Discussion:
The Future of 4D [long]
(too old to reply)
Dennis Little
2011-08-31 20:27:40 UTC
Permalink
Hi Walt,

I'll agree to a certain extent but doubt the department managers will
be winning many battles in larger companies. A few reasons follow and
they are directly applicable to where I work.

1. IT will only support a very limited number of application
development environments. In my case, the main IT group supports
Oracle and MS SQL Server ONLY and the web group supports PHP Cake and
mySQL ONLY. They have it written into policies that this is for cost
savings and that if you choose to use any other package, you'll be
responsible for all costs (including training) and the use of
something else has to be approved by the CIO (who then asks the IT and
web groups why it's needed).

2. There are agreements and policies written that anything on the
network (coincidentally part of the IT group) MUST be written by the
IT or web group. If not, they don't notify you of down times, your
responsible for all back-ups and anything they think might be a
problem gets blamed to you.

3. In some areas, the ONLY applications allowed for ANY reason must be
on CITRIX (which is managed by the network group) and MUST be
developed by the IT group.

4. Because of the agreements in place, you're basically stuck with the
IT group using the tools they want to use. The recharge rate to the
internal customers outside the IT group is usually then in the
$125-$200 per hour range for most things.

I've been a "shadow developer" since 2005 here and all of my
applications are now in the process of being rewritten in other
things. I've moved mostly on to other things but the IT group isn't
interested in me since I don't have strong enough "real" development
experience.

The users like the applications and in quite a few cases, the managers
are very willing to admit that the applications in 4D are critical --
but they want them in something else.

In my opinion, 4D needs a four pronged approach:

1. Get more developers using 4D. Oracle has (or at least had) a good
model that I think works. Developer tools were free or cost of
shipping if shipped on CD but production tools weren't. This makes it
possible for new developers to give everything a try. In the case of
Oracle -- it is (or was) EVERYTHING. The last time I saw this, it was
a 25 CD pack. It's OK if it times out every few hours as long as it's
useful to develop in -- so it protects it from being used for
production use.

2. Get it into schools as a teaching tool. If people are coming out
of school and already know 4D, they're likely to be able to explain to
managers why it's a good choice. Same as #1 with time-out but student
are poor so don't make them pay to use to tool.

3. Get it into companies especially in IT departments. Companies are
notoriously cheap so there's one way I can think this might work but
would hurt for a while -- make the first 6 months of use of an
application free, even in production, without a harassing "made by 4D"
banner or anything. Once they're hooked and have real data in it,
they aren't going to change and they'll see how good it is.

4. Make it work with everything else as easily as possible. 4D is
great with it's plug-ins but:
- people want (or are required) to use PHP or Java or <insert other
front end> as a front-end sometimes so create a real way of doing so.
- people want to use other reporting engines sometimes (like Crystal
Reports) so make it as plug-and-play as possible. Make it easy enough
that if it sees CR, it uses it and if it doesn't, it reverts to
built-in report editor.
-- people want (or are required) to use web servers like Apache and
IIS, so make it simple to do.

5. (optional) go to some of the IT conventions with a challenge.
Create an small application using specs provided at the convention in
whatever you want and with as many people developing as you want. At
the end of the challenge, count up the man-hours to create the
application and publish each application and the hours it took to
create. I can create an application in 4D (with all the extras) so
much faster than others not using 4D that it's unbelievable. I know
that because I've done it for years -- but others don't see that.

Dennis
I look forward to seeing you at the 4D Summit in October and to hear your
plans for 4D and for Wakanda. It is an important time for 4D, Inc. We must
plan for the future. Brendan is gone and we have a new "General Manager"
for USA. I look forward to meeting him also and to hear him speak about the
future of 4D, and Wakanda.
Tim,
I predict a very bright future for 4D, once they get all the stability
issues solved. Why do I say this? Because when I used to travel around
giving 4D training and doing 4D troubleshooting, I noticed that many, many,
many "Business Unit managers" (as opposed to IT types) were unhappy with
their non-4D database solutions. If 4D had supported SQL back then, it would
have garnered many more converts than it did. But the problem was, IT
departments objected bitterly when a department had sneaked in a 4D
"skunkworks" project that they (the departmental users) were very happy
with, or when a department head wanted to switch to 4D because he/she had
been talking with another department head who had a 4D solution that they
were very happy with.
The IT department fought tooth-and-nail against a switch to 4D or expanding
the use of 4D because it did not "speak SQL as a native language" and they
(the members of the IT department) were not confident that they would be
able to get data out of 4D for enterprise-wide reporting. Their objection
was valid to a certain extent, and they usually won the battle. But now with
4D opening itself up so that SQL queries work almost as well as they do for
other databases, that objection is no longer as valid as it once was, so
line managers are far more likely to win when there is a
"to-4D-or-not-to-4D" battle.
My observation has been that 4D has always enjoyed very good word-of-mouth
when department heads compared notes. I have a theory that this is because
of 4D itself, and also because of the fact that most 4D developers come from
a Macintosh background, where "human interface" is a religion that most
developers subscribe to. In other worlds, it is a toss-up as to whether a
developer from a Unix or Windows background will have a good feel for what
is really "obvious and easy to use," whereas in the Macintosh world, that
kind of feel is the rule rather than the exception.
So I predict that 4D will begin to enjoy a whole lot more word-of-mouth
sales within large organizations, now that the one of the major objections
of IT departments (SQL compability) is history. The other major objection
("not an industry standard") is much harder for an IT department to defend,
because it smacks of prejudice and self-serving bias.
So I predict that over the next few years, even WITHOUT any major marketing
campaigns - just by making the product more solid and reliable - 4D will
enjoy a gradual increase in penetration of large organizations where there
already is some 4D. And it will mostly come from word of mouth among line
managers who care more about getting the job done than about the prejudices
of IT departments.
Walt Nelson - Manila
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Jack Des Bouillons
2011-08-31 20:44:17 UTC
Permalink
OR...

Decide 4D is a lost cause, and bet the company that the future is in
JavaScript, and move on with Wakanda..leaving 4D as a cash cow requiring
fewer and fewer company resources...

The management changes made in the U.S. Operations seems to indicate this is
exactly what 4D, Inc. is doing...

As always, in my opinion...

Jack des Bouillons
Post by Dennis Little
1. Get more developers using 4D.
2. Get it into schools as a teaching tool.
3. Get it into companies especially in IT departments.
4. Make it work with everything else as easily as possible.
5. (optional) go to some of the IT conventions with a challenge.
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Jeffrey Kain
2011-08-31 21:01:27 UTC
Permalink
Sorry - I have to disagree here. 4D has been incredibly responsive this
summer, addressing key issues in 4D. Yes, 4D. Not Wakanda.

If there's any sign that 4D (the product) isn't important to 4D (the
company) anymore, we're not seeing it (and I think we would). 4D v12.2
(HF2) is incredibly stable and the indexing issues are a thing of the
past. And once the larger OEMs get a taste of the performance of the
64-bit server it will really open some eyes.

I think it's good that 4D will have multiple product lines now. It's a
sign of maturity for the company, and a great way for 4D to introduce
more people to their technology. And if Wakanda gets the spotlight for a
while, I have no problem with that -- most 4D developers (ourselves
included) haven't begun to tap all the new features of v11 and v12 yet.
A period of relative calm after the past few years of radical change to
our platform will be most welcome.

Jeff

-----Original Message-----
From: Jack Des Bouillons
Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 4:44 PM
To: 4D iNug Technical
Subject: Re: The Future of 4D [long]

OR...

Decide 4D is a lost cause, and bet the company that the future is in
JavaScript, and move on with Wakanda..leaving 4D as a cash cow requiring
fewer and fewer company resources...

The management changes made in the U.S. Operations seems to indicate
this is
exactly what 4D, Inc. is doing...

As always, in my opinion...

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Balinder Walia
2011-08-31 21:58:27 UTC
Permalink
Agree with Jeff - 4D is introducing 4D to non-4Dears by means of Wakanda
JavaScript. Now we all have been complaining no one knows 4D so this is a
great idea I think. At least let them try and there is lot more marketing
efforts 4D is starting to put now so...be patient and see what future holds
for 4D and us. No one can predict future we all can try our best...

Balinder
Post by Jeffrey Kain
Sorry - I have to disagree here. 4D has been incredibly responsive this
summer, addressing key issues in 4D. Yes, 4D. Not Wakanda.
If there's any sign that 4D (the product) isn't important to 4D (the
company) anymore, we're not seeing it (and I think we would). 4D v12.2
(HF2) is incredibly stable and the indexing issues are a thing of the
past. And once the larger OEMs get a taste of the performance of the
64-bit server it will really open some eyes.
I think it's good that 4D will have multiple product lines now. It's a
sign of maturity for the company, and a great way for 4D to introduce
more people to their technology. And if Wakanda gets the spotlight for a
while, I have no problem with that -- most 4D developers (ourselves
included) haven't begun to tap all the new features of v11 and v12 yet.
A period of relative calm after the past few years of radical change to
our platform will be most welcome.
Jeff
-----Original Message-----
From: Jack Des Bouillons
Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 4:44 PM
To: 4D iNug Technical
Subject: Re: The Future of 4D [long]
OR...
Decide 4D is a lost cause, and bet the company that the future is in
JavaScript, and move on with Wakanda..leaving 4D as a cash cow requiring
fewer and fewer company resources...
The management changes made in the U.S. Operations seems to indicate this is
exactly what 4D, Inc. is doing...
As always, in my opinion...
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Michael Kaye
2011-08-31 22:42:58 UTC
Permalink
Sadly I don't see 4D having anymore success with Wakanda than they did with 4D.

Don't forget 4D has, at times, been ground breaking (and recognised as such) and never quite managed to make it into the 'big time'. Poor marketing, failure to fix fundamental bugs, not listening to it's developers and their needs, little or no country presence (outside France & US) have all played their part in this failure.

For nearly 20 years now I've heard all the excuses; about the wonderful new appointments and how things will change and yet sadly it never has.

I do hope things eventually improve but even if they do, it will be probably be too late for me and my long since dwindling client list.

Regards, Michael.
Post by Balinder Walia
Agree with Jeff - 4D is introducing 4D to non-4Dears by means of Wakanda
JavaScript. Now we all have been complaining no one knows 4D so this is a
great idea I think. At least let them try and there is lot more marketing
efforts 4D is starting to put now so...be patient and see what future holds
for 4D and us. No one can predict future we all can try our best...
Balinder
Post by Jeffrey Kain
Sorry - I have to disagree here. 4D has been incredibly responsive this
summer, addressing key issues in 4D. Yes, 4D. Not Wakanda.
If there's any sign that 4D (the product) isn't important to 4D (the
company) anymore, we're not seeing it (and I think we would). 4D v12.2
(HF2) is incredibly stable and the indexing issues are a thing of the
past. And once the larger OEMs get a taste of the performance of the
64-bit server it will really open some eyes.
I think it's good that 4D will have multiple product lines now. It's a
sign of maturity for the company, and a great way for 4D to introduce
more people to their technology. And if Wakanda gets the spotlight for a
while, I have no problem with that -- most 4D developers (ourselves
included) haven't begun to tap all the new features of v11 and v12 yet.
A period of relative calm after the past few years of radical change to
our platform will be most welcome.
Jeff
-----Original Message-----
From: Jack Des Bouillons
Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 4:44 PM
To: 4D iNug Technical
Subject: Re: The Future of 4D [long]
OR...
Decide 4D is a lost cause, and bet the company that the future is in
JavaScript, and move on with Wakanda..leaving 4D as a cash cow requiring
fewer and fewer company resources...
The management changes made in the U.S. Operations seems to indicate this is
exactly what 4D, Inc. is doing...
As always, in my opinion...
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Tim Nevels
2011-08-31 22:13:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Balinder Walia
Agree with Jeff - 4D is introducing 4D to non-4Dears by means of Wakanda
JavaScript. Now we all have been complaining no one knows 4D so this is a
great idea I think. At least let them try and there is lot more marketing
efforts 4D is starting to put now so...be patient and see what future holds
for 4D and us. No one can predict future we all can try our best...
Interesting idea, Balinder.

