Home » Books » VFPX: Open Source Treasure for the VFP Developer

For the last seven years Rainer Becker has invited me to Germany to present sessions at the German DevCon. While in Germany, for at least the last four years he has asked me to write a book on the open source projects found in VFPX on CodePlex. Ever year I have told him it was a crazy idea and flat out rejected his request. Mostly I rejected it for fear my wife will strangle me in my sleep one night. But the biggest reason is simple: the VFPX projects are too fluid. There is a saying: it is like nailing jello to a wall. Hard to do and messy.

I have a lot of experience writing about VFPX projects. Almost every issue of FoxRock has an article on one of the VFPX projects. Almost every article is slightly obsolete before it gets in the hands of the readers 30 days later. I have written numerous white papers for conferences and user group presentations. I end up tweaking them to the very last minute, and have been known to change presentations the day of the presentation to keep up. More than a two dozen project managers are ensuring this happens.

Last November Rainer asked again. As Doug Hennig as my witness, I said no. Rainer pushed harder this time. And as Doug as my witness, I said I would think about it. I immediately roped Doug into helping. It was a deal breaker if he said no. During the conference Doug and I brainstormed who we could get to help, what person might write about what projects, and what existing materials we could leverage. Before getting on the plane home not only had we agreed to try to do this, but we sort of had a plan on how it could be done. Crazy. After we returned to North America I called the people we wanted on the team and each of them bought in. No more deal breakers left.

Secretly, behind the scenes Doug, Jim Nelson, Eric Selje, Tamar Granor and I, with the help of many of the VFPX project managers have been assembling what is turning out to be a fantastic book. Far exceeding my expectations. Every project on VFPX is covered in detail for the latest and greatest of each project. The authors are tech editing each others work, fact checking, testing out the samples, and ensuring you can read a chapter, understand the benefits of using, and get a big head putting the tool or component to use. Some of us are also learning Mercurial too as we use a repository for the book. Additionally, Tamar is also schooling me on proper English, again. It has not been easy, but doing something great never is easy.

The writing is getting close to being done. When I say close, I mean, as soon as I am done writing it will be done. Some traditions have to be maintained. This is the seventh book I have collaborated on, and I have always been the last one to finish.

Rainer is bold, and a little bit crazy to be putting out another Visual FoxPro related book in 2012. He is obviously passionate when it comes to the Fox Community. This mix turns out to be a good one because, as crazy an idea this book is, it is going to help a lot of people. At least we hope it will.

The book is named VFPX: Open Source Treasure for the VFP Developer and will be available sometime before the fall Fox conferences (Southwest Fox and German DevCon). It is a book that needs to be in the library of every Visual FoxPro developer. Seriously. No kidding. We hope you like it.

7 Responses to “VFPX: Open Source Treasure for the VFP Developer”

  1. Mark S. Winston
    June 15th, 2012 at 19:27 | #1

    I suggest you make advance plans to continually evolve the book after it is published — e.g., as a frequently updated (perhaps subscription-based?) e-book, rather than an occasional new edition. Otherwise, by your own admission, you’ll be publishing a book that is outdated from Day 1.

  2. June 15th, 2012 at 20:11 | #2

    Good point Mark, but do know that many of the projects are released and mature, which is why this was good timing for the book. Also, we are noting the release date for each of the chapters so people have a base expectation of how close the material is to the current release of the project. We also have done a remarkable job of keeping the chapters up to date even through this process.

  3. wOOdy
    June 16th, 2012 at 03:41 | #3

    woah! That’s great news! Congratulation to all authors!
    Looking forward to get my hands on this….


  4. Mohammad Zaheer
    June 19th, 2012 at 17:01 | #4

    Good news for such developer like me who love VFP. Good luck!

  5. Inyang John Inyang
    June 20th, 2012 at 15:17 | #5

    At last we have something we can at least fall back on, especially being published in 2012! I can’t wait!! Thanks a lot in advance…for a job well done.

  6. john galvin
    August 6th, 2013 at 10:13 | #6

    any sign of the book ? that was over a year ago ?

  7. August 6th, 2013 at 19:33 | #7

    It is all up to the publisher. The book has been done for many months.

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