Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Preparing for SWFox 2011

I have finally made all of my arrangements to attend SWFox 2011.  For a while I thought I wouldn't attend.  It's been a rough couple of years with very little revenue; I was having a hard time justifying the expense.  But then it dawned on me; I couldn't really afford NOT to go; I always find attending very inspirational.  Lucky for me, I found some extra money and signed up.

I read over my review from last year.  I was pretty excited about SWFox 2010.  Craig Boyd had given a great key note.  I was feeling confident about developing in VFP/VFE.  Yesterday, after reading over what I wrote a year ago, it occurred to me that I didn't follow up on anything that I had written.  Shame on me!  What have I been doing the last year?  I have converted my primary application to VFE9 (but still in beta) and I am currently working on accessing data only through views to prepare for migrating the data to SQL Server.  I will write a post on that later.  I hope to put this new app into production next month.

So what do I hope to get out of attending SWFox 2011?
  1. Catch up with friends.  Sounds a bit social doesn't it?  Well, these are some of the brightest minds in the VFP community, so there is much to learn from them.  Besides, where I live I have no interaction with other VFP developers because there are none.
  2. Learn something new in the sessions.  There is always something really cool to see and learn.
  3. Find out what others are doing for the future.  What are people doing to prepare for the future.  I will expand on this a bit more further down in this post.
You see, I'm getting a lot of backlash from using VFP.  I'm being told it is dead.  I can argue till I'm dead that VFP is a very good tool; a tool that gets the job done.  It doesn't seem to matter to the opposition.  They love my application and the solution to the problems; they just don't trust the tool.  They want the application re-written in a more "modern" language.  They want it written in C# with a browser interface.  They want a SaaS application in the cloud.  Hey, I can do that with Web Connection.  They don't care; it's still VFP.  But I'd be using HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, and who knows what else.  Does it still use VFP?  Yes.  That's not a viable solution.  Arrgggg....

Speaking of tools, I still have tools in my toolbox that I got from my grandfather.  I'm not about to throw them away; they work just fine.

Sure, I can learn C#; in fact I would really like to learn C#.  But how long will it take me to become proficient?  I love the tools that I have; I'm very good at what I do.  Currently, there is a group looking into outsourcing the conversion of my app into C# with the browser interface.  I have told my business associates that once the work is complete I will no longer be able to support the program.  This is taken as a refusal of me learning a new language.  Not so I say, it just takes time to become proficient.  Besides, the company doing the work is using their own framework.  It's just very frustrating and I find it all quite confusing.

So what are others doing about this problem?  How much new development are they doing in VFP?  That is just a couple of the things I really want to find out at this year's SWFox.

Sorry for a bit of ranting, but it is what it is and I'm trying to find the solution.

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