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Konu: Microsoft launches new open codeplex foundation

UT den "Microsoft launches new open codeplex foundation" thread inden bir alıntı VFP ye uzun süre hizmet vermis Ken LEVY den ilginc bilgiler. bu tartisma da Cetin hocanin da bir kac yerde yaniti var ve kac gundur hala surup gidiyor ben fazla takip etmedim belki oda bir seyler eklemek ister.

Not : Turkcelestirmek uzun zaman alacak ama ingilizce bilenler genede bir seyler anlar lar.

Yeah, Craig is correct. Let's look at it from a fast paced history. Microsoft put a huge effort and lots of resources into creating VFP 3.0, there were 50 people on the team and a big marketing budget. In the following years, both Access and VB grew in market share and also competed in ways with the VFP market (and message), and by the time VFP 5.0 was released, many upper managers wanted Microsoft to just end VFP there. In fact, they did for a short time. I was there, in a meeting with 40 people, and the formal announcement was made to the Fox team that VFP was dead. It was very early 1996, and that meeting lead to the Garnter Group releasing their report that VFP was dead, which had a major impact on future VFP sales. But the Fox team members along with the community made so much noise, combined with people like Eric Rudder (architect of VFP 3.0, who became Bill Gates' technical assistant) convinced developer tools management to keep VFP evolving while decreasing the resources for it, maintaining profit for both VFP and Windows. In fact, the primary reason VFP lasted another decade with 4 more versions released was more about Windows sales than VFP sales. So many Windows machines running VFP apps. When Steve Ballmer jumps around like monkeyboy and yells "developers, developers, developers", he's thinking about Windows sales, not developer tools sales.

Each new version of VFP like 6.0 and 7.0, there was less resources, team members, and marketing budget. While VFP was in the Visual Studio box, it was just a bundle, no integration. When the VFP community saw VFP running inside VS and the possiblity of running on the .NET framework, they also learned that if VFP went that path, it would seriously break FoxPro code backward compatiblity and the VFP IDE would be gone eventually. Microsoft never had a goal to work on both VFP stand-alone and VFP for .NET. Having a new VFP for .NET would just take away resources from evolvoing VB.NET and C#, make it harder to sell VS and the .NET framework, and not really result in anything useful since it would not run old VFP code as-is. Developers who were using VB6 had to learn a brand new tool, platform, and in some areas language with VB.NET, it was a new 1.0 product. Many VB6 developers didn't move to .NET, maybe half or so. In Microosft view, and often in business in general, if you are not growing, you're dying. So VFP was dying since '96, and while some people are disappointed it ended a few years ago, it really evolved a full decade than it almost did and that many people at MS wanted it to.

Then after VFP 7.0, it was decided to keep VFP as a stand-alone product outside of the VS bundle, since it would not be part of the .NET platform. This made sense, and allowed VFP to ship on it's own new version timeline. Each new version released, it was expected that was the last version. Nobody on the Fox team, not a single person, expected a version after VFP 8.0 released. Sales continued to decline annually, and so did the marketing budget. The only way to grow/increase sales of VFP would have been to compete with VS and take away budget and resources from VS. In reality, the biggest competitor to VFP was VS (not Delphi or any non-MS product). Most marketing and management folks in VS/.NET would have preferred Fox develepers use Borland's Delphi.NET rather than Microsoft VFP, since they would be building on the .NET platform rather than the old legacy COM. COM became the enemy, to move people away from it, just like HTML/JavaScript is a current enemy to the Microsoft platform today as well.

So when VFP 8.0 was released, a few of us met with Eric Rudder (was had become senior VP of all developer tools and SQL Server, with 20,000 employees in that division) and he didn't think many VFP developers were ready for to move to VS 2003/2005, and asked us to propose what a VFP 9.0 would look like. We focused on making that version the most community version ever, really focusing on the Wish List database of feedback and ideas here on the UT, and feedback from insiders/MVPs, etc. It lead to enhancing the report writer and engine in a big way. The plan was approved, and the team was down to 8 people total including me as product manager and the test team. I recall coming up with the Europa code name while having dinner with Beth Massi at Chili's, and it was inspired by the movie 2010 (nothing to do with Europe).