I believe Apple did this with the iPod. They create a fantastically popular product that everyone wants, and then people would say "what else does this company make". They end up walking out of the Apple store later with an iPod, and iPhone, and iPad, and a new iMac.

It could happen. I like to be positive. :-)

Tim

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timnevels-Uj//***@public.gmane.org
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John Foster
2011-08-31 22:54:27 UTC
Permalink
Hey Jack,

That's one heck of a leap!

Seems like we have been criticizing 4D for years for not expanding. Well maybe - no one knows for sure - Wakanda will help bring that about. Seems to me that Wakanda will attract attention to 4D's database architecture, object-oriented language, and leading edge technology to boot. It can't hurt that they've been around for 25 years or so.

Seems like I recall them discussing this concept years ago. Hmmm, what was that called now? 4D Universal? Well, it's here, and it's different then we first imagined it would be. And that's because the whole programming world changed during the evolution. So they adjusted and changed as well.

In the meantime we continue to feast on 4D filet mignon. <smile>

Let's give 4D, their internal structural changes, new product development, and new opportunities, a chance. Of course there's much work for 4D to do before, and if ever, Wakanda becomes an understood IT word. And really Jack have we 4D Developers been recently complaining about not having enough new features in our DB? And aren't they fixing most "big" issues in a reasonable amount of time?

You stuck with them this long. Give them a bit more time before you speculate and second guess them into oblivion (aka, lost cause).

John...
Post by Jack Des Bouillons
Decide 4D is a lost cause, and bet the company that the future is in
JavaScript, and move on with Wakanda..leaving 4D as a cash cow requiring
fewer and fewer company resources...
The management changes made in the U.S. Operations seems to indicate this is
exactly what 4D, Inc. is doing...
--------------------------------------------------------------

John Foster
Eternity Software
425-486-1622

http://www.eternity-software.com/ES_Products.html

This e-mail contains confidential & proprietary information intended for the use of the original addressee. If you are not the addressee you are hereby notified that any dissemination or other action in reliance upon this communication could result in legal liability to you and your Organization.

--------------------------------------------------------------




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Jack Des Bouillons
2011-08-31 23:50:31 UTC
Permalink
First of all, the responsiveness of 4D, Inc. to v12 issues has nothing to do
with long-term strategy...if you have a cash cow, it's best to keep the
beast healthy for as long as possible...

And my comments does not regulate 4D OR 4D, Inc. to oblivion...on the
contrary, it is a positive step that management has decided to move forward
into a completely different area, with a completely different business plan
(it would seem)...

Personally, I think it far wiser to invest in the marketing of Wakanda than
to pour money down the drain in trying to incrementally improve 4D's
position in the market place. (I'm not talking about dollars for better
technology; just marketing dollars.)

And, on the positive side, the money that 4D, Inc. invests in 4D is likely
to be directed to making the existing product more stable. All the big new
features of 4D were designed to open new markets for 4D. (How many 4D
developers were CLAMORING for 4D to be a web server in addition to a
database? Not that you might not have thought it was a good idea after the
fact!) If my thought that the 4D product is positioned to be a cash cow,
and future growth will come from Wakanda, then there will be less need for
new features, and a MUCH greater need to meet existing developer's needs.

As always, in my opinion...

Jack des Bouillons
Post by Jeffrey Kain
Sorry - I have to disagree here. 4D has been incredibly responsive this
summer, addressing key issues in 4D. Yes, 4D. Not Wakanda.
You stuck with them this long. Give them a bit more time before you speculate
and second guess them into oblivion (aka, lost cause).
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Stephen J. Orth
2011-09-01 00:07:12 UTC
Permalink
John,

I'm not "poo-pooing" Wakanda, but they have a heck of a hill to climb. Take
a look at EXT JS and you will see what I mean.

I'm wishing them the best of luck, but based upon comments I'm getting from
non-4D types who I've asked to look at Wakanda, it's clear that they don't
think very highly of Wakanda yet.


Steve


-----Original Message-----
From: 4d_tech-bounces-d2/MUvgItPNWk0Htik3J/***@public.gmane.org [mailto:4d_tech-bounces-d2/MUvgItPNWk0Htik3J/***@public.gmane.org] On
Behalf Of John Foster
Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 5:54 PM
To: 4d_tech-d2/MUvgItPNWk0Htik3J/***@public.gmane.org
Subject: Re: The Future of 4D [long]

Hey Jack,

That's one heck of a leap!

Seems like we have been criticizing 4D for years for not expanding. Well
maybe - no one knows for sure - Wakanda will help bring that about. Seems to
me that Wakanda will attract attention to 4D's database architecture,
object-oriented language, and leading edge technology to boot. It can't hurt
that they've been around for 25 years or so.

Seems like I recall them discussing this concept years ago. Hmmm, what was
that called now? 4D Universal? Well, it's here, and it's different then we
first imagined it would be. And that's because the whole programming world
changed during the evolution. So they adjusted and changed as well.

In the meantime we continue to feast on 4D filet mignon. <smile>

Let's give 4D, their internal structural changes, new product development,
and new opportunities, a chance. Of course there's much work for 4D to do
before, and if ever, Wakanda becomes an understood IT word. And really Jack
have we 4D Developers been recently complaining about not having enough new
features in our DB? And aren't they fixing most "big" issues in a reasonable
amount of time?

You stuck with them this long. Give them a bit more time before you
speculate and second guess them into oblivion (aka, lost cause).

John...


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Jeffrey Kain
2011-09-01 00:16:57 UTC
Permalink
It all depends on their marketing of the product. It's easy to look at
something like ExtJS or jQuery UI and be amazed at how cool it all is... but
you have to write a LOT of code (after you learn the massive framework).

I think there's a big market for an integrated/RAD tool for the web. Not so
much for an integrated database engine, IMHO. The success or failure of
Wakanda will be heavily dependent on how well the product is marketed and
evangelized (assuming the technical rollout is flawless).
Post by Stephen J. Orth
I'm not "poo-pooing" Wakanda, but they have a heck of a hill to climb. Take
a look at EXT JS and you will see what I mean.
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Walt Nelson
2011-09-01 01:49:34 UTC
Permalink
Dennis,

Wonderful. The situation that you describe is EXACTLY why 4D has a chance to
gain a footing in large organizations.

Why do I say that? Because front-line managers and department heads do NOT
like the fact that "the tail wags the dog": IT managers and network
administrators, who in theory should be serving the needs of the
organization, are instead DICTATING POLICY to the organization.

Remember that management personnel change. Here's what I have seen happen
more than onece in the past: a new CFO comes in, and he/she has been hired
to shake things up. He/she takes a look at some of these pet policies of IT,
talks to some department heads who absolutely HATE the applications that
they are forced to use, and presto! There's a new game in town.

I know you have been fighting the battle for a long time, Dennis, and it
seems hopeless; but believe me, I have seen some amazing changes take place
when a new sheriff came to town. Not every top-level manager is in awe of
the IT department, especially since there are so many terrible applications
written in Oracle, Sybase, MS SQL SERVER, etc. with various front ends.

I recently saw an Accounting application, written in MS SQL SERVER with VB
front end, that could take more than a minute to return a simple query - the
same query that 4D now does in less than a tenth of a second (you guessed
it: 4D replaced that app, after they struggled for several years giving it
the benefit of the doubt, trying to make it work). That same app took more
than 5 minutes to print the cashier's daily collection report. 4D does it in
about 20 seconds.

Never underestimate the power of new management to shake things up - and
never underestimate the power of disgruntled front-line managers. Given the
right opportunity, they will go behind the back of IT and do what they want,
despite the rules. (I'm guessing that's why you still have a job, David!)

Yes, it will take time; and yes, you reminded me of one more "feature" that
4D absolutely must add before they can start winning the game: they must add
seamless support for Crystal Reports. IMHO, 4D should stop development on
all new features except for support for Crystal Reports. It is the standard
reporting tool in the industry, and for good reason: it (Crystal Reports) is
extremely powerful, extremely flexible, and relatively easy for the power
user to get the hang of it.

You're right about training; it is an issue that needs to be addressed. In
fact, this is probably the biggest limiting factor in 4D's expansion: the
lack of trained 4D developers. However, training now is easier to address
than in the past, because it can be done completely online. 4D has a pretty
good tutorial (which needs an update to V12), but they need more online
courses - lots more.

In any case, I stick by my original prediction: in those organizations where
4D already has a foothold, it stands a very good chance of expanding its
user base, if they (4D SA) fix the stability problems, and if they make sure
they seamlessly support Crystal Reports.

One more thing: you mentioned that all of your applications are "in the
process" of being rewritten by other things. Yes, I've heard that before: I
have one application that was "in the process" of being rewritten for more
than 10 years, before management finally decided to stop putting money down
that sink-hole and throw some money and some support at the original 4D app
that was like the Energizer bunny: it just kept going and going. I have
several applications like that: they have been "in the process" of being
rewritten for several years, but the front-line managers will not sign off
on the replacements because they are nowhere near the functionality and ease
of use of the original 4D app that they were supposed to replace.

I would venture to say that it could quite possibly be same where you are:
4D apps will be "in the process" of being rewritten for years...

Walt Nelson - Manila
I'll agree to a certain extent but doubt the department managers will be
winning many battles in larger companies. A few reasons follow and they are
directly applicable to where I work.
1. IT will only support a very limited number of application development
environments. In my case, the main IT group supports Oracle and MS SQL
Server ONLY and the web group supports PHP Cake and mySQL ONLY. They have
it written into policies that this is for cost savings and that if you
choose to use any other package, you'll be responsible for all costs
(including training) and the use of something else has to be approved by the
CIO (who then asks the IT and web groups why it's needed).
2. There are agreements and policies written that anything on the network
(coincidentally part of the IT group) MUST be written by the IT or web
group. If not, they don't notify you of down times, your responsible for
all back-ups and anything they think might be a problem gets blamed to you.
3. In some areas, the ONLY applications allowed for ANY reason must be on
CITRIX (which is managed by the network group) and MUST be developed by the
IT group.
4. Because of the agreements in place, you're basically stuck with the IT
group using the tools they want to use. The recharge rate to the internal
customers outside the IT group is usually then in the $125-$200 per hour
range for most things.
I've been a "shadow developer" since 2005 here and all of my applications
are now in the process of being rewritten in other things. I've moved
mostly on to other things but the IT group isn't interested in me since I
don't have strong enough "real" development experience.

