Speaker Ch-ch-changes…

We have some news to share about our speaker line up for Southwest Fox 2010.

We are disappointed that Craig Boyd will be unable to present at Southwest Fox 2010; we look forward to his return in the future.

We are delighted that Jody Meyer has agreed to step in. She’ll present two topics: “Web Development using CSS – 101” and “It’s Easy & It’s Green: PDF Output.”  Jody did a terrific job as a rookie speaker at last year’s Southwest Fox. You can learn more about Jody on our speakers page (http://swfox.net/speakers.aspx) and read all about her sessions on our sessions page (http://swfox.net/sessions.aspx).

Only five weeks until Southwest Fox!

Southwest Fox 2010 News Update

Southwest Fox 2010 SuperSaver deadline approaches

Your opportunity to save big on registration for Southwest Fox ends soon.

Super-saver registration offers $125 off the price of the conference, and gives you one free half-day pre-conference session, for total savings of $224. In addition, you’ll be eligible for drawings of three $150 scholarships, a copy of Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate with MSDN ( a $11,899 value), a license of Stonefield Query SDK (a $6,000 value), and a license for Studio Controls for COM from DBi Technologies (a $749 value). But hurry, because the super-saver offer expires on July 1.

Two 2010 Ceil Silver Ambassadors named

Thanks to the generosity of the VFP community, we have enough money to bring two developers to Southwest Fox as 2010 Ceil Silver Ambassadors. Geek Gatherings is pleased to announce that César Chalom and Bernard Bout have been selected as the ambassadors for Brazil and Australia, respectively.

FoxShow Interview

Listen to Andrew MacNeill interview Rick Schummer, Tamar Granor, and Doug Hennig about Southwest Fox 2010 on the FoxShow #65.

Southwest Fox 2010: Speakers and Sessions

The organizers know the biggest draw to get you to come to Southwest Fox is the sessions and the speakers who share their vast knowledge with you during your stay in Mesa. We have an extraordinary line up with some of the best minds in the Visual FoxPro Community lined up to cover some topical and interesting material. Our speakers include a mix of people who have presented at one of the six Southwest Fox conferences, and some new people who presented and even organized other Visual FoxPro conferences around the world.

Our speakers include Rick Borup, Craig Boyd, Kevin Cully, Bo Durban, Steve Ellenoff, Toni Feltman, Tamar Granor, Uwe Habermann, Doug Hennig, Venelina Jordanova, Paul Mrozowski, Cathy Pountney, Rick Schummer, Rick Strahl, and Christof Wollenhaupt.

You can find more details on our speakers page.

There are 24 conference sessions, 4 pre-conference sessions, and 4 post-conference sessions offered in seven different tracks. Please check them out. We believe you will be challenged figuring out how you can see all the sessions you want in the time we spend in Mesa. Fear not though, each speaker is providing an organizer mandated white paper for each session they present so you have reference material to read when you return back to the office.

We have a couple of new tracks this year with the Web Development and a Post-Conference track. The Web Development track is a direct response to feedback given to the organizers last year.

Based on last year’s attendance and expenses, we plan to offer three simultaneous sessions rather than four. If early registration warrants, we will select additional speakers and add a fourth session room. So please help us offer you even more content by registering early and by inviting and convincing other Visual FoxPro developers to attend this year’s conference.

In the coming weeks we will be blogging about some of the plans we have for Southwest Fox 2010.

For some reason it feels unbelievable there are only 160 days until we gather in Mesa.

Hello world, again!

Our blog entries have been processed through Blogger and FTP’ed to the Southwest Fox Web server since we started the blog back in November of 2007. Blogger announced they no longer are supporting the FTP posters so we moved our blog to a new engine. Today this was accomplished!

We are now using WordPress as the blogging engine and the initial impressions are positive.

So please be patient as we go clean up the links and the get everything migrated to WordPress, and thanks for your support of the Southwest Fox conference.

Southwest Fox 2009 on the Web

This year more than ever, people who came to Southwest Fox posted thoughts about the conference and the sessions they attended. If you know of others please send them to info@swfox.net. This page might be updated in the future.

