Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Virtual Fox Fest 2022 (October): Don't Forget or Regret

Thanks to all who have registered for Virtual Fox Fest 2022 (October). Early registrants help us plan ahead. This is another friendly reminder to the rest of you that it takes just a few minutes to register.

We're really excited about this year's Virtual Fox Fest line-up and we know you will be, too. You can find all the details:

You can order your Virtual Fox Fest gear anytime. If you don't like the items or colors we've chosen, click on any item as a starting point and then click "Customize This Product" to choose the product and color you really want.

Virtual Fox Fest is October 13th, 19th, and 25th, 2022.

Monday, August 29, 2022

Virtual Fox Fest 2022 (Oct): Early-Bird ends in 2 days

Last call! (we want to make sure we have your attention)

The Early-Bird discount ends midnight (North American Eastern time) on Wednesday, which is just a couple of days away. Here is the direct link to get registered: http://geekgatherings.com/registration.

Virtual Fox Fest is October 13, 19, and 25, 2022.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Virtual Fox Fest Registration Reminder

Thanks to all who have already registered for Virtual Fox Fest; we appreciate your support and our speakers are excited to share their sessions with you soon. Please register for Virtual Fox Fest before September 1st, our Early-Bird deadline. We know you are interested in saving $50, and we would appreciate processing the bulk of the registrations in August. Perfect synergy! As a bonus, we won't process your payment until September. It takes just a few minutes to register. Virtual Fox Fest is October 13, 19, and 25, 2022.

Thursday, August 04, 2022

Virtual Fox Fest 2022 (October): Speakers, Sessions, and Registration

Speakers and sessions for Virtual Fox Fest 2022 (October) have been announced, and registration is open!

While I’m of course interested in all the sessions, the ones that interest me the most are Joel Leach's DevOps with Visual FoxPro and Rick Borup's Switching to SQL Server. I have no experience with the former so I'm keen to learn about it and have lots of experience with the latter so I'm interested in Rick's take.

Virtual Fox Fest is October 13, 19, and 25, 2022. The cost is $299 US but register before September 1 to save $50.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Formatting Grids Dynamically

I've been working with grids a lot lately, and find setting them up very tedious: set ColumnCount to the desired value, set ControlSource and other properties such as InputMask and Alignment for every column, set Caption and other properties for every header, etc. To make matters worse, if you change the RecordSource for the grid, ControlSource gets reset for every column so now you have to go back and fix them. To matters even worse, if you need to add a new column between two existing ones, you have to move all the property settings for the subsequent columns. (Yes, I know you can just increment ColumnCount and set ColumnOrder for the new column to the proper value, but then the visual appearance of the grid doesn't match the column order in the Properties window. Do that a couple of times and then have fun trying to find a specific column.)

So, I decided to format grids programmatically. At first, I wrote a lot of code like this:

with This.grdOrders
   .ColumnCount  = 22
   .RecordSource = 'orders'

   .Column1.ControlSource   = 'orders.line'
   .Column1.Width           = 30
   .Column1.Header1.Caption = 'Line'

   .Column2.ControlSource   = 'sorder.item'
   .Column2.Width           = 40
   .Column2.Header1.Caption = 'Item #'

   * more code here for the rest of the columns

That too grew tedious quickly. So, I decided to dynamically format the grid at run time rather than design time. I added a SetupColumns method to my grid base class with code that accepts a format string and applies it to the grid. Then in an instance of the grid, I write code that sets up the format string and calls SetupColumns. Here's an example:

text to lcColumns noshow
Field		|Width	|Caption	|Alignment	|InputMask	|ReadOnly	|Control
Invnum		|70	|Invoice #	|		|		|.T.		|
Date		|70	|Date		|		|		|.T.		|
Name		|*	|Project	|		|		|.T.		|
Amount		|60	|Amount		|1		|99,999.99	|.T.		|
Hours		|40	|Hours		|1		|999.99		|.T.		|
Paid		|70	|Date Paid	|		|		|		|Checkbox
Received	|60	|Received	|1		|99,999.99	|		|

Here are some rules for the format string:

  • The format settings must be in this order and have a header row like shown above
  • Separate format settings with tabs and a pipe
  • "Field" is the field name (aliased or not)
  • Use a tab for an unspecified value, such as Alignment and InputMask for most of the entries in the example
  • Use "*" for Width to "auto-size" a column; that is, size it to the rest of the space after the other columns are sized
  • Control specifies what control to use for the column. Currently only Checkbox is supported but others could easily be added

Now setting up a grid is just a matter of filling out an easy-to-understand "table" of column settings. Need to add a new column in the middle of the grid? Just add a new line to the table.