The users like the applications and in quite a few cases, the managers are
very willing to admit that the applications in 4D are critical -- but they
want them in something else.

In my opinion, 4D needs a four pronged approach:

1. Get more developers using 4D. Oracle has (or at least had) a good model
that I think works. Developer tools were free or cost of shipping if
shipped on CD but production tools weren't. This makes it possible for new
developers to give everything a try. In the case of Oracle -- it is (or
was) EVERYTHING. The last time I saw this, it was a 25 CD pack. It's OK if
it times out every few hours as long as it's useful to develop in -- so it
protects it from being used for production use.

2. Get it into schools as a teaching tool. If people are coming out of
school and already know 4D, they're likely to be able to explain to managers
why it's a good choice. Same as #1 with time-out but student are poor so
don't make them pay to use to tool.

3. Get it into companies especially in IT departments. Companies are
notoriously cheap so there's one way I can think this might work but would
hurt for a while -- make the first 6 months of use of an application free,
even in production, without a harassing "made by 4D"
banner or anything. Once they're hooked and have real data in it, they
aren't going to change and they'll see how good it is.

4. Make it work with everything else as easily as possible. 4D is great
with it's plug-ins but:
- people want (or are required) to use PHP or Java or <insert other front
end> as a front-end sometimes so create a real way of doing so.
- people want to use other reporting engines sometimes (like Crystal
Reports) so make it as plug-and-play as possible. Make it easy enough that
if it sees CR, it uses it and if it doesn't, it reverts to built-in report
editor.
-- people want (or are required) to use web servers like Apache and IIS,
so make it simple to do.

5. (optional) go to some of the IT conventions with a challenge.
Create an small application using specs provided at the convention in
whatever you want and with as many people developing as you want. At the
end of the challenge, count up the man-hours to create the application and
publish each application and the hours it took to create. I can create an
application in 4D (with all the extras) so much faster than others not using
4D that it's unbelievable. I know that because I've done it for years --
but others don't see that.

Dennis
I look forward to seeing you at the 4D Summit in October and to hear your
plans for 4D and for Wakanda. It is an important time for 4D, Inc.
We must plan for the future. Brendan is gone and we have a new "General
Manager"
for USA. I look forward to meeting him also and to hear him speak
about the future of 4D, and Wakanda.
Tim,
I predict a very bright future for 4D, once they get all the stability
issues solved. Why do I say this? Because when I used to travel around
giving 4D training and doing 4D troubleshooting, I noticed that many,
many, many "Business Unit managers" (as opposed to IT types) were
unhappy with their non-4D database solutions. If 4D had supported SQL
back then, it would have garnered many more converts than it did. But
the problem was, IT departments objected bitterly when a department
had sneaked in a 4D "skunkworks" project that they (the departmental
users) were very happy with, or when a department head wanted to
switch to 4D because he/she had been talking with another department
head who had a 4D solution that they were very happy with.
The IT department fought tooth-and-nail against a switch to 4D or
expanding the use of 4D because it did not "speak SQL as a native
language" and they (the members of the IT department) were not
confident that they would be able to get data out of 4D for
enterprise-wide reporting. Their objection was valid to a certain
extent, and they usually won the battle. But now with 4D opening
itself up so that SQL queries work almost as well as they do for other
databases, that objection is no longer as valid as it once was, so
line managers are far more likely to win when there is a
"to-4D-or-not-to-4D" battle.
My observation has been that 4D has always enjoyed very good
word-of-mouth when department heads compared notes. I have a theory
that this is because of 4D itself, and also because of the fact that
most 4D developers come from a Macintosh background, where "human
interface" is a religion that most developers subscribe to. In other
worlds, it is a toss-up as to whether a developer from a Unix or
Windows background will have a good feel for what is really "obvious
and easy to use," whereas in the Macintosh world, that kind of feel is the
rule rather than the exception.
So I predict that 4D will begin to enjoy a whole lot more
word-of-mouth sales within large organizations, now that the one of
the major objections of IT departments (SQL compability) is history.
The other major objection ("not an industry standard") is much harder
for an IT department to defend, because it smacks of prejudice and
self-serving bias.
So I predict that over the next few years, even WITHOUT any major
marketing campaigns - just by making the product more solid and
reliable - 4D will enjoy a gradual increase in penetration of large
organizations where there already is some 4D. And it will mostly come
from word of mouth among line managers who care more about getting the
job done than about the prejudices of IT departments.
Walt Nelson - Manila
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Bill
2011-09-01 16:21:59 UTC
Permalink
Walt,

Amen to that brother.

I have a simular situation.

An app I maintained in 4D took 3 years to convert to Ruby, and still they will not let me shut down the original 4D app, go figure…

I won't even go into how slow their access and searches are. If that is progress, I will stay with 4D...

That 4D app has been running for over 11 years, just like the Energizer bunny!

Sometimes people have a very long training and or learning period.

Just my .02¢

IMHO
-----------------
Michling Consultants
Bill Michling /Webmaster consultant
-----------------
Post by Walt Nelson
Yes, I've heard that before: I
have one application that was "in the process" of being rewritten for more
than 10 years, before management finally decided to stop putting money down
that sink-hole and throw some money and some support at the original 4D app
that was like the Energizer bunny: it just kept going and going. I have
several applications like that: they have been "in the process" of being
rewritten for several years, but the front-line managers will not sign off
on the replacements because they are nowhere near the functionality and ease
of use of the original 4D app that they were supposed to replace.
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Dennis Little
2011-09-01 16:48:32 UTC
Permalink
There are two related things that need to be force-fed to IT
departments and others based on this in my opinion...

1. The cost of a project IS NOT just the cost of the software. Ruby
is free as are many of the database back-ends it uses -- but the cost
of the project should be something like:
(software cost + developer cost) / time to market + maintenance
cost + use cost

If the software is free and developers are cheap (which mySQL/PHP
developers are for the most part), how important is the time to
market, maintenance cost, and expense to actually use the software?

2. What seems simple usually isn't. I was once told by a mid-level
manager that he could have someone re-develop my project in 3 days
using mySQL/PHP. That project is the primary one I've worked on since
coming to my current position. That project has now been being
converted and has cost $60K SO FAR and has less than 1/100th of the
functions with bugs that make it useless (you can't submit records for
review).

The problem for the customer is that it's in 4D 2003 (never upgraded
due to "cost") and uses the web to collect some very sensitive
information -- and 4D 2003 won't work with 2048-bit SSL keys. Once
their existing SSL keys expire, I won't be supporting it any longer so
they MUST have something else useful to use in PHP/mySQL.

I've tried Ruby and a few other RAD products that are GREAT if you
want one input form and one output form per table. If you want more
complex stuff, it gets tough. My main app has web forms that are as
many as 20 web pages for a single record (saved between pages).

When I was in college, they had this language that was similar for the
day. It was called RPG III. It was GREAT if all you wanted was to
read in data in a specific format and spit it back out in a different
format -- all you had to do was define the input and output format
with no other code. As soon as you wanted to do something as simple
as a sort, your code started becoming complex.

Dennis
Post by Bill
Walt,
Amen to that brother.
I have a simular situation.
An app I maintained in 4D took 3 years to convert to Ruby, and still they
will not let me shut down the original 4D app, go figure…
I won't even go into how slow their access and searches are. If that is
progress, I will stay with 4D...
That 4D app has been running for over 11 years, just like the Energizer bunny!
Sometimes people have a very long training and or learning period.
Just my .02¢
IMHO
-----------------
Michling Consultants
Bill Michling /Webmaster consultant
-----------------
Post by Walt Nelson
Yes, I've heard that before: I
have one application that was "in the process" of being rewritten for more
than 10 years, before management finally decided to stop putting money down
that sink-hole and throw some money and some support at the original 4D app
that was like the Energizer bunny: it just kept going and going. I have
several applications like that: they have been "in the process" of being
rewritten for several years, but the front-line managers will not sign off
on the replacements because they are nowhere near the functionality and ease
of use of the original 4D app that they were supposed to replace.
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Tim Nevels
2011-09-01 07:50:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Walt Nelson
I know you have been fighting the battle for a long time, Dennis, and it
seems hopeless; but believe me, I have seen some amazing changes take place
when a new sheriff came to town.
Walt is right about that. We do need a new sheriff in America. The current man in charge is not instilling confidence. Business is still holding back and not investing in the future. Something has to change in the US economy so that business is ready to say "let's build and expand". My clients are in a holding pattern. No new projects and maintenance only.

We got one hope in America. Change in 2012. You all know what I mean. We need a new sheriff in town and his name is not Barack Obama. There... I said. And I believe it. The economy is in the toilet because business has no confidence that things are going to get better. We need a leader to give businesses confidence. So go on... tell me the current administration is making businesses in America excited to build an invest in the future. No... they are all running scared and afraid of the future.

We are all idling and in a holding pattern. Yeah... we are doing some work and getting by. But are we loaded up with new work and new projects? Do we all have so much work that we cannot get it all done? It used to be that way, but not now.

I'm looking for a change. Some kind of change. Any kind of change.

Tim

********************************************
Tim Nevels
Innovative Solutions
785-749-3444
timnevels-Uj//***@public.gmane.org
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DevTeam
2011-09-01 08:46:57 UTC
Permalink
Tim,

Sorry, but I find your post extremely off topic and offensive.

If you want to talk US politics, go elsewhere.
--
François Tiffreau

IT Manager

ESL iLab
Post by Tim Nevels
Walt is right about that. We do need a new sheriff in America. The current man in charge is not instilling confidence. Business is still holding back and not investing in the future. Something has to change in the US economy so that business is ready to say "let's build and expand". My clients are in a holding pattern. No new projects and maintenance only.
We got one hope in America. Change in 2012. You all know what I mean. We need a new sheriff in town and his name is not Barack Obama. There... I said. And I believe it. The economy is in the toilet because business has no confidence that things are going to get better. We need a leader to give businesses confidence. So go on... tell me the current administration is making businesses in America excited to build an invest in the future. No... they are all running scared and afraid of the future.
We are all idling and in a holding pattern. Yeah... we are doing some work and getting by. But are we loaded up with new work and new projects? Do we all have so much work that we cannot get it all done? It used to be that way, but not now.
I'm looking for a change. Some kind of change. Any kind of change.
Tim
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Joshua Hunter
2011-09-01 18:33:29 UTC
Permalink
I couldn't agree more (with François).

Joshua Hunter
Joshua-Ni5i+***@public.gmane.org
(425)673-1974
www.dwdev.com
Dataworks Development, Inc.
Providing secure and configurable data management solutions for research and clinical labs since 1985.



-----Original Message-----
From: 4d_tech-bounces-d2/MUvgItPNWk0Htik3J/***@public.gmane.org [mailto:4d_tech-bounces-d2/MUvgItPNWk0Htik3J/***@public.gmane.org] On Behalf Of DevTeam
Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2011 1:47 AM
To: 4D iNug Technical
Subject: Re: The Future of 4D [long] (off topic and offensive)

Tim,

Sorry, but I find your post extremely off topic and offensive.

