Archive for the ‘White Light Computing Press Release’ Category


Today is one of those big days here at Geek Gatherings because we officially announce the speakers and sessions for Southwest Fox 2013 and Southwest Xbase++ 2013. All the details can be found on the Speakers page.

Combined with the two conferences is 45 sessions (white papers for all), 6 pre-conference sessions, a keynote and lots of the usual networking opportunities with tons of fun thrown in too.

Registration opens later this month

White Light Computing is a platinum sponsor again this year.

You can stay up to date on announcements via Twitter too: @swfox and @swxbase

I hope to see everyone in October. Only 169 days until we gather in Gilbert!


Southwest Fox and Southwest Xbase++ 2013 announcement!

Save the dates of October 17-20, 2013.

We’ve issued the Call for Speakers for both conferences. If you are interested in presenting at either conference, please check out our Call for Speakers Doc and consider submitting sessions via our new Web-based submission application developed by the White Light Computing team.

White Light Computing is a Platinum sponsor for the seventh consecutive year, and a conference sponsor all ten years!


A couple of announcements about our fall conferences:

  • First, registration is now open for both Southwest Fox and Southwest Xbase++. Registrations have been already been pouring in, which is great news.
  • Second, speakers and sessions for Southwest Xbase++ are now available.

Remember, if you register for one conference, you’re free to attend sessions in the other conference as well: it’s BOGO (buy one, get one free). There are some sessions specifically intended for VFP developers, including Project PolarFox: State of the Union and Xbase++ 2.0 from a VFP Developer’s Perspective. Also, some of the Southwest Fox session will appeal to Xbase++ developers, such as Advanced Topics in Mercurial: Taking it to the Next Level, jQuery 101, and Office Automation Without Office.

I personally hope you’ll head right over to the brand new online registration form developed by my team at White Light Computing. You’ll receive an email when you submit your registration confirming we received it. You’ll get a confirmation message with a paid invoice as your receipt after we process the payment.

I also want to make a brief plea to you as well. We encourage you to register as soon as possible. Our final commitment to the conference center is due by July 2. In order to confirm that commitment, we must have a sufficient number of people registered by then to ensure that the conference is financially sound. So please register soon and spread the word about Southwest Fox to all the Visual FoxPro developers you know, and likewise for the Southwest Xbase++ conference.

Thanks for the continued support!

Only 152 days until we gather in Gilbert!


Catching up on some administrative work today.

Back in July White Light Computing randomly selected two winners from the list of registered attendees to Southwest Fox 2011. Each year since 2006 White Light has offered $300 of scholarships to people who are registered for the conference. You can read all about the scholarships for the 2011 conference on the Southwest Fox Scholarships page.

This year we offered two people a $150 scholarship.

Normally our marketing director (my daughter) pulls the names, but she was out of town on vacation. In her place my wife conducted the drawing. The drawing was done by piling in all the names of the people registered by July 1st. First she pulled out ten names. From this smaller pile five names were drawn, and then the final two people. Interestingly, in the final five were three people from the same company as the winners.

The winners are:

  1. Joel Leach from Memorial Business Systems
  2. Stacey Violett of Black Mountain Software

Both of these individuals have been to majority of the past Southwest Fox Conferences, and both of their companies are sending more than one individual to this year’s conference. They certainly increased their odds to be winners.

Many thanks to both Joel and Stacey for their continued support of Southwest Fox over the years. And thanks to all who have registered for Southwest Fox 2011 so far. Your support for our conference is truly appreciated and critical to making the conference a success each year.

If you are interested in registering for the conference, feel free to contact me. I am always open to discussing how I can convince you to attend the best Visual FoxPro developer conference in North America, Southwest Fox!


Speakers and sessions for Southwest Fox 2011 have been announced. The conference features four half-day pre-conference sessions and more than 26 main conference sessions in five tracks. Whether you’re still working only with Visual FoxPro or extending Visual FoxPro with other tools, you’ll have no trouble finding plenty of sessions to enhance your skills and widen your horizons.

