Kevin Ragsdale: Visual FoxPro 9.0

Advisor DevCon Day One Sessions

Before the Keynote, I had an opportunity to meet yag (Alan Griver), Doug Hennig, and Tamar Granor in person for the first time, and I got to see Rick Schummer again (I met Rick at Southwest Fox 2005).

What a great group of people. All of them were exactly as I expected, based on their many years of service to the FoxPro community.

After the 8:00AM keynote, it was time to get the sessions going. First up, Rick Schummer presented Get the Microsoft Visual FoxPro Professional Developer’s Toolkit. Sadly, I missed this session, because I needed some more tweak and practice time on my InfoPath session.

Later, Tamar Granor presented Best Practices for Better User Interfaces. I've never seen Tamar present, and I am pretty passionate about user interfaces, so I was excited to see this one. It was a great session, and I immediately picked up on a few ideas for improving the ways my apps interact with users.

After a bland lunch, Claudio Lassala was presenting LINQ for Visual FoxPro Developers. I haven't had my LINQ "a-ha!" moment yet, so my interest in it still isn’t very high. And I still had some more practicing to do for my session, so I headed up to my room for another walkthrough.

Next up, Doug Hennig with Develop Microsoft Visual FoxPro Applications for Windows Vista. If you've been following Doug's blog (and if you're not, you should), you know he has been working to make sure his apps work well with Vista. This was a great session, with many eye-opening tips. Very enjoyable and informative.

I got to close out the day with Using InfoPath with Visual FoxPro. Definitely not my best subject, and I tried to make sure I gave Toni Feltman her due (her articles were my best research material while preparing the session). She has done articles and presentations on this very topic, and it was very difficult for me to develop any material that felt like it was "mine."

According to some of the evaluations from the session, it looks like I might have been a little too gracious, mentioning Toni's influence a bit too much. Some of the comments were along the line of, "If Toni is going to be mentioned so many times, why wasnt she here instead of this guy I've never heard of?" Of course, the answer to that question is easy: Toni had a baby three months ago, and I did not.

By the time my session was over, it was 6:00PM and the Welcome Reception was beginning. "So," I thought, "this is what that little drink coupon is for." I had myself a Sam Adams beer, probably not the best thing to do since the day before was one of those long travel days with little food and rest. Plus, I had been unable to sleep Sunday night. I went to sleep around 4:30AM Monday morning. Made for a LONG day.

I met the other speakers and Chick Bornheim of Micromega Systems in the lobby, and we went to a really nice Italian restaurant. I had the spicy sausage penne which, as it turned out, would haunt me the rest of the night.

What an amazing experience sitting with these great folks! I have got to be one of the luckiest people in the world!