If you want to talk US politics, go elsewhere.
--
François Tiffreau

IT Manager

ESL iLab
Post by Tim Nevels
Walt is right about that. We do need a new sheriff in America. The current man in charge is not instilling confidence. Business is still holding back and not investing in the future. Something has to change in the US economy so that business is ready to say "let's build and expand". My clients are in a holding pattern. No new projects and maintenance only.
We got one hope in America. Change in 2012. You all know what I mean. We need a new sheriff in town and his name is not Barack Obama. There... I said. And I believe it. The economy is in the toilet because business has no confidence that things are going to get better. We need a leader to give businesses confidence. So go on... tell me the current administration is making businesses in America excited to build an invest in the future. No... they are all running scared and afraid of the future.
We are all idling and in a holding pattern. Yeah... we are doing some work and getting by. But are we loaded up with new work and new projects? Do we all have so much work that we cannot get it all done? It used to be that way, but not now.
I'm looking for a change. Some kind of change. Any kind of change.
Tim
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Jack Des Bouillons
2011-09-01 18:35:37 UTC
Permalink
Well then...for God's sake...

Don't Read It!

No one is holding your head to the screen, forcing your eyes open and MAKING
you read it...

Jack Des Bouilons
Post by Joshua Hunter
I couldn't agree more (with François).
Joshua Hunter
clinical labs since 1985.
-----Original Message-----
Tim,
Sorry, but I find your post extremely off topic and offensive.
If you want to talk US politics, go elsewhere.
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Joshua Hunter
2011-09-01 18:49:50 UTC
Permalink
Jack,

You are right. 99% of the stuff on the inug is just people pissing and moaning and feeling sorry for themselves. I think I will take a hiatus. I'll see if it improves any after the Summit.

Joshua Hunter
Joshua-Ni5i+***@public.gmane.org
(425)673-1974
www.dwdev.com
Dataworks Development, Inc.
Providing secure and configurable data management solutions for research and clinical labs since 1985.




-----Original Message-----
From: 4d_tech-bounces-d2/MUvgItPNWk0Htik3J/***@public.gmane.org [mailto:4d_tech-bounces-d2/MUvgItPNWk0Htik3J/***@public.gmane.org] On Behalf Of Jack Des Bouillons
Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2011 11:36 AM
To: 4D iNug Technical
Subject: Re: The Future of 4D [long] (off topic and offensive)

Well then...for God's sake...

Don't Read It!

No one is holding your head to the screen, forcing your eyes open and MAKING you read it...

Jack Des Bouilons
Post by Joshua Hunter
I couldn't agree more (with François).
Joshua Hunter
clinical labs since 1985.
-----Original Message-----
Tim,
Sorry, but I find your post extremely off topic and offensive.
If you want to talk US politics, go elsewhere.
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Dennis Little
2011-09-01 20:25:36 UTC
Permalink
Jack,

I have to disagree with you regardless of the politics. Nobody forced
me to read it -- but this list is about 4D. It's one thing to
complain to or about 4D and/or it's management, etc, but the last I
checked, the President of the United States wasn't part of the 4D
community much less part of 4D, Inc.

While I understand we do get off topic pretty regularly, can we keep
it 4D related or at least not one of the two things that shouldn't be
discussed on this forum or in a work environment EVER (politics and
religion).

Just for the record and so nobody can say I'm being a bleeding heart
liberal or something, I vote for the person I think is the right
person for the country regardless of political party and I'm a
Christian leaning agnostic (i.e., I think there is a higher being and
based on what I know, believe the Bible has it right -- but I'm not
going to push my religion or lack thereof on anyone else. I have
friends that are Jewish, Muslim, Mormon, Wiccan, Hindu, Aethist and
quite a few other religions and get along with them all). If you want
to discuss this with me, I'll be glad to -- but lets take it off-list.

Thanks,

Dennis
Post by Jack Des Bouillons
Well then...for God's sake...
Don't Read It!
No one is holding your head to the screen, forcing your eyes open and MAKING
you read it...
Jack Des Bouilons
Post by Joshua Hunter
I couldn't agree more (with François).
Joshua Hunter
clinical labs since 1985.
-----Original Message-----
On
Tim,
Sorry, but I find your post extremely off topic and offensive.
If you want to talk US politics, go elsewhere.
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Stephen J. Orth
2011-09-01 20:34:51 UTC
Permalink
Dennis,

I agree this should be taken off list, but this also needs to apply to all
those little "quotes" everyone puts in their signature.

If it's not 4D related, then they also don't belong.


Steve


-----Original Message-----
From: 4d_tech-bounces-d2/MUvgItPNWk0Htik3J/***@public.gmane.org [mailto:4d_tech-bounces-d2/MUvgItPNWk0Htik3J/***@public.gmane.org] On
Behalf Of Dennis Little
Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2011 3:26 PM
To: 4D iNug Technical
Subject: Re: The Future of 4D [long] (off topic and offensive)

Jack,

I have to disagree with you regardless of the politics. Nobody forced me to
read it -- but this list is about 4D. It's one thing to complain to or
about 4D and/or it's management, etc, but the last I checked, the President
of the United States wasn't part of the 4D community much less part of 4D,
Inc.

While I understand we do get off topic pretty regularly, can we keep it 4D
related or at least not one of the two things that shouldn't be discussed on
this forum or in a work environment EVER (politics and religion).

Just for the record and so nobody can say I'm being a bleeding heart liberal
or something, I vote for the person I think is the right person for the
country regardless of political party and I'm a Christian leaning agnostic
(i.e., I think there is a higher being and based on what I know, believe the
Bible has it right -- but I'm not going to push my religion or lack thereof
on anyone else. I have friends that are Jewish, Muslim, Mormon, Wiccan,
Hindu, Aethist and quite a few other religions and get along with them all).
If you want to discuss this with me, I'll be glad to -- but lets take it
off-list.

Thanks,

Dennis

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Nigel Greenlee
2011-09-01 11:53:55 UTC
Permalink
All

Let me put my(Non-american) 2 cents into this.

Its one hell of an extrapolation to move put the limitations of 4D market penetration onto Obama-Don't think you are alone America(i know American TV media of the rest of the world is not exactly deep)-can we say Greece-Italy-Spain-Ireland-in fact half of Europe at least in the same boat(and let not kid ourselves it was over-bullish lending by previous administrations in the US and the happy to invest banking attitude of the Europeans that put us all in the boat..and Henkel, Cameron, Zarkozy, Obama and every other world leader is probably struggling to work out how to row this boat out of the swamp. So thats world politics fixed......

There are several areas that 4D could in my opinion concentrate on to build better markets-and i am not saying they are not doing any of this.

1) Recognise there are two distinct avenues that 4D developers work on. One is commercial Applications and the other is Corporate solutions....I have worked in both areas and 4D is good for both but the markets are different.

2) Sign-up. 4D should have in house developers working with other tools, and be really involved in the communities for those products to have a valuable understanding of what those products mean. We all know that most corporates like to get a shareholder into the camp of the opposition and its no different in development. KNOW THINE ENEMY.

3)Nuture. they need to bring through(and hell in know its not easy) the new OO language. New boys and girls learn Java, C++, Objective C, C# Javascript etc they are used to . notation and look at 4D like it was some ancient cypher..we old boys may want to keep writing procedural code. I know Wakanda is part of this 'moving on' process...feels though like thing should be moving faster. Look at the uptake of products like RAILS..unheard of 10 years ago RAILS developer jobs and lots of other frameworks that did not exist 10 years ago are frequently posted so IT Managers somewhere are 'letting in' new technology

4) Invest. One of the most successful companies in the UK is called John Lewis. Part of its success is that the staff are polite..head into Tescos and ask them to skin yer fish and you get a tutting and grudging assistant..head into Waitrose(John Lewis) and the fish counter is happy to de-skin.bag up advise..why they nearly offer to come around and cook it for you.. Why are John Lewis staff so helpful..THEY OWN THE COMPANY. When you work for John Lewis you are a Partner. If the 4D corporate model meant that we Partners who have invested in development had a corporate say and got a dividend what do you think might happen?

5)Recruit. Back on the topic of 'other tools' 4D should(and i know they have done some of this) recruit people who have experience of getting development tools into corporate environments..people who know what works and can convince IT people of the benefits.

6)Promote. One of the biggest 'success' stories of the past 5 years has been the apple eco-system..by which i mean the App store.. Apple virtually give you the tools to develop with, provide a successful means by which to get your product to market(and their harsh rules try mean the programmes that hit the app store generally do what they say on the tin)..and then they take a cut. When it comes to commercial solutions built with 4D 4D could provide the working environment 'free(ish)' critique the product going to market (e.g you cant publish it until it works) and provide the portal and promotion for the products..taking a significant slice of the revenue. This may encourage more programmers to develop using 4D where they can sacrifice a share of their income whatever what the product is distributed(via 4D, vIa Apple, Via Microsoft, Google etc etc). How you separate commercial apps from corporate solutions is probably a challenge..but maybe pay-to-play in the corporate world would be a good revenue stream.

For my money(sic) i would rather get constant revenue from an application being used than get a bundle of cash so someone can look at my product and then they never use it. There has been a fantastic investment by 4D in the technology, and for all the downsides of using the product(lack of easy version control, flaky updates probably being my top bugbears) its a great set of tools to be working with. What there has not been(from where i sit) is an obvious inventive approach to marketing the tools and I think it needs a mind-shifting and ground-shattering event to happen or we are still going to be 4D who? in 10 years..
Post by Tim Nevels
Post by Walt Nelson
I know you have been fighting the battle for a long time, Dennis, and it
seems hopeless; but believe me, I have seen some amazing changes take place
when a new sheriff came to town.
Walt is right about that. We do need a new sheriff in America. The current man in charge is not instilling confidence. Business is still holding back and not investing in the future. Something has to change in the US economy so that business is ready to say "let's build and expand". My clients are in a holding pattern. No new projects and maintenance only.
We got one hope in America. Change in 2012. You all know what I mean. We need a new sheriff in town and his name is not Barack Obama. There... I said. And I believe it. The economy is in the toilet because business has no confidence that things are going to get better. We need a leader to give businesses confidence. So go on... tell me the current administration is making businesses in America excited to build an invest in the future. No... they are all running scared and afraid of the future.
We are all idling and in a holding pattern. Yeah... we are doing some work and getting by. But are we loaded up with new work and new projects? Do we all have so much work that we cannot get it all done? It used to be that way, but not now.
I'm looking for a change. Some kind of change. Any kind of change.
Tim
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785-749-3444
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DevTeam
2011-09-01 12:09:10 UTC
Permalink
Nigel,

I enjoyed your post and basically agree with your points.

I would add a point:

7) Open up and inform

Stop behaving like the closely held private company they are.

- Share key financial information such as overall revenues, unit volumes and market segments. Show the trends in these key numbers.

- Communicate product roadmaps (no more Lion debacles).
--
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IT Manager

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Post by Nigel Greenlee
There are several areas that 4D could in my opinion concentrate on to build better markets-and i am not saying they are not doing any of this.
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Julio Carneiro
2011-09-01 12:38:38 UTC
Permalink
That is nonsense, 4D SA is a private company, so why do you want them to behave differently? Mine is a private company, and we DO behave like a "closely held private company", are pretty happy doing so and will not change that.
Why would I want 4D to not do the same? Because they are one of my suppliers? non-sense.
Post by DevTeam
Nigel,
I enjoyed your post and basically agree with your points.
7) Open up and inform
Stop behaving like the closely held private company they are.
- Share key financial information such as overall revenues, unit volumes and market segments. Show the trends in these key numbers.
- Communicate product roadmaps (no more Lion debacles).
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DevTeam
2011-09-01 14:40:40 UTC
Permalink
Why? Because every of their major competitors does just that.

