Enable people to run your programs without installing anything
Sometimes friends or relatives might hear that you’re an expert with using computers, and might ask you to help them solve a problem.
Indeed, when I moved from Boston to Hawaii to be with my family in 1984, people heard that I was a graduate of MIT and thus must be an expert with computers, and therefore I should be able to do their accounting system or office automation for them. Not the easiest task in the world with MS-DOS, 286’s, < 1 M RAM, 20 Meg hard disks, 6 Mhz processors.
Wouldn’t it be great if I could send a text file to them that was the program? They can modify or run it at their leisure.
For example, maybe your friend asks you to help do a mailmerge of their Excel address book to mailing labels. (see Sending Christmas cards: Creating mailng labels automatically)
With the inclusion of the VFP compiler in the runtime (since what version? I forget: anybody know?) this is pretty easy to do.
All the client has to do is unzip 4 files into a folder, put the text file in the same folder and then they can run it.
For example, the audience of my blog may not have Foxpro installed, but you can easily run code samples with a few minor modifications of the sample code.
· If there is a Form, then you need to make it Top Level (ShowWindow=2) or make _screen.Visible=.t.
QUIT && or CLEAR EVENTS
In order to make some prior samples work, just modify the code in these links as described:
Turtle Graphics Logo Program (be careful: this sample already sets ShowWindow to 0, so make _screen.Visible=1 to see it
Create a zip file with 4 files:
This zip contains only 4 files: (3.3 megs zipped)
VFP9R.DLL Foxpro runtime c:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\VFP\
VFP9RENU.DLL Foxpro runtime English localized resources (strings/dialogs) c:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\VFP\
MSVCR71.DLL The Visual C Runtime c:\Windows\system32
EXEC.EXE The Exec program created below
Here’s a skeleton program that can be run by this method. It shows a form with a button:
DEFINE CLASS MyForm as Form
ShowWindow=2 && Top level form
ADD OBJECT cmdQuit as commandbutton WITH ;
QUIT && or CLEAR EVENTS
Below is the code that creates the EXEC.EXE file: save the text below as EXEC.PRG and run it. If there is only one PRG file in the folder, it will run it. You can pass the name of the PRG to execute as a command line parameter. You can
PARAMETERS cFileToExec as String
IF VARTYPE(cFileToExec)!= 'C' && if user didn't pass in command line arg
n=ADIR(aa,"*.prg") && see if there is exactly 1 PRG in the cur dir
cFileToExec =aa[1,1] && if so, use it
cFileToExec =GETFILE("prg","File to Execute?")
&& Design time
TEXT TO cStr
screen=off && hide VFP runtime screen by default
resource=off && turn off foxuser resource file
STRTOFILE(cStr,"config.fpw") && Create a config file
BUILD PROJECT Exec FROM Exec, config.fpw && project contains 2 files: "exec.prg" and "config.fpw"
BUILD EXE Exec FROM Exec
&& Run & Design time
COMPILE (cFileToExec )
DO (cFileToExec )
READ EVENTS && cFileToExec should do a Quit or CLEAR EVENTS to end the event loop
End of program