An Architect's View

CFML, Clojure, Software Design, Frameworks and more...

An Architect's View

Entries for month: February 2004

Frameworks - We Love 'Em!

February 29, 2004 ·

Several people have mentioned BatFink to me, especially while I was down under. Those nice folks at Mossy Blog have made the BatFink framework available. Or rather, to be accurate, they've made a sample application available - a wiki - that is built with BatFink (and which provides basic BatFink documentation). BatFink has served these folks well so it's nice to see them put their code where their mouth is - too many folks create private frameworks that never see the light of day!
I'm not going to offer much of a critique - the wiki provides reasonable documentation on the principles behind BatFink (based on MVP - Model-View-Presenter - which is sound stuff) and it does indeed seem to be very lightweight. Download it, play with it and tell them what you like and dislike!

Tags: coldfusion

MXDU - In Pictures!

February 27, 2004 ·

I've just posted the remainder of my photos from MXDU. Sorry if they're a bit bigger than you'd like! Browse every day here!
Thanx to Andrew Muller and Ben Bishop for providing me with all the names!

Tags: blogging · webdu

BlueDragon 6.1 Beta 3 - More Information

February 27, 2004 ·

Update! New Atlanta have just released more details about their precompiled, encrypted templates. Whilst this is a feature that many users have been requesting, it seems a bit brutal to overwrite the source files with the precompiled results. I'll be interested to see how this feature is received by the CF community. The technology preview of Blackstone - at MXDU - talked briefly about secure, sourceless deployment so it seems that you can expect similar functionality from the official ColdFusion product shortly.

Tags: coldfusion · bluedragon

BlueDragon 6.1 Beta 3

February 27, 2004 ·

As promised by Vince recently, Beta 3 of BlueDragon is now available for download. Windows only right now, the Mac and Linux versions will be available shortly (they're sorting out an issue with the installer).
Vince says "With the beta3 release, BlueDragon 6.1 is now-feature complete. We'll concentrate on bug fixes and tidying-up over the next month, with a final release planned for March 31."
Two of the big new "features" with this beta are: precompiled, encrypted templates and the revamping of the free server edition. I have no more information about the former at the moment but the free server edition news is very interesting... Vince Bonfanti, New Atlanta CEO, says "We've decided to significantly enhance the features provided in the BlueDragon Server 6.1 FREE edition. The free edition now has almost all of the features of the premium edition BlueDragon Server JX." The advanced features the free edition will not support are: JSP / J2EE support (such as page context, J2EE sessions,
cfforward
,
cfservlet
and
cfinclude
of a servlet or JSP); support for databases other than ODBC, MySQL and PostgreSQL; ability to deploy encrypted, precompiled templates; web server adaptors for iPlanet and Sun ONE. That means that it will support CFCs, XML, Web Services, Java tags etc.
This is a very bold move by New Atlanta - they'd previously said that the free edition would remain only CF5-compatible and that to get access to the new 6.1 features, users would need to buy the JX edition (currently $549 but will rise to $999 when 6.1 ships) or the J2EE edition ($4,998 for 2 CPUs). For comparison, Macromedia offers a Developer Edition (free, full-featured but single IP), Standard Edition ($1,299) and Enterprise Edition ($5,999 for 2 CPUs).
As soon as the Mac OS X version of Beta 3 is available (next week, according to Vince), I'll take it for a test drive, try my various Mach II applications on it and give a report (so far, Beta 1 and Beta 2 have been unable to run Mach II applications).

Tags: coldfusion · bluedragon

Blog Searches

February 27, 2004 ·

I've just been looking through the activity log for my blog to see what common search terms there are - with a view to writing something to answer those questions. Amongst the many, many searches for "Fusebox", "Mach II" and "Design Patterns", there are some interesting(!) ones but here are some of the more common search queries on my site for which I have very little information:
  • search enginer safe
  • compare ColdFusion and C#
  • session (actually lots of session-related stuff)
  • C++ (searches for several specific library functions and keywords)
Are these topics you'd like to see me write something about?