4D is a small player. If they want to be a big player, they have to play by the rules.

It's called TRANSPARENCY

The lack of TRANSPARENCY is one of the main objections of IT Managers, like myself.

Large companies seek assurances that the technology in which they are investing will exist in one, three, five or ten years. That is basic sense, not non-sense.
--
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IT Manager

ESL iLab
Post by Julio Carneiro
That is nonsense, 4D SA is a private company, so why do you want them to behave differently? Mine is a private company, and we DO behave like a "closely held private company", are pretty happy doing so and will not change that.
Why would I want 4D to not do the same? Because they are one of my suppliers? non-sense.
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George Huhn
2011-09-01 15:38:54 UTC
Permalink
I think Jack is right.

If you had a choice between two software development products built on the same technology base, and one required you to learn a new language (4D) and the other used a popular language that you already knew (javascript), which would one you choose?

I'd choose the one that used the language I already knew.

And if you were going to spend marketing dollars to grow your customer base, would you rather market to a large group of potential developers who could use your product right away or to a small group of developers who would need to learn a new programming language in order to use your product?

I'd choose to market to the developers who could use my product right away. People don't like long learning curves in order to be able to use a product.

At a summit years ago, "The Next Next Version" (TNNV) of 4D was presented as an eventual transition to an object-oriented language, and (somehow) 4D developers were going to still be able to grandfather their applications into this new development environment. I didn't understand how this was going to work, but having two versions of 4D (a procedural language and an OO language) was not discussed.

I think that Wakanda is TNNV that was talked about back then, but it arrived only after 4D realized that they couldn't merge or transition old 4D into TNNV. So I think that Jack is right when he says that 4D is the current cash cow, but that the future growth business for 4D is going to be in Wakanda.

It is too bad, however, that there isn't an easy or semi-easy path for moving current 4D applications from 4D to Wakanda. If there was, I think it would grow an installed base of Wakanda users rather quickly.

George

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Peter Jakobsson
2011-09-01 16:04:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by George Huhn
think that Wakanda is TNNV that was talked about back then, but it
arrived only after 4D realized that they couldn't merge or
transition old 4D into TNNV
Is this just more rumor-mil speculation or do you know something I
don't ? How do you square this observation with the fact that the SQL
support was introduced into the current product ?

Remember that the 4D language is tokenised - what we know as the
'language' is only the way the commands are presented dynamically in
the method editor. I don't see it being a very big challenge to present

SELECTION TO ARRAY([MYTABLE]name;$arrNAMES)

as

tables.mytable.selToArray([MYTABLE]name;$arrNAMES)

On the other hand, it must have been a pretty huge job to integrate a
statement-based text command interface alongside the legacy query
language. I doubt that effort would have been made unless quite a long
term future had been envisaged for the product.

Peter

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George Huhn
2011-09-01 16:12:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by George Huhn
think that Wakanda is TNNV that was talked about back then, but it arrived only after 4D realized that they couldn't merge or transition old 4D into TNNV
Is this just more rumor-mil speculation or do you know something I don't ? How do you square this observation with the fact that the SQL support was introduced into the current product ?
Speculation. A separate OO 4D product was not discussed when transitioning 4D to an OO language was being discussed years ago. If it had been possible, I think that they would have done it.

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Jack Des Bouillons
2011-09-01 16:50:57 UTC
Permalink
I think Laurant explained that the decision to go with Javascript as the
"next" 4D language, rather than creating an entirely new OO language was a
marketing, not a technological, decision...

The wanted to take advantage of the huge number of JS developers that were
out there.

Jack des Bouillons
Post by George Huhn
Speculation. A separate OO 4D product was not discussed when transitioning 4D
to an OO language was being discussed years ago. If it had been possible, I
think that they would have done it.
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Peter Jakobsson
2011-09-01 15:49:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by DevTeam
Large companies seek assurances that the technology in which they
are investing will exist in one, three, five or ten years. That is
basic sense, not non-sense.
What kind of assurance are you looking for - an official announcement
that says 'we assure you that 4D will exist in 5 years' ? :)

My bank went bust a couple of years ago and, being a quoted company,
it was pretty transparent (at least it's assets were. So transparent
in fact that they became invisible).

There is rumor-mill speculation going on that the 4D desktop
applications product is going to get less attention than Wakanda - and
possibly be dropped. But this goes against anything that 4D have ever
done or stated as their 'roadmap'. Even if the Javascript product is
the 'future', the worst case scenario I see is that the two products
are merged, and the legacy language is supported but not updated -
i.e. you can run your old stuff but can't take advantage of new
features without using the new language.

That's nothing new as technology goes.

I mean, 4D can't win - if they hadn't pursued the Javascript project,
people would be moaning that they're ignoring the evolving technology
applications market. Now that they have, folks are saying that 4D (as
we know it today) is going to 'disappear' - based on nothing but
rumormongering and lightweight feature sets for new versions. What are
they supposed to do exactly ?

No-one can tell what the desktop applications market is going to be
like in 10 years - maybe it will get swallowed up by mobile apps type
javascript technology and the distinction will disappear. Maybe it
won't.

Either way, the fact that all options are still on the table as far as
the future of 4D is concerned should be cause for relief rather than
concern I would have thought.

Regards

Peter

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Jack Des Bouillons
2011-09-01 16:08:49 UTC
Permalink
If there is one thing that the last few years has taught us, it is that any
company can go belly-up...regardless of it's size...

And even if the large company does not go away, large companies can drop
smaller entities...if you as an IT director had made the commitment to
FoxPro in your shop, you probably were gleeful when Microsoft bought it,
right?

Jack des Bouillons
Post by DevTeam
Large companies seek assurances that the technology in which they are
investing will exist in one, three, five or ten years. That is basic sense,
not non-sense.
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Randy Engle
2011-09-01 16:36:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jack Des Bouillons
If there is one thing that the last few years has taught us, it is that
any company can go belly-up...regardless of it's size...
FYI

Case in point: Yesterday: Solyndra (Fremont CA)

Given $535mil by the Feds
Had over $1b in total funding

Wed. AM. Doors locked. 1100 employees are flipping burgers

4D is still here!
(So are we!)

Randy Engle


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Jim Redfield
2011-09-01 17:07:38 UTC
Permalink
Randy,

Probably more relevant to this discussion are the following observations:

Cisco creates and abandons their FLIP device.
HP creates, abandons, reinvigorates, and eventually abandons again the TouchPad.
HP buys Palm OS only to kill the technology.
This list could go on for days: Brilliant technology not able to make the grade in the marketplace even with massive backing.

Point: Any project can go belly up very quickly. What counts are results.

Jim
Post by Randy Engle
Post by Jack Des Bouillons
If there is one thing that the last few years has taught us, it is that
any company can go belly-up...regardless of it's size...
FYI
Case in point: Yesterday: Solyndra (Fremont CA)
Given $535mil by the Feds
Had over $1b in total funding
Wed. AM. Doors locked. 1100 employees are flipping burgers
4D is still here!
(So are we!)
Randy Engle
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Randy Engle
2011-09-01 17:40:34 UTC
Permalink
Jim,

Yes, you are of course correct regarding relevancy.

Solyndra was just one that was in the news today, had megabux for funding,
etc.
Any company can go belly-up.

Randy Engle
Post by Jim Redfield
Randy,
Probably more relevant to this discussion are the following
Cisco creates and abandons their FLIP device.
HP creates, abandons, reinvigorates, and eventually abandons again the TouchPad.
HP buys Palm OS only to kill the technology.
This list could go on for days: Brilliant technology not able to make
the grade in the marketplace even with massive backing.
Point: Any project can go belly up very quickly. What counts are results.
Jim
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John Foster
2011-09-01 15:07:04 UTC
Permalink
Hey Jack,

Maybe it's the post that created the tone that sounded like you had written 4D off. This last post is more positive and logical and less speculative.

None of us know how this will end up. Heck I've tried different business models myself and none, other than custom development, has worked the way I envisioned. I continue to try different business approaches. The market will decide how successful Wakanda will become.

The point, I think, is to be less be less cock sure of what we know when we all know very little about how this will turn out. We all are engaging in speculation and best guesses.

I hope 4D succeeds wildly. and when it comes time that I need to use Wakanda I will. Until then I'll remain primarily focused on 4D as one of my core business units.

Appreciate,
John...
Post by Jack Des Bouillons
And my comments does not regulate 4D OR 4D, Inc. to oblivion...on the
contrary, it is a positive step that management has decided to move forward
into a completely different area, with a completely different business plan
(it would seem)...
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John Foster
2011-09-01 15:20:50 UTC
Permalink
Hey Steve,
Post by Stephen J. Orth
I'm wishing them the best of luck
Great! That's all I'm saying is let them build and see if the customers will come. That's all they can do.

My point is we 4D Developers have not been ignored in the process. We almost have too much functionality. So much to learn. And, like Apple's goal of creating a Knowledge Navigator (back in 1985 or so) 4D focused on creating 4D Universal. It appears to have morphed into Wakanda. To me that's amazing that their vision pulled them this far forward.

Ok, so they have a hill to climb. That's what they decided they wanted to do right? It's there hill so let's support them as they try. (Yes I know you do!) Maybe they'll succeed and maybe they won't. Can we go back to the early days when there were other 4D competitors who were better positioned at the time? Maybe it will be similar with Wakanda. Maybe it will flop and they'll return to a single focus of 4D. Maybe they'll again create another niche market that sustains them for the next 25 years. None of us knows nor, as well intentioned and educated as we might be, can predict it's success or failure.

All I'm saying is that what you think, what I think, what any of us thinks, is an opinion, a guess, and speculation at best.

My goodness Steve did anyone of the "non-Steve's product types who I've asked to look at..." ever tell you your products wouldn't work? That you couldn't compete? If not you were lucky! In my experience the norm has been to doubt.

For me I'm agnostic! But supportive!

John...
Post by Stephen J. Orth
I'm not "poo-pooing" Wakanda, but they have a heck of a hill to climb. Take
a look at EXT JS and you will see what I mean.
I'm wishing them the best of luck, but based upon comments I'm getting from
non-4D types who I've asked to look at Wakanda, it's clear that they don't
think very highly of Wakanda yet.
--------------------------------------------------------------

John Foster
Eternity Software
425-486-1622

http://www.eternity-software.com/ES_Products.html

This e-mail contains confidential & proprietary information intended for the use of the original addressee. If you are not the addressee you are hereby notified that any dissemination or other action in reliance upon this communication could result in legal liability to you and your Organization.

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Stephen J. Orth
2011-09-01 15:39:13 UTC
Permalink
John,

First, my comments were not meant in any negative manner. I've made a good
living off of 4D, and like I said, I wish them the best of luck.

Second, my comments about "non-4D" types maybe could have been a little more
clear. What I was referring to is that I've had non-4D, web based
programmers, some who are currently on our staff, examining Wakanda. They
are less excited about Wakanda than us 4D types. Again, opinion is based
upon many technical, and some non-technical, factors.

