know and that gave me advice and contribution, in such a manner I can tell that without it I'd never had achieved my goal. Thanks Lisa!

Thank you very much, each one of my fellow VFP developers, to those I had the opportunity to know and share information, to all that supported me and to all those that found information about FoxPro, geting to the web site!

As I have no words to thank everyone who contributed to The History of FoxPro web site, that's all I can say for now (I'm getting very emotive writing this words...).

I wish Eric good luck in this new enterprise and I'm sure he will give a new life to The History of FoxPro web site adding new ideas and putting his touch on it, making it much better than it is now. Thank you Eric for your kind acceptance of this duty!

Thank you all, fellows!

Fernando Alvares

PS. For future questions or contributions, please send an email to info@foxprohistory.org
[2002.02.03 11:15:09 PM GMT] For those that are following the history writing work, look at this new addition as a result of a great contribution by Walter Kennamer: "The Original Fox Development Team in Toledo". That's the kind of thing (like Walt's contribution) that really make us happy! - Fernando Alvares

[2001.12.12 11:14:09 AM GMT] I'm glad to tell you that The History of FoxPro moved to a new web site: http://www.FoxProHistory.org. Now it has its own web site entirely dedicated to it. Also think it will be easy to remember this new URL.

The old one, as a subdirectory of Black Beans (http://www.black-beans.com.br/foxprohistory), is still there, but soon we'll replace it with a "The History of FoxPro Moved to a New Web Site" page, and a link with the new URL.

Sorry for this inconvenience, but when this work started we really couldn't imagine how big it would get! And it will grow even more :-)

Thanks for your help and support! - Fernando Alvares
There is a new section, Books by Fox Version (http://www.black-beans.com.br/foxprohistory/books.htm), where all (supposed to!) FoxBase/FoxPro/VFP books are listed. If some is missing or there is wrong info, please notify me. - Fernando Alvares
The idea to have the history of FoxPro told is very old, as far as I could notice, and foalanund in many places people asking for information about it. I got curious, too, to know as much I could about it, because I am an enthusiast of FoxPro and admire all people that made it a reality and still are making it available for our great pleasure.

The idea to write this history was hammering in my mind for a while, then in Oct 16, 2001 I posted a message at UT starting a thread (#568966) that called some attention from people who gave me help and support to begin this task.

I'm not really sure how that document will evolve and what its final shape will look like. So the best way I found to start, was to seek, gather and organize all information available, contact people that were active participants in this history as to many other ones that followed the steps of FoxPro since its very beginning, asking for their help and support, meanwhile formating thats document in the best way possible.

I hope to count, as I am already counting, on help and support coming from many people of our great community, suplying me with names, dates, facts, stories, anedoctes, sources of information etc. This work is not a work I'll be doing, instead it is a collaborative work of all of us. I'm just the guy that is hearing what you have to tell me about the history of FoxPro and doing the document writing.

I hope you understand that from the beginning of this work there will be some confusion, missing or wrong information, unconnected events etc. But this is how things will look when I start to just paste information gathered into this document. Your help, besides, giving me information, can be in warning me about things not matching, giving me advice and ideas in how this work could be done etc.

You don't need to know the history of FoxPro to help me. Play the role of the "reader" willing to know the history, finding gaps that the "author" must fill in, things that deserve further detail, facts that are not mentioned, or as a "reviewer" that checks for inconsistences or inadequacies.

The working document web pages are being hosted at http://www.black-beans.com.br/foxprohistory.

I want to thank Steve for counting on his great support giving me space here at the wiki, where we'll be able to get help and support to accomplish this task, and to have access to this huge amount of information stored in the wiki. Thanks Steve! - Fernando Alvares
Comments:

[2001.10.22 02:31:35 PM GMT] It seems that by now we already have a very reasonable timeline at http://www.black-beans.com.br/foxprohistory/timelinefromthefox.htm. If you could check it for inconsistencies or missing info, and make your comments about it, would be great. - Fernando Alvares

[2001.10.22 06:44:14 PM GMT] Fernando, you have two bug fix listings for FoxPro 1.02 in 1990. Should the first one be 1.01? -- Michael Reynolds

[2001.10.22 02:31:35 PM GMT] Yes, thanks Michael, it's fixed now (just update the web pages at night: 20:00 - 22:00 USA eastern time) - Fernando Alvares

MFOXPLUS (Multiuser FoxBase) was released way before 1990, Fernando. I have a diskette copy of it from 1987 and, I believe, it was released in 1986. -- John Koziol
Thanks John, the web pages are already updated with this information. - Fernando Alvares

[2001.10.22 09:19:52 PM GMT] I'm trying to find two people (named below) to ask for their permission to let me reproduce some text they posted elsewhere, but get returned email (reason: addressee unknown), could any of you help me in contacting them ?

