Virtual FoxFest – A New Way to Conference

If you haven’t been keeping up with the news around the Fox community, the Southwest Fox conference has gone digital now showing up as Virtual FoxFest.  At $49, it’s a steal and a great way to learn some new ideas and get inspired. While the reasoning for this change is fairly obvious with the year of COVID – for me, this is something that has been a long time coming. I appreciate many people’s needs for a physical conference but the world is very large and it’s difficult to get people from around the world into a single physical location. I recently …

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SwFox 2012 Ceil Silver Ambassador is Jun Tangunan!

Doug just noted that Jun Tangunan will be the 2012 Ceil Silver Ambassador for this year’s Southwest Fox conference. Jun blogs at sandstorm36.blogspot.ca and has some really cool ideas with his ssClasses for Visual FoxPro, some fun and some more product centred. Congrats Jun and hope to see you in October! FoxPro VFP

But should you use Google Translate for Your Software?

Doug wrote recently on using Google Translate to localize applications, giving step by step instructions on how to get translations automated from their online API. Rick Strahl had also posted about this earlier in November with ways to do this without needing the API. So we know it’s possible – the question is : should you use it? Automated translations have come a long way from years ago when you had to use either specialized CDs or babel fish. Still, the big challenge with localizing internally is ensuring your translations are accurate for its audience. Like Doug, I live in Canada …

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VFP Entity Framework 4 Provider

Tom Brothers pointed me to a new project he’s working on:  the successor to his LINQ for VFP work: an VFP entity framework 4.0 provider.  This means using the VFP OLEDB driver, you can easily access FoxPro data in VS 2010 Entity Framework solutions. The project is on Codeplex but the post noted here gives full details. Great job, Tom!

PEM Editor Video Series for VFP

If you haven’t tried out the VFPX PEM Editor, you may want to check out Jordan’s video series here. The PEM Editor replaces the Properties Window, Edit Property/Method, New Property, and New Method, and Document View tools in Visual FoxPro. Sound like a lot? There are 8 videos in all, totaling less than an hour of your viewing time. It’s this type of tool, along with the Control Renamer, FoxTabs, Tabbing Navigation, among others, that shows the need for an installer for VFP that includes these great tools that improve the VFP IDE experience. It’s something that has been brought …

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Linux ready for the desktop? Show me productivity first.

ZDNet has an article titled Linux Ready for the Desktop. While I do enjoy Ubuntu quite a bit (at least on one desktop) and I would never doubt the usefulness of Linux on a wide variety of machines, my concerns over open source systems have become more widespread with issues about forks. Linux is certainly a different scenario than MySQL but consider this – mySQL has been considered a viable alternative for commercial RDBMS’ for how long? It’s been around since 1994 but has only really become a force to reckon with in the past 10 years. Certain incarnations of …

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Dealing with Font Sizes

Andy Kramek offers some great samples of identifying how long a string can be in a particular font. This is something that every UI designer needs to consider when dealing with screen design. While many VFP developers will use FONTMETRIC and TXTWIDTH, Andy has wrapped it all into a fairly easy function to call. Check it out here FoxPro VFP

SQL: Does a Field Exist?

In the FoxPro world, checking to see if a field exists can be done a number of ways: =AFIELDS(la)IF ASCAN(la,”FIELDNAME”)>0 ENDIF or IF TYPE(“FIELDNAME”) = “U” (I’m sure there are lots of other ways especially if you’re already working with a data dictionary tool) In T-SQL, there is no real equivalent however, you can do the same by using the INFORMATION_SCHEMA table. While there is no shortage of sites on the web that will show you similar code (like this one), I wanted to post it here for any VFP devs who may be switching between DBFs and SQL. IF …

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VFPx Showcase: Control Renamer

When speaking about VFPx at last year’s Southwest Fox conference, it became evident that there aren’t a lot of avenues for finding out how to use various pieces of VFPx. So as part of the FoxShow, I’m creating videos designed to showcase VFPx components, starting with the Control Renamer. If you have ever wanted to rename a control in a class or form but were hesitant because of missing other code references, the Control Renamer is definitely a tool you want to try. Now, there are lots of areas where new options can be added into this tool – but …

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A New Year…A New Month…A New Technology…

I have (first correction – thanks Matt!) been pulling together links for a larger “start of the year” post and decided to scale it back and try something a bit different. The various sites that AKSEL manages will be going through a “re-branding” exercise in the near future but one of my goals this year is to follow Chris Brogan’s Three Words idea (Freedom. Consistency. Communication – I’m still deciding…) as well as working in some of Mark Riffey’s ideas into my weekly schedule. Rod Paddock asked “What’s in a title” – and pointed out that one thing developers can …

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