Saturday, December 30, 2023

Introducing FoxGet Package Manager

If you've worked with Visual Studio, you've likely used NuGet, which is a package manager for .NET. The idea is that you can search for libraries you'd like to add to your application, download and install them, and then have them managed (automatically download again if files are missing, update to a new version, etc.).

FoxGet is a new tool that's the VFP equivalent of NuGet. You run FoxGet when you want to add a library to an application. You search for a library you're interested in and if one is found, you can download, install, and add it to your project with a single mouse click. Of course, you'll have to do the coding part such as calling the library yourself.

FoxGet is available now at In a little while, it'll be available via Thor Check for Updates. All you need is There are currently installers for 24 popular VFP open source libraries.

To use FoxGet, open the project for the application you want to add a library to and DO path\, where path is the folder where you placed If you installed it using Thor Check for Updates, you can choose FoxGet Package Manager from the Thor Tools, Applications menu. Select a library (also known as a package) and click Install. FoxGet downloads just the necessary files (no samples or documentation), puts them into a subdirectory of a new Packages subdirectory of your application folder, and adds the necessary files to your project. Uninstalling is just as easy: select the package and click Uninstall.

I look forward to any feedback you have: create issues or discussions in the GitHiub repository.

Friday, December 22, 2023

Geek Gatherings 2024: Save the Dates!

We have locked in our dates for our 2024 conferences and hope you will save the dates to attend.

Our one-day Virtual Fox Fest 2024 will be Wednesday, May 8, 2024. It still has the same great features everyone loves about VFF: great speakers delivering great sessions, live chatting during presentations, and getting to hang out virtually with new and old friends. This event will feature classic sessions from previous conferences, updated for 2024.

We’re excited to offer you Southwest Fox 2024, a hybrid conference, September 26-29, 2024. You decide whether to come in person or watch online! The in-person event will be held at the Hampton Inn & Suites Phoenix-Scottsdale in Scottsdale, Arizona. The virtual event will use the Ring Central Hopin platform (the same platform we use for Virtual Fox Fest).

Web sites will be updated in the new year. Call for speakers will be announced later in February so get your ideas prepared.

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Formatting Strings

In the category of building on the shoulders of giants, I adapted the idea Eric Selje presented in String.Format for Visual FoxPro and added support for string interpolation. This makes it much easier to code and read statements that combine expressions into a string.

For example, rather than writing (and later trying to understand):

lcMessage = 'The balance for ' + lcUser + ' on ' + transform(datetime()) + ;
    ' is ' + transform(lnBalance)
use this:
lcMessage = Format('The balance for {lcUser} on {datetime()} is {lnBalance}')

You can get Format.prg from my GitHub repository.

Wednesday, September 06, 2023

Southwest Fox is ON!

We have good news to share today. Thanks to the support of the Visual FoxPro community and our many sponsors, Southwest Fox 2023 will proceed as planned October 19-22, 2023 in Scottsdale, AZ and online via Hopin (now owned by RingCentral).

We really appreciate all the support people have shown for the conference with registrations! That said, the decision comes with a calculated risk because we are still many registrations short of covering all the conference expenses. Please continue to spread the word to your colleagues, clients, user groups and anywhere else Visual FoxPro is spoken.

If you haven't yet registered, there's still room for you:

If you've already registered for the in-person conference, you'll receive a confirmation email soon that includes a link for our discounted hotel rate. 

We are pleased to announce Geekwear by Geek Gatherings. Order your Southwest Fox gear from Choose from the options shown or create your own unique SWFox-wear.

Contact Us: If you want to be a sponsor: If you have suggestions or ideas: If you have a friend who wants to be on our mailing list, please ask them to sign up on the conference home page to get future mailings. Call: 586.254.2530

Monday, August 28, 2023

Southwest Fox 2023: URGENT - Now or never, register today

The fate of Southwest Fox is being decided Wednesday, August 30th. Help us make the decision to keep this conference going easy. We won’t charge your credit card until September. There is no more time for you to procrastinate. It simply is now or never. If you are going to Southwest Fox this year (in-person or virtually), please head over to the registration Web site, right now, before you forget:

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Southwest Fox 2023: URGENT Early-Bird registration deadline looms!



We have to decide by August 31 whether to hold Southwest Fox 2023 or not. So far, registration for both the in-person and virtual conferences has been slow. We have three options: a hybrid conference as planned, a virtual conference only, or no conference. If you want us to decide to hold the conference, register (for either the in-person or virtual event) before August 30. Credit cards will not be charged until September. If you are registering for the in-person conference, DO NOT book travel until you hear our decision.

Please head over to the registration Web site today:

Don't miss this chance to learn from the best and mix with your peers.

XSharp Free Post-Conference Session 
The XSharp Team is planning a Sunday afternoon (10/22) vendor session called "Migrating Your VFP App to .NET with X#."   Check out our Workshops page for all the up-to-date details.

