Every developer has a starting point. It isn’t necessarily the first time they wrote a line of code or the first computer they worked with. Rather, it’s the first time they “got” it – the first time, they were able to put the separate pieces (the data, the code, the interface, the entire experience) together, not just for a client but for themselves as well. It’s the light-switch moment – the kindling of the passion. Some developers write code their entire life but never find a connection to data. Others become pure DBAs – they don’t write application code; but rather focus on how the database interacts with others. But most applications rely on the convergence of the two, the content and the delivery, to create the final solution.
This isn’t to say FoxPro doesn’t have its faults – but rather that its strengths revolve around the convergence of content and delivery. Years ago, that wasn’t always the case. Programmers focused on the intricacies of the code, rather than the delivery. Today, there are many other tools and frameworks, especially in the web world (Ruby on Rails and other MVC come to mind), that focus on that same convergence.
That convergence can be what separates success from failure and the tools that help ensure and promote a strong understanding and correlation between the two are usually the right tools for the job.
For me, FoxPro has focused my attention on how data works with the solution. There’s a reason why I see an application in terms of its data and how users can get to that data and turn it into valuable information. If information is currency, then understanding how data turns into information is worth its weight in gold. FoxPro’s value legacy will be in the developers who have that understanding and share it with their clients and their colleagues.