Wakanda is a very intersting tool, no doubt about it. However, the fact
that it's directly linked to a database is part of it's problem (just like
4D). And before anyone says that you don't have to use the integrated OO
database...yes I understand that. My problem is that if you keep up on the
Wakanda forums and blogs, you will see that they definitively state that you
lose the power of Wakanda if you decouple the DB engine. People are not
going to switch away from their SQL Servers, and such, to use this DB
engine....I just don't see that happening in any massive way.

My statement about comparing Wakanda to ExtJS, was strictly on the basis of
the major lead these companies have over Wakanda when it comes to UI. These
companies are established, large, and continually moving forward. They have
a huge user base, and that continually feeds their development. As I said,
this is a huge hill to overcome, but I wish 4D the best at it.

I'm keeping all options open....


Steve


-----Original Message-----
From: 4d_tech-bounces-d2/MUvgItPNWk0Htik3J/***@public.gmane.org [mailto:4d_tech-bounces-d2/MUvgItPNWk0Htik3J/***@public.gmane.org] On
Behalf Of John Foster
Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2011 10:21 AM
To: 4d_tech-d2/MUvgItPNWk0Htik3J/***@public.gmane.org
Subject: RE: The Future of 4D [long]

Hey Steve,
Post by Stephen J. Orth
I'm wishing them the best of luck
Great! That's all I'm saying is let them build and see if the customers will
come. That's all they can do.

My point is we 4D Developers have not been ignored in the process. We almost
have too much functionality. So much to learn. And, like Apple's goal of
creating a Knowledge Navigator (back in 1985 or so) 4D focused on creating
4D Universal. It appears to have morphed into Wakanda. To me that's amazing
that their vision pulled them this far forward.

Ok, so they have a hill to climb. That's what they decided they wanted to do
right? It's there hill so let's support them as they try. (Yes I know you
do!) Maybe they'll succeed and maybe they won't. Can we go back to the early
days when there were other 4D competitors who were better positioned at the
time? Maybe it will be similar with Wakanda. Maybe it will flop and they'll
return to a single focus of 4D. Maybe they'll again create another niche
market that sustains them for the next 25 years. None of us knows nor, as
well intentioned and educated as we might be, can predict it's success or
failure.

All I'm saying is that what you think, what I think, what any of us thinks,
is an opinion, a guess, and speculation at best.

My goodness Steve did anyone of the "non-Steve's product types who I've
asked to look at..." ever tell you your products wouldn't work? That you
couldn't compete? If not you were lucky! In my experience the norm has been
to doubt.

For me I'm agnostic! But supportive!

John...

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John Foster
2011-09-01 16:15:46 UTC
Permalink
Hey Steve,
Post by Stephen J. Orth
First, my comments were not meant in any negative manner. I've made a good
living off of 4D, and like I said, I wish them the best of luck.
I know that. That's why I said things like "Great!", "Yes I know you do!", etc. Email post are one of the poorest ways to communicate. Seems like, no matter how careful one is, that things are misread. So again I understand they weren't met in a negative way, per se.

I guess I am reacting to the "naysayer" mentality that I am "seeing" in many of the posts about Wakanda.

I'll never forget a conversation that Walt Nelson (Guam) and I had about dBase back in the late 80's. I was absolutely convinced that because of their market penetration, number of developers using it, myself included, etc., that it would be a long time before they were dethroned.

Boy was I wrong and Walt was right! Within a year or so the big cookie crumbled. They had it all, or seemingly so, and yet they became a dinosaur. To me that was a lesson that there are no guarantees no matter the market size.

And with Wakanda I don't know what 4D sees as their target market. I don't know what kind of market size they are after. They could settle for a niche again and be successful on a smaller scale. Is that more likely than not?

It's the Wakanda division's job to promote, build, support, innovate, and hopefully succeed. All I know is that we keep comparing 4D to these huge conglomerates and yet I've never seen 4D even talk about being in the same rare air. I think it's safe to see them as an innovative niche player in the areas they excel at. Maybe it will grow from there? Who knows?

Appreciate,
John...
Post by Stephen J. Orth
Second, my comments about "non-4D" types maybe could have been a little more
clear. What I was referring to is that I've had non-4D, web based
programmers, some who are currently on our staff, examining Wakanda. They
are less excited about Wakanda than us 4D types. Again, opinion is based
upon many technical, and some non-technical, factors.
Wakanda is a very intersting tool, no doubt about it. However, the fact
that it's directly linked to a database is part of it's problem (just like
4D). And before anyone says that you don't have to use the integrated OO
database...yes I understand that. My problem is that if you keep up on the
Wakanda forums and blogs, you will see that they definitively state that you
lose the power of Wakanda if you decouple the DB engine. People are not
going to switch away from their SQL Servers, and such, to use this DB
engine....I just don't see that happening in any massive way.
My statement about comparing Wakanda to ExtJS, was strictly on the basis of
the major lead these companies have over Wakanda when it comes to UI. These
companies are established, large, and continually moving forward. They have
a huge user base, and that continually feeds their development. As I said,
this is a huge hill to overcome, but I wish 4D the best at it.
I'm keeping all options open....
--------------------------------------------------------------

John Foster
Eternity Software
425-486-1622

http://www.eternity-software.com/ES_Products.html

This e-mail contains confidential & proprietary information intended for the use of the original addressee. If you are not the addressee you are hereby notified that any dissemination or other action in reliance upon this communication could result in legal liability to you and your Organization.

--------------------------------------------------------------




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Walt Nelson
2011-09-02 02:26:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Foster
I'll never forget a conversation that Walt Nelson (Guam) and I had about
dBase back in the late 80's. I was absolutely convinced that because of
their market penetration, number of developers using it, myself included,
etc., that it would be a long time before they were dethroned.
Post by John Foster
Boy was I wrong and Walt was right! Within a year or so the big cookie
crumbled. They had it all, or seemingly so, and yet they became a dinosaur.
To me that was a lesson that there are no guarantees no matter the market
size.

John,

Thanks for the remembrance, but don't forget: long before that conversation
- even before the Apple II - when you used to play around with various
little programmable devices, YOU WERE THE ONE who predicted that I would
eventually end up in programming. Boy, were you right!

Anyway: anyone who has participated on this list knows that I am very
capable of being critical of decisions and policies of 4D SA, especially
when it comes to the "Stability Factor."

But still, I try to look with my eyes open. And I see that, despite all the
obstacles over the years, 4D has managed to survive where many others in the
database space have fallen by the wayside: dBase, Foxpro, Informix, Sybase
(still around but much diminished), and many others.

There's a reason for that: 4D's architecture is far superior to most of its
competitors, and as a result, it is very, very difficult to duplicate the
functionality of a 4D application with the other tools out there. That's
why, despite all the opposition within organizations to 4D, it is still
around, having at least a small foothold in most of the Fortune 500
companies in the U.S., in many hospitals and universities, and in many
companies and organizations around the world.

Embracing industry standards, while still maintaining the 4D philosophy of
superior product architecture, is a very good strategy, IMHO. I don't know
what the future holds for Wakanda, which according to the literature, can't
even run on the most dominant OS today (Windows XP) but as Windows 7 gains
penetration and works out its kinks, Wakanda may gain a foothold.

On the 4D side, I see a gradual expansion of the 4D presence in those
organizations where it has managed to hold on, despite all the opposition
from the established IT side of the organization. There is a reason 4D is
able to hold on, and that reason is the innate quality of the product family
and what can be done with it.

I don't share the popular opinion that 4D should come out with a massive
marketing campaign, trying to outspend Oracle and SQL SERVER in advertising.
Rather, I think they should take a Guerrilla Marketing approach: find
organizations where 4D already has a small presence, find out why those
small groups have been able to withstand the intense pressure to replace 4D,
and find ways to help that installed base to expand itself. Visit those
organizations, help them however you can, listen to their concerns, meet
with their powers-that-be.

That is a slow approach, it's not very sexy, but in the long run, I believe
it has a lot better chance of being successful than trying to outspend
Microsoft and Oracle in advertising and trade shows.

Walt Nelson - Manila


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Jody Bevan
2011-09-02 03:03:39 UTC
Permalink
Josh:

I agree with you 100%. I compete against companies that do the huge marketing efforts. I have competed against companies that do the huge marketing efforts, and lots of marketing people across the country pushing the products. This is hugely expensive. It broke many of them, and the balance sheet of the new ones doing this look terrible.

I look forward to see what 4D does from a marketing perspective. I just hope that they keep producing products that work (for the most part), and let Jonoke continue to beat our competitors with the ability to provide more features, handle larger sites, and have a product that works.

In the largest province in Canada (OK - small population by other standards) there was a meeting of clinic managers with products like ours. There were all the clinic managers from all the approved vendors in the room. They were discussing frustrations, and what works and does not work in implementing Electronic Medical Records. These are products that are based on various database tools (ORACLE, MS-SQL, to name just two). Some are from large companies with very deep pockets.

Near the end of the meeting they ask for a show of hands of who would buy the same system that they have now. There were only about a dozen hands that went up. In turn they asked why they would purchase their system again, and what system they were on. The answer from each of them was - because it works! Without exception they were on a 4D based product - JonokeMed. As much as I would like to pat myself and our team on the back, we owe a lot of our success to the product we use - 4D.

This goes with exactly what Walt is saying, and many others on this list have said. 4D works. Huge marketing budgets may get the press. Do you know that companies have to pay for those pieces on their software. That is how it works in our business anyway. Yes, it gets people jumping on board, but if the systems don't work and 4D does then 4D will win out in the end.

Without me investigating the other options out there, I keep seeing that 4D is a great solution for us as a developer company. We keep beating out the others. We don't have the deep pockets, and big marketing budgets but we are doing just fine.

Jody
Post by Walt Nelson
I don't share the popular opinion that 4D should come out with a massive
marketing campaign, trying to outspend Oracle and SQL SERVER in advertising.
Rather, I think they should take a Guerrilla Marketing approach: find
organizations where 4D already has a small presence, find out why those
small groups have been able to withstand the intense pressure to replace 4D,
and find ways to help that installed base to expand itself. Visit those
organizations, help them however you can, listen to their concerns, meet
with their powers-that-be.
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Jim Crate
2011-09-02 16:53:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jody Bevan
Near the end of the meeting they ask for a show of hands of who would buy the same system that they have now. There were only about a dozen hands that went up. In turn they asked why they would purchase their system again, and what system they were on. The answer from each of them was - because it works! Without exception they were on a 4D based product - JonokeMed. As much as I would like to pat myself and our team on the back, we owe a lot of our success to the product we use - 4D.
The main part of your success you can attribute to 4D is that they are still in business, and the product is reasonably usable and stable. The reason your specific product is better than the others in your field is because you and your team have made it a priority to deliver software that works well, while others have made it a priority to deliver software that runs on Oracle, for example. In addition, in a larger development shop there isn't likely to be as much individual developer commitment to the success of the project, and as early Mac users you probably have more interest in usability than many developers as well.

