Developers petition Microsoft to reconsider FoxPro phase out

Posted by bink on April 3 2007, 7:42 PM. Posted in Fox Pro.

On the heels of Microsoft's acknowledgement that it has no plans to continue development of its Visual FoxPro data-centric programming language, two Spanish Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs) have launched a campaign to try to convince Microsoft to reconsider its decision.

Microsoft officially announced late last month that the company has no plans to release FoxPro 10.0. Instead, as many FoxPro developers expected, the 9.0 release is the end of the Microsoft-supported line.

There are still thousands of FoxPro developers and customers, however. And a number of them aren't happy about Microsoft's plans, claiming that Microsoft failed to provide "a convincing explanation or a logical reason" as to why the Redmond software maker won't continue to support FoxPro, according to the "MasFoxPro" portal.

On March 22, a couple of MVPs created this portal — whose Spanish name means "More FoxPro" — to gather petition signatures from FoxPro users and developers. (As of April 2, there were more than 1,400 signatures collected.) The group also is organizing e-mail and phone-calling programs to Microsoft subsidiaries and executives to request a rethinking of Microsoft's FoxPro phase out.

The official discontinuation of FoxPro "has been a major blow to the FoxPro community ," according to the MasFoxPro site. "This is especially true for the medium and small application developers (the vast majority of developers in Visual FoxPro), that have many years of Visual FoxPro code. It is not practical or cost effective to attempt to move these applications to Microsoft's recommended development environment (.NET). The community is rethinking its future development platform. Many developers are thinking of moving to Linux development, some to .NET and others to various development environments ranging from Xbase clones to Open Source such as PHP, Pyhton and Ruby.

"Sedna (forthcoming Microsoft-developed add-ons to Visual FoxPro 9.0), VFPx and VFPy (open-source extensions to Sedna) are good initiatives but with a dying product. A software company cannot sell a Visual FoxPro business solution when the competitors can say 'It's developed with a product with no more core upgrades,'" the MasFoxPro site added.

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