As many of you are aware, there's a petition VFP developers are being urged to sign to try to convince Microsoft to reverse their decision to not continue development of VFP. I think every VFP developer should sign this if they feel it will have an impact. However, to date, I, some other MVPs, and some prominent VFP people have not signed it.
Apparently, this is a problem for some people. A debate has been going on over on the FoxWiki (as well as other forums) about this. Some people have suggested that those who don't sign the petition have an agenda, that somehow we want VFP to die. Nothing could be further from the truth. This decision impacts my revenue as much as it does everyone else's. Others have suggested that we won't speak out against Microsoft, that somehow we're their cheerleaders or that we won't bite the hand that feeds (or as someone suggested, pays) us. Again, not true. I wish Microsoft hadn't made this decision. I've bitched about them plenty over things they've done in the past and likely will do so again in the future.
I can't speak for anyone else, but my reason for not signing the petition is simple: I believe it's a futile effort and I don't think someone should put their name on something they don't believe in.
However, I consider myself to be an open-minded person. If someone can give me a convincing argument about why I should sign the petition, I'll do so.
"It can't hurt" isn't a convincing argument. In fact, I'd argue that this petition has done more harm than good for our community, since some people now have an us (the signers) against them (non-signers) attitude and are looking for conspiracy reasons why someone won't sign.
"It only takes 30 seconds" isn't a convincing argument. This isn't about how long it takes; it's a matter of principle.
"It'll show you support the community" is also not a convincing argument. I think writing more than 100 articles over 10 years, presenting more than 200 sessions at conferences and user groups, writing blog entries describing how to do some complex things in VFP, being a co-administrator and a project leader for VFPX, and spending thousands of hours online helping other developers shows that I support our community as much as anyone else. The same is true of other MVPs. The very definition of an MVP is someone who spends a lot of personal time supporting the community. This whole argument that not signing the petition means you don't support is community is almost identical to another ludicrous argument: that if you don't believe in the war in Iraq, you don't support the troops. Like the petition, those two things have nothing to do with each other.
Please post your arguments on this blog. I have been convinced to change my position on issues in the past. All it takes it a well-thought out, logical (not emotional) argument.