Bloggers who are talking about Southwest Fox 2009

Chris Franz

Doug Hennig

Mike Feltman

Joel Leach

Eric Selje

Mark Lyon

Emerson Santon Reed (Ceil Silver Ambassador)

Rick Schummer

Follow the aggregated tweets on Twitter

Videos from Southwest Fox 2009


VFPX User Meeting – Part I

VFPX User Meeting – Part II

Future of the VFP Developer

Attack on Hennig
Dan Freeman

Boyd vs Hennig at SWFOX 2009
Frank Perez

Nerf gun assault at swfox
Walt Krzystek

Strategy Session and Attack of Doug Hennig SWFox2009
Rick Schummer

[Updated 28-Oct-2009: Added Marc Lyon’s blog post]
d 20-Nov-2009: Added Emerson Santon Reed’s posts]
[Updated 29-Nov-2009: Added Rick Schummer’s posts]

SWFox TV Schedule

There will be a few Southwest Fox 2009 sessions broadcast on UStream if all goes well with the Internet and the related technologies. Last year we had success so we are very hopeful this year will go well.

All the details on the sessions are here:


Note the times on the site are denoted as Pacific Standard Time. Arizona has its own timezone (GMT -07:00), which is the same as Pacific Daylight Time.

Current line-up of broadcasts planned include:

Southwest Fox 2009 – Conference Keynote
Thursday, 10/15/2009 07:00 pm (Arizona Time)

VFPX Users Meeting – Bonus session
Friday, 10/16/2009 05:15 pm (Arizona Time)

The Future of the VFP Developer – Bonus session
Friday, 10/16/2009 08:30 pm (Arizona Time)

Enhancing the VFP IDE with VFPX Tools
Saturday, 10/17/2009 11:30 am (Arizona Time)

You can participate via the chat session, especially for the VFPX User Meeting and Rick’s “Enhancing the VFP IDE with VFPX Tools” session.

If you miss the shows they are recorded and posted. You can still watch the 2008 keynote and VFPX User Meetings from last year.

We hope you can join us for those sessions even if you are unable to join us at the conference.

Southwest Fox is just around the corner

There are less than 2 weeks to go until the best Visual FoxPro conference in North America kicks off. The pace is picking up here at Geek Gathering’s World Headquarters in Michigan, the two remote offices in Pennsylvania and Saskatchewan, and at the Arizona Golf Resort in Arizona. The conference is about to materialize right before our eyes.

The menu is finalized, the schedule is updated (late vendor adds), the conference CD is getting burned, the Conference Guide is getting printed, evaluations are finalized, badges will be assembled next weekend, and speakers are preparing to deliver you the best sessions around. The white papers for this conference total over 1000 pages of fresh and interesting material that is sure to bring value for years to come.

We want to let the folks who have registered to know over the next 10 days you will be getting several emails. These emails have some important information about the conference and helpful hints about getting the most out of the Southwest Fox experience.

You can follow up to the minute announcements on Twitter: @SWFox

Not yet registered? Yes there is still time and available slots! Give Geek Gatherings a call at 586.254.2530 to discuss your options or head to the registration page. We can process registrations up to the moment the conference is starting.

Recession Buster Deals Offered

It is hard to believe we are into the second week of September already. What this means is the speakers are scrambling to finish their white papers and polish up their sessions for the conference.

Here at Geek Gathering Headquarters it means we are busy making decisions on what we can do within budget, starting to order things we need for the conference, and firming up details with the conference center.

We’re definitely seeing a drop off with registrations this year. Based on what people have told us, it mostly has to do with the condition of the global economy. So we have a couple of special “recession buster” deals we hope will encourage a few more people to sign up for the best Visual FoxPro conference in North America.

Deal #1: “Organizers: please share my deal!”
If you already registered and paid for the conference and you know someone who wants to register, you can give them the same deal you got when you registered. If you want to come to the conference and you know someone who got in at the Super Saver ($620) or the Early-bird ($695) registration, you can sign up for the same price they did. Sharing is caring!

