An Irreverent Guide to How FoxPro Really Works
by Tamar E. Granor, Ted Roche, Doug Hennig, and Della Martin, with Steven Black. Foreword by Susan Graham, former Visual FoxPro Program Manager.
Originally published by Hentzenwerke Publishing
Ted Roche, Technical Editor, Jeana Frazier, Copy Editor
(Like the cover of an old book
Its contents torn out
And stripped of its lettering and gilding)
Lies here, food for worms.
But the work shall not be lost
For it will (as he believed) appear once more
In a new and more elegant edition
Revised and corrected
—Benjamin Franklin, Epitaph on Himself, 1728
Dedicated to fostering the international communication of ideas, in the hopes of making the world a better place—now and for future generations.
Note: Hacker’s Guide was written in the early 2000’s, with the latest edition being updated for Visual FoxPro 7. The content of the documents on this site may be updated from the original book.
Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
—Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, 1781-1785
Section 1 introduces the major themes of Visual FoxPro, starting with its history and covering the fundamentals of each of its major sub-languages. Think of it as the “If it’s Tuesday, this must be Belgium” Tour of Visual FoxPro.
Man is a tool-using animal…Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.
—Thomas Carlyle, Sartor Resartus, 1833-1834
Section 2 discusses in brief the Power Tools—the key to using Visual FoxPro effectively. You’ll find our favorite tips and tricks for using the Power Tools here, too, and an introduction to integrating source control with VFP development.
To criticize is to appreciate, to appropriate, to take intellectual possession, to establish in fine a relation with the criticized thing and to make it one’s own.
Section 3 contains a bunch of stuff that didn’t fit in anywhere else in the book. Most of it can be viewed as lists of one sort or another. You’ll find our hardware recommendations, our opinionated list of useless commands to avoid, optimization tips, and a collection of weird items that make you think you’ve found a bug.
“But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knockdown argument’,” Alice objected.
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”
—Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass, 1872
Section 4 is the meat of the book. You’ll find a listing for every command, function, property, event, method and system variable. We’ve grouped them logically so that you can find several related topics in one place. For an explanation of the syntax we use for commands, see “How to Use This Book”.
We will now discuss in a little more detail the Struggle for Existence.
—Charles Robert Darwin, The Origin of Species, 1859
We’ve sliced, we’ve diced, we’ve chopped Visual FoxPro into little pieces. But there’s still more to say. A few features are so cool, they warrant their own chapters. This section goes into detail on the ActiveX technologies, the Object Browser and Component Gallery, Wizards and Builders, and IntelliSense, all of which provide opportunities for extending your use of VFP.
Great is the art of beginning, but greater the art is of ending;
Many a poem is marred by a superfluous verse.
—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Here we are at the end of the book. But there are still a couple of things left to do. “Resource File” is a list of resources: books, periodicals, people and products. “What’s in the Downloads” tells you what’s available for download from this book.
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