Alan Dechert (adechert@my-deja.com) Contacted him!
James Copeland (jkcopeland@mindspring.com)
For some info on Tom Rettig see:
http://pws.prserv.net/cf000/martin.alaskaroad.com/farewltom.htm
- Bob Ruple

Thanks Bob. Already contacted (sent an email message) people responsible for the article, asking for permission to reproduce that text in http://www.black-beans.com.br/foxprohistory/fragments.htm (Fragments of the History). - Fernando Alvares
It would be interesting to include what these founders are doing now. I'd love to hear about Dr. Dave, Wayne and Jeb sucking Margeritas in Jamaica or somewhere.
Also, the info on Wayne and Jeb and the origin is a bit vague and needs to be clarified.
Ashton was the name of George Tate's parrot. It was in his office. It was adopted by someone (I don't remember who) after George's untimely death.
Also, although the user interface of FoxPro 1.0 was adapted from the Mac, the language elements were mimics of dBase IV. FoxPro is to dBase IV as FoxBase Plus is to dBase III and Fox is to dBase II. FoxPro started to seriously diverge from the "dBase language" in version 2.6.
And, although arguments could be made for the public domain origin of dBase, the Copyright law clearly provides protection for enhancements and extensions of existing work. By the way, a similar "rumor" circulated regarding Fox. It implied that the product was developed by students using university resources, and was, therefore "public domain". I never heard any actual substantiation of that rumor. Nor did I ever hear of anyone challenging either product's copyright viability.
Ray Kirk

Thanks Ray, that's our real intention, to show even the lite side of the story < s >. We are just in the beginning of our work and a lot has to be done. I see you witnessed much of the history of dBASE and FoxPro, and your help will be very welcome. We don't even have a complete list of all people that made the history, and some bios are hard to be found. Many details, already found, are waiting for the copyrigths holders to permit them to be disclosed.

If you consider sending us list of names, references and texts you have about the history, we all will thank you very much, and they will be promptly posted.

The FoxPro timeline is in initial stage and is just showing the main events. We would like to add any further details (like patches, SPs etc) and then pick each event and detail it much more. Also want to tell about the history before the Fox, and list all xBase products that were around at that time. As you can see we just started! - Fernando Alvares
One product not mentioned was dbMan Net. It was created by Charlie Tseng of Versa Soft in San Jose. It was a dBASE III clone with several enhancements including transaction processing. Ran multi-user on MultiLink ( a multi-user overlay to DOS).

An individual not mentioned is Luis Castro. He was co-author of the famous Advanced dBASE Programmer's Guide, along with Tom Rettig and Jeb Long. Luis wrote ViewGen, a dBASE screen generator which was bought by Fox and incorporated into FoxPro 1.0 as Fox View. Later, Luis wrote Stage, a dictionary driven framework for FoxPro. A very powerful and under-appreciated framework. -- Ray Kirk