Deal #2: Southwest Fox “Pair Programmer” deal
Have one or more FoxPro friends who are considering coming to Southwest Fox? Sign up together and take $50 off each of the registrations.

No matter what deal you take, we will give you your first pre-conference session for free!

There’s only one catch. You have to take advantage of this deal by 11:59 PM September 30, 2009 Eastern time. We have to make some serious commitments on October 1 for various expenses we have for the conference.

Need some more convincing? How about some new news about the conference:

1) Sara Ford, Program Manager for CodePlex (home of VFPX) is going to present: “Towards a Stronger Open Source Ecosystem on CodePlex.com” at the Thursday night keynote.

2) Schedule of the conference sessions is posted

3) We have added a couple of bonus sessions on Friday, including “Show Us Your App,” “Getting involved in VFPX” and an open space discussion “The Future of the VFP Developer.”

Got suggestions? info@swfox.net
Got questions? info@swfox.net
Got registrations? register@swfox.net

Or you can call the Geek Gatherings’ World Headquarters at 586.254.2530.

Read about the registration process and get the registration application here:

Check out our list of amazing speakers:

Dig into our six session tracks:

Follow the news about the conference on our blog:

Use our brochure to convince your boss (or spouse or SO) to let you go:

Only 36 days until we meet in Mesa. We hope to see you there.

Southwest Fox 2009 Keynote Announcement

We have some exciting news about the Southwest Fox 2009 Keynote Session.

For the past several years, the Southwest Fox Thursday night Keynote Session provided everyone with some reminders and last minutes details about the conference. It also included some of our speakers who were eager to share new technology they’d recently been involved with. In past years, we’ve had a keynote on Visual FoxPro code development moving past the standard VFP approaches via Guineu, eTecnologia.NET, and VFP Studio. Last year we showcased some of the new components and tools available on the open source project called VFPX.

As you may know, the organizers of Southwest Fox have always been keen on borrowing “best in class” ideas from other conferences. During one of the Essential Fox conferences, someone from outside the FoxPro Community was brought in as a keynote speaker and it was a huge success. Since taking over Southwest Fox in 2007, we’ve always wanted to do this with our keynote. Unfortunately, either budget constraints or timing constraints have always been a roadblock for fulfilling this goal. This year we started early and back in March, we secured a commitment for our keynote speaker!

We are very excited to announce that Sara Ford from Microsoft is coming to Southwest Fox 2009. Here are the details:

Towards a Stronger Open Source Ecosystem
on CodePlex.com

For those who do not know who Sara is, she is the Program Manager for CodePlex, Microsoft’s open source project hosting site (and home to VFPX). Prior to CodePlex, she worked on the Visual Studio team for six years and ran the popular Visual Studio Tip of the Day series. In 2008, she authored her first book, Microsoft Visual Studio Tips by Microsoft Press and donated all her royalties to start a scholarship fund for Hurricane Katrina survivors of her hometown. Her life-long dream is to become a 97-year-old weightlifter, so she can be featured on the local news.

Sara is an energetic speaker and will probably show you her rebellious side. How many Microsoft people do you know who are willing to walk around the Redmond campus wearing a FireFox t-shirt? After the keynote, you will know at least one.

We need to thank some very important contributors who helped make this happen. The Southwest Fox registrations are down this year because of the economic situation. The conference budget is already stretched to keep the Southwest Fox experience a quality experience. So the organizers got creative and tapped some friends in the FoxPro Community to sponsor the Keynote Session. We want to thank F1 Technologies and White Light Computing for sharing the costs to bring Sara to Mesa for the night. Without their generosity, we could not have pulled this off. We also want to thank Sara’s boss for letting her travel to our conference and sharing her vision on how CodePlex is going to evolve to support open source initiatives like VFPX.

We really hope you will join us in Mesa, but if you cannot, you might be able to catch it on SWFox TV because we are going to attempt to stream the keynote on the Internet like we did last year. More details on the broadcast will be posted closer to the conference.

Only 41 days until Sara talks about CodePlex in Mesa! We hope to see you there.

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.


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