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VFP DevCon 2001 Keynote: Visual FoxPro 7.0 and Beyond

John Hawkins

Transcripted from "VFP DevCon 2001 Keynote: Visual FoxPro 7.0 and Beyond", thanks to Lisa Slater Nicholls

Being in Southern California has some symbolism. Does anybody know what happened roughly 25 years ago in Southern California that is part of FoxPro's roots? Twenty-five years ago.

Guy got close, he yelled out "Vulcan". Vulcan, meet Venus, she's right over here. [laughs] No, what happened roughly 25 years in the mid-1970's at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is just north of us here, in Pasadena, it's where a database programming language evolved to keep track of data from space missions that the Jet Propulsion Laboratory was dealing with, with NASA. That programming language was called "JPL" (for Jet Propulsion Laboratory) "-DIS", and one of the guys, who was a contractor to NASA working on it, decided to try to make one of his very own, for the new micro-computer that had come out.

And he created one, his name was Wayne Ratliff, and he decided to run ads in our magazine, DataBased Advisor, and a couple of other publications, and he called it Vulcan. And after a year or so of basically getting no-place with the product called Vulcan, a tiny software distributing company named Ashton-Tate ran across the product, and decided to license it, to publish it. And a real sharp advertising guy named Hal Pawluk renamed it dBASE II. And that happened 20 years ago, right here in Southern California.

So this is the roots of where it all started. And then of course by the early 80's, a guy in Ohio named Dave Fulton, Dr. Dave, had decided that we needed a runtime version of dBASE II, and he created a product called... what?

FoxBase! And then by mid-90's, Ashton-Tate created dBASE III, which was a pretty decent programming environment for its day.... hmmm? Mid-80's yes, thank you. And Dr. Dave decided to match and raise that one. So he created a program called... what? No... FoxBase Plus! Got to add the "plus" in. That was the version that was dBASE III compatible. But it was better than dBASE, wasn't it? It showed some, lots of speed, lots of imagination, lots of capabilities.

So when did -- people keep yelling "FoxPro, when did FoxPro first start?" 1989, right. The very first FoxPro developer conference, DevCon, was held in Toledo 1989, right? Who was there? Come on, somebody was there. [pointing] A few people were there! All right! [laughs, audience claps] Well, so was I, I am thrilled to say, so thank you for still hanging in there with a few of us!

Well we're here in 2001, and we're back in Southern California, because we're way beyond those early days. It's 10 years ago that FoxPro version 1 came out. And of course now we're up to Visual FoxPro version 7.... [end of reminiscences]...

Webcast available on Microsoft's site: VFP DevCon 2001 Keynote: Visual FoxPro 7.0 and Beyond
View the keynote session given by Microsoft Visual FoxPro team members Ken Levy, Randy Brown, and Calvin Hsia on September 10, 2001 at Advisor VFP DevCon.
Streaming: • 56k | • 300k

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