And the result of the next version was, VFP 9.0 was a better release than VFP 7.0 and VFP 8.0 according to the community. Of course, the Fox team was sure that it would end there, maybe one service pack and that's it. Soon after VFP 9.0 released, probably within that same month, I bumped into Eric Rudder in the cafeteria at a VS releated afternoon special event party and we talked about what's next for VFP, and he said he didn't think we should release a new VFP 9.0 that was good, then end it all there. He said that we should put together a plan for an Xbase add-on, to either sell or give away. I wrote the plan for Sedna and we decided it needed to be free, and was a combination of a suite of useful sample apps and utilities that foucsed on VFP interop with other Microsoft products (.NET, SQL Server, Windows, etc.). The primary reason for Sedna is to delay the annoucement of the end of VFP in order to save sales of VFP 9.0 as well as to protect the Fox community and it's job market.

To summarize what my role was in my 5 years as VFP product manager (and the last one) was to market VFP to the existing community (mainly via upgrades), to do what was possible to keep the Fox community as strong, and to get VFP developers to adopt additional Microsoft products (.NET and SQL Server). In my role, I always viewed myself in 2 positions - one representing Microsoft as an employee, and the other as a FoxPro community member doing everything I could for Fox within the walls of Microsoft to evolve, save, promote, and help VFP and the community as much as possible. I spent about 40% of my time marketing VFP within Microsoft, at the Redmond headquarters and to the field offices, on messaging and keeping the VFP message positive/alive.

The keep the community happy and upgrading was the primary goal in 2001 when I joined as product manager. I actually don't think there were a lot of exectations. Let's be real, my background was 18 years as a developer and 2 years in the internet and dot com space learning a lot about marekting and business, but I was never a pure marketing person (more community, and guerilla maketing). If Microsoft had wanted to grow the VFP user base, they would have had a pro marketing team do it with a big budget. But I took the attitude of that I could do as much as possilbe for VFP and the community includign within Microsoft, and even then people expected VFP 8.0 to be the last version. Within 1 month of me joining the team, in late August 2001, I sent a direct email to Steve Ballmer explaining how I needed him to do a video recording talking about VFP 7.0, how it works great with other MS technologies, and that we were evolving the product - since there was so much VFP is dead going on. I knew Steve Ballmer was focused on customer satifiaction (which results in better sales), and I told him in the end of the email that I needed his help for me to help in his goals, so to speak. He replied the next day asking his assitant to schedule him to record the video in the Microsoft studioes. I wrote the script of waht he said, I think only 2 or 3 words were changed in the final video he recorded. VFP DevCon in San Diego was Sept 10-13 in 2001, and it tured out Ballmer was schedule to record the video at 10:00am PT on 9/11/2001. Then the studio video team was going to get me a WMV of it via FTP by that afternoon, and on the evening of 9/11, I was to show the video to the 1100 attendees during the Shamoo ocra whale show at the SeaWorld party that night. Obviously the video didn't get recorded that morning, but it did 3 weeks later and went online and helped in perception, not just within the VFP community, but within MS and the tech industry. It never solved all the problems, and I don't think all of the management in my building was all that happy since they were not wanting to see VFP promoted, they wanted to just promote VS/VB/C#.

I came up with the project idea for VFPX as well as the name, after getting Microsoft legal approval to release XSource.zip with a new license agreement to allow VFP developers to modify and redistribute any of the VFP Xbase source code. VFPX is a great evolving effort within the community. I still think the best feature of VFP is the community itself, and one the most passionate tech communities ever.

I created http://twitter.com/FoxPro a while back and tweet there on occassion. I sometimes search for pro-VFP news online to post there, or maybe some interesting VFP history tid-bits on occassion. Now in less than 3 months, on Jan 15th, 2010, VFP 9.0 support ends. While paid extended support will exist for 5 more years, I don't expect any additional hotfixes or anything to be done for VFP, unless in the rare case it impacted VFP runtime on Windows 7 preventing customers with VFP based apps to upgrade to the latest version of Windows. Some suggest that Microsoft killed VFP before it should have, and another way to look at the behind the scenes history is to see that VFP lived many years and versions beyond what it was planned. While MS could have done more for VFP, it just really couldn't happen with MS promoting and giving resources to Access, VB, and then VS at the same time. Only developers who have used FoxPro really appreciate it for what it was and is.

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