Tuesday, July 04, 2006

FoxPro Moves to 12th… No, Stays in 13th!

See the actual chart here

It moved up one more spot in the past month, although temporarily to 12th, but as of today, it’s in 13th again.

That said, at this time last year it was in 35th!! That’s right, it moved up 22 spots over one year ago. In contrast, VB.Net was in 16h at this time last year, and is now in 19th.

Visual FoxPro is now listed as an ‘A’ language, VB.Net, a ‘B’.

Java remains at number one again this month, moving up one spot from the #2 slot it had last year.

I remain exited about FoxPro’s climb this year. I know part of it is due to the number of us out here posting about our success stories as well as doing a bit of ‘evangelizing’ about the product. I also know that a good part of it is also due to the fact that it remains a solid business tool.

FoxPro was one of, if not the, first of the MS languages with the ability to consume web services. It’s got an extremely versatile language that’s been tuned over 20+ years to provide incredible data manipulation capabilities.

Couple that with the ability to work easily with Oracle, DB2, MS-SQL or the native VFP database container (DBC) and you have a tool that exceeds TOAD, or Squirrel in not only working with ‘raw data’, but as a front end to those stores as well.

I know Microsoft will never give the press to FoxPro it gives to Access or SQL Server, as they see it as competing with both of them (something it does very well by the way), and as the pricing model does not separate the ‘data engine’ from the language, and provides the developer the ability to distribute their application without the end user needing a copy of VFP there’s just no profit motive for them to start doing so.

I am seeing a growing community of FoxPro ‘bloggers’ though… and some talented ones as well. I read a discussion this morning about some of us creating a site that showcases Visual FoxPro success stories. I think that’s an excellent idea, and one I think I’ll incorporate into the revamp of one of my sites I’m currently working on.

For those of you who are not ‘techies’ or programmer types, think about it this way. Imagine you spent 10, or 20 years of your life, learning how to use a tool, or better yet a ‘set’ of tools to do your job. Then, one day, you’re told the ‘tool set’ you’ve invested time, and money, to become expert at…. Is no longer an acceptable tool set for you to use.

To me, it’s similar to telling a mechanic, who’s managed to become proficient, and make a living with, sockets, ratchets, screwdriver and hammers, being told those tools can no longer be used, and they now have to use an ‘new and improved’ tool set. Never mind that most of the new tools don’t look, feel or work like the old ones, but in many cases require more time, money and effort to not only use, but to master as well.

I’ve made a fairly big investment in .Net, and while I’m far from the expert I am in FoxPro, with .Net, I’m certainly proficient.

Unfortunately, even if I was to purport .Net expertise, the going rate for .Net programmers is about half what I’d earn on a similar project in VFP. Like that mechanic, I still need to feed and provide for my family, so I’m going to take the work that will allow me to do so, all other things being equal.

In addition, in the right hands, VFP is still one of the fastest development platforms around allowing a VFP guy like me to model, and present an interface to the customer, complete with a basic data model, in days, not weeks or months.

I’m taking steps to get my blog ‘googlized’ so it’s included in the “Tiobe Index” calculations… the way I see it, FoxPro needs all the free press it can get.

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Beth said...

Bill, if I knew at all about anything you just blogged out, I'm sure I'd be excited as well. Either way, congrats FoxPro!

Bill said...

Beth - But you do... imagine anything you worked hard at learning... say the piano... then just when you felt you were really good. Suddenly the old keyboard wasn't 'good enough' anymore.. and the location of all the keys was changed...

Thanks though... It's nice to see my 'old friend' gaining steam once again!

Greg said...

Imagine if they (MS) let on what Fox can really do!...That Dr. Dave!

Bill said...

Greg - The god Doc is resting comfortably among his violins etc.. while the rest of us still work for a living...

After all these years bro... I'm still amazed... in fact, I invoked a and http file download today, from a secure website, with a username and password pass...

From the command window!!

Hari Babu Dornala said...

I am a Foxpro enthusiast, programmer. It is very refreshing to see that Foxpro is growing.
Thank you.


Bill said...

hari - I'm always happy to meet another FoxPro enthusiast!

If there's ever a question I can help you with, drop me an email!

If you have any functions you'd like to share, I'm setting up a code sharing section on one of my sites, send me your code, I'll format it and post it, giving you credit of course

Visual FoxPro to .Net said...

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