If anybody is curious, or cares — and apparently some people are and do — C and I did not have anything to do with the VFP SP2 documentation update. Well, actually we did, but only if you count providing a lucid spec from which a bit of content was, quite competently, derived by the User Ed folks.
Yes! User Ed did a reasonable job, given the available resources, etc etc, you know the drill. And they did have our spec, and they're smart folks.
Still, we wanted the responsibility, which as you may know we did have for the Reporting sections of the VFP 9 RTM docs. In fact, we weren't above begging for it, in an ridiculously undignified manner. Why? Because we were adding that much stuff to the Reporting System components in SP2, and we wanted, that badly, for all that new stuff to be covered in the docs.
As things went, even some of the stuff that was in the spec didn't get covered in the docs revision, given available resources, etc, etc again. Besides, as things went (and I'm sure you're amazed to hear this) not all the cool stuff was in the spec.
We still want it to be covered, that badly. So what happens now?
We've been trying to figure that out. I'm still not sure what C's plan is for his set of theoretical doc topics. I don't even know what to call them. Doc-oids?
Some sections of our material is going to come out in articles posted here on Spacefold, I suspect, as it has previously come out in conference session notes. But that part of it is the "enrichment" series, the part you ordinarily want to have after the basic topics are in the docs. You need some organized presentation of the basic topics in the docs first, to get a sense of the scope and organization of the new features.
You know what I mean. A real "What's New" topic, so that you know where to look, plus a host of new topics covering the new classes that have been added in this version, how the extensibility features that were architected and lightly pencilled into the docs for RTM have been implemented in the box now. Not to mention (since the docs sure don't!) a bunch of useful enhancements that went in during the SP1 round.
A large quantity of material that is just… missing… from the manual.
Now, where have I heard something like that before?
There's a truly great book series with a truly appropriate title that I can't associate with my content because, well, it's copyrighted, and it wouldn't be right. You probably know the one I mean, and if you don't, if you're a developer you probably own a bunch of other books by the series' parent publisher, and you know they all tend to be pretty terrific.
In fact, since I'm not associated with them at all I can urge you to go right out and buy some of their books, and you know I mean it. I have absolutely no connection at all to this publisher. I'm telling you the absolute truth when I say I just love their books.
Unfortunately, for the same reason (said lack of connection with said publisher) there's no way I can use that title. Still… if there was ever an appropriate title for what I'm going to write… that would be the one. Yes siree it would. But I can't.
Here's what I can do, though. I can add a new category to my blog, which as you may have noticed I've attached to this topic: VFP-TMM.
Every time I have a chance to write about one of the topics on my personal list as planned for SP2 doc additions, I'll use that category for the post, and I'll write that blog post pretty much exactly as I would have written it for the docs, with maybe even some prefacing note indicating where in the TOC tree this docoid was intended to be. I won't use this new category for anything else, now that this introductory post is up.
I'll even try to contain myself about publishing any "enrichment" articles on these topics at all until at least some of the missing basics are in place. OK?
That's the plan
I'm taking a deep breath as I write this; it's kind of a big commitment to go public with the idea. There are a lot of topics on that personal SP2 list and a whole lot of other stuff, on a whole lot of technologies, on other personal lists of things that I want to write about. Meanwhile, as far as work goes, I'm really frantically busy.
Had we supplied this content for the docs, under deadline and with a block of time set up for it, it would have been done on schedule. But, as it is, I'm just going to steal a bit of time here and there. It may happen very slowly. Please be patient with me.