Since we made the announcement, I’ve been reading comments on this blog and others as well as various community sites like the Universal Thread. The comments have ranged from the good to the, er, not so good <g>, to the challenging. I’ve also personally spoken to over 50 different companies, people, etc., over the past two days. I’d like to give an overview of what I’ve heard, some comments, and go from there. I’m doing this in largish buckets – for simplicities sake. I’ve also received comments in English and a lot in Spanish (I suspect the folks at PortalFox have a long thread going – sorry I don’t speak Spanish or I’d jump in. I’m sure someone will translate this over there – and I appreciate that).

This was something to be expected. No need to panic though, things will continue to work. Also, Microsoft is killing VFP.

These are two sides of the discussion. Craig Berntson wrote about it on his blog in detail. I obviously agree with the “no need to panic” approach. Recently, someone blogged from OzFox about what a large percentage of people were using Fox 2.6. Note that Fox 2.6 hasn’t been supported for years, but it still works (if anyone has a pointer to this post, I’d love to link, but I can’t find it). It is an opportunity to start exploring what other programming languages you might like to learn.

Additionally, VFP will continue to be supported for 8 more years. The MVP program will continue as long as there’s a community. The capabilities will continue to grow with things like VFPX. In fact, one of the things I’m proudest of is that while we can’t open source the core, the extensibility model allows folks to keep adding new capabilities.

How are you doing, yag? What about the team?

This was really nice. I didn’t expect to get so many people asking how I’m doing. A similar issue came up at the MVP meeting where people asked what the team would be doing. It’s so nice when people realize that we’re part of the community and are affected by this also. Calvin and I have both been involved with Fox for over 20 years. In the MVP meeting, we had three of the original MVPS (Calvin, Tamar and myself). Brought back a lot of memories.

I’m moving to Linux, Python, etc.

Where you want to go from here is really up to you. I can say, however, that the VFP team is working on the next version of VB.NET (as we’ve talked about for over a year now), and there are some interesting tools that help you either go to .NET, or integrate new .NET code with your VFP applications. There are also at least two .NET frameworks written by folks who come from VFP. There is also a good community on the Universal Thread made up of VFP people who have already added .NET to their repertoire. But again, it’s up to you.  

Thank you for giving us the chance to keep this going ourselves

Alex Feldstein blogged about this. He focuses on the fact that VFP “is a mature product with a great set of features”. He’s happy that we’re releasing Sedna at no charge and making the source code available to be enhanced by the community.  He also gives a nod to the community projects that are already out there (and they are awesome – GDI+ support, an Outlook toolbar control, integration with MSBuild, and much more).

How about open sourcing the core product too?

We’ve been asked this for years. That’s not going to happen. The main reason is that there is too much intellectual property in the VFP core codebase. Someone on the Universal Thread also noted that it’s written in C and C++. How many folks in the community are prepared to learn an 18 year old codebase in a language that they don’t typically use? I know that I wouldn’t take it on. <g> Think back to code you’ve written and maintained for 18 years. Now picture giving it to someone else.