Posts Tagged ‘Fox Team’


As you may know, the April 2008 version of the VFP 9 SP2 Help file is broken. Actually I would consider it a serious mess. Lots of cosmetic things broken, and hyperlinks broken on important things like properties, events, and methods. I blogged about many of the problems found. A real mess, literally unusable, and not much hope from Microsoft to get it fixed by the Help team because of resources.

Several people (who will remain nameless at this time) started working behind the scenes to fix the Help file by decompiling it, repairing the problems, and rebuilding it. Some of us allegedly got closer than others and there allegedly was lots of collaboration, but one person allegedly made a serious breakthrough with lots of time put into getting it corrected.

I contacted Alan Griver and asked if a Help file allegedly was fixed, would Microsoft post it for the Fox Community to use it. You see, there are lots of legal entanglements with copyrights and third-parties and no one wanted anyone to be thrown in jail. It took a while and I was starting to lose hope.

A couple of nights ago Alan emailed me with the news that we can post the changes on VFPX under the Creative Commons license. This means the Fox Community has the rights to improve the VFP 9 SP2 Help file! Some final tweaks are going to be made to the new file, and one additional fix has to be made, but soon a usable VFP 9 SP2 Help file will be posted.

Thanks to Alan Griver for spending time battling Microsoft Legal and going to bat again for the Fox Community. Proof again that even though there might not be an official Fox Team at Microsoft, we still have friends who are helping us out. And thanks to all allegedly involved in the battle to assemble the Help file without some key source files. You know who you allegedly are and you folks rock!

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The MVP Summit completely exceeded my expectations for many reasons, but mostly because of my interaction with the other VFP MVPs and the Fox Team. Microsoft did not schedule a single session for the VFP MVPs so we decide to make our own. I learned several things and felt the trip was well worth the time and cost. I had to work at night to keep up with the project schedules so it really was an exhausting week.

There is one thing I want to address publicly that I feel is important. I have been reading many comments in the community on how the Fox Team has been disbanded and how they have gone their own separate ways. How they have abandoned our favorite developer tool and our community. Yes, this is partly true. Each of the developers, the testers, the management, the Help file folks, and the marketing team (no jokes please {g}) have all gone on to do great things in some other part of Microsoft and the entire team is not working full time on Visual FoxPro. This is part of growing as individuals and making moves in one’s career.

But one thing I realized and something that should have been very apparent to me all along is this small group is still the Fox Team no matter where they go and no matter what other projects they work on. The group as a whole and individually have been smacked with a virtual baseball bat over the last year, yet they still managed to correct the Help file’s missing index items and correct an annoying bug in the reporting system. I think this says a lot about the individuals involved. They listened intently with an open mind to the bugs/issues in SP2, and have left open the door to improve the SP2 experience and its adoptability by FoxPro developers. They all showed up for the product team dinner including Fox Team members from the past who long ago moved on to something new. Even someone who was on vacation and may have wanted to celebrate a birthday with the family came to spend time with us. Any one of them could have spent the time with their product groups, but choose to come to ours.

My hat goes off to the entire Fox Team and their dedication to Visual FoxPro and the Fox Community. Thanks for your efforts.

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