As for our presenters, initially we have lots of Southwest Fox veterans like Menachem Bazian, Rick Borup, Steve Ellenoff, Tamar Granor, Uwe Habermann, Doug Hennig, Venelina Jordanova, Jody Meyer, Jim Nelson, myself, Eric Selje, and Christof Wollenhaupt. We also have three Southwest Fox freshman: Steve Bodnar, Kevin Ragsdale and Tuvia Vinitsky.  We are hopeful registrations will allow us to bring in additional speakers as well.

I am looking forward to sitting in on lots of sessions if time allows like last year. I am presenting a couple of new sessions:

1) How Craig Boyd Makes Me a Hero!

2) Programming Standards and Guidelines for Software Craftmanship

White Light Computing is a Platinum Sponsor again this year. We will have a booth to show off our developer tools and services again so please stop by.

You can follow us in Twitter: @SWFox. If you check out who @SWFox is following you will find our list of speakers who are on Twitter.

And there are still plenty of surprises up our sleeves (some we don’t even know ourselves yet) to entice you to come to the best Visual FoxPro conference in North America!

Please help us get the word out about the conference by yelling from the mountain tops. We certainly appreciate everyone who blogs, or records podcasts, or tweets, or Facebooks (is that the proper verb?) about their positive experiences at past Southwest Fox conferences. An email will be sent to everyone who has attended Southwest Fox in the past on June 1st. Send us an email if you are interested in getting on the list. (info [AT]

Registration opens June 1.

Only 152 days until we gather in Gilbert!


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.


One of the things I did at the Microsoft MVP Summit earlier in March was take part in an discussion about the FoxPro Community along with Alan Griver, Tamar Granor, Doug Hennig, and the co-hosts of the Community Megaphone podcast Andrew Duthie and Dane Morgridge.

This discussion boiled out of several discussions where Andrew and Dane kept running into former FoxPro people in the .NET community. They wanted to hear more about Fox Community and later found out that the root of the Microsoft MVP program was founded in the Fox Community as well. Our discussion covers a number of topics about developer communities and is what we find common and unique among them, as well as characteristics you find in people who are actively participating in a developer community. It was a fun hour.

The interview/discussion was recorded in the Microsoft Commons in a cafeteria. In the background was lots of MVPs eating and socializing so I am really impressed with the quality of the audio. I enjoyed participating. The only wish I have is that some of the other former Fox MVPs who have turned to the “dark-side” (Rod Paddock, Rick Strahl, Jim Duffy, Julie Lerman, Kevin McNeish, Markus Egger, Cathi Gero, and Craig Berntson to name a few) and other Fox people who are now .NET MVPs (Alan Stevens, Bonnie Berent, and David Giard) were not there. Although with that many people it would have been out-of-control. The list of people here is only part of the crowd though that have helped the .NET Community actually become more of community in the sense the Fox Community has known for more than two decades.

You can listen to the podcast here:

Thanks to Dane and Andrew for taking the time to talk with us.


Speechless is not a term often associated with me, but during the closing session at Southwest Fox 2010 I found the state unbreakable when Doug announced me as the seventh recipient of the FoxPro Lifetime Achievement Award.

Even as I sit down to write this blog entry I find myself a bit shocked at how the closing session revealed the award. Doug let me know before the conference that Lisa Slater Nicholls was being awarded, only because he knew I would figure it out when I saw Lisa and Colin roaming the grounds at the Legado and Elegante.

So let’s first start with Lisa. Lisa is very deserving and I am happy she got the award this year. As several others have said, it was long overdue. Listening to Doug’s introduction was chilling to me especially when he talked about the moment in time when Lisa stepped up to take the position of FoxTalk Editor when Glenn Hart passed away. Doug pointed out how that one moment in time impacted so many people in our community. If Lisa had not stepped up there might not be a FoxTalk, and that means a lot of writers might not have had the chance to write about FoxPro. I was one of the people who got my start writing in FoxTalk, which lead to conference speaking, book writing, and other contributions I have made to the community. If you want to read Lisa’s first editorial in FoxTalk head here.

