Archive for April, 2011


For the second year in a row I am speaking at DevLink. The organizers have selected my “Mocking the Customer” session, which I enjoyed presenting with positive feedback at two conferences last year:

In the past I have found that customers like to change their mind about what they want. This normally happens once they see the implementation of what they asked for during the first round of requirements discussion. Developers work hard to put together the user interface using the designers, but it is relatively expensive to the customer base if it gets thrown away. Sure there are times when we hit the nail on the head, but normally I find the real solution does not shine until the customer “spits on it.”

Balsamiq Mockups is a designer that lets developers and non-developers alike build wireframes/mockups. These are blueprints for how the application user interface can look or work. Developers and users can sit down and flow through the application before hours of development are completed. Balsamiq Mockups facilitates the creation of the wireframes with lots of controls developers are using from the toolboxes provided in the native application designers.

You will learn:
* What the benefits are when you wireframe with your users
* How you can leverage customers and designers/artists to create mockups
* How easy it is to create mockups
* That wireframing actually leads to more business, and doesn’t take away revenues from development
* The different ways Balsamiq Mockups makes you a more agile developer/team

I really enjoyed DevLink last year and I look forward to meeting up with old and new friends in Chattanooga (new home of the conference) August 17th to 19th, 2011.


Today I reviewed a new beta release of the VFP 9 SP2 Help file being prepared by Francis Faure on VFPX. I needed to compare it to the Help file for VFP 8 and when I tried to access the VFP 8 Help menu pad I got the following error:

OLE error code 0x8002801d: Library not registered.

To be clear, I got this error trying to get the Help menu to drop down inside of Visual FoxPro, not selecting the Help option on the menu, or by pressing the F1 key (which failed to bring up the Help file). Puzzled I ignored it and opened the CHM file directly in Windows Explorer. It opened fine and I was able to provide the feedback to Francis. I rarely use VFP 8 these days. Actually I mostly use it to compare behavior to VFP 9, which was exactly the case this afternoon, or to help other developers when I am mentoring or answer questions on the various forums.

I took a shot in the dark and tried using REGSVR32 to register the FoxPro Help EXE found in the Common Files folder. I found out immediately this was the incorrect approach as REGSVR32 barked at me that it failed. Fortunately the Visual FoxPro Wiki came to the rescue as it does so frequently for me. The correct way to register the FoxPro Help executable is to run the EXE with the /RegServer parameter.

FoxHHelp8.EXE /regserver

You can do this via the Windows Command Window, but if you are running Vista, Windows 7, or an earlier OS without Administrator rights, make sure to run the Command Window with administrator access.

[I documented this for my future self in case I need it for another machine - RAS]