Blog Roundup 12 October 2008

I keep forgetting what the number of my next round up is, so I've decided I need to change the title.  Hopefully it'll be generally more useful that #1 to n. It also means I can let my Friday lunchtime deadline slide a bit.  I'm on the train coming back from Edinburgh and Andy Allan's stag do! Before you ask - typically, I made it up to Edinburgh, I had a couple of drinks and some food, but then had to cry off because I was suffering from a 24hour stomach bug.  But I'm told lots of beer and fun was had.

First of all I added a new blog, Bob Silverberg, to my Google Reader this week.  I saw a post by Bob on the CFCDev group regarding Object Oriented Validation that interested me given that I validation is one of those things you always have to do but gets in the way of doing the fun stuff.  Bob's created a framework agnostic validation framework that will flexibly generate validation code for your data objects. Take a look - he explains it better than I can in a few words and there are also CS/Transfer examples available.

Ray Camden released an update to Sounding on RIAForge this week. Apparently its just a bug fix release with some user submitted UI improvements. Wish I'd spent the time to install Soundings for a survey recently, rather than use the free survey monkey account. 

If you like a good book for learning tech from, then Ted Patrick is plugging Alaric Cole's new Flex Book - Learning Flex 3. Flash Player 10 is in the works, so Ted also has a post reminding us all to update our flash player detection.

Andrew Shorten has announce free one day flex training courses in London and the UK speakers for Max Europe

Kev McCabe has posted that Fusion Debug has released a beta update in their labs section for version 2.0.2.

While we're on the subject of editors, its nice to see that I'm not completely insane when it comes to setting up my development environment and that Scott Stroz from Alagad has an almost identical set up to me.

Legacy code is always a nightmare, and I'm sure most of us have left some classy snippets lying around, but it looks like Todd Sharp's friend has got their work cut out for them with stuff like this. Todd did show me some other gems....  It doesn't get any better! Along similar lines, John Whish asks "Refactoring - good or bad?" It all kinda rings a bell with me at the minute as I'm rewriting some code I wrote ages and ages ago, because I need to add some features and discovering that its just not that easy to do without the rewrite. If only I could wave a magic wand and replace all this dodgy old FB2 code with shiney new ModelGlue code.

A couple things that I've picked up off of BetaNews this last week that might be of interest.  First is IBM's Bluehouse web collaboration service has entered a free public beta phase. Imagine Basecamp, but more. The other item that grabbed my attention was the review of Open Office 3RC4. I quite like OO, but I struggle with the transition between MS Office and OO. Perhaps its time to give it another look.

Well thats about all for this week, apart from noting that time flies when you're having fun. I've been writing ColdFusion applications since 1996, search engines have gone and been replaced in that time and A List Apart has been around for 10 years.


Blog Round #5


This week I wrote the round-up in ScribeFire and posted up to Mango Blog.  Only flaw in the plan is I have to remember to manually add an excerpt to the top of the round-up and double check the categories.  (I just noticed that ScribeFire/MangoBlog some how dropped some of my selected categories)

This weeks round-up has ended up with 3 distinct threads, Source Control and all that goodness, ColdFusion frameworks and Open Bluedragon updates.

So lets crack on...

Subversion Branching Preso Online
Sean Corfield has posted his SVN Branching presentation from A Wee Dram.  I didn't make it down for the one day event and would have liked to have seen this presentation, but having read through Sean's presentation it looks like I work with svn the same way as Sean anyway!  Alway nice to know you aren't completely insane! ;)

While I'm adding an svn related link - here's another Terry Ryan has created an unfuddlecfc to help with backing up their svn hosting at

Also, if you're hosting your own SVN/Trac installations and you're using TOCMacro on your trac environment you need to upgrade this plugin. Take a look here for why : Trac sporadic hang solved

Well this round-up seems to be taking a bit of a source control and ticketing theme to it, so here's another related post! Ray Camden has released a much updated Lighthouse Pro 2.5

Moving on from source control and bug tracking - Congrats to Mark Mandel for his first post on Adobe Devnet with his An Introduction to ColdFusion frameworks article. Even if you know what CF frameworks are out there, this provides a neat summary of the general features and design patterns behind each of them, as well as helping provide a clear distinction between MVC frameworks, dependancy injection and data persistence. 

