New FoxPro developer walking into Application Rats Nest - S.O.S. 
Author Message
 New FoxPro developer walking into Application Rats Nest - S.O.S.

I am new to Visual FoxPro development, and am working on a contract
position where I need to decompose, and fix/maintain sections of a
very poorly structured VFP 6 application.

The old coder (now gone), left no documentation, and little comment to
his code.  He built all of his modules on a framework from a
classrooom course he took when he was learning VFP.  According to
another dev on-site here, he did everything through classes, most
often when he should have avoided this methodology.

Now I'm having huge difficulties threading together how the
application works, and tracking down definitions of Properties,
Methods, etc, that are not showing up through Search function of IDE.

Any help, or words of wisdom are greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

F.Z.
Boston, MA



Sun, 28 Aug 2005 00:34:19 GMT  
 New FoxPro developer walking into Application Rats Nest - S.O.S.
In your position, the upgrade from VFP6 to VFP8 will pay for itself with the
new Code References tool alone. It allows you to search across multiple
subdirectories when you need to get a handle on where stuff is
referenced/defined/used.

If you are an MSDN member, VFP8 is downloadable now. It should be available
in retail any day. It will peacefully coexist with VFP6 so long as you don't
use any of the new language features.

That tool, and these newsgroups, will be a big help to you.

Dan


Quote:
> I am new to Visual FoxPro development, and am working on a contract
> position where I need to decompose, and fix/maintain sections of a
> very poorly structured VFP 6 application.

> The old coder (now gone), left no documentation, and little comment to
> his code.  He built all of his modules on a framework from a
> classrooom course he took when he was learning VFP.  According to
> another dev on-site here, he did everything through classes, most
> often when he should have avoided this methodology.

> Now I'm having huge difficulties threading together how the
> application works, and tracking down definitions of Properties,
> Methods, etc, that are not showing up through Search function of IDE.

> Any help, or words of wisdom are greatly appreciated.

> Thanks,

> F.Z.
> Boston, MA



Sun, 28 Aug 2005 01:08:40 GMT  
 New FoxPro developer walking into Application Rats Nest - S.O.S.
There are a couple of features in VFP8 that I believe would help you
considerably.
One is 'View Parent Code', a button in the method code window that shows the
code in the Parentclass if there is any, all the way to the top class.
The other is 'Code References' search utility tool that will list (and open)
all the places where any seach word is found within your project.
If classes have been used wisely it should benefit you a lot.
-Anders


Quote:
> I am new to Visual FoxPro development, and am working on a contract
> position where I need to decompose, and fix/maintain sections of a
> very poorly structured VFP 6 application.

> The old coder (now gone), left no documentation, and little comment to
> his code.  He built all of his modules on a framework from a
> classrooom course he took when he was learning VFP.  According to
> another dev on-site here, he did everything through classes, most
> often when he should have avoided this methodology.

> Now I'm having huge difficulties threading together how the
> application works, and tracking down definitions of Properties,
> Methods, etc, that are not showing up through Search function of IDE.

> Any help, or words of wisdom are greatly appreciated.

> Thanks,

> F.Z.
> Boston, MA



Sun, 28 Aug 2005 01:10:08 GMT  
 New FoxPro developer walking into Application Rats Nest - S.O.S.
Agreed - there is also a cute tool in 8 (might have been in 7 too) whereby
when you're looking at code in a class, you can instantly see parent (or
grandparent etc...).

Are you aware of SET STEP ON (also ACTIVATE WINDOW DEBUG gets you here)?
This will activate the debug window where you can see the code being
executed one line at a time along with useful tools such as a Code stack
window so you can see exactly which class/program fired the current bit.
Very useful to see how the code starts, though turn off any Timers first if
your application has them.


Quote:
> In your position, the upgrade from VFP6 to VFP8 will pay for itself with
the
> new Code References tool alone. It allows you to search across multiple
> subdirectories when you need to get a handle on where stuff is
> referenced/defined/used.



> > I am new to Visual FoxPro development, and am working on a contract
> > position where I need to decompose, and fix/maintain sections of a
> > very poorly structured VFP 6 application.