If you've already registered for the conference and want to attend this session, email and we'll add you to the post-conference list. 

Only 65 days until we hope to gather in Scottsdale!

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Southwest Fox 2023: Super-saver Deadline Approaches

Hear that sound? Tick, tick, tick, tick…

That’s the countdown clock here at Geek Gatherings getting closer to the Super-saver deadline for Southwest Fox!  July 31st is next Monday and we thought we would pass along one more reminder just in case you forgot to add it your reminder list or put a yellow sticky note on your monitor. We still need people to register to make the in-person side of the conference happen.

Urgent: do not make plane reservations until we announce the decision for the in-person conference, which we expect to make in the coming weeks.

The conference takes place October 19-22, 2023 in Scottsdale, Arizona and we really hope you can be there. We would hate to see you lose out on the $100 discount and for those who really want to attend in-person, miss out on a spot in the first 50 registrations (the room limit we have for the conference space).

Head over to the registration Web site today:

If you’ve already registered, we thank you. Can you help us remind fellow developers who have been procrastinating about the looming deadline by sharing this email, sharing about it on social media, or posting on a forum how great a previous Southwest Fox or Virtual Fox Fest conference was for you? You can also spread the word by telling others you’re going on our Facebook event.

Nitty-Gritty Details
Check out our list of amazing speakers and dig into our sessions. Follow the news about the conference and our blog.

Contact Us:

Please beat the rush so we still have some fingernails left when August begins!

We appreciate all the support people have shown for the in-person conference with early registrations. We look forward to getting many more this week as we need them to make the “in-person go” decision; otherwise, we will be all virtual. If you’re planning to attend the virtual conference, please register now as it helps in our decision-making process.

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Time to Register for Southwest Fox Fest

Speakers and sessions for Southwest Fox 2023 have been announced, and registration is open! As I discussed earlier, we have a limit on the number of people who can attend in-person, and in less than 24 hours since registration opened, 1/3 of the spots have already been taken. So, if you're considering attending in-person, register today or you'll likely miss out! Also, Super-Saver Registration, which saves you $100, is available only through July 31st, so don't wait. When registering, be sure to select the proper conference on the registration site: choose either the in-person event or the virtual event.

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Virtual Fox Fest 2023 (May) Follow-up

Here are some follow-up notes about Virtual Fox Fest 2023 (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 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.
  • We announced Southwest Fox 2023. More about that in another blog post.

Southwest Fox 2023

While Virtual Fox Fest (VFF) has been a great way to learn about our favorite development environment and get together virtually, four years is a long time to not see each other in-person. Geek Gatherings is pleased to announce Southwest Fox 2023 (SWFox), October 19-22, our first in-person conference since 2019.

For a variety of reasons, it'll be different this year.

  • We have a new venue: Hampton Inn & Suites Phoenix-Scottsdale in Scottsdale, AZ. It's closer to the airport than the SanTan Elegante Conference & Reception Center in Gilbert so it's a little more convenient, but still close to lots of restaurants for after-hours socializing.

  • SWFox will be a hybrid conference: in-person and virtual. When you register, you choose how you'll attend. The virtual event will use the Hopin platform (the same platform we use for Virtual Fox Fest). Sessions are presented live and both streamed to the virtual event and recorded.

  • Videos will be available to attendees (in-person and virtual) after the conference. We will not be making videos available to the community for free as we've done with VFF because we really need people to attend to cover our costs.

  • In order to provide a 15-minute Q & A session for virtual attendees after each presentation, and to provide 15 minutes for the incoming speaker to set up, there will be 30 minutes between sessions rather than 15 minutes as we've done at past conferences. Because of that, we can only fit five sessions per day rather than six, so we've added a half-day to the conference so we can provide the same number of conference sessions (15) as we've had with past conferences. It now starts with registration Thursday morning, an opening session early Thursday afternoon, followed by three conference sessions. The conference goes all day Friday and Saturday, Sunday morning, and finishes with a closing session Sunday afternoon. See the schedule overview for more details. We actually like this schedule and think it's a little more relaxed than at previous conferences.

  • Because we're not sure how many people will attend in-person this year, we didn't want to pick a large, expensive venue. As a result, we have a limit of 50 in-person attendees (there's no limited on virtual attendees). That's not one of those "we're giving an artificially low number to drive up demand" kind of limits; it's a hard limit based on the size of the conference room. So, if you want to attend in-person, be sure to sign up as soon as possible after registration opens in early July. If you miss the cut-off of 50 people, you can always attend virtually.

  • All sessions are presented in a single room. An advantage of this format is that there's no chance of missing any sessions because they're scheduled opposite other sessions you also want to see.  Another is that it eliminates the searching for the next room and trying to find a seat. Also, each speaker only presents one session once rather than two sessions twice, so it's a lot easier on them!