A good developer or development team can write good software on almost any platform they take the effort to learn. I'm sure there are plenty of failed projects that were started in 4D (I've seen a couple myself). Ruby on Rails, for example, has the ability to hold your hand and make producing a decent result easy, and yet there are plenty of examples of failed Ruby on Rails projects. I'd be surprised if projects often fail because of the development environment used, although there are cases where a development environment might be completely inappropriate to the project at hand. For example, one project I wrote in Ruby (not Rails) would have been completely inappropriate for 4D, because last I've seen, you wouldn't want to use 4D to generate large PNGs and PDFs exceeding 1GB (up to 16k x 24k pixels in size), while the old Mac Pro can run four instances of the ruby program simultaneously with very little degradation in performance.

Jim Crate

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David Ringsmuth
2011-09-02 17:31:17 UTC
Permalink
Jim,

That's pretty cool.

David

.........For example, one project I wrote in Ruby (not Rails) would have
been completely inappropriate for 4D, because last I've seen, you wouldn't
want to use 4D to generate large PNGs and PDFs exceeding 1GB (up to 16k x
24k pixels in size), while the old Mac Pro can run four instances of the
ruby program simultaneously with very little degradation in performance.

Jim Crate


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Walt Seattle
2011-09-02 17:47:57 UTC
Permalink
Bring back Guy Kawasaki?!

Thanks,
Walt Nelson (Seattle)
Check out new video tutorials at
www.foundationshell.com
walt-UUNKDCO5ciM1+***@public.gmane.org

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Walt Nelson
2011-09-05 01:32:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Walt Seattle
Bring back Guy Kawasaki?!
I would say No. Guy was of another time; also, my picture of him (which may
well be invalid) is that he is a "startup man" who focuses on Stock Options
and Venture Capital. If so, Guy may not be suited to promoting a mature
product like 4D, with private ownership and no Venture Capital aspect. So my
vote would be No, don't bring back Guy Kawasaki (as if my vote would matter
- grin).

Walt Nelson - Manila


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Jack Des Bouillons
2011-09-01 18:29:04 UTC
Permalink
Which is all the more AMAZING that 4D, Inc. is still around after all of
these years...for all the S**T that is piled on 4D, Inc. management (not
enough marketing, too many bugs, etc.) they seem to have navigated the
technology waters quite well the past years...

Which is why I'm willing to give them the break about their commitment to
Wakanda...

Jack Des Bouillons
Post by Randy Engle
Jim,
Yes, you are of course correct regarding relevancy.
Solyndra was just one that was in the news today, had megabux for funding,
etc.
Any company can go belly-up.
Randy Engle
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Jack Des Bouillons
2011-09-01 18:32:50 UTC
Permalink
It used to be that there was a command, AP Sublaunch, that launched a file
by just passing a path to the document...

The docs say that LAUNCH EXTERNAL PROCESS is a replacement...

But If I have a valid path - $Path2File_t...

LAUNCH EXTERNAL PROCESS($Path2File_t) does nothing. This is in v12.

This is a html file, and I want to launch (or use) a browser to open it.

Jack des Bouillons


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Joshua Fletcher
2011-09-01 19:38:05 UTC
Permalink
Hi Jack,

Example 10 in the docs covers this scenario for Windows:

http://doc.4d.com/4Dv12.2/help/Command/en/page811.html

You can use a similar technique on Mac OS X:

http://kb.4d.com/search/assetid=75832

Kind regards,

Josh Fletcher

--
Josh Fletcher
4D Technical Services
-----Original Message-----
Post by Joshua Hunter
On Behalf Of Jack Des Bouillons
Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2011 11:33 AM
To: 4D iNug Technical
Subject: Launching a File
It used to be that there was a command, AP Sublaunch, that launched a file
by just passing a path to the document...
The docs say that LAUNCH EXTERNAL PROCESS is a replacement...
But If I have a valid path - $Path2File_t...
LAUNCH EXTERNAL PROCESS($Path2File_t) does nothing. This is in v12.
This is a html file, and I want to launch (or use) a browser to open it.
Jack des Bouillons
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Jeremy Roussak
2011-09-01 18:40:59 UTC
Permalink
Jack,
Warning: This command can only launch executable applications

On a Mac, you could run an applescript "tell application "Finder" to open "+$Path2File_t. I don't know what you'd do with Windows.

Jeremy


Jeremy Roussak
Post by Jack Des Bouillons
It used to be that there was a command, AP Sublaunch, that launched a file
by just passing a path to the document...
The docs say that LAUNCH EXTERNAL PROCESS is a replacement...
But If I have a valid path - $Path2File_t...
LAUNCH EXTERNAL PROCESS($Path2File_t) does nothing. This is in v12.
This is a html file, and I want to launch (or use) a browser to open it.
Jack des Bouillons
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Stephen J. Orth
2011-09-01 19:45:14 UTC
Permalink
Jack,

To be honest, I prefer WIN32API for this...


Steve


-----Original Message-----
From: 4d_tech-bounces-d2/MUvgItPNWk0Htik3J/***@public.gmane.org [mailto:4d_tech-bounces-d2/MUvgItPNWk0Htik3J/***@public.gmane.org] On
Behalf Of Jeremy Roussak
Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2011 1:41 PM
To: 4D iNug Technical
Subject: Re: Launching a File

Jack,
Warning: This command can only launch executable applications

On a Mac, you could run an applescript "tell application "Finder" to open
"+$Path2File_t. I don't know what you'd do with Windows.

Jeremy


Jeremy Roussak
jbr-***@public.gmane.org

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Jack Des Bouillons
2011-09-01 20:07:40 UTC
Permalink
Mac-only...

Sorry...

But thanks...

Jack
Post by Stephen J. Orth
Jack,
To be honest, I prefer WIN32API for this...
Steve
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Stephen J. Orth
2011-09-01 20:13:10 UTC
Permalink
Ah...sorry!


Steve


-----Original Message-----
From: 4d_tech-bounces-d2/MUvgItPNWk0Htik3J/***@public.gmane.org [mailto:4d_tech-bounces-d2/MUvgItPNWk0Htik3J/***@public.gmane.org] On
Behalf Of Jack Des Bouillons
Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2011 3:08 PM
To: s.orth-rh6yEg8ZcI5wjJYsA5hikVaTQe2KTcn/@public.gmane.org, 4D iNug Technical
Subject: Re: Launching a File

Mac-only...

Sorry...

But thanks...

Jack

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Costas Manousakis
2011-09-01 20:14:55 UTC
Permalink
Hi Jack,

We use this code to open a document with the default application.


$DocPath_txt:=$1

SET ENVIRONMENT VARIABLE("_4D_OPTION_BLOCKING_EXTERNAL_PROCESS";"false")
SET ENVIRONMENT VARIABLE("_4D_OPTION_HIDE_CONSOLE";"true")

Case of
: (◊MacPL_b)
$DocPath_txt:=ut_HFS_to_POSIX ($DocPath_txt)
LAUNCH EXTERNAL PROCESS("open "+"\""+$DocPath_txt+"\"")

: (◊WindowsPL_b)
LAUNCH EXTERNAL PROCESS("cmd.exe /C start \"\" \""+$DocPath_txt+"\"")
End case

HTH
Costas M
MassDOT Bridge
Post by Jack Des Bouillons
Mac-only...
Sorry...
But thanks...
Jack
Post by Stephen J. Orth
Jack,
To be honest, I prefer WIN32API for this...
Steve
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Joshua Fletcher
2011-09-01 20:20:58 UTC
Permalink
Just a small tidbit for you Costas,

In 4D v12 you can use "Convert path system to POSIX" instead of "ut_HFS_to_POSIX" if you want:

http://doc.4d.com/4Dv12.2/help/Command/en/page1106.html

Kind regards,

Josh Fletcher
--
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-----Original Message-----
On Behalf Of Costas Manousakis
Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2011 1:15 PM
To: 4D iNug Technical
Subject: Re: Launching a File
Hi Jack,
We use this code to open a document with the default application.
$DocPath_txt:=$1
SET ENVIRONMENT VARIABLE("_4D_OPTION_BLOCKING_EXTERNAL_PROCESS";"false")
SET ENVIRONMENT VARIABLE("_4D_OPTION_HIDE_CONSOLE";"true")
Case of
: (◊MacPL_b)
$DocPath_txt:=ut_HFS_to_POSIX ($DocPath_txt)
LAUNCH EXTERNAL PROCESS("open "+"\""+$DocPath_txt+"\"")
: (◊WindowsPL_b)
LAUNCH EXTERNAL PROCESS("cmd.exe /C start \"\"
\""+$DocPath_txt+"\"")
End case
HTH
Costas M
MassDOT Bridge
Costas Manousakis
2011-09-01 21:49:48 UTC
Permalink
Thanks Josh, still in 2004 world.... almost there for v11 though :)

Regards
Costas
Post by Joshua Fletcher
Just a small tidbit for you Costas,
http://doc.4d.com/4Dv12.2/help/Command/en/page1106.html
Kind regards,
Josh Fletcher
--
Josh Fletcher
4D Technical Services
-----Original Message-----
On Behalf Of Costas Manousakis
Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2011 1:15 PM
To: 4D iNug Technical
Subject: Re: Launching a File
Hi Jack,
We use this code to open a document with the default application.
$DocPath_txt:=$1
SET ENVIRONMENT VARIABLE("_4D_OPTION_BLOCKING_EXTERNAL_PROCESS";"false")
SET ENVIRONMENT VARIABLE("_4D_OPTION_HIDE_CONSOLE";"true")
Case of
: (◊MacPL_b)
$DocPath_txt:=ut_HFS_to_POSIX ($DocPath_txt)
LAUNCH EXTERNAL PROCESS("open "+"\""+$DocPath_txt+"\"")
: (◊WindowsPL_b)
LAUNCH EXTERNAL PROCESS("cmd.exe /C start \"\"
\""+$DocPath_txt+"\"")
End case
HTH
Costas M
MassDOT Bridge
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Jack Des Bouillons
2011-09-01 22:16:40 UTC
Permalink
Well, for a wrapper method that might run in both...

What is your code, Costas, for ut_HFS_to_POSIX?

Would you share?

Thanks.

Jack des Bouillons
Post by Costas Manousakis
Thanks Josh, still in 2004 world.... almost there for v11 though :)
Regards
Costas
Post by Joshua Fletcher
Just a small tidbit for you Costas,
In 4D v12 you can use "Convert path system to POSIX" instead of
http://doc.4d.com/4Dv12.2/help/Command/en/page1106.html
Kind regards,
Josh Fletcher
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Costas Manousakis
2011-09-01 22:29:59 UTC
Permalink
Sure, tomorrow when i'm back at work.
I'm pretty sure that i 'borrowed' the ut_HFS_to_POSIX code from the nug anyway. I seem to remember that it's not too complicated.

Regards,
Costas
Post by Jack Des Bouillons
Well, for a wrapper method that might run in both...
What is your code, Costas, for ut_HFS_to_POSIX?
Would you share?
Thanks.
Jack des Bouillons
Post by Costas Manousakis
Thanks Josh, still in 2004 world.... almost there for v11 though :)
Regards
Costas
Post by Joshua Fletcher
Just a small tidbit for you Costas,
In 4D v12 you can use "Convert path system to POSIX" instead of
http://doc.4d.com/4Dv12.2/help/Command/en/page1106.html
Kind regards,
Josh Fletcher
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Costas Manousakis
2011-09-01 22:47:08 UTC
Permalink
Hi Jack,

actually I found it on the KB
http://kb.4d.com/search/assetid=48914

Costas
Post by Jack Des Bouillons
Well, for a wrapper method that might run in both...
What is your code, Costas, for ut_HFS_to_POSIX?
Would you share?
Thanks.
Jack des Bouillons
Post by Costas Manousakis
Thanks Josh, still in 2004 world.... almost there for v11 though :)
Regards
Costas
Post by Joshua Fletcher
Just a small tidbit for you Costas,
In 4D v12 you can use "Convert path system to POSIX" instead of
http://doc.4d.com/4Dv12.2/help/Command/en/page1106.html
Kind regards,
Josh Fletcher
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Ronald Hofmann
2011-09-02 03:28:15 UTC
Permalink
Hi Jack,
as I said before.

