Hi Malcom,

> Are there any other efforts to port the VFP runtime engine to .NET or
another runtime (like Java?)

I've heard of one other VFP compiler project in France, but I haven't seen
any of it published yet. I haven't heard of any VFP runtime/compiler written
in Java, although there are some Java companies out there that try to
convince VFP developers about their tools, eg. www.servoy.com/foxpro.

> Have any of you seen or done a comparison of the eTecnologia.net VFP .Net
Compiler vs. Christof's Guinea?

I'm probably not the best person to do this, but I try anyhow. <g>

Both products aim at the same goal: Allowing developers to run VFP code
without requiring VFP. Both products support developers staying in VFP as
well as those migrating to .NET. Right now they seem to be very similar.
However, the approach they take is different. I expect this to be similar to
C# and VB.NET. In the first release they were literally the same products
with a different name. But both took a different path making them look more
different with each release. In VS.NET 2008 they really aren't the same
products any more. The same is true for our products. 

VFP.NET Compiler is creating a new .NET language with tighter integration
into .NET. There're new commands like TLOCAL or DEFINE NAMESPACE. It's meant
for developers who want to go to .NET (learning the framework, etc.) but not
learn a different language when doing so. If Etecnologia follows the current
path I expect them some day to fully integrate into VS.NET much like various
other .NET languages. The language will evolve over time with new commands
added, moving away from the current (pure) VFP language with every release.

Guineu is a FoxPro runtime. It works more or less the same way that
VFP9R.DLL does, except that it is written in C# and therefore usable on all
.NET platforms. The current release can create mobile applications for PDAs
and SmartPhones, Windows applications, Linux applications, ActiveX controls,
managed .NET libraries and SQL Server 2005 stored procedures. Guineu runs on
32 and 64 bit Windows natively, as well as on Linux and Windows Mobile. It
should support the Mac as well, but I can't test that. The scope of
platforms and targets is clearly beyond what VFP can do today, but the
language is still VFP. You use the VFP environment to create Guineu
applications. All Guineu applications compile without errors in VFP, so you
can use VERSION() to branch on features that are only available in Guineu,
such as Unicode support. Guineu targets the VFP developer who basically
wants to remain a VFP developer, but needs new platforms (especially the
PDA) and the confidence that their application will continue to work on new
versions of Windows (beyond Vista) after 2015.

You could see it from a different perspective, as well. With VFP 7 there was
the dicussion wether VFP should remain in VS.NET or be an external
application. VFP.NET compiler is what VFP evtually would have become if it
remained in .NET (that is a managed language with native database support),
whereas Guineu is what Microsoft would have needed to do in VFP 10 if they
hadn't discontinued the product (that is, support of .NET platforms).

Of course, that's just my personal, biased view on the two approaches. 


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