Southwest Fox 2008 - Day 4

by Frank Perez October 19, 2008
Southwest Fox 2008 - Day 4

My last day started with Christof Wollenhaupt's "Optimizing and Debugging" session. In this presentation Christof demonstrated many good debugging and optimizing tips. Some of my favorites are:

  • When building a new application, work on the data migration before the forms and reports. This way you will have good sample data to test the forms and reports with.
  • Design to match complexity. For example, N-Tier is a good idea for enterprise systems, but probably overkill for a hobby application.
  • Avoid defensive programming such as parameter checking. It can promote bad coding practices.
  • Forms make horrible progress bars because they change focus (Activate and Deactivate events), which can interfere with debugging. Use a toolbar instead. This also has the benefit of always being on top.
  • Use a hotkey to turn the Coverage Profiler on and off.
  • When using Coverage Profiler, keep in mind that the time it takes to log an event can make a line of code that normally executes quickly appear much slower due to the overhead.
  • Use SCAN FOR instead of REPLACE FOR whenever possible because the REPLACE FOR command has to do a table lock, versus a record lock.

My last session of the conference was Craig Boyd's "VFP Fundamentals: Creating a Professional VFP Application from Start to Finish". Craig began with how he likes to setup his project folders, how he uses Subversion for version control, and sub-classing the base classes. He also discussed user interface best practices, such as using one font, using colors sparingly, avoid creating a battleship (black, white, and gray only), and being consistent in how you layout and size things.

My favorite part of his demonstration was an awesome grid that he created. It had really cool features such as column sorting, incremental search and filtering (very similar to Microsoft Excel), export capabilities, and the ability to save and restore how a user customizes the grid (i.e. column re-ordering and re-sizing).



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About Frank

Frank lives in West Bloomfield, Michigan with his wife and three children.  When he is not writing code, he enjoys long distance running and riding his motorcycle.

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