FoxTabs Reloaded

Rewind to 2004 when VFP 9.0 was in beta. Microsoft added the ability to bind to windows events from FoxPro. The first thing that came to my mind was the ability to hook into VFP IDE windows. I like to work with my code windows maximized and with several windows open at the same time. Constantly going to the VFP window menu to switch windows got tedious. If I could create something like the windows task bar for the VFP ide, that would make life easier and probably be valuable to other people as well. So, I started to ask around about how this could be accomplished. Calvin Hsia put together a sample that he showed at his advisor DevCon (2004?) session. It is now part of the VFP 9 solution samples. I used that as the basis for my utility, and “FoxTaskbar” was born.

I learned a lot about windows events and the FoxPro window system, but I also learned how to crash VFP frequently. Alas, I couldn’t get FoxTaskbar to function stably. After several attempts, I eventually retreated from binding to windows events and tried to use fox’s standard windowing system. I couldn’t get that to work well either, so FoxTaskbar never saw the light of day.

Fortunately, Scott Scovell and Craig Bailey were working on an almost identical tool called “FoxTabs”. Even the internal architecture was similar to FoxTaskbar. I guess great minds think alike <g>, but greater minds actually make it work, and that’s what Scott and Craig did. FoxTabs does exactly what I wanted with FoxTaskbar, and as a bonus, it doesn’t crash VFP every 30 seconds <g>.

In the meantime, Craig and Scott have moved on to other things (Craig is currently looking for his next big adventure), so FoxTabs hasn’t been in development for a couple of years. I had some issues with it, so I recently contacted Craig to see if FoxTabs was still in development. Neither Craig nor Scott has time to continue working on it, so they graciously offered to turn the project over to VFPX. I volunteered to be the project manager, and FoxTabs is now in development again.

FoxTabs 0.5 is now available on the VFPX web site. Please download and start using this handy little utility and help us get to a 1.0 release. I’ve already received bug reports from several developers (that’s a good thing <g>) and progress is being made. Please report any bugs you find on the VFPX issue tracker, and be sure to include “FoxTabs” in the title.


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