Rehearsal Review – Eric Selje

Today we have a guest blog post from Eric Selje, president of the Madison FoxPro User Group (MadFox). Below you will read one review of a recent Southwest Fox 2009 rehearsal day held in Chicago on a beautiful sunny Saturday in August. A group of 15 people showed up to listen to three of our speakers practice their sessions. Eric is registered to attend this year’s conference and posted the following message on the MadFox’s Yahoo Group, and is letting us use it here with his permission:

Hey MadFoxers,

Here’s a recap of what went down in Chi-Town today at the ChicagFUDG Pre-SW Fox Speaker Party.

The day started with an F14 flyover. Now some might argue that that was part of the “Air & Boat Show” that may be happening on the lakeshore, but I think these Chicago people just really know how to do meetings! There also were doughnuts. A good start!

Cathy Pountney took the pre-lunch spot with a 2 part sessions on the Report Writer. Now you might think the report writer is too simple of a topic to speak on for 2 and a half hours, or you might think that the report writer got WAY too complicated after VFP9. Logically you cannot hold both of these thoughts, but either way you would be wrong. Cathy crammed a bookful of very useful information into her presentation, showing how the VFP9 report writer is both extremely powerful and, especially after SP2, pretty easy to extend. I learned a *ton* from this session.

After lunch, or during for us slow eaters, Rick Schummer spoke about ways to access remote data with Visual FoxPro. As it usually is with great speakers, Rick conveyed a boatload of information in such an easy manner that I only now realize it as I review my notes. He discussed the decision making process for why to use remote data and then choosing a server, the three primary ways for VFP to get at the data (and the surprising test results for the speed of those methods), the considerations for rewriting existing applications, and the tools he uses to simplify the whole process.

Finally new speaker Jody Meyer discussed her creation, the “Smart Grid.” This is not a technology to distribute electricity from wind farms in Minnesota to Las Vegas efficiently, but rather a subclass of the grid which adds a plethora of new features. For example, can you imagine dropping a grid on a form that allows the client to reorder the columns, rename the headings, or export the grid’s data and formatting to Excel or Word? How about subtotals for the columns? It’s all possible with Jody’s Smart Grid. She’s clearly put a TON of time and effort into creating this object, and it shows. And the most beautiful part is, it’s all data driven. It reminded me of Stonefield Database Toolkit, except for grids. Intrigued?

You may have noticed that I didn’t include too much detail about these presentations. That’s because there’s still time for you to register for SWFox and see these for yourself, and I cannot encourage you enough to do so. What I saw just today will easily save me the registration costs, by saving me time and not having to purchase 3rd party software. Airfare is a real bargain right now, and you can sleep on the floor of my room ;)

It was great to see old friends like Tom Hayward, Bill Drew, and Randy Bosma again. And of course the speakers were already in prime form and ready to go. Thank you Rick, Cathy, and Jody, and everyone at ChicagoFudg for a great day.

Eric

Thanks for sharing your review with the Southwest Fox blog Eric. We are glad you enjoyed the sessions last Saturday.

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