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General opinions/advices (incl. Pros and Cons) about VFP Advanced
2

General opinions/advices (incl. Pros and Cons) about VFP Advanced

General opinions/advices (incl. Pros and Cons) about VFP Advanced

(OP)
Dear all,

I have seen some very interesting discussions on VFP Advanced (by Chen) here and other places!
Even found web pages with its details and for downloading its 32 bit and 64 bit versions.

However, I have not tried it yet!

What would be your general opinions/advices/suggestions on it.
There must be advantages any way, but what are disadvantages, if any seen/experienced by someone! I am wondering!

Thanks
Rajesh

RE: General opinions/advices (incl. Pros and Cons) about VFP Advanced

(OP)
Dear Tore,

Thank you!

Rajesh

RE: General opinions/advices (incl. Pros and Cons) about VFP Advanced

I'd also be interested in this discussion.

Personally, I have avoided VFPA, for several reasons:

- Lack of information on the website

- Lack of contact details for the author

- Possible difficulties involved in using a non-standard platform

- Doubts about its legality,

I might be wrong about any or all of the above. Then again, I don't see the benefits outweighing the risks.

Mike

__________________________________
Mike Lewis (Edinburgh, Scotland)

Visual FoxPro articles, tips and downloads

RE: General opinions/advices (incl. Pros and Cons) about VFP Advanced

Quote (Mike L.)

Personally, I have avoided VFPA, for several reasons:

Just my $.02:

I don't use VFPA, but I think I MIGHT use it if I felt the extra features it offers were features I NEEDED. Otherwise it doesn't make sense for me. So far, not.

I would definitely consider the legitimate reasons Mike mentioned.

One more reason: Another learning curve?

Steve

RE: General opinions/advices (incl. Pros and Cons) about VFP Advanced

I am / have just install VFPa 64 bit to experiment.

It was a little tricky getting the right version of VFP9 installed - I briefly wrecked an installation
which was running a few VFP apps - but sorting it was only a minor PITA.

Using a machine that is not my normal DEV machine, I copied across a very large VFP app source code base
in a project that I am way too familiar with and set about compiling it.

It threw some errors over xfrx and vfpcompression, but created an executable. That exe runs. It seems
to run quite fast, not measured it.

Just got to play for a while, then decide what to do with it.

The IDE says it is an Engineering Prototype, my spidey sense makes me think the originator somehow got hold
of a preproduction prototype from MS that was being tinkered with in-house before being shut down.
There simply is no way anyone developed this from scratch, it is way too close to the versions we are all
used to. How it was sourced, how legal it is - I have no idea. I wouldn't sell a product based on it,
but I would/will try it out and see if I can use it myself.


Regards

Griff
Keep Smileing

There are 10 kinds of people in the world, those who understand binary and those who don't.

I'm trying to cut down on the use of shrieks (exclamation marks), I'm told they are !good for you.

There is no place like G28 X0 Y0 Z0

RE: General opinions/advices (incl. Pros and Cons) about VFP Advanced

(OP)
Dear all,

Quote (Mike)

I don't see the benefits outweighing the risks.
I think, this is the most important.

I believe everyone is prone to making inadvertant mistakes.
So, while we should salute him for his in-depth knowledge of VFP and especially the ways to tweak it, he also might have made some bugs, unknowingly ofcourse, in some areas which were actually otherwise perfect. Also, as Mike mentioned, without a proper channel for customer support or other communication, risks are certainly there when you make user of it commercially for your businesses.

Rajesh

RE: General opinions/advices (incl. Pros and Cons) about VFP Advanced

(OP)

Quote (Griff)

I wouldn't sell a product based on it,
but I would/will try it out and see if I can use it myself
This is what I also was thinking.

But, Griff, I read somewhere (I am not remembering the Url. I got it from this forum itself I remember) that it's not a case of complete rewrite of Vfp but a chain of processes where the binaries was modified to have the new changes in place and then copied as the new version. I am not sure about the technical side behind it. It was also said in that document that Chen (that's the name?) sometime took hours even for a small modification.

Maybe, as you said, he might have got hold of a prototype somehow!

