Get on the VFPX Bandwagon
A group of VFPX developers/users held a bonus session during the Southwest Fox conference in October to discuss future direction of VFPX and what is needed to get the word out to other developers in the Fox Community. There were a number of good ideas shared, but there are three key details I believe need to be highlighted.
The first is to tell people all the tools and components on VFPX are FREE! Developers, especially Visual FoxPro developers love free stuff. Free code, free tools, free components, free forums, free tips and tricks, and even free documentation. During my series of articles in FoxRockX I believe I have not mention the price to use the tools and components enough. They are FREE. No money is needed to get any project from VFPX. All you have to do is download the files, install them and take the time to learn how they can be useful to you and your development. Yes, this takes time, but if you are a FoxRockX subscriber you have access to every article in my VFPX series. That would be 11 articles dedicated to detailing how to use and extend the various VFPX tools and components. So spread the word about FREE, FREE, FREE stuff at http://VFPX.CodePlex.com.
Another suggestion is to get more user stories posted on the VFPX wiki pages. These user stories show developers (who are intrigued by the things they see on VFPX) how other developers are putting them to use. I know I learn much faster and gain momentum quicker when I see how something is done rather than reading how it is done. Both ways help me learn, but the hands-on method is a lot faster for me. These stories can be told via text or could be a short screencast on demonstrating how a control was implemented in a production application. A brief discussion how one of the tools saves you an hour a month might shed some light to help someone else get it. These stories can be told on the various project pages.
The third important idea is one I actually have been pushing for in the VFPX articles and sessions I have been giving for the last three years: we need to get project managers to promote their projects to released status. It is true that some of the projects are in the alpha, beta, and release candidate status. But the fact remains many could be considered released. Project managers are suffering from the common “but just one more thing syndrome” like all of us have faced in our careers. What we all need is a little reminder that we can have a 1.1 or 2.0 release in the future. I know I use several VFPX projects in my production applications as if they were released. On the user side I believe there are developers who don’t want to risk something as important as a production customer application with something not considered released. If the status of the project was elevated to “released” it might stimulate adoption in the community.
There are other good ideas discussed during the meeting and things the administrators need to get prioritized and find others to help implement. You can watch most of the VFPX User Meeting on SWFox TV. There was a glitch in the Internet connection during the recording so it is in two parts. Part 1 and Part 2 are available at SWFox TV.
So jump on the VFPX Bandwagon and get using these FREE tools and components. Provide feedback to the project teams, and if so inclined, get involved in development or testing. VFPX is a significant part of the future for Visual FoxPro, be a part of it!