In times of V12 it is just one line for HFS to Posix conversions and back.
Before V12 I also used a TOOL_HFS2Posix. This is not necessaray anymore.

Example HFS to Posix:
$path:=Convert path system to POSIX("MacintoshHD:file 2.txt") // returns " Volumes MacintoshHD file%202.txt"

Example Posix to HFS:
$path:=Convert path POSIX to system("/Volumes/MacintoshHD/file 2.txt") // returns "MacintoshHD:file 2.txt"

Greetings from Switzerland, Ronald
---
Post by Jack Des Bouillons
Well, for a wrapper method that might run in both...
What is your code, Costas, for ut_HFS_to_POSIX?
Would you share?
Thanks.
Jack des Bouillons
Post by Costas Manousakis
Thanks Josh, still in 2004 world.... almost there for v11 though :)
Regards
Costas
Post by Joshua Fletcher
Just a small tidbit for you Costas,
In 4D v12 you can use "Convert path system to POSIX" instead of
http://doc.4d.com/4Dv12.2/help/Command/en/page1106.html
Kind regards,
Josh Fletcher
--
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Ronald Hofmann
2011-09-01 20:31:10 UTC
Permalink
When you are on a mac I'bet you didn't convert to a posix path which is necessary when you pass a path to the terminal.
Look into the manual:
$path:=Convert path system to POSIX("machd:file 2.txt")
->" Volumes machd file%202.txt"

Mit freundlichen Grüssen
Ronald Hofmann
---
Post by Jack Des Bouillons
It used to be that there was a command, AP Sublaunch, that launched a file
by just passing a path to the document...
The docs say that LAUNCH EXTERNAL PROCESS is a replacement...
But If I have a valid path - $Path2File_t...
LAUNCH EXTERNAL PROCESS($Path2File_t) does nothing. This is in v12.
This is a html file, and I want to launch (or use) a browser to open it.
Jack des Bouillons
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Jack Des Bouillons
2011-09-01 20:54:34 UTC
Permalink
Yes, that was the problem...

Thanks to you and to Josh at 4D Tech Support...

Jack des Bouillons
Post by Ronald Hofmann
When you are on a mac I'bet you didn't convert to a posix path which is
necessary when you pass a path to the terminal.
$path:=Convert path system to POSIX("machd:file 2.txt")
->" Volumes machd file%202.txt"
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Keisuke Miyako
2011-09-02 00:54:49 UTC
Permalink
Hello,

I know you solved the issue with LEP and Convert path (on Mac),
but really, it could have been achieved more simply with OPEN WEB URL.

when the doc says APS is deprecated and LEP is the "replacement",
what it means that LEP can be used to do similar things (if you write specific code)
but that's not really the prime intended objective of LEP.

LEP is designed to run command line executables, in most cases synchronously,
as you would do in Terminal or Command Prompt.

so, to ask the Shell (Explorer) or Shared Work Space (Finder) to launch an application,
you would do exactly how you would do it via the command line;
specify a dos/unix command, and pass the path in posix syntax, not hfs.

the use of posix makes sense here,
since command line programs when they require additional paths as an argument,
expect them all to be expressed in posix, not hfs on Mac.

but of cause, there is nothing wrong with using LEP.

miyako
Post by Jack Des Bouillons
It used to be that there was a command, AP Sublaunch, that launched a file
by just passing a path to the document...
The docs say that LAUNCH EXTERNAL PROCESS is a replacement...
But If I have a valid path - $Path2File_t...
LAUNCH EXTERNAL PROCESS($Path2File_t) does nothing. This is in v12.
This is a html file, and I want to launch (or use) a browser to open it.
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Ortwin Zillgen
2011-09-01 19:09:02 UTC
Permalink
found this here
<http://dddd.mettre.de/terminal.shtml?nug>
Open Web Page Within Specific Browser
open -a /Applications/Firefox.app/ http://www.apple.com/
open -a Firefox http://www.apple.com
John DeSoi What you probably want is to use the bundle identifier. That way you don't have to depend on the application path or name. You can find an application's bundle identifier in the info.plist file inside the application.
open -b org.mozilla.firefox your_path
MIYAKO it works for me when I double quote the URL...
LAUNCH EXTERNAL PROCESS("open -a /Applications/Firefox.app \"http://www.4d-japan.com \"";$is;$ou;$err)
Regards
O r t w i n Z i l l g e n
---------------------------------------------
<mailto:info-x85BCD9UzoazQB+***@public.gmane.org> <http://dddd.mettre.de?4713>
RSS <feed://dddd.mettre.de/dddd.xml>
RSS <feed://dddd.mettre.de/f/DDDD_Links.xml>
member of developer-network <http://www.die4dwerkstatt.de>

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Michel Gerin
2011-09-01 20:17:10 UTC
Permalink
Hi all,

And thanks for the passionate and active discussion around 4D’s intentions,
plans and the future of the 4d product line. My marketing teachers might be
upset with me today, because the rule of thumb is to not weigh in as a
company representative to these kind of discussions. But I hope to bring a
new breed of marketing. I believe in being open with our customers, partners
and users. After all, you are betting your business on ours so I see it as
our responsibility to share as much as we know with you.

I’d like to think that the reason I was selected to lead the marketing
operations at 4D is because of my diagnosis of 4D’s marketing problem and
the solutions I proposed, and not just because I was an American speaking
with a French accent. The problem was for me easy to identify. Unless
you’re a 4D developer today, there is no way anybody could figure out what
4D is doing. Today, 4D is basically marketing 4D to 4D developers. That’s
it! It’s a private club, and it’s not good!

I also had some passionate discussions with Laurent and Luc and shared with
them many of my experiences with companies I worked for. I worked for a
Javascript company, for the leading PHP company and for more traditional
companies like Borland where I was getting many of the same reactions from
developers as we are getting here. Each time I would be introducing a new
product to market, there would always be people announcing that it was the
end of the other products. I remember specifically when I announced our new
Java IDE, people were saying that it was the end of BC++ and Delphi. But as
I was saying then and I’m still saying now, all products have their place in
the market. A C++ or Delphi developer is not going to switch to a Java IDE
unless they really have a need to use Java. They’ll continue with the
language they know best and the product they’re most productive in. And I
believe this is also the case here.

Now after talking to Luc and Laurent, listening to the history of the
company and understanding the vision, I got really excited. I saw in 4D a
great company, with great products, great people and a loyal and dynamic
community. I know deeply that with these great ingredients we should come
up with an awesome recipe. And I know how I can help.

As a last word, I’d like to say that we are all in marketing. Though I’m the
only one being paid for doing it ;-) What I mean by that is when you talk
to a customer about 4D or it’s product, or talk to another developer or post
a message in a forum, you’re doing marketing. Each time you do so, always
keep in mind that what you say will influence another developer. That’s why
I strongly believe in communicating. I’d rather have you share the facts
than share worries or speculations. So I’ll make it my job to always share
what I know to being facts.

Oh, and to answer some of the concerns specifically, I am planning to market
both 4D and Wakanda. As someone mentioned, I truly believe that Wakanda
will help bring a new breed of developers to the 4D community. Now I am
counting on you to welcome them to our family.

Thanks again for the opportunity to introduce myself within the discussion.
I am looking forward to your feedback, your suggestions, and your ideas.
Michel
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Joshua Fletcher
2011-09-01 20:21:32 UTC
Permalink
I think this is a good time for everyone to review the list FAQ (they are linked at the bottom of every post in the footer).

In particular political discussions should take place on 4D-Pub, not 4D-Tech. But also there is an expectation of some level of professionalism on 4D-Tech as well.

Please do try and follow the guidelines. We are pretty relaxed about enforcing them in most cases but they do exist for a reason and we'd rather *not* have to resort to enforcing them more strictly.

Kind regards,

Josh Fletcher

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CJWatson
2011-08-31 23:57:06 UTC
Permalink
I have to agree with D Little.
I have been with 4D since version 2.x and the company philosophy has not
changed in all that time. As some of you say, just hang on and wait for
Wakanda or ???.
In a practical business sense you have to weigh a companies past history
with your business model. I am sure we all want products that make us money
using 4D as the tool. But as brought out by other threads, the fast version
model and sunseting of old versions (so you can't support long time
customers, without them having to upgrade) shows that ,in my opinion, 4D
inc. is not interested in some of the principles that Little talks about.
It makes no sense not to support 2004 customers with client expansions
etc. because you want them to buy an upgrade for 20 times the amount of
expanding a few clients. And if the developers product is doing a great job
of handling their business needs, they may not need any of the new features
in updated versions to make it better.
Plus it will take (as mentioned by others) around 18 months to find
what you can do with the new version that will give cost benefit to your
customers. In the meantime wouldn't it be nice to still make some money
selling your existing 2004 v 11 etc. product. And by the way 4D inc still
makes money too, if they sell you new servers and clients for these older
versions.
The idea is to keep the users exposed to 4D wether on an old version or new.
As Little said most corporate and government IT departments still have
little knowledge of the great 4D platform. it usually took a lot of work on
the developers part to get a 4D product into this environment. Which as
Little said should be a goal of 4D inc.
So don't make existing customers start looking somewhere else when money
is tight because they can't expand without upgrading or keep new customers
from experiencing 4D because developers can't sell older tested 4D software
while they move on to new versions.


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Karen R Sabog
2011-09-01 20:53:46 UTC
Permalink
Hey Josh,

Glad to see that the 4D Mailing List FAQ I wrote for the 4D NUG 15+
years ago still has relevance today for the 4D iNUG!

4D Techies, please make sure that any replies to this go directly to me or the
"4D Pub" <4d_pub-jTdV3SBRT1BWk0Htik3J/***@public.gmane.org> ... or the list parents might have to
enforce a timeout! ;-)

Deja vu,
Karen


-----Original Message-----
From: Joshua Fletcher <JFletcher-***@public.gmane.org>
To: 4D iNug Technical <4d_tech-d2/MUvgItPNWk0Htik3J/***@public.gmane.org>
Date: Thu, 01 Sep 2011 22:21:32 +0200
Subject: RE: The Future of 4D [long] (off topic and offensive)

I think this is a good time for everyone to review the list FAQ (they
are linked at the bottom of every post in the footer).

In particular political discussions should take place on 4D-Pub, not
4D-Tech. But also there is an expectation of some level of
professionalism on 4D-Tech as well.

Please do try and follow the guidelines. We are pretty relaxed about
enforcing them in most cases but they do exist for a reason and we'd
rather *not* have to resort to enforcing them more strictly.

Kind regards,

Josh Fletcher

--
Josh Fletcher
4D Technical Services
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