Home » Uncategorized » MasFoxPro Petition…ah, Letter to Microsoft Executives

I did a bit more research yesterday and reviewed most of the MasFoxPro wiki Web site. All the posted messages reference signing a petition so I was looking for the legal petition. I could not find it. I found ideas, wishes, the letter to the Microsoft executives and some discussion, but no petition. So I emailed Pablo Roca (one of the organizers of MasFoxPro) and asked for some clarification and a link to the “petition.” Pablo was kind enough to send me a link to the Letter to Microsoft Executives.

Well that cleared up a lot of confusion on my part as I was looking for this petition thingy. Pablo and I exchanged several great emails and with it I have an better understanding of what the MasFoxPro movement is trying to accomplish and what they really want from Microsoft. In addition to my email exchange with Pablo, some comments on my blog, and reading some of the additional comments from the Fox Community on Doug Hennig’s blog I think I have a better understanding of the issues at hand.

One of the reoccurring themes from angry and not-so-angry people in our community is they want a clearer explanation of why VFP will no longer have dedicated resources within Microsoft. I think Tod McKenna has bullet pointed this best:

All I want is:
(a) continued VFP development, or
(b) a good solid, no-BS reason why VFP was dropped, or
(c) a decent migration path for the dozens of VFP Apps I have floating around.

There is no doubt that I would like to see VFP development continue. This is something we can all agree on. I don’t want anyone to misinterpret any of my writings about the future of VFP to be anything different than I would like to see VFP flourish and be enhanced. The difference I might have with some people is that I believe it can be enhanced and flourish with OR without Microsoft.

I definitely don’t want a decent migration path for my apps to another Microsoft tool or platform. I have worked on migrations in the past (IBM OS changes breaking JCL and COBOL apps is one simple example from the far away past, FoxPro 2.6 DOS and Windows to VFP is one I am living today) and I know it is better to rewrite the applications than to migrate them to a new platform in some magical/automated way.

As far as the reasons Microsoft is stopping future development of VFP and getting a clearer explanation of the reasons: I can understand this, but I believe Alan Griver has regurgitated it over and over on the various forums and his blog. Is the reason the Fox Community is asking for a better explanation because Microsoft gave a convoluted one, or because they did not like what was stated? I think part of the confusion is the fact it was stated so many places and in different message threads, so maybe it would be best for Alan to restate it once so the community is ultimately clear on the reasons.

I still have not decided whether I am going to sign the Letter to Microsoft Executives. I have many more thoughts on this that I plan to share this week as time allows (I am up to my elbows in alligators at the moment) and still have to PDF form-ize the Southwest Fox registration form before it goes live tomorrow. Most of these thoughts are in the emails back and forth with Pablo, but I need polish them up. When I get through most of the 18 items for today’s To-Do list (yes, this is an actual number) I will sit down and blog some more.

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