  • Hampton includes hot breakfast with your hotel room charge (Rick Schummer tried it when checking out possible venues a couple of months ago and said it was great). Lunch will be provided on Friday and Saturday (likely deli-style but we're still working out the details). Because we aren't providing as many meals, and have limited other costs as much as we can, registration is less expensive than for previous SWFox conferences. Details will be announced in early July.
One thing that won't be different is a great line up of speakers, inspiring session topics, and the chance to hang out with new and old friends!

We're looking for speakers. If you think you have a topic other developers would be interested in, see our Call for Speakers page and submit a session proposal.

See you in October!

Anatomy of a VFPX Project

At the just-concluded Virtual Fox Fest 2023 (May), I presented a session titled "Anatomy of a VFPX Project". Normally I don't make white papers and sample files from conference sessions available until one year after it was originally presented to discourage people from not attending a conference because the material is available for free. However, the other organizers of Virtual Fox Fest, Rick Schummer and Tamar Granor, agreed with me that this is an important topic for our community because it both encourages and instructs VFP developers on how to contribute to VFPX. So, the white paper and sample files are available now from the Technical Papers page of my web site. You can also watch a video of the presentation.

Sunday, April 02, 2023

Move VFP to Another Monitor

Like many developers, I have two monitors (some have even more). I like to open Outlook, VFP, and Visual Studio on my primary monitor and my browser, Word, Excel, and other apps on the other one. Sometimes, though, I want two VFP windows open, one on the primary monitor and one on the other, because I'm working on two different versions of an application at the same time. Or sometimes I have VS open on the primary monitor and want VFP open on the other one so I can work on both at the same time.

After opening VFP and dragging it to the other monitor for the 100th time, a lightbulb came on: use a hotkey to toggle VFP between the two monitors. I created this as a Thor tool and assigned Alt-2 to it. Here's the code:
Lparameters lxParam1

* Standard prefix for all tools for Thor, allowing this tool to
*   tell Thor about itself.

If Pcount() = 1						  ;
		And 'O' = Vartype (lxParam1)  ;
		And 'thorinfo' == Lower (lxParam1.Class)

	With lxParam1
		* Required
		.Prompt		   = 'Move VFP to Other Monitor'
		* Optional
		Text to .Description NoShow
Move VFP to Other Monitor
		.CanRunAtStartUp = .F.

		* These are used to group and sort tools when they are displayed in menus or the Thor form
		.Source		   = "Doug's Tools"

	Return lxParam1

If Pcount() = 0
	Do ToolCode
	Do ToolCode With lxParam1


* Normal processing for this tool begins here.                  
Procedure ToolCode
	Lparameters lxParam1
		if _screen.Left > 1900
			_screen.Left = 2
			_screen.Left = 1922
		endif _screen.Left > 1900
		_screen.Visible     = .T.
		_screen.Top         =   54
		_screen.Width       = 1916
		_screen.Height      =  950
		_screen.WindowState = 2
			&& this is needed to force thw window to draw properly
		_screen.WindowState = 0
Your dimensions might be different so adjust this code as necessary. Also, you might not want the tool to be in the Thor menu under "Doug's Tools", so set Source to something appropriate.

UPDATE: it turns out a Windows hotkey will do this: Win+Shift+Arrow Key. Thanks to Jochen Kirst├Ątter (JoKi) for pointing this out.

New VFPX Project: List Manager

Many tables have columns containing a small range of values. For example, for a customer type column in a customer table, the acceptable values might be "Business", "Consumer", and "Government". Your choices for data entry into such columns are:
  • Allow the user to type a value. This is bad idea because the user may not know what the acceptable values are or may type them incorrectly.

  • Hard-code the values in a combobox. Adding values to the list means changing the program and deploying an update.

  • Create lookup tables for the values. If there are a lot of such columns, that's a lot of tables and maintenance forms for those tables to create.
List Manager is a new VFPX project that manages lists of lookup values and provides controls so users can select values from these lists.  A single table contains all of the lookup values for an application and a single maintenance form allows users to add, edit, or remove values.

Users can select a single value from a specific type of lookup:

or select multiple values into a comma-separated string:

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Virtual Fox Fest 2023 (May)

Virtual Fox Fest 2023 (May) is a one-day event on Wednesday, May 10, 2023. We have some great speakers delivering great sessions, live chatting during presentations, and getting to hang out virtually with new and old friends. This event will feature classic sessions (from previous conferences), updated for 2023, along with at least one brand new session. More details here:

Registration is open! Details, deadlines and cost are available on our Web site. You register for the conference here: Don't procrastinate, get this done today!

We’re planning Southwest Fox in Arizona this October. We expect to announce our plans for a hybrid (in-person and virtual) fall conference some time in April.