> > The old coder (now gone), left no documentation, and little comment to
> > his code.  He built all of his modules on a framework from a
> > classrooom course he took when he was learning VFP.  According to
> > another dev on-site here, he did everything through classes, most
> > often when he should have avoided this methodology.

> > Now I'm having huge difficulties threading together how the
> > application works, and tracking down definitions of Properties,
> > Methods, etc, that are not showing up through Search function of IDE.

> > Any help, or words of wisdom are greatly appreciated.

> > Thanks,

> > F.Z.
> > Boston, MA



Sun, 28 Aug 2005 02:06:25 GMT  
 New FoxPro developer walking into Application Rats Nest - S.O.S.
Hello Fred:
Having been there please accept my deepest sympathies {G}, this is an
extremely tedious and frustrating exercise trying to figure out how things
come together, when there is no documentation available.

Like JC pointed out, use the de{*filter*} to see how each line of code
interacts;
In the main program of this app put in
SET DEBUG ON
SUSPEND
Set breakpoints where the code gets confusing

This will open the program in a Debug window, next step through the whole
code, (line by line)

If a class is being called, there may be some methods etc that are not
immediately apparent, make a note of the class name then open the class in
the class browser. (I don't remember if VFP6 has a class browser, I know
VFP7 did.) Here you will be able to see all of the code.

Be careful, do not delete or change any variables, as they may be called
somewhere else, this is the only time VFP8 with the code reference feature
is useful.

Recommended Method:
Run the Documenter Wizard, its located in the Tools menu of VFP. Point it to
your project, BUT select a different subdirectory than the apps for the
output, C:\Temp is an ideal one,  Print out the output, might be 100's of
pages but this will print all the code with the relationships between
programs etc. I am not sure about classes, but I used to use it during my
FoxPro and dBase days. Look into this wizard as this will give you a ready
reference as well when running the app.

Whatever you do, make sure your employer knows that this is a long and drown
out process and you are allowed enough time. I don't care how good a
programmer you are, but you will need to understand this app in and out to
make changes to it. Be especially careful about variables, especially the
Public ones, as they may be called in say the first program and in the 1001
program which is only run once a year... well you get the point

Good Luck
Mohammed
www.imaginecorp.com/whatwedo.htm


Quote:
> I am new to Visual FoxPro development, and am working on a contract
> position where I need to decompose, and fix/maintain sections of a
> very poorly structured VFP 6 application.

> The old coder (now gone), left no documentation, and little comment to
> his code.  He built all of his modules on a framework from a
> classrooom course he took when he was learning VFP.  According to
> another dev on-site here, he did everything through classes, most
> often when he should have avoided this methodology.

> Now I'm having huge difficulties threading together how the
> application works, and tracking down definitions of Properties,
> Methods, etc, that are not showing up through Search function of IDE.

> Any help, or words of wisdom are greatly appreciated.

> Thanks,

> F.Z.
> Boston, MA

---
Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system ( http://www.*-*-*.com/ ).
Version: 6.0.456 / Virus Database: 256 - Release Date: 2/18/2003


Sun, 28 Aug 2005 11:20:17 GMT  
 New FoxPro developer walking into Application Rats Nest - S.O.S.
Hi Fred,

Quote:
> Any help, or words of wisdom are greatly appreciated.

IMHO, it's better to do a full rewrite of the apps. The reasons is this:
As you've said in your post, you are new to vfp, right? And from my own
experiences, no matter how much programming language you know previously,
you still face a learning curve when you start to create apps with a new
tools. I've learned your background from your previous post ("Market for VFP
applications..."), and as William has said, people with your background will
easily get the hang on vfp. I am sure you know how to start a software
project, what to do, what kind of analysis should be made, where's the
'hidden agenda', and so on. With that skill, why would you spend your time
learning somebody else's code which (as you've stated) 'very poorly
structured', 'no documentation' and 'little comment'? The time needed to
rewrite the apps might be the same (or even quicker) compared to if you try
to follow others mind. Not to mention the result!