Thanks Ray. dbMan Net is now mentioned in xBase Tools - Other Tools (also Arago, dBXL, Quicksilver, Recital and VPInfo). Ray Kirk and Luis Castro are now mentioned in Those People That Made The History. Sorry for the delay. - Fernando Alvares
Thanks for including me! I don't know that I'm "worthy" of being included in such a prestigious group as I am a lowly consultant and not an actual mover/shaker. But, I guess I've been around almost as long as the oldest. It's kinda depressing to watch my peers (age wise) retire on their accomplishments while I continue to slave away. Anyway, Marty Rinehart was very active in the marketing of various products. Don't know where he is now. Last I heard (several years ago) Ed Esber had bought into Go corp. and was a high mucky muck there. Adam Greene lives in the northeast (Conn?) and I understand he retired on the big bucks he made early on. After becoming a father, he decided to get off the road. Les Pinter should also be mentioned. He has a web site and is still active. John Hawkins should be mentioned. He was editor of FPA for a long time and was active before and since. Bob Davies (president of SBT) should be included. James Buzzard (VP of IS at SBT for a time) was a brilliant programmer and contributed to the evolution as well. Nelson Tso was one of the members (if not the leader) of the programming team for dBase IV. Don't know what happened to him after the Borland acquisition. dGenerate? was one of the first dBase code generators. I had a copy, and discovered the evils of generating therewith. How about Fox Doc?, Fox Spell?, R&R?, dQuery?, Fox Fire?, Query Maker?, ViewGen?, dBrief?, dSalvage? (Paul Heiser?), Cary Prague?. -- Ray Kirk

[2001.11.08 07:51:51 AM GMT] Thank you Ray! Already included all missing people in http://www.black-beans.com.br/foxprohistory/peoplethatmadehistory.htm, now I must find information about them (!!)

What about dGenerate? Could you, please, check http://www.black-beans.com.br/foxprohistory/xbasetoolsother.htm for missing tools or information about them? - Fernando Alvares

Some more to consider:
SNAP! (by Walter Kennamer), R. Russel Freeland, then there is also Randy Wallin and Ryan Katri and their Quiet Flight macros for Brief/dBrief and later CEE. Also Pete Olympia and the IDBUG Journal. -- Alex Feldstein

[2001.11.08 07:51:51 AM GMT] Thanks Alex, same remarks as above! - Fernando Alvares

[2001.10.30 09:11:17 AM GMT] For you folks, that like to remember those old days openning a box of Fox software, browsing the manuals, installing it and starting to have a great time, please check http://www.black-beans.com.br/foxprohistory - PART III - xBase Tools That Were Part of The History - How xBase Software was Packaged. :-) Fernando Alvares

A listing of some of the advertising slogans would be great. A couple that stand out in my mind: "Nothing runs like the fox" and "Faster than DB2 on a mainframe". I glanced at the site and didn't see these, but maybe I just didn't read far enough. Great job so far!! -- Randy Jean

[2001.10.30 03:52:35 PM GMT] The gentleman who thought up the name "Ashton-Tate" was Hal Pawluk. He later worked as VP of Marketing at Fox Software.
http://www.pawluk.com/pages/about/about_pawluk2.shtml
Bob Ruple

Thanks once more Bob! Already sent an email message to him. If you could help me a bit more to complete your bio information (I just have very few words about you), it would be of great help. -- Fernando Alvares
[2001.10.31 05:50:48 AM GMT] There is a new item in the history web pages. Please check http://www.black-beans.com.br/foxprohistory - PART V - FoxPro Today - The FoxPro Community. If you have something to add to that page, you are very welcome. -- Fernando Alvares
It just keeps looking better and better. Your "History of FoxPro" is chock-full of really good reference material, nicely organized. Keep up the great work, Fernando! - mda
Help to find People's Biography:

This is a list of great people that are part of The FoxPro History, but unfortunately we are not founding concise information about them to form a bio, and place it in the web pages. If you think can help us in this task, please ammend your comments (or a whole text) or where information can be found, on the right of each name. Thank you!
Shouldn't Mike and Toni Feltman be on this list? They met working at Fox Software, isn't that just too cute! -- ?CFK

This list is not the actual list of people that are part of the history, instead is a list of people we are missing information. Mike and Tony Feltman already are in the list of the Fox Software People, wich is the actual list. - Fernando Alvares
To make it more convenient for you to see what's new or updated in The History of FoxPro web pages, please check the recent changes listing of its web pages. New pages or new items in existing pages are tagged (new), not tagged ones were just updated. -- Fernando Alvares
Robert Green is still at MS where he works on the Visual Studio product team. As of Jan 2, 2004, he handles the marketing for the Visual Studio Tools for Office.

Robert is now a Program Manager, so no marketing.
Originator: Fernando Alvares (10.18.2001)
( Topic last updated: 2007.10.04 02:09:18 PM )