Kevin Ragsdale: Visual FoxPro 9.0

Advisor DevCon Day Two Sessions

Day two started off just like day one for me: with very little sleep the night before. Not a good thing, since the 8:00AM session was my Best Practices for Deploying Visual FoxPro Applications. I was kind of surprised by the number of people that came to the session. I did not expect that many people to be up that early.

This was one of those “get up on the pulpit and preach” topics, and I enjoyed it overall. I made sure to give credit to Rick Borup (most of the material was based on the session he presented at GLGDW last year), and Rick Schummer, who co-authored (with Rick Borup) theDeploying Visual FoxPro Solutions book. This book (like all of the Hentzenwerke books I own) is a must read.

This time, though, I was careful to not “push” the credit quite as much as I did in the InfoPath session. I think this one was pretty well received and, as usual, I found a way to mention Dr. Evil during the session. I wrapped it up a few minutes early, so everyone (including myself) could head out to the main area for some Starbucks.

Sidenote: During the conference, I must have consumed about five gallons of Starbucks coffee. I’m a coffee-holic, and when I saw that Advisor was providing Starbucks, I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

Next up was Claudio Lassala with Compare Design Patterns in Microsoft Visual FoxPro and .NET. I needed to decompress from my session, so I missed this one. By “decompress”, I mean I needed more coffee. 🙂

And, I noticed, my stomach was starting to feel a little “gurgly”…

Tamar presented Practical Tips for Working with Existing Visual FoxPro Code. Another great session, with many tips I can begin to use right away. My first reaction to *every* existing app I’ve ever been asked to look at is “re-write”, and the tips Tamar presented will make me a much better (and realistic) developer/consultant. Excellent session.

About halfway through it though, my stomach started getting real “gurgly”. And it started making noises " loud noises — sounded like a wounded animal, begging to die…

Tuesday’s lunch was better than Monday’s lunch, though I was starting to feel a bit nervous about my stomach.

After lunch, Doug presented Make Microsoft Visual FoxPro Application a Snap with InnoSetup. I’ve been using InnoSetup for awhile, and I have really enjoyed (and learned a lot from) Doug’s recent series of articles about InnoSetup in the Advisor Guide to Microsoft Visual FoxPro. A great, great session. I’d be surprised if anyone who attended will ever use another setup authoring tool after seeing this session.

After Doug’s session, Rick presented Microsoft Visual FoxPro Debugging Essentials. Debugging. Ugh. If there’s anything I like less than debugging, I don’t know what it is. I’ve got Nancy Folsom’s Debugging Visual FoxPro Applications book, and still I’m “Mr. STRTOFILE()” when it comes to debugging. Rick showed me a few things during this session that were completely new to me, and I’m not going to share them with you because, frankly, I’d be embarrassed to admit just how weak I am when it comes to debugging. Oh, wait, I think I just did.

Unfortunately, my stomach was still giving me fits, so I headed upstairs to rest awhile. Doug, Rick and Tamar were heading out to the LAFOX users group meeting, and I really wanted to go and meet some new people. I thought a bit of rest might help settle my stomach.

I missed Tamar’s The Why and How of Test Data session while I rested. I heard many nice comments on it, and hated that I missed it, but guess what? She’s presenting it again at Southwest Fox in October!

Doug, Rick and Tamar were meeting out front later for a ride to the LAFOX meeting. I headed down to let them know I was staying at the hotel. My stomach was not any better at all. I decided to skip dinner, too.

I did go to Claudio’s 7:00PM session, Compare Data Access Programming Between Microsoft Visual FoxPro and .NET. Claudio showed several methods of accessing data in .NET, and did a really nice job of showing the comparable feature in VFP that we use to do the same type of thing. Very well presented.

I headed back upstairs for some crackers and Sprite, then I crashed for the best night’s sleep I had all week.