Friday, August 22, 2008

Does Anybody Actually Care?

Oft times you lie in your bed and dream. Dream of a brighter future. Dream of great things. Dream of things you do not have and of things you do have. Dream of impossibilities. Dream of changing the world.

I love programming. I am a geek. I love anything computers. I started out with an old IBM PC, with 512k ram. Got hold of dBASEIII+, took out the manual and began teaching myself. I got a great sense of satisfaction when my first small app actually worked.

Today I still get that same satisfaction when a program, application, web app actually works. One of the reasons for that continued feelings was a product called dBASE. dBASE made me feel like I was part of the big guys. A real programmer.

I am passionate about programming.  I am passionate about dBASE. So I asked myself, what can I do to help drive that passion. Help keep it alive, with me and with others. In starting up an Internet type company, I soon realised that Blogging has such wonderful potential. It could be a great form of advertising, and marketing.

So I set up a dBASE blog. I opened it up to the community. The dBASE community. Those whom I thought had the same passion about programming and about dBASE that I have. I invited any, many, all, to join me in this new blogging experience. Get the name of dBASE out there. If nothing else, many blogs would thrust keyword terms into Google search. Terms that are pertinent to dBASE, to programming would eventually get their high ranking in Google.

This would definitely elevate the visibility of dBASE to those who think it dead. But for this to happen, you have to have content. Content is KING. You have to have lots of it. Not only do you have to have lots, but you also have to have quality. With this Google would have to return pages in the top rank with at least a few dBASE related sites, blogs, and news articles. People would then have to sit up and notice.

I opened this up to anyone. I begged and pleaded. But none would come. All I got was criticism. Well not all. There were some who were helpful and neutral. But still no one responded. Those who are stalwarts, or so they claim, seemingly would not even lift up a finger to type something about dBASE.

This makes me wonder. Do they actually support dBASE, do they actually care about dBASE, or are they hyper-critical and just have an argumentative character. It’s no wonder that a great thing like the dBulitten closed down. No one was interested. Yet there are so many complaints when a slightly negative thing is said about dBASE.

What confuses me, is that if one loves a product so much. Why would you not take every opportunity to promote it. This is customer and brand loyalty. The lack of response only draws me to one conclusion. There is no customer loyalty. There is no brand loyalty. It would then seem that a lot of people only use dBASE because they have no choice.

You might say, but people are busy getting on with their lives, they are busy with business. There is no time to write articles. Yet I find this strange, when some can write lines and paragraphs of text that aim to ridicule and mar ones character and good intentions. Come on, you mean to tell me that no one in the dBASE community has at least 15 minutes to write one or two paragraphs on dBASE. I find that extremely hard to believe.

I am disappointed, hurt, angry. I wonder does anyone really care, or is it just a facade. Put you money (or article) where you mouth is.

I am disappointed because I thought that this would be a good thing. That people would jump at the offer, that I would be the one to not have any time as I manage this blog.

I am hurt because my good intentions were turned to dust, ridiculed and criticised.  My intentions were questioned.

I’m angry, because I have wasted time to try to help those who would seemingly love dBASE, where I could have spent more time and effort promoting my own web site, writing blogs about my own business. Am I wasting time gleaming through the dBASE news groups looking for people to help?

I am angry, hurt, confused, disappointed, because no one will help me. The proof is in the pudding I guess. The test has failed.

All I can say is, SHAME.


Juan Pedro said...

Is there a problem with dbase? is it becoming obsolete?

I've been working with dBase since the first dBase for Windows, in early 1996. The development team of my company has written in dBase, and marketed, more than one hundred programs of the most varied characteristics:

- Commercial Management, billing and warehouse.
- Control patients in hospital services as Neurosurgery and Nuclear Medicine.
- A program that thousands of users downloaded from a financial company to gain access to the movements of their accounts without needing to be connected.
- Programs that use banks for their own services.
- Management College professional who is used throughout Spain
- Management communities irrigators.
- Management service water council.
- Creating a working framework itself that has enabled us to write an expert, based on templates, which generates the framework of a comprehensive program in just ten minutes.
- Creating a scripting language with flow control structures and facilities for local variables that can be integrated into programmes.

We have our developments ido adapting to new versions of dBase so that over 80% of our programs are used and improvements in the latest versions of dBASEPlus, the rest is almost everything in dB2k and only 3 programs are operating in dBase 16 bit (Visual dBase)

dBase for Windows is the product with which we feel more comfortable to program in Windows, which could best take advantage of all our experiences Clipper, which was the language we used in DOS.

Robert Bravery recently wrote that, among other things, he liked dBase command line. What I like in dBase is that I write using the dBase at the command line.

So far, virtually everything we want to do with dBase, in one way or another, we have done.

But ... and here comes what in my opinion is being dBase becoming more and more obsolete.

In the IDE
The program editor is poor, very poor. The visual design tools are well but are a small part of the program. Most of the time spent in the program editor and when you're using in each project multitude of functions and classes with their methods and properties, both the kernel of language as their own, the minimum that you would expect from an editor is having completion of functions, variables and classes, highlighted and analysis of syntax, that all the explanations we have written to document the methods available when we are going to use. An editor style of PHPEd Nusphere or any of the modern editors is essential for an IDE who wants to live up to the times.
Tools documentation javadoc-style or phpDocumentor, but obviously can be programmed in dBase contribute to this modern IDE.
In implementing OOP
The implementation of the class system is simple… too simple way for current programming.
Unable to define an interface and ask your programmers to implement this interface in a particular class. Obviously I can tell my programmers who inherit a particular class and give content to all methods that there are defined but at doing so I,ve to trust my developers because there is nothing in the language which obliges them to do so.
I can say that a property or method is protected and therefore can not be used outside the classroom, but I can not say that a method is final and can not be overwritten by legacy or a method that is private and can not be used by classes inherited…
Unable to define abstract classes or successfully implement methods static.
You can not easily implement patterns as Singleton.

The data access
It is necessary to eliminate the dependence of BDE especially issues of coexistence with other applications based on BDE.

The platform
With the emerging Linux operating system Ubuntu style, if we had a development tool such as dBase for such environments would have a market with great potential, why I need more independence from the approach the platform. NET. This is simply dreaming…

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