I really enjoyed Lisa’s short video too. Well done. You can read Lisa’s reaction on her blog here: “Legacy” is a good thing

2010 FoxPro Lifetime Achievement Award

Then I see Doug change to the “But wait…. there is more” slide. If you know me you know I like to be prepared and this slide was not covered during the “rehearsal.” You may have noticed I am a bit confused at this point. In the next few seconds I was running through the list of people I thought might be announced and wondering if they were in the room. I am barely listening to Doug as he introduces the second recipient of the afternoon. Me. Me?!?

The moment I heard my name announced the space time continuum skipped a beat. I literally had no words in my head (all the voices stopped {g}). I completely “spaced” out. And yes, it was an emotional moment. It was a good thing I did not make eye contact with Therese and I did not see my parents in the front row. I heard later that my mom was crying and that probably would have thrown me over the edge. I was, and to this day, stunned. I am also honored, and extremely grateful for the recognition.

Tamar was kind enough to point out to me that the next slide was mine and I had to pull myself together to announce that we are already planning Southwest Fox 2011. Unfortunately we do not have the dates or location to announce at this point. I had a reasonable plan of what I wanted to say, but I lost those words as well. We will have more to come in the next month on Southwest Fox 2011.

After the closing session I realized I thanked no one. You know, the academy, all the people who helped me so I could help others, etc. No music to cut me off and tell me to get off the stage. No Kayne West to jump up on stage to explain how Rick Strahl is the best Lifetime Achievement Award winner named Rick. So here it is… Thanks!

First of all there is Therese. She is the Best.Wife.Ever. She is the woman who allows me to be successful by supporting the crazy ideas I come up with. She supports me to follow my dreams, even when I am not sure they are the right dreams to follow. Without her I am unable to do all the things I do. People often ask me how I am able to do everything I do, the answer is one word: Therese. She is my rock, and my biggest supporter. I fell in love with her nearly 30 years ago, and because of it I am one of the luckiest people on the planet.

My kids think their dad is a dork. That is fine, as long as I am their dork and they are okay with me attempting to mold them into the fine adults they have become.

Next up are my parents, who coincidentally came to Phoenix this year to vacation with us after the conference. Amazing coincidence and timing they were there, and it brings me great joy they were in the room to see their son go speechless. They would not have believed it if they had not witnessed it. They gave me the foundation that helping others is something you just do. Kudos to Doug for seeing the opportunity and making it happen. Priceless.

Next up are the people who nominated me. Wow. I am so honored by your recognition. I say this without reservation: it would have been an honor just to be nominated. I think of all the people who I hope someday will get this award, and I am amazed that you feel I deserve the recognition this year. I still get chocked up thinking about this. Thanks.

The past recipients who made the selection: Whil Hentzen, Rick Strahl, Doug Hennig, Tamar Granor, Rainer Becker are all personal heroes of mine and friends. Alan Griver is another hero of mine and also a friend. I also appreciate that Naomi stepped up when no one else wanted to and participated in the selection. Thanks for selecting me for this award. And thanks for shocking me. Well done.

Doug, even though I did not comprehend your announcement and the kind words you had to say about me at the time, I really appreciate them. I am so glad I have video (BTW, thanks Kevin Cully for recording it for me). I especially appreciated the “love you as a brother” comment and feel the exact same way.

To the Fox Community: there is so much good and generosity in our community. Being part of this group and being able to share and learn from this group is such an easy thing to do. Thanks for letting me be a part of it for so many years.

Thanks to everyone who was at Southwest Fox and for all the kind words since the conference. To know I am having a positive impact on other developers, on other human beings, is more than enough for me. To be recognized this way is mind-boggling.