Tags: blogging

MXDU Checked Out

February 27, 2004 ·

Checked out of my room and now I'm banished to the business center for an hour or so before Mike Chambers and I grab a cab to the airport and fly home to Australia.
The bloggers' dinner was a good event - great food at Chinta Ria - and then lots of drinking afterward (Brandon Hall and I didn't get back to our rooms until around 5:30am, chatting about all sorts of things including software design of course!). I'll be posting pictures from that when I get back on a high-speed connection. The BBQ at Daemon was also excellent - again, pictures coming soon.
Big shout out to Geoff Bowers & his wife Julie for being great hosts on Thursday night and to the larger Daemon crew for a wonderful conference.

Tags: blogging · webdu

CFUN-04 - Accessibility Track Added

February 27, 2004 ·

I was very pleased to see that CFUN-04 has added a dedicated accessibility track! It looks like it will be a terrific conference with a huge amount of information crammed into one weekend. I'm looking forward to it!

Tags: coldfusion

MXDU Speaker Panel

February 25, 2004 ·

The final session of MXDU - the speaker panel - saw a large number of folks on stage facing a grilling from various audience members. Some interesting questions were asked as well as some of the "standard" concerns being aired (e.g., "Is Director dead?", "Is Flash Remoting dead?", "Is HomeSite+ dead?" - No on all of these - the response was something like "Macromedia continues to make releases and enhancements to these techologies and is committed to providing the best tools for developers.")
Quite a few questions about the Flashosphere and direction - "Flash is going in six directions at once... can we have a roadmap?" was one question. Mike answered that so I won't attempt to paraphrase (I'm sure he'll be happy to blog the answers to these questions).
Some interesting questions about Flex and its position in the marketplace - "Won't it eat into the existing Flash developer market?". My sense is that there's a whole sector of developers (often called enterprise developers, i.e., folks who write Java and other text-based languages without visual tools) who will never master the Flash authoring environment but will 'grok' Flex immediately - for them, Flex represents a way into the RIA space. The existing Flash developer space will be effectively untouched by Flex (except perhaps to increase demand for their skills to create components for the new enterprise Flex / RIA space!). That's my feeling anyway.
One question was right up my street: "As we build more complex apps with components, it gets harder and harder to debug - what about some tools for this?" This is one of those 'moving to enterprise development' growing pains and it isn't really about components per se. My answer was that you need to start adopting other enterprise development practices such as building test harnesses for components, either as you build the components or - even better - before you build the components. Enterprise software requires enterprise testing.
Another related question was about the compile times for complex Flash applications. Mike talked about using command-line compilers and build systems and I said this is another 'moving to enterprise development' situation where we're building complex enough applications that we're beginning to hit the same compile time stuff that many Java / C++ enterprise developers have been used to for years: edit, compile-wait-link-wait, test. It's pretty much a natural consequence of building complex software and one that many scripting languages manage to hide from us by being very lazy about compiling code (on demand).
And that was it. MXDU 2004 is over. And what a great conference it's been! Incredibly passionate developers building astonishing applications with the latest versions of the Macromedia MX products. I'm looking forward to next year's MXDU already (if I get invited to speak again).
Tonight is the bloggers' dinner. Tomorrow is the partner conference. More later!

Tags: mx · webdu

MXDU Blackstone - Tim Buntel

February 25, 2004 ·

I missed the first twenty minutes but for the remainder of the hour Tim valiantly deflected a number of questions while still providing as much of a sneak peak of what really is coming in Blackstone as he could. His catch phrase quickly became "That's a bit too specific an implementation question for me to answer at this point"... People seemed pretty excited about the Flash-based forms and the reporting / printable output features.

Tags: coldfusion · webdu

MXDU Taming The Code - Geoff Bowers

February 25, 2004 ·

Talked about many of the ways that projects can get into difficulty including a number of bad process practices that people easily fall into. Then he started talking about ways in which you can manage this.
His recommendation: develop code locally - use version control - deploy to shared QA server. Daemon favor CVS so he demo'd TortoiseCVS and WinCVS and explained why he likes CVS. Despite a few technical difficulties, he showed a number of ways that CVS helps you manage your codebase, with a variety of tools and different views onto the code.
We use CVS at Macromedia (for our dynamic website code) and it really does make life easier. Look at Bonsai and Tinderbox as well (look them up on Google).

Tags: coldfusion · webdu