Comments from VFP MVPs during the April MVP Summit (by Ken Levy)

Earlier this month, the MVP Summit brought about 1,500 MVPs to Microsoft in Seattle, 30 of which were VFP MVPs. During the summit conference, the VFP MVPs spent a full day with key members of the VFP team receiving exclusive demos of new features in VFP 9.0. The MVPs were able to learn about other new products and technologies currently in development at Microsoft. I asked a few VFP MVPs some questions informally while socializing, and here are some of the quotes I obtained:

Craig Bernston on VFP 9.0 features:
“The report writer rocks. And remember, I'm Mr. Crystal.”

Andy Kramek on VS 2005 features:
“Dragging and dropping a table onto a grid, they call that design time data-binding. Browse window with Visualizers to browse a table. The menu that looked like a quick menu.”

Doug Hennig on new report writer features in VFP 9.0:
“From a user side, like the guy who is just into building apps and not really into building tools; the report listener stuff. Not necessarily report listeners that you're gonna build, but report listeners that you can say download from like the UT or places like that. Because that allows you to do things like dynamic formatting, coloring, and fonts, and stuff like that. Ability to output to different graphic formats. Even having things like the UI where you have a progress meter you know, while the report runs. Silly little things like that are a big usability factor.”

Cindy Winegarden on new features in the VFP 9.0 demos:
“Setting fonts and colors in the property sheet. Having your own properties be able to sort into the middle of all the others (proper casing). I did notice in the examples that one property was red and another was purple.”

Christof Lange on VFP 9.0 demos from the VFP team:
“That the report designer can use GDI+ output on the preview output. I can add any graphic, anything I want to the report and the fonts look better.”

Juergen (Woody) Wondzinski on enhanced report writer features:
“People asking for chaining reports. You can do it with the report writer using multiple detail bands on tables that are not related.”

Marc McCasland on new features in VFP 9.0:
“Some features that allow you to play better on a Tablet PC like the display orientation, being able to do more things with trapping events.”

Alex Feldstein on the new data types supported in VFP 9.0:
“The blob data type can sometimes get rid of APPEND GENERAL with memo fields. Which means, we can put a collection of pictures in a blob memo type without a lot the same memo bloat as before. So that's gonna help because we get lots of questions always about how collection of pictures in a database, before the answer was don't.”

Carl Warner on the enhanced report writer in VFP 9.0:
“The report writer stuff in general, like the fact that it's not gonna break existing reports is a big deal. All the potential for rotation of graphics and making things look like official documents rather than just plain text documents. It's getting closer to desktop publishing even with the way some of those features are.”

Trevor Hancock (VFP beta program lead at Microsoft) on VFP 9.0 features:
“I think people are going to go nuts when they see the report designer. Anchoring is gonna be a huge feature that people are going to love. A lot of the other visual things like design enhancements, some of the data improvements. But I think the number one key factor is going to be the report designer and the types of things they can do with it.”

Trevor Hancock (VFP beta program lead at Microsoft) on the upcoming VFP 9.0 public beta download:
“Download it, and try it out, and realize that you can do a heck of a lot more with it than you thought. Report bugs, report bugs, report bugs; put it through its paces. We would rather fix known issues before we ship it. Don't sit on them.”

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