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Re: genealogy.com presentation: RUG meeting
Posted by: Bob Velke Date: June 08, 2000 at 14:52:52
In Reply to: Re: genealogy.com presentation: RUG meeting by Kal Perry of 11492

Kal Perry said:

>> does anyone know what language Whollygenes is writing the 32-bit release of TMG in ?

I do. It is primary written in Visual Foxpro v6.0, with some modules written in other languages, including Visual Basic, C++, and Btrieve, as appropriate.

Rob Armstrong said (as quoted on http://www.rootsusers.org/):

>> …by the way, in case you haven't heard, Microsoft is moving support away from FoxPro, so the
>> underlying support engine that today underlies Ultimate Family Tree is no longer going to be
>> supported by Microsoft. [unintelligible interruption: 32 bit] Well I know 16 bit, do you know
>> about 32 bit? [I think it's all FoxPro] I think what they've said so far is all FoxPro; they've
>> been ambiguous about Visual FoxPro.

Nonsense. Microsoft hasn't officially provided technical support for 16-bit Foxpro 2.6 (the language in which UFT and TMG are written) for several years. 16-bit Foxpro was written by Fox Software prior to its acquisition by Microsoft in 1992.

VISUAL FOXPRO is a completely different animal. It is a fully 32-bit, object-oriented programming language written from the ground up by Microsoft to take advantage of lead-edge technologies and operating systems.

Those whose agenda it serves have been rumor mongering about Visual Foxpro since at least _1995_. At that time, Microsoft representatives Tod Nielsen (Visual FoxPro General Manager) and Bob Muglia (Vice President Internet Platform and Tools Division) said this in a widely-distributed open letter to the development community:

"Recently there has been speculation as to Microsoft's commitment to Visual FoxPro and the FoxPro product line. Some recent articles stated incorrectly that the next release of FoxPro will be the last. Given these inaccuracies and resulting confusion, we want to clarify Microsoft's position on FoxPro today and in the future. First and foremost, your investment in FoxPro is safe. Microsoft will bring your applications and FoxPro technology forward. Currently, Microsoft just put the finishing touches on Visual FoxPro for the Power Macintosh. The product team is also hard at work on the next version, Visual FoxPro 5.0 for Windows. After version 5.0 ships, Microsoft will start working on the next release of Visual FoxPro. Visual FoxPro will remain a great tool for high-end database development today and in the future.

Every user should know first and foremost that the investment you have made and continue to make in Visual FoxPro will be supported and brought forward. We believe that the combination of ActiveX control and server creation along with integration of our tool set will create the best possible development environment for application developers." For the complete letter, see http://members.iinet.net.au/~angus/foxpro/_foxy19.html#target306).

Microsoft has been true to their word, making regular updates to Visual Foxpro, the most recent of which was about a year ago.

Every year or so, however, someone with an ax to grid or who hasn't bothered to research the subject speculates that Visual Foxpro is on its way out. But, despite Mr. Armstrong's reported claim, Microsoft has NEVER been "ambiguous" on the subject. If you do 2 minutes of research on Microsoft.com and search for "foxpro future" you'll find what Microsoft is really *saying* on the subject (or go straight to http://msdn.microsoft.com/vfoxpro/prodinfo/future/vfpbgrnd.asp).

But actions speak louder than words. To see what Microsoft is really *doing* with Visual Foxpro, look at the latest release of their premier developer's suite, Visual Studio v6.0 for Windows 2000 (see http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/prodinfo/new.asp). Their database development platform of choice is Visual Foxpro v6.0 (not MS/Access).

And to see what Microsoft is *planning* for Visual Foxpro, read the Keynote Address at the "Visual Foxpro Developers Conference 2000" on 14 May 2000 where Visual Foxpro v7.0 was previewed (see http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/nextgen/technology/keynote.asp).

None of these resources are difficult to find by someone who is looking for the truth. On the other hand, UFT developers have been blaming "Foxpro" for specific UFT problems for years, despite the fact that it has been repeatedly demonstrated that other programs written in the same language do not have many of those same problems.

So when you hear someone rumor mongering about the longevity of Visual Foxpro, ask yourself what might be that person's agenda … and rest easy because YOU know the truth.

Bob Velke
Wholly Genes Software


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