I would certainly give a try for my personal trials or may be for my own small applications.
But, going through various opinions, for me it's still a NO for using it for our commercial products.

Rajesh

RE: General opinions/advices (incl. Pros and Cons) about VFP Advanced

Quote (GriffMG)

The IDE says it is an Engineering Prototype
It says that sometimes on my machine as well, both with VFP and VFP9, and they definitely are legit evil

RE: General opinions/advices (incl. Pros and Cons) about VFP Advanced

The best value I see in it are the fixes you can apply to vfp9.exe, too.

In the end, I think that's almost like using VFPA 32bit. This also has additional benefits, as we saw in some threads, lately, like larger FPT files allowing to store more in Memo or Blob fields without fearing the 2GB limit, even in each individual field.

The only thing that already has bugged me a few times is VFP's fuzzy handling of longer strings than officially documented and in the new-to-me memo bug even relatively short memo contents. I can live with such things, as long as there are workarounds or even better alternatives as is COPY MEMO in case of storing memo content to a file.

I don't feel that good with the patching update process, and the lack of issue tracking as was pointed out by Rick Strahl in the link Tore Bleken posted, I already also pointed to Rick Strahl's comments in another thread: https://support.west-wind.com/Thread5YZ172FPW.wwt#...

As it's April now, the downloads work for a while again, I actually will try to get it going to take a look into how far you can make use of longer strings in a meaningful and performant and consistent way. It's not necessary to have longer strings to be able to use FILETOSTR() or STRTOFILE(), though, and just as an intermediate vehicle from memo to file or vice versa, I also don't need long string support. Windows API allows handling larger files, too, by the way. So far I could always mitigate problems with long strings by changing the processing to smaller portions, even with performance gains.

Otherwise larger DBFs are also not really a solution to scalability issues, you have a better benefit of changing from DBFs to a SQL server backend, overcoming the 2GB limit is not the end of what's needed to enable everything you can have with other databases, like better partitioning of data and other index types or even completely different storage concepts. The major benefits of DBFs are also string in smaller DBFs, so overcoming the size limitation is almost counterproductive.

I think my almost namesake Christof Wollenhaupt has understood one thing better than any other effort to continue VFP development: If there are bugs, they are mainly in the runtime, not in the byte code the build process makes of VFP source code. So the future of a continuation of the VFP language isn't in patching the IDE mainly, but in developing a new runtime. The VFP C compiler from Chen, therefore, is the best he has to offer in the package. Not because of its core feature to mix in C++ code, but to get rid of dependencies of the older C++ runtime versions and to keep VFP up to date on that level. The usual vfp9r.dll or vfp9t.dll are still also just patched versions of those original DLLs as VFPAR.DLL and VFPAT.DLL, so it's only an advance on the lowest level of C++ dependency but would allow having a more consistent development of FLLs using the same C++ runtime versions as the VFPAR.DLL runtime and that's a slight plus.

I'm also not sure about the legality of all of this and not confident MS will always look away just because they have "bigger fish to fry".

Chriss

RE: General opinions/advices (incl. Pros and Cons) about VFP Advanced

If anyone has used VFPA with FoxyPreviewer to create PDFs I would be interested in your comments.

Regards

Griff
Keep Smileing

There are 10 kinds of people in the world, those who understand binary and those who don't.

I'm trying to cut down on the use of shrieks (exclamation marks), I'm told they are !good for you.

There is no place like G28 X0 Y0 Z0

RE: General opinions/advices (incl. Pros and Cons) about VFP Advanced

I spotted something re PDF output from FoxyPreviewer via VFPA.

It relies on a .dll which is 32 bit based, so I do not think it is going to work.

The RTF output works. It does not rely on a dll.

So far, in terms of speed, the difference is marginal. But, and this is key, my
investment in terms of time and money is equally marginal.

Regards

Griff
Keep Smileing

There are 10 kinds of people in the world, those who understand binary and those who don't.

I'm trying to cut down on the use of shrieks (exclamation marks), I'm told they are !good for you.