Just my 2c,
Willianto



Sun, 28 Aug 2005 04:01:35 GMT  
 New FoxPro developer walking into Application Rats Nest - S.O.S.
Hello Fred:
I hope you got my reply, it disappeared from my "Sent Items"; If you didn't,
Open the .Act and .Lst extension files. Open them in Word or any other
software that supports graphics. Though these are just Text files
Good Luck
Mohammed


Quote:
> Hello Fred:
> Having been there please accept my deepest sympathies {G}, this is an
> extremely tedious and frustrating exercise trying to figure out how things
> come together, when there is no documentation available.

> Like JC pointed out, use the de{*filter*} to see how each line of code
> interacts;
> In the main program of this app put in
> SET DEBUG ON
> SUSPEND
> Set breakpoints where the code gets confusing

> This will open the program in a Debug window, next step through the whole
> code, (line by line)

> If a class is being called, there may be some methods etc that are not
> immediately apparent, make a note of the class name then open the class in
> the class browser. (I don't remember if VFP6 has a class browser, I know
> VFP7 did.) Here you will be able to see all of the code.

> Be careful, do not delete or change any variables, as they may be called
> somewhere else, this is the only time VFP8 with the code reference feature
> is useful.

> Recommended Method:
> Run the Documenter Wizard, its located in the Tools menu of VFP. Point it
to
> your project, BUT select a different subdirectory than the apps for the
> output, C:\Temp is an ideal one,  Print out the output, might be 100's of
> pages but this will print all the code with the relationships between
> programs etc. I am not sure about classes, but I used to use it during my
> FoxPro and dBase days. Look into this wizard as this will give you a ready
> reference as well when running the app.

> Whatever you do, make sure your employer knows that this is a long and
drown
> out process and you are allowed enough time. I don't care how good a
> programmer you are, but you will need to understand this app in and out to
> make changes to it. Be especially careful about variables, especially the
> Public ones, as they may be called in say the first program and in the
1001
> program which is only run once a year... well you get the point

> Good Luck
> Mohammed
> www.imaginecorp.com/whatwedo.htm



> > I am new to Visual FoxPro development, and am working on a contract
> > position where I need to decompose, and fix/maintain sections of a
> > very poorly structured VFP 6 application.

> > The old coder (now gone), left no documentation, and little comment to
> > his code.  He built all of his modules on a framework from a
> > classrooom course he took when he was learning VFP.  According to
> > another dev on-site here, he did everything through classes, most
> > often when he should have avoided this methodology.

> > Now I'm having huge difficulties threading together how the
> > application works, and tracking down definitions of Properties,
> > Methods, etc, that are not showing up through Search function of IDE.

> > Any help, or words of wisdom are greatly appreciated.

> > Thanks,

> > F.Z.
> > Boston, MA

> ---
> Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
> Checked by AVG anti-virus system ( http://www.*-*-*.com/ ).
> Version: 6.0.456 / Virus Database: 256 - Release Date: 2/18/2003

---
Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system ( http://www.*-*-*.com/ ).
Version: 6.0.461 / Virus Database: 260 - Release Date: 3/10/2003


Mon, 29 Aug 2005 08:44:36 GMT  
 New FoxPro developer walking into Application Rats Nest - S.O.S.
Heya Fred -
I'm a big fan of SuperClass - there was a set that came on the Hackers Guide
v6 CD set.
It will show you code in the base classes when you are in a child class or
object [you have to click something, of course]

and -
sometimes it's helpful to gen your own documentation -
take a look at the documentation wizard in vfp
and a program called 'pdm' from the download section on
www.universalthread.com

mondo regards [Bill]

Quote:
> I am new to Visual FoxPro development, and am working on a contract
> position where I need to decompose, and fix/maintain sections of a
> very poorly structured VFP 6 application.

> The old coder (now gone), left no documentation, and little comment to
> his code.  He built all of his modules on a framework from a
> classrooom course he took when he was learning VFP.  According to
> another dev on-site here, he did everything through classes, most
> often when he should have avoided this methodology.

> Now I'm having huge difficulties threading together how the
> application works, and tracking down definitions of Properties,
> Methods, etc, that are not showing up through Search function of IDE.

> Any help, or words of wisdom are greatly appreciated.

