Posts Tagged ‘WLC Announcements’


White Light Computing is stoked about partnering with F1 Technologies (Toni and Mike Feltman) to sponsor the Southwest Fox 2009 Keynote. Microsoft’s Sara Ford is going to present:

Towards a Stronger Open Source Ecosystem

Sara Ford is the Program Manager for CodePlex (host of the VFPX project), Microsoft’s open source project hosting site. Prior to CodePlex, she worked on the Visual Studio team for six years and ran the popular Visual Studio Tip of the Day series. In 2008, she authored her first book Microsoft Visual Studio Tips by Microsoft Press and donated all her royalties to start a scholarship fund for Hurricane Katrina survivors of her hometown. Her life-long dream is to become a 97 year old weightlifter, so she can be featured on the local news.

I think you will enjoy seeing Sara at Southwest Fox 2009. She is all about building community and open source software. She is an energetic speaker and probably will show you her rebellious side. How many Microsoft people do you know who are willing to walk around the Redmond campus wearing a FireFox t-shirt? After the keynote you will at least know one.

You can read more about this on the Southwest Fox blog.

I really hope you will join us in Mesa in 41 days, but if you cannot, you might be able to catch it on SWFox TV because we are going to attempt to stream the keynote on the Internet like last year.



Yesterday I received some great news from Microsoft that I have been named a Visual FoxPro MVP for the 2008-2009 season (renewed on October 1st each year). This is the eighth consecutive time I have been honored with this award.

The MVP award is the way Microsoft recognizes some individuals for their contribution in supporting Visual FoxPro developers (and other Microsoft technologies) by answering questions on forums, presenting sessions at conferences, and writing articles, blogs, books, and several other activities. More information about the MVP program can be found at the MVP site.

This is absolutely an honor.

(Sorry for the late announcement and to the few individuals who were concerned that I did not make an announcement I hope there was not too much anxiety {g}. I have been buried for the last couple of days with several deadlines, a small conference crunching decisions, and fighting a migraine.)



All the details can be read on the Southwest Fox Blog.

I can say without question this was one of the most positive things I did yesterday. It is always fun listening to people be so excited about coming to Southwest Fox and hear how they think it will be a very beneficial experience. D.J. is coming to his first ever VFP conference! He is part of the Madison FoxPro Users Group (MadFox) so they are guaranteed at least $25 to help with the costs of running their user group too. I am looking forward to meeting him in person..

This was the third year in a row White Light Computing gave away a scholarship to someone coming to Southwest Fox, and the first year it was awarded to someone who is the sole person registered from their company.

Congratulation D.J.!

Only 99 days until we all meet in Mesa.

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I received a bug report this week for ViewEditor Professional that took a little time to track down. I don’t have time to immediately fix it so I want to pass this along to the developers with two simple workarounds to use until I can figure out the best solution.

The bug is only revealed under a specific circumstance and has likely been a bug since ViewEditor Professional was originally written back in 2002. The bug shows itself when you save the view you are working on. The save process verifies the view’s SQL code is valid and reports any problems with the SQL code. During this process all view parameters are substituted using the VFP STRTRAN() function. Depending the substitution sequence of the view parameters and the names of the view parameters, an incorrect substitution occurs. The problem only happens when you have two view parameters starting with the same characters.

?vp_lActive = .F.?vp_lActiveArchive = .T.

SELECT cCustomerID, cCustomerName ; FROM Customer ; WHERE ?vp_lActive = .T. ;    AND ?vp_lActiveArchive = .T.

If vp_lActive is STRTRAN’ed first you see the validation code after the substitution to be:

SELECT cCustomerID, cCustomerName ; FROM Customer ; WHERE .F. = .T. ;    AND .F.Archive = .T.

The two workarounds (use one or the other):

  1. Do not name your view parameters starting with the same characters.
  2. Shut off the validation process when saving views by unchecking the Validate SQL checkbox on the SQL page.