There is no place like G28 X0 Y0 Z0

RE: General opinions/advices (incl. Pros and Cons) about VFP Advanced

Hi, I'm using VFPA for some time now and it works quite well. I have even compiled on VFPA 64 and it works quite well.

RE: General opinions/advices (incl. Pros and Cons) about VFP Advanced

Hello,

we started using it in a project where the external api/dll/driver we need to use are only available as 64bit from 10/2023 on.
No chance with VFP to my opinion.

You can get a fast reponse on foxite in the 3party forum
And according to my colleague he answers fast on emails (paid version)

Foxypreviewer 3.0 has to mechanism to generate PDF one with (32bit) harulib, one without (not yet tested)

Best regards
Tom

And I think we should also have a look on the Compiler which allows runtime free distributions, antihacking like obfuscation, execompression,...
Its a little bit like VFP9+Refox

RE: General opinions/advices (incl. Pros and Cons) about VFP Advanced

For What It is Worth..

I've used the 32-bit version of VFPA for several years. It seems quite reliable even on some very large projects. For me, several of the fixes/modifications made in VFPA (Listed Here) have been quite useful. I have the 64-bit version installed on a test machine, but have not done too much with it other than to create a few 64-bit EXE's for basic test purposes. They all ran as expected, but I've currently no immediate need for 64-bit.

I also purchased the C++ compiler for VFP about 2 years ago and found it to be a cool tool. Reads the VFP source files reliably. I'm using it with an older C++ 10.0 compiler but the C++ runtime files are still newer than those of VFP9. I typically include the VFP support library files into my EXE. I use my VFP/C++ compiled EXEs for a few internal projects, and hobby stuff, most of which are not too extensive or demanding, so I've perhaps not exercised the compiler to its fullest extent, but I've been happy with it thus far. It is nice to have that path forward..

To his credit, Chen has been very responsive to my inquiries, usually getting a response back to me within a day or two.

If you have not already done so, I believe it is worth a serious look.

Good Luck!

Alec

RE: General opinions/advices (incl. Pros and Cons) about VFP Advanced

Hi,

I can confirm it works as expected with my projects as well.Also some large applications with over 200 forms etc without any issues.
Its is very much worth a try.

Regard,
Piko

RE: General opinions/advices (incl. Pros and Cons) about VFP Advanced

(OP)
Dear all,

Well, there are pretty positive opinions from many of our members about VFPA based on their own experiences.
I going to give it a try!

By the way, anyone experimented with parallel installation of VFP9 and VFPA (ie on same machine and mostly same drive)?

Rajesh

RE: General opinions/advices (incl. Pros and Cons) about VFP Advanced

Yes, it was a bit of a PITA, in the end I put copies of the correct runtime support files in the same folders as the
executables were run from and that seems to have resolved the problem.

Regards

Griff
Keep Smileing

There are 10 kinds of people in the world, those who understand binary and those who don't.

I'm trying to cut down on the use of shrieks (exclamation marks), I'm told they are !good for you.

There is no place like G28 X0 Y0 Z0

RE: General opinions/advices (incl. Pros and Cons) about VFP Advanced

Let us know how you get on, Rajesh. I still have no intention of trying it myself, but I'm probably not typical.

And, Piko, welcome to the forum. Also Alec.

Mike

__________________________________
Mike Lewis (Edinburgh, Scotland)

Visual FoxPro articles, tips and downloads

RE: General opinions/advices (incl. Pros and Cons) about VFP Advanced

I only have one project I would use it on at the moment, one which is 'internal' and time limited.

I don't think I am *comfortable* with some elements of the idea from a long term perspective, but
if it is useful to 'get a job done' then I'm happy to run it up the flag pole and see.

Regards

Griff
Keep Smileing

There are 10 kinds of people in the world, those who understand binary and those who don't.

I'm trying to cut down on the use of shrieks (exclamation marks), I'm told they are !good for you.

There is no place like G28 X0 Y0 Z0

RE: General opinions/advices (incl. Pros and Cons) about VFP Advanced

(OP)

Quote (Mike)

Let us know how you get on, Rajesh

Yes, I will come back here with details.

Rajesh

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