Friday, May 01, 2009

Mike & Toni Feltman Speaking at Southwest Fox 2009

Speaker announcements were posted for Southwest Fox 2009 today and I'm pleased to announce that Toni and I will both be speaking at Southwest Fox. If you've seen us speak before then you know that Toni is one of the best speakers around and that conference organizers can save on hotel expenses by also having me speak. 

I'm really excited to be speaking this year and have two fun topics that I think will translate into great sessions. The first one is HTML and Visual FoxPro and the second one is Introducing  ChatterFox

The HTML and Visual FoxPro session is a two parter. First I'm going to go over all of the HTML related features that come in the box with VFP. There's a lot of them and there's not one central object or command that they're based on, so it's easy to miss some off them. There are also a lot of language features that aren't HTML specific but that make it easy to both create and consume HTML in VFP. We'll cover that as well. In the 2nd part, we're going to take a look at using HTML in desktop applications. HTML isn't just for the Internet and I'll show you why in this session. 

My other session, Introducing ChatterFox, is about some APIs I've been developing for enabling social media like features on custom web sites as well as in desktop applications. The abstract on the SW Fox site pretty much tells the whole story on that session, so head over there for all the details. While you're there, click on the register link and get yourself signed up. There are some great early discounts available. 

Also, on the topic of SW Fox, a new track has been added this year: "Technology for VFP Developers." A brilliant and wise man suggested this topic to the SW Fox organizers although I'm sure plenty of other people had the same thoughts. This track covers subjects that are not specific to VFP but that VFP developers will benefit from by knowing. Here are the topics in the track:

  1. Integrating VFP with SourceGear Vault
  2. Introduction to Subversion and Tortoise SVN
  3. Microsoft Virtual PC for VFP Developers
  4. Open Source Tools
  5. The Show Must Go On: Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Planning
I think this track is important for several reasons. First of all, the majority of VFP developers have been working in VFP for over a decade and would be classified as experts in their field. Sometimes it's hard to justify training expenses for something you're already an expert on. (My xBase career is at 22 years now and there are indeed sessions in this conference that I know I can learn from though) . So this track provides some training on other topics of interest that will benefit VFP developers directly even if you already "know it all" as far as VFP is concerned. Secondly, a lot of VFP developers live in their own little world. It's pretty typical for a VFP developer to be either an in-house developer that maintains a single line-of-business application or that has a fixed set of clients. This is a chance to look out the window and see what other VFP developers are doing out there. 

I'm looking forward to the "Microsoft Virtual PC for VFP Developers" session by Doug Hennig. I know I should be making use of virtual machines but everytime I decide to give it a whirl I run into some show stopper and decide to get back to billable work. I'm counting on Doug to get me up and running eh. 

If you're not using Source Code Control, well, I think you need to question your sanity. I thought F1 Technologies was somewhat late adopters of source code control when we finally started using it in the 90s. I'm shocked and appalled that there are still developers out there that I consider highly skilled and otherwise brilliant not using version control. There are 2 sessions in this track for you. Introduction to Subversion and Tortoise SVN given by Toni Feltman and Integrating VFP with SourceGear Vault by Walt Krzystek. Subversion and Vault basically represent both schools of thought in Version Control. If you don't know what I mean by that, go to the sessions to find out. Then pick one! Both of them are precons, so if you register now, you can attend one of them for free. If you can't justify the expense for the 2nd precon, just go to Toni's session - Toni is way better looking than Walt. If you are using version control, if you're using VSS (or VSS with Source Off Site) and like that approach go to Walt's session on Vault and see all that you'll gain by switching to Vault. If you find Vault or VSS too prohibitive or you just want to see what Subversion is all about, go to Toni's session. 

I'll be rehearsing one of my sessions at the Grand Rapids Area FoxPro User Group on October 10th. If there's a user group out there that would like to see me rehearse the other topic or both in September let me know. Practice makes perfect. 

Anyway I'm really excited about SW Fox this year. SW Fox is the only major VFP event in North America and I'm looking forward to seeing as many of my VFP friends as possible. Hopefully Toni and I will have the party room again this year. While I can't promise there'll be any burning guitars this year I'm sure it'll be a good time. Maybe Craig Boyd will get his act together and organize a real Texas Hold 'em Tourament.


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