Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Southwest Fox and Southwest Xbase++ 2015 Speakers and Sessions Announced

Speakers and sessions for both conferences have been announced.

As Tamar blogged a few weeks ago, this year was the hardest it’s ever been to select speakers and topics. Not only were the submissions outstanding, economics have forced us to cut back on the number of speakers a little this year (although as Tamar notes, we’ll change that if registrations before July 1 allow us to do so).

Some sessions I’m personally looking forward to seeing are:

  • Toni’s An Introduction to SQL Server Reporting Services: I haven’t played with SSRS much so this sounds like a great introduction, and Toni is such a great speaker. I’m not sure I’ll be able to attend—it’s a morning pre-con session and we’re usually busy with registrations on Thursday morning—but I’ll try.
  • Christof’s GemBox: An Alternative to Microsoft Office Automation: another topic I’m very interested in. Christof is a speaker’s speaker: his sessions are always insightful and well-researched. Another pre-con so again I may not be able to make it; if not, I know his white paper will be top-notch.
  • Cathy’s Extending VFP Reports with XFRX and VFP Reports: A Potpourri of Cool Ideas: I’ve been using XFRX for more than 10 years and my company’s product, Stonefield Query, uses it extensively. However, Cathy’s session touches on some features I haven’t used, including its drawing API. Her potpourri session sounds like it’ll discuss how to do some really complex things that only Cathy can figure out how to do. I always learn a lot in Cathy’s sessions so these two should be gold.
  • Phil’s The New Rules of Marketing and Sales: last year, Phil hit it out of the park with his SWFox sessions. I’ve already implemented some of the tips he presented to great success (and by that I mean making money!), so I’m expecting this year’s session to be equally as great.

I’m also really interested in Tamar’s Can't This Application go any Faster? and Rick’s Your Developer Life Improved By Thor sessions, but hopefully they’ll present those sessions at the German DevCon in November so I can use those timeslots at SWFox to see other sessions.

Registration opens soon; send an email to info@geekgatherings.com if you want us to email you when it’s ready. See you in October!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Southwest Fox/Xbase++ 2015 Call for Speakers

The call has gone out!

We’re inviting anyone interesting in speaking at this year’s conferences to submit topics. You'll find the Call for Speakers at http://www.swfox.net/callforspeakers.aspx. Please read the complete Call for Speakers document (linked from that page), and use our proposal submission application at https://geekgatherings.com/Submission. Session proposals are due by March 9. (Yes, this is earlier than in prior years. We have some publicity plans that require us to have a little more lead time than in the past.)

As in the past few years, we plan to offer a good selection of topics in core VFP development, extending VFP, using VFP with other technologies, and VFPX, as well as technology sessions to help VFP developers become better developers, not just more expert at VFP. We are looking for a few sessions on paths forward for VFP developers and we’re looking for a few deep-dive post-conference sessions. The Call for Speakers also lists some topics last year’s attendees specifically requested.

Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions. We’re looking forward to seeing your proposals. We expect that, as usual, choosing among them will be one of the hardest things we do all year.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Blog Posts on Improving Performance in Stonefield Query

I posted a couple of entries today on the Stonefield Query blog about improving the performance of calculated fields and formulas. If you’re a Stonefield Query customer, I strongly recommend checking them out as they can improve the performance of your reports by orders of magnitude for not a lot of work:

Improving the Performance of Calculated Fields and Formulas, Part 1

Improving the Performance of Calculated Fields and Formulas, Part 2

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Making TaskScheduler More Useful

A long time ago, I blogged about a couple of classes I wrote to schedule tasks using the Windows Task Scheduler. We use these classes in Stonefield Query to schedule report runs.

Recently, I add a few methods to the VistaTaskScheduler class (so named because it works using the Task Scheduler 2.0 API, which was added starting in Windows Vista; it works in Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and I’m guessing 10 as well) to enumerate tasks (GetTask), get a specific task (GetTask), and delete a task (DeleteTask). I added these because we’re adding a Scheduled Tasks dialog in the next version of Stonefield Query that’ll allow you to see which reports you’ve scheduled, see when the last time a schedule was run and what the result was, edit the settings of a schedule, and delete a schedule, all without having to open the Windows Task Scheduler.

You can download the updated code from the Technical Papers page of my web site.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

You Can Still Buy VFP 9 But Not For Much Longer

If you’re a VFP shop, you need to purchase a new license of VFP when you hire a new developer. Since Microsoft discontinued VFP, that’s been getting harder and harder to do. Fortunately, the German FoxPro User Group still has a license to sell copies of VFP 9. Unfortunately, that license expires on January 12, 2015, which is next week. So, if you still need licenses of VFP, it may be a good idea to stock up now. See http://afp.dfpug.de/message.afp?msgid=738531 for details.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Save the Dates for Southwest Fox 2015

Geek Gatherings LLC is officially asking you to save the dates for Southwest Fox and Southwest Xbase++ 2015! The conferences take place October 15-18, 2015.

This year we again have two conferences as one great event at the same location. The conferences offer developers an opportunity to learn and extend their skills, and network with fellow developers. You get two conferences for the price of one!

The conferences take place at the San Tan Elegante Conference and Reception Center, the same great location as last year.

At the 2014 conferences, we mentioned our risks in running the conferences, primarily the tens of thousands of dollars we have to commit to the conference center. Fortunately, we found a way to mitigate those risks to an acceptable level, so we're happy to be hosting the conference again in 2015.

We choose speakers from the developer community based on their session proposals. We are always looking for new speakers. Watch the Call for Speakers page of the conference website; we'll post the Call for Speakers in mid-February.

All the details about registration, speakers, sessions, and more will be available in May.

Special Request!!!

If there are any topics you hope will be covered this year, please send them to info@geekgatherings.com, right away.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Guidebook for Southwest Fox/Xbase++ 2014

The Guidebook for Southwest Fox/Xbase++ 2014 is now available. If you haven’t used it before, it’s a very cool app that provides speaker bios, session abstracts, and schedules for our conference. You can create your own customized schedule of sessions, even on mobile devices other than iOS and Android, which is new this year. Also new is the ability to sign in as an attendee.

I discussed setup last year, but this year it was even easier because Guidebook now supports uploading speaker images and links. So there was hardly any manual setup at all.

Less than two weeks to go. I hope you’re all as excited as I am!