However, it's still slightly tedious because you have to run the form the grid is on to see what it looks like, close the form, edit the table (adjust column widths and alignment, for example), run the form again, rinse and repeat. So, I created a builder named SFGridBuilder that does the same thing at design time. Select the format string without the "text" and "endtext" statements, copy it, invoke the builder, and ta da, the grid is formatted at design time. Tweak the string, copy it, run the builder again ... repeat until perfect. This builder works with any grid, even a VFP base class.

How do you invoke the builder? Any way you normally would:

  • I added a Builder property to my grid base class and set it to SFGridBuilder.prg
  • You can register it with Thor and invoke it through a Thor hot key or menu
  • You can register it with Builder.app
  • You can run it directly: do (path + 'SFGridBuilder')
Rick Schummer did a session at Virtual Fox Fest 2020 about builders, so watch the video for details.

Monday, May 09, 2022

Virtual Fox Fest 2022 (May) Follow-up

Here are some follow-up notes about Virtual Fox Fest 2022 (May):

  • Videos for all presentations are now available on YouTube for free to everyone, as our contribution to the VFP community. Be sure to subscribe to our channel.
  • If you didn't attend Virtual Fox Fest and want materials (white papers and sample code) for the presentations, go to  https://geekgatherings.com/Registration and "register" for the conference. You're not really registering since it's over, but in the Registration Fees section of the registration page, you'll see "Virtual Fox Fest Session Materials" for previous events. There's also an opportunity to sponsor Virtual Fox Fest, which means your name will be listed on our Sponsors page.
  • If you didn't attend Virtual Fox Fest, check out our Facebook page and see what you missed, then plan to attend a future one so you can join in the fun.

Virtual Fox Fest 2022 (October): Call for Speakers

We're excited to offer you Virtual Fox Fest 2022 (October), a three-day online conference presenting the latest in Microsoft Visual FoxPro development techniques and interoperability with other technologies. This conference provides a venue for VFP developers to come together virtually to learn more about how our fellow developers are using and extending VFP. For details about Virtual Fox Fest, please see https://virtualfoxfest.com.

The conference is going to be on October 13th, 19th, and 25th, 2022. 

We've issued the Call for Speakers for Virtual Fox Fest. If you are interested in presenting, please read the document referenced at https://virtualfoxfest.com/CallForSpeakers.aspx and consider submitting sessions.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

VFF 2022 (May) Last Chance

Thank you to all who have registered for Virtual Fox Fest; we appreciate your support.

We are down to the last minute and the registration squad is providing one last incentive to get you to register now because the next week is already busy. While we don't mind registering people at the last minute, it is hectic just before the conference and it is much easier to process registrations today than it is the day before or the day of the conference.

Our friends at DBI want to help incentivize you to register in the next 24 hours and have provided us licenses to their awesome products to give away.

1. Two (2) Studio Controls COM 64 Full Developer Licenses (each a USD $699 value, https://www.dbi-tech.com/ProductPage_studiocontrolscom64.aspx)
What's included:
  • 25 Modern Unicode, 64 bit and 32 bit UX Design ActiveX Controls
  • Multiple Access Demos for each component high lighting key industry tested features
  • Detailed, individual component help files
  • Tutorial style 'Developing With' per component help
  • 32 - bit design and Deployment controls
  • 64 - bit Design and Deployment controls
2. One (1) Solutions Schedule COM 64 Version 4.0 (not yet released to the public, USD $1499 value, https://www.dbi-tech.com/ProductPage_SolutionsScheduleCOM64.aspx) Full Developer License
What's currently included:
  • Royalty-Free distribution
  • Source Code Samples written in VFP
  • Compiled (.exe) Samples
  • Annual Product Upgrade Service
  • Direct Access to the Product's Technical Support Group
  • Online license management
  • Online Software Activations
3. Two (2) $100 Microsoft Store Gift Cards.

So here is the deal. Everyone who is registered before 3:00pm (North American Eastern Time, GMT -4) on April 27, 2022 has a chance to win one of the five give-aways, including those who registered earlier. We know this is important so here is the link to the registration site to make things easy: http://geekgatherings.com/Registration

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Virtual Fox Fest: Time to Register

Thanks to all who registered for Virtual Fox Fest; we appreciate your support. This is another friendly reminder to the rest of you that it takes just a few minutes to register, here is the link: register me now

Emails to registered attendees begin next week with all the details about the conference.

You can order your Virtual Fox Fest gear from https://geekgatherings.logosoftwear.com/.

Virtual Fox Fest is May 5, 2022! Only 15 days until we gather virtually via the Internet!

Tuesday, April 05, 2022

Virtual Fox Fest 2022 (May): Registrations available

Friendly reminder: if you have not registered for Virtual FoxFest 2022 (May), head on over to https://geekgatherings.com/Registration and get it done before you get distracted again by work. It is important for your long-term development career.