Cool tool from Frank Perez

You learn something new every day. Today while reading Paul Mrozowski's blog I learned that not only does fellow VFP developer Frank Perez have a blog, he's also developed and published a very cool tool for Visual FoxPro developers.

Of all the tools in my developer's toolkit, the one I use most often (besides Visual FoxPro, of course) is probably Beyond Compare from Scooter Software. Besides its ability to compare and synchronize the contents of two different directories, Beyond Compare has a file comparison utility that lets you view two files side-by-side with their differences highlighted. This capability is extremely useful for analyzing the differences between two versions of text-based files such as Visual FoxPro PRG files.

While there are Beyond Compare plug-ins to facilitate comparisons between other, non-text based file types such as binary (hex) and image files, until now there was nothing designed to work specifically with non-text based Visual FoxPro files such as DBF, CDX, SCX, VCX, and so on.

Frank's new VFP file viewer rule and VFP2TEXT tool fill this void and enable you to use Beyond Compare's file comparison feature with Visual FoxPro's non-text based file types. Get the full story and the download link straight from the source on Frank's blog post. Nice job, Frank, and thanks for the "cool tool".

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InstallShield Sold Again

Macrovision Corp. has announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell its Software Business Unit to private equity firm Thoma Cressey Bravo. This may be of interest to Visual FoxPro developers and others because Macrovision's Software Business Unit includes the InstallShield® line of products, which Macrovision has owned since it acquired the original Installshield Software Corporation back in July of 2004.

The deal was announced on Feb. 14, 2008, almost a month ago. I'm a little surprised that, with one exception, this hasn't generated any chatter among the developers I know or on the blogs I read regularly. The only public mention of this that I'm aware of was Stefan Krüger's post on his InstallSite Blog the day after the official annoucement was made public.

Here are the official announcements from Macrovision and from TCB.

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