> Thanks,

> F.Z.
> Boston, MA



Mon, 29 Aug 2005 23:40:45 GMT  
 New FoxPro developer walking into Application Rats Nest - S.O.S.
Fred - also - the class browser is useful -
if you open up a form and start drilling - you can see all of the  classes
and classlibraries that were used for that form.

same for classes...
hth - mondo regards [Bill]

Quote:
> I am new to Visual FoxPro development, and am working on a contract
> position where I need to decompose, and fix/maintain sections of a
> very poorly structured VFP 6 application.

> The old coder (now gone), left no documentation, and little comment to
> his code.  He built all of his modules on a framework from a
> classrooom course he took when he was learning VFP.  According to
> another dev on-site here, he did everything through classes, most
> often when he should have avoided this methodology.

> Now I'm having huge difficulties threading together how the
> application works, and tracking down definitions of Properties,
> Methods, etc, that are not showing up through Search function of IDE.

> Any help, or words of wisdom are greatly appreciated.

> Thanks,

> F.Z.
> Boston, MA



Mon, 29 Aug 2005 23:42:44 GMT  
 New FoxPro developer walking into Application Rats Nest - S.O.S.
SuperCalss is now built into the class editing windows in VFP8.. There's a
button [View parent code]
-Anders


Quote:
> Heya Fred -
> I'm a big fan of SuperClass - there was a set that came on the Hackers
Guide
> v6 CD set.
> It will show you code in the base classes when you are in a child class or
> object [you have to click something, of course]

> and -
> sometimes it's helpful to gen your own documentation -
> take a look at the documentation wizard in vfp
> and a program called 'pdm' from the download section on
> www.universalthread.com

> mondo regards [Bill]


> > I am new to Visual FoxPro development, and am working on a contract
> > position where I need to decompose, and fix/maintain sections of a
> > very poorly structured VFP 6 application.

> > The old coder (now gone), left no documentation, and little comment to
> > his code.  He built all of his modules on a framework from a
> > classrooom course he took when he was learning VFP.  According to
> > another dev on-site here, he did everything through classes, most
> > often when he should have avoided this methodology.

> > Now I'm having huge difficulties threading together how the
> > application works, and tracking down definitions of Properties,
> > Methods, etc, that are not showing up through Search function of IDE.

> > Any help, or words of wisdom are greatly appreciated.

> > Thanks,

> > F.Z.
> > Boston, MA



Tue, 30 Aug 2005 01:06:50 GMT  
 New FoxPro developer walking into Application Rats Nest - S.O.S.
Yes ANders - nota BENE - Fred is using vfp VERS 6.....
tia!!!! mondo regards [Bill]

--
=============================[remove the dot bob to reply]
William Sanders, Electronic Filing Group. MSDN ISV - VFP/SQL .  mySql/ Sql /
Oracle with VFP - YUP!!
972.394.7261 / GoTo China and teach C/SaPPdEV on occasion.
http://window.to/vfoxpro

Quote:
> SuperCalss is now built into the class editing windows in VFP8.. There's a
> button [View parent code]
> -Anders



> > Heya Fred -
> > I'm a big fan of SuperClass - there was a set that came on the Hackers
> Guide
> > v6 CD set.
> > It will show you code in the base classes when you are in a child class
or
> > object [you have to click something, of course]

> > and -
> > sometimes it's helpful to gen your own documentation -
> > take a look at the documentation wizard in vfp
> > and a program called 'pdm' from the download section on
> > www.universalthread.com

> > mondo regards [Bill]


> > > I am new to Visual FoxPro development, and am working on a contract
> > > position where I need to decompose, and fix/maintain sections of a
> > > very poorly structured VFP 6 application.

> > > The old coder (now gone), left no documentation, and little comment to
> > > his code.  He built all of his modules on a framework from a
> > > classrooom course he took when he was learning VFP.  According to
> > > another dev on-site here, he did everything through classes, most
> > > often when he should have avoided this methodology.

> > > Now I'm having huge difficulties threading together how the
> > > application works, and tracking down definitions of Properties,
> > > Methods, etc, that are not showing up through Search function of IDE.

> > > Any help, or words of wisdom are greatly appreciated.

> > > Thanks,

> > > F.Z.
> > > Boston, MA



Tue, 30 Aug 2005 18:06:00 GMT  
 
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