For more information on frameworks, while Sean Corfield was over in the UK for A Wee Dram he also gave a "Design Patterns" presentation at the Devon CFUG and Tom Chiverton will be presenting on ColdSpring for the ColdFusion Meetup Group on the 16th of October.
It would seem that  my round up this week has some very definite threads!  The next blog post of interest is also on ColdSpring! Scott Stroz has a interesting post on using Coldspring Interceptors with Remote Proxies.

Moving away from frameworks, Matt Woodward has posted a couple of updates on what has been going on with Open Bluedragon. Lots going on with Open BlueDragon and Digging Deeper into the Java Underpinnings of Open Bluedragon

And finally, to end on a humours note - take a look at a slice of life at Alagad and Andy Jarrett's Friday Joke.

Blog Roundup #4

Hmmm 250 blog entries in google reader!  Whoops!  Time I caught up with my reading and posted a round up!

So here goes!

ColdSpring 1.2 released along with a shiny new website

Web Inventor launches new World Web Foundation
Sir Tim Berners-Lee's initiative to bring the web to the 80% of the worlds populous who don't have access to it.

Peter Bell - Introducing "the CFArgument" with Brian Rinaldi
Their first cfargument is "The iterating Business Object".  Something I've been meaning to find out more about of late, but never had an opportunity.  This CFArgument helped me understand IBOs better.

Peter and Brian's second cfarguments is : DAOs are a waste of Time

CFEclipse Dictionary Generator released.
Daemonite, the developers of Farcry CMS, have released a dictionary generator that will parse a directory of components and tags and then create an XML file that you can use with CFEclipse projects. Looks to be very handy and shortly I'll be running it against some of the internal libraries here at work.

While on the topic of CFEclipse dictionaries - Andrew Mercer has been tinkering with the CF8 dictionary - fixing a few problems that have been around for a while.

ColdFire Update Released
If you're already running Firebug in Firefox - coldfire is a hand add on for debuggerising your ColdFusion applications.

ColdFusion Evangalism Kit
Ever find yourself need to sell ColdFusion to a client or even to your boss and colleagues?  Then you'll probably find the Evangalism Kit that Kristen Schofield has posted handy.  Containing C-Level Exec quote, Key stats, Recent awards, product roadmaps, measured results of CF Usage and much, it should give you more than enough measured ammo to support ColdFusion and counter the "its a dying language" and "can't scale" 'arguments' against it.

Ben Forta notes that AIR 1.1 is now available for Linux

Mark Drew, having taken over the Reactor Project from Doug Hughs comments on the Future of Reactor.

Jeff Chastain (Alagad) - What is a DSL?
What is a Domain Specific Language!?!  Another one of those questions that I've been asking myself answered.

Adobe announced CS4 back on the 23rd of September with a release date some time at the end of October.

Terrance Ryan - Squidhead Still Swimming
Terry announced that Squidhead is getting some additional assistance in the shape of Nathan Mische and Dave Konopka.  If you don't know what Squidhead does, its basically a DAO and scaffold generator for MS SQL Server databases.  Not something that I have a great deal of use for as we use MySQL, but all the same a neat project and pleased to see it get some more resource.

On the 25th, Andy Allan and Kev McCabe hosted A Wee Dram down in London. Here are some of the write ups from this one day conference.



Well there are a stack more blog posts to go through from this week, but I'll save them for the end of the week...

Oh yeah... I bought Star Wars The Force Unleashed for the Wii at the weekend!  Its lots and lots of fun :D  

Blog Roundup #3

A bit later than usual..... I've been busy at work this week (not that I get any peace at other times) and haven't really read through my stack of blogs this week, so this may be a brief round up.

Most importantly...  ahem.... Me! ;)

I had an issue with ExpandPath() and this is how I solved it.  Incidently, it would seem I'm not the only one to notice this problem. Andy Allan mentioned to me that he'd blogged a similar issue with application based mappings and expandPath() (Sorry Andy couldn't find the entry).
TinyMCE Plugin for Mango Blog 
I done created a plugin for Mango Blog that helps with managing tinyMCE.  Its probably rubbish...

Having used Andy Allan's name in vain, I should probably point out that A Wee Dram is now fully booked and they will throw food at you if you turn up without a ticket.