If your views give you an error when you are saving them you can click on the Show SQL Validation Code button to see what the ViewEditor uses as the validation code. This is how I revealed what happened with my customer’s view. She knows the view is valid and has decided to shut off the validation until I can the validation substitution of view parameters.

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Contact Information:
Rick Schummer
White Light Computing, Inc.
42759 Flis Dr.
Sterling Heights, MI 48314

STERLING HEIGHTS, MICHIGAN, April 2, 2008 — It is a great pleasure to announce Frank Perez has accepted an offer to work at White Light Computing as a Software Developer. Frank has a proven track record of success in the software development industry and brings more than 13 years of experience supporting and developing custom and vertical market solutions. He is experienced in all phases of software development with strengths in Visual FoxPro reporting, Stonefield Query, and has a passion for developer tools. Frank also has extensive experience with hardware and networking support.

In his role at White Light Computing, Frank will be working directly with our growing list of clients to collect business requirements, write specifications, architect and design, develop, test, deploy, and support our software solutions. He also will help release a couple more developer tools nearing completion.

His first day at White Light Computing is May 1, 2008.



I have talked to a lot of Visual FoxPro developers since VFP 9 SP2 was released in October 2007. I have read many of the posts on the forums. In my unscientific poll I can safely say that less than 20 percent of the developers have even loaded SP2 and there are a number of reasons for this:

  1. Developers are comfortable with the stability of SP1 and don’t need any of the fixed bugs deployed in SP2.
  2. Some developers do not have the resources to system test all of their applications and cannot adopt the new service pack until the resources can be allocated to their projects.
  3. The first release of VFP 9 SP2 eroded the confidence of VFP developers because of the missing fixes, and the “beta” splash screen.
  4. The reputation of SP2 is further eroded because of the number of serious regression bugs discovered since the release of “SP2a” (however, most developers are going on the experiences of a few who have blazed the SP2 trail, and have not loaded it themselves).
  5. Developers do not understand you can have VFP 9 no service pack, VFP 9 SP1 and VFP 9 SP2 loaded on the same development machine.
  6. Anger at Microsoft over the decision the product is feature complete, and the sloppiness of the release cycle for VFP 9 SP2.
  7. Something else?

I believe the biggest reasons are the confidence eroding regression bugs posted by the trail blazers, and the fact many developers have not considered the possibility you can host more than one version of VFP 9 on the same machine.

There is a big problem with this situation, and one really concerning me. The problem is that too few people have installed, tried, and tested the release of VFP 9 SP2. This means the brave few who have installed it possibly have revealed only a subset of the problems with SP2. I am confident that the most serious and obvious problems have been revealed. But more developers running their code through the release will better establish the complete list of issues we might have to work around for years to come.

You can see the current list on the Visual FoxPro Wiki’s VFP9Sp2BugList page. You can also see some of the workarounds for the bugs on the SolutionsToVFP9SP2Bugs page. I would like these two pages and other pages added if necessary to this important knowledgebase so the Fox Community has a centralized list of the best practices in dealing with VFP 9 SP2 issues. These pages are referenced over and over as developers come online with VFP 9 SP2 and hit the same problems others have already solved. It also allows developers supporting each other a place to refer developers who are new to SP2 where to go to get key information.

As to the new regression bugs without workarounds, the sooner we can identify these the better. The identification of the problems has a potential four-fold advantage:

  1. Developers who are making the business decision to adopt or not adopt VFP 9 SP2 will have the best information when testing and certifying their decision.
  2. A centralized set of best practice workarounds for core VFP9.EXE problems is continually refined. Bugs in the VFP XSource components can be identified and a plan to make corrections by the Fox Community can be put into motion through VFPX.
  3. If more developers adopt SP2 the Fox Community as a whole have an easier time supporting each other on the online forums.
  4. A business case to have Microsoft consider fixing some of the serious regression bugs without reasonable workarounds can be developed and presented to Microsoft. The sooner we can do this, the better the chance it will be considered. And please, never say never.

