Archive for September, 2008


Just in case you are like me and missed this, last week Microsoft released security updates for Visual FoxPro 8 SP1, Visual FoxPro 9 SP1 & SP2. The patches affect a lot of other Microsoft products too since it is one of the core DLLs used many Microsoft and other third-party software packages.

All the details are here.

I am a little confused on why there might be three separate patches since there is only one GDIPlus.DLL file, and it is currently shared between the three versions on my machine. It might be set up this way for those running only one of the three versions. I think you only need one of the patches since there is only one GDIPlus.DLL file, but I am not 100% sure.

I have an email off to Milind and yag for clarification.

UPDATE From Milind:

Yes, the same GDIPlus.DLL is used. However the patches are for all mainline supported versions for VFP.

The dll gets installed to common files, as well as the VFP install location (C:\Program Files\Visual FoxPro 8.0, for instance).

So if you have VFP8 sp1 and vfp9 sp2, you will only need those two patches. Since sp2 is cumulative of sp1, one can’t really have ‘all 3′. {g}

So it sounds like you need to install each of them if you want the update installed. Milind obviously did not read my white paper on installing all three versions of VFP 9 (I sent him the link {g}). My recommendation at this time is to install the GDIPlus patch for VFP 9 and copy the installed version to each of the other two folders if you have them installed.


Today Cathy Pountney drove across the state of Michigan and presented/rehearsed her Southwest Fox session called “Customizing Your Vertical Market Application” to the Detroit Area Fox User Group. I have been looking forward to this session from the moment I saw it proposed to the organizers of the conference. Tonight I was not disappointed.

What Cathy showed is one approach, one architecture to developing and extending vertical market applications (those built with several potentially diverse customers who work in common businesses). Her approach uses a data driven, hook infested, dynamic approach. The ideas presented are not just something she is thinking of doing, but are a simplified version of the real world approach she and her teammates are using in the app they support.

The session starts out with a demonstration I won’t spoil for those coming to the conference. Trust me though when I tell you there is some humor and some fun poking at herself and the three Southwest Fox organizers. Cathy then demonstrates how she makes the core app work completely different in the other three implementations.

Her architecture works for forms, reports (naturally), menus, processes, and controls. It is built into the base classes and is extremely extensible. While her session focuses on the vertical market application implementation, it could be applied to any software that needs ultimate flexibility to adapt to a dynamic business environment. Here examples are fun, the code is all there for the taking, and the ideas there to use and be expanded upon.

Cathy’s approach might not be exactly what we implement in the first vertical market application White Light Computing develops, but the ideas and approaches were inspiring and could easily be the basis for something we design and integrate with the commercial framework we use.

Definitely a five out of five stars. While I have been to many sessions where I can say this session paid for the entire conference, I can say this session paid for the entire conference and the conference has not even started yet. Very well done.

, ,


Just in case you have not seen it, today we posted the tentative schedule for the conference. This is subject to change since we are still more than a month away from the opening keynote. I am personally happy we got this published because several people have asked when it would be out. Putting the schedule together is not an easy task, but I think there have been only two versions so far. No matter what, with 32 fantastic sessions, finding the right mix for everyone is very challenging.

Doug posted a screencast on his Advantage Database Server for Visual FoxPro Developers session. Interesting revelations demonstrated in this video. Check it out on the Southwest Fox Video page.

I recorded a screencast on my Using VFPX Components in Production Apps session this evening. Hopefully this will get posted tomorrow. Short 6 minute video took an hour to record. I actually hit it on the first take, but for some reason Camtasia did not record the balloon tip in the open of the video. So I had to figure out a “fake” way to demo it in. Hope the teaser gets you to consider coming to this session in Mesa.

Registrations continue to flow in. We have 105 people registered (not including speakers and vendors). No better time to register than right now. Make sure to get your hotel reservation in too. Wednesday night is sold out at the conference hotel.


Once again I am honored to say I have been selected to present sessions at the German DevCon, November 13th to 15th in Frankfurt Germany. This will be my fourth trip to this conference, which is celebrating its 15th year (congrats to Rainer and his staff).