John Whish has a post from last Friday on using Subqueries for performance gains

Sean Corfield posts on Broadchoice's Argument Collection an article on Hibernate and Inheritance.  I must admit I've only starred it and not read it properly yet.

Marcos Placona has posted a couple ColdFusion Related Links on his blog.  I particularly liked the PHP link. ;)

Charlie Arehart has posted his 12 page review of FusionReactor 3 from FACQ on his blog. Its a very good introduction to FR. The blog entry also provides reasons as to why you should use FR with CF8 Ent as well.

Sean Corfield notes that Gert has announced Railo 3.0 This is a FREE version of Railo. The Open Source version comes at version 3.1.

Ray Camden has released an update to BlogCFC that includes a few bug fixes including one critical bug and he is also showing his love for CF9! (That sounds worse than it really is!)

Matt Woodward has posted his Architecting for Multiple UIs presentation on his blog.  Well worth a watch this one.

I haven't been on twitter much this week, but I usually do have Twhirl open. Andy Jarrett has posted on how to find other ColdFusion twitterers.

Did I mention this before? Paul Marcotte has posted a series of blog entries on his foray into Test Driven Development

Andrew Shorten has posted his 10 AIR applications you can't live without. There's some neat applications in there; Some that I already use and some I've not seen before. 

I'm sure there's other stuff, but these are the one that have caught my attention. 

Lastly, I've reduced the strength of my comments captcha back down to the one I had on my blogcfc version and you can now also subscribe to category specific rss feeds. You always could subscribe to category specific feeds, only this MB skin didn't have the rss links visible.

Have a good weekend!

Blog Roundup #2

Round 2 of my blog round up.... I was worried at the beginning of the week that I wouldn't find enough blogs to manage to keep this up for a second week, given that I covered an entire month in my first round up!  However, my fears have been unfounded!  There's been a plethora of posts to round up!

Ok this is a set of blog posts that were interesting to me for a couple of reasons. Its a neat little javascript calculator and there's some interesting CSS/layout discussions here. It all started from reading Mark Ireland's post, that was shared by AndyJ on Google Reader, Jonny Shaw's JS Calculator post and last, but not least, Peter Broughton's discussions on CSS layout beyond table, beyond divs.

A Wee Dram of Scotch : Registration Now Open
Say it all really... Registration available for the surprise 1 day event in London.

JQuery Replacements for CFGrid, CFWindow and CFToolTip

ColdFusion 8 Now Available to Students and Educators for free
This is a world-wide offer. What with the other free ColdFusion Servers, there's now absolutely no reason now why Universities and Colleges can't start teaching CFML to its students or students using ColdFusion to create applications for their project work.

Two new Adobe Community Experts in the UK
Congratulation to Andy Allan and Kev McCabe who are now Adobe Community Experts

New browser Google Chrome Launched
I'm impressed.  The speed of rendering is immense. The built in developer tools are very neat for a first pass. The home page needs a little help to make it easier to customise.  Flash and Shockwave work out of the box, but you need to install Java 6u10 for java applets to work (not really a problem). I look forward to seeing more from Chrome and intend to use it as much as possible. Take a look here for more info on Chrome and the comic! Side note: I installed it on XP last night - I don't like it on XP...  Great on vista... Not so pleasant on XP... :|

Announcing your place to find the 411 on things related to CF
Charlie Arehart has rebranded his the resource section of his site, so that its easier for folks to find.  Lots of good CF resources in there for everyone.

John Whish jQuery Site Easter Egg
If you like Guitar Hero and have better reaction than a dead squid....


Blog Round up #1

So here's my first blog round up.

Some of these are probably a bit dated now coming from all the way back at the beginning of August, but hope you find them useful.

Matt Woodward - Very Cool Database Migration Tool
In this line of work databases are always involved in some way shape or form and migrating data is always on the agenda and its always a nightmare. I'll definitely be taking a look at this next time I'm moving some data around.

John Whish - Learn Flex in a Week.
Something I really need to do properly! Hopefully this video that John points to will help!

Dan Vega - Why you should not use ColdFusion
Humour from Ben Forta via the ColdFusion Community website.

Mark Kruger - Sick Server Troubleshooting
Part one of three of a very good series of articles on troubleshooting a sick CF server. Make sure you read them all!

