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Using VFPX : A Walkthrough features in CodePlex

This white paper is from a session originally given at Southwest Fox 2008, introducing many developers to how CodePlex works and how they can get involved with the VFPX Project.

You can also hear the audio of this session here.

So you want to help out in VFPX? This session goes through how to get started with the VFPX Project and dealing with issues like source control, the Wiki-style attitude of Codeplex and more.

What Is VFPX?

VFPX is the future of the Visual FoxPro IDE and developer tools we currently know today. It is based on the VFP 9 SP2 core but realistically, it is more like taking all of the tools that have grown up around the VFP engine and making them ours to grow and enhance. Microsoft is no longer doing active development on Visual FoxPro; the product is officially supported until 2015 but then many developers still have VFP 6 applications running and VFP6 support ended in 2004.

Visual FoxPro has a long running tradition of community enhancements. Back in 1990, the FoxPro CompuServe forums were among the busiest, with new downloads and an environment of users helping other users. Some of these tools were shareware, others were simply demos of commercial products and others still were released into the public domain, making them free. Since CompuServe closed down and the web became what it is today, a number of different avenues have cropped up as a way for keeping the FoxPro community in touch. Many offer downloads (such as the Universal Thread and Foxite) while others continue on the discussion aspect of the FoxPro forums.
VFPX is a community-driven effort to provide a single source for the latest in FoxPro tools, all offered under a single license for developers. It includes every FoxPro component provided by Microsoft that was written in xBase. For those developers who may have been unaware, a great deal of the tools provided with FoxPro, such as the Class Browser, Builders, Wizards and the Task Pane are all written in xBase, many of them by community members who were contracted by Microsoft. The Visual FoxPro engine (the executable and the runtime DLLs) are not being changed and are not available – but every other piece is. The last piece of core code that Microsoft provided for Visual FoxPro (Sedna) was put onto CodePlex. That's where we come in.

While a lot of the existing pieces of VFPX are tools that improve the development experience, a growing number of them are interface controls and libraries that you can use to improve your own applications. Just as the FoxPro Foundation Classes (FFC) and Component Gallery provide samples and techniques for implementing technologies, VFPX includes GDIPlusX which makes working with graphics in your application easy or ThemedControls which provides standard Windows and Mac UI components written directly in FoxPro.

If you have ever thought about how much better a particular tool in Visual FoxPro would be if it only had one extra feature, this is the opportunity to change it. If you have tools in your own developer arsenal that you think can benefit the entire developer community, propose it (more on that below) and get it in there. If you've developed interface components that you want to share with others, put it into the VFPX codebase. The main stipulation is that you will be offering it under a Shared Source license, making it available for anyone to use, change or distribute.

Read more from the link enclosed here.


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