I will be presenting:

  1. Extending the Sedna Data Explorer
  2. Using VFPX Components in Production Applications, Session 1
  3. Using VFPX Components in Production Applications, Session 2

Other presenters include:

  • Rainer Becker
  • Bo Durban (first time)
  • Joachim Dürr
  • Sebastian Flucke
  • Tamar Granor (first time)
  • Uwe Habermann
  • Doug Hennig
  • Kirsten Hinrichs
  • Venelina Jordanova
  • Kevin McNeish
  • Nathalie Mengel
  • Armin Neudert
  • Michael Niethammer
  • Rick Schummer
  • Markus Winhard
  • Christof Wollenhaupt
  • Jürgen (wOOdy) Wondzinski

As usual, the line up is strong and the sessions sound terrific. I am looking forward to the conference, and hope if you can fit it into your schedule you get registered as soon as possible. If you want to read some first-hand experience at the conference you can read any of my blog posts in November 2007, 2006, or 2005 found in the index to the right of this post.


If you are interested in a preview of my session “Extending the Sedna Data Explorer” you can take time Saturday September 13th, 2008 to visit the Grand Rapids Area Fox User Group (GRAFUG).

Can’t make it to GRAFUG? One more chance to review the session before Southwest Fox. October 9th I will be presenting it to the Detroit Area Fox User Group (DAFUG).

Same session will be delivered at the German DevCon. More details in another post.

I have a short video posted on the Southwest Fox Video Page if you want to see some of the things I will be going into detail about.

, ,


This blog post is not about politics, but it does have a political tone because of the parties involved and my observation of a blown chance by the media to do some good for once. This is a critical statement on the mass media, not on any of the political candidates involved. For the record: I have respect for all four presidential and vice-presidential nominees. Further for the record: I believe the race is about the individuals and how they will lead our country, not about their individual family members. And lastly for the record: I am tired of hearing about this election, just give everyone a ballot Friday morning. {g}

I should have expected the news media to miss a great opportunity, but deep down I was hoping the media would have picked up on the issue of amazing parents raising children who are affected by the genetic condition of trisomy. In the case of Sarah and Todd Palin, their son Trig has trisomy-21 most commonly referred to as Down syndrome. Instead the media decides to drill into the pregnancy of their daughter Bristol.

Parents who have trisomy children face a slew of medical decisions and situations that I believe pale most challenges any parents face, including pre-marriage pregnancy. How would I know? Our son Paul was born 12 years ago with trisomy-18 (less commonly known as Edwards syndrome). Trisomy 21 and 18 are fundamentally the same thing, but significantly different results. Down syndrome children often live long somewhat normal lives. Trisomy 18 children have what the doctors described to us as a “life-incompatible” condition. No matter though, raising any trisomy child has its challenges and stresses.

Each time I see parents with trisomy children I recall the sleepless nights, the fights with the nurses and doctors, the give-comfort vs. extending life decisions, and putting a feeding tube down my son’s throat hoping I was reaching the stomach and not his lung. I believe we averaged less than 4 hours of sleep a night in the two months Paul was here. Our time with Paul is the reason my favorite movie quote is from Hans Solo in The Empire Strikes Back:

Han Solo: Never tell me the odds. (in response to C-3PO’s statement: Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720 to 1)

Each time we met with genetic doctors they explained the odds of survival to us. Same with the heart doctors (Paul’s heart effectively had three chambers instead of the four because of a huge ventricular septal defect (VSD)). The amount of stress it put on us did not kill us, so it only made us stronger, and *more* compassionate and understanding.

In the case of Joe Biden, the media focused on how great a dad Biden is for traveling hours each way to and from Washington. My hat is off to Mr. Biden for the choices he as made to provide the best life he could for his family. I feel this is further proof that the media is very biased and is working very hard to lean one way in their influence on all elections. Sickening.

I only have the highest respect for this family. It matters not to me that they are Republican or Democrat, caucasian or martian. They are human, earthlings just like the rest of us with real world problems. I am more amazed how this family decided with everything going on in their lives, that serving their country is something important too. I am not so sure too many other people on this planet would accept this challenge, yet have time to criticize the way they are raising their family.