Kristen Schofield - ColdFusion and Clustering
Pointer to an Adobe DevNet article by Mike Brunt on clustering with ColdFusion

Mark Mandel - Transfer 1.1RC2
Its not so long ago that Mark released version 1.0, but here is already a feature full 1.1 RC for Transfer that includes some critical bug fixes.

CFConversations 13 - Hal Helms Interview
They are all on my iPod, I just need to remember to listen to them at lunch times or when I'm on the train to work.

Joe Rinehart - I want CFGoto!
mmm... BASIC and COBOL come to ColdFusion

Scotch on the Rocks - A Wee Dram of Scotch
One day event in London with the likes of Adam Lehman, Claude Englebert and Andrew Shorten (Adobe), Sean Corfield
(Broadchoice), Mike Brunt (go2ria), Peter Bell (SystemsForge) and Mark
Drew (DesignUK).

Emmy Huang - Two! Four! Six! Eight! Numbers we appreciate.
Blogged by Ben Forta as an "interesting read" on Flash Player installs and it is. :)

Todd Sharp - Open Source Flash/Flex IDE (Windows only)
Strangely I can see Todd's post in Google reader, but can't get to his blog, so here's the link for the IDE - FlashDevelop

John Beynon - Flex camp London rocked!
John Beynon notes that FlexCamp - London was a success (even more so as he won a 4 day flex course!) I hope that they bring FlexCamp up to Leeds/Edinburgh in the future.

Ted Patrick - Creating Reusable Components by Ben Clinkinbeard
Ted posts Ben's presentation on creating reusable Flex components.

Catch up

Its been a while since I posted anything to my blog.  I've been busy at work with a large site that's now launched, busy at home with the ever growing/changing son and I've not long been back from a 2 week break in Spain.

The site that was launched while I was away on my holiday is a fairly large site for Benfield Motor Group.  There's some neat work gone on in the background of the site.  as with all these things there's a few tweaks to make, but its been well received by the client and everyone I've shown it to. You can see the site in action at

You may have noticed a previous post where I was playing with Google Docs, Deepest Sender and ScribeFire.  The idea is that I'm going to make a concerted effort to write more entries more regularly and the only way I can do this is with some assistance from the likes of Deepest Sender or ScribeFire.  I'm currently using Deepest Sender, because of a problem in MB with ScribeFire and Dates. Laura has fixed the problem now in svn, but I think I'll be a lazy bum and just wait for MangoBlog 1.2 and run the full set of updates.

One of the things I'm going to do is start writing a blog round up, a la Andy Allan.  I've been reading through various blogs and sending interesting tidbits around to colleagues here at work, so I thought I should actually write these up on my blog at the same time.

I also need to start back up with arranging Scottish ColdFusion User Group meetings and sorting the website out now that the summer is over. Any hints/tips/suggestions as to what you would like the UG to do with meeting time will be gratefully received.
One thing I should say, Adobe User Groups historically have only ever had one manager, but they've recently decided to set up the ability to have co-managers.  Andy Allan used to be the manager of the Scottish CFUG and I took the role of manager with Andy agreeing to be an unofficial co-manager with me.  Now I'm pleased to say that Andy is officially the co-manager of the Scottish CFUG.

Well I think that'll do for the minute.  The blog round up I think  I'll probably publish on a Friday lunch time (GMT).  Otherwise, I'll post some more directed entries shortly.

Hope you've all had a good summer.

Blog Round Up : Week Ending 8th September

Seeing as Andy's broken his router and by association his personal website, for the next couple of weeks I'll be hosting Andy's Blog Round Up.

** Scottish ColdFusion User Group
Shameless self promotion
SCFUG September Meeting

New Adobe Captivate 2 Enables Rapid Creation of High-Impact eLearning Experiences
Adobe acquires InterAKT
Suggested MAX Session Path For CFers
The Greenest Office in America (One that intrigued me because of projects that are going on here at work)

Why I think you shouldn’t use Cairngorm

**Flex Data Service and ColdFusion
Do ColdFusion Developers Need Flex Data Services?

** Captcha
A couple that Andy missed last week.
Captchas: making them simpler, and dialing down the angst against them
Simplifying the captcha graphic in Lyla Captcha (and BlogCFC)

** Fusion Debug
FusionDebug : Why get excited? and Why Use FusionDebug

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