I know by myself I cannot turn the tide with respect to the eroded confidence, but if more developers give SP2 a try we can take advantage of the benefits I have outlined in this blog post. Those developers with a positive SP2 experience need to post their successes too. Too often humans focus on problems than the positive experiences, and the positives get overshadowed.

I definitely want to see the best practices flushed out and fixes applied to the XSource code. Several have already been identified to ease the adoption. If we can identify the VFP 9 core EXE show-stopper bugs to Microsoft and get those fixed, big bonus!

To help those who have not loaded VFP 9 SP2 on their development machine I have written a short white paper detailing the steps I have taken to load VFP 9 original (a.k.a. RTM – released to manufacturing), Service Pack 1 (SP1), and Service Pack 2 (SP2) on my primary development machine. This white paper is available for you to review and help guide you to install more than one of the VFP 9 versions. This process has been refined over the years and others have stepped through it, so it is tested by more than one developer.

If you are interested, you can find the white paper here:

  1. PDF file (584K)
  2. ZIP file with Word document (747K)

I am open to any feedback about the white paper and the process for the installs. I have identified the feedback mechanism in the white paper. I am sure people will see different things they want to do to make it work better. As I have noted, this process works for me and is being provided as a guide to get you through the challenge and give you some food for thought on the process.

If you are one of the those important language translators in the community (and you know who you are) and you want to translate this document to your native language, please do and let me know so I can also host it on my Web site too. I have granted general permission to everyone who has ever requested permission to translate blog posts over the years. This information should not have artificial barriers because people cannot read my writing (and no comments from the peanut gallery on my English {g}).

Special thanks to Pamela Thalacker, Mary Pilon, Tamar Granor, and Cathy Pountney who kindly responded to my request to review this document. They helped me think thorough many of the steps and offered gentle advice on improving it. This document is better because of their help, but any bugs or confusing details you may find in it are all mine.

Call To Action!

It is my hope you will install VFP 9 SP2, and will post your VFP 9 SP2 issues on the Visual FoxPro Wiki so we can identify the best practices and workarounds discussed. I also hope you will post some discussions on the various community forums. I cannot promise to engage in all the discussions because I am only one person and having an expanding customer base to serve in my day job, but this is what the FoxPro Community is all about, masses of people helping each other out.


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This evening I received some great news from Microsoft that I have been named a MVP for the 2007-2008 season (renewed on October 1st each year). This is the seventh consecutive time I have been honored with this award.

The MVP award is the way Microsoft recognizes individuals for their contribution in supporting Visual FoxPro developers (and other Microsoft technologies) by answering questions on forums, presenting sessions at conferences, and writing articles, blogs, books, and several other activities. More information about the MVP program can be found at the MVP site.

This is absolutely an honor. It is my intention to continue helping other VFP developers on, the MSDN forum,, other forums, at conferences, through this blog, and helping organize Southwest Fox.


I am please to announce Mike Roof is the lucky winner of the White Light Computing $300 Scholarship for the Southwest Fox 2007 conference. Mike’s company is sending four people to the conference so they increased their odds of winning {g}. I talked to Mike yesterday and he is very psyched about not only attending Southwest Fox, but he is also attending the West Wind Technologies Double Impact training the two days before Southwest Fox. We laughed how much his head will hurt after listening to Rick Strahl for two days, followed by two and a half more days of intense conference sessions. A fantastic training opportunity for any developer. It sounds like a lot of developers are taking advantage of this year.

Sorry for the delay in the announcement, but I ran out of time before my vacation and forgot to hold the drawing. Mike’s name was drawn by the lead marketing advisor here at White Light Computing out of the 85 names registered by July 1, 2007.

Congratulations Mike! Only 76 days until we meet in Mesa!

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