An Architect's View

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An Architect's View

Entries for month: June 2005

Merrimack Teaser

June 29, 2005 ·

Ben Forta suggested I post a screen shot taken from my laptop... of the Merrimack Beta ColdFusion Administrator running on my PowerBook G4:

What's that? Enterprise Manager (Instance Manager and Cluster Manager)? And is that a native OS X installer there on the desktop to the right? (cf_install.app) And although you can't see it easily (hey, it's a teaser!), the URL is just http://localhost/CFIDE/administrator/index.cfm - Apache configured via the installer which automatically placed the CFIDE directory into my Apache web root! [standard disclaimer about beta software being subject to change etc etc]

Tags: coldfusion

CFUNITED - Wednesday evening

June 29, 2005 ·

The first run of my frameworks talk was at 6pm this evening. It seemed to go really well with a much more framework-savvy audience that I think I've ever had before. Lots of great questions too! Thanx to everyone who attended. After that it was the networking (free alcohol and finger food) session so I got to chat to a bunch more people in a nice, relaxed atmosphere. Then it was time to "Meet the CF7 Team" which had a lively mix of questions, well answered by the product team. Some interesting questions about adding some sort of "strict syntax" mode to CFMX - I replied that the CFEclipse team have talked about adding coding checks to a future release... some sort of configurable standards checking which would probably be a more appropriate approach. Quite a few people would be interested in that. Then it was the (brief) Model-Glue panel led by Joe, Doug and myself. A good audience for that - clearly a lot of interest in Model-Glue - and most of them stayed for Joe's Breeze presentation of Model-Glue (broadcast live to the Arizona CFUG). Joe proved to be a great speaker - well-paced and interesting with well thought out slides. Steven Erat coordinated that so check his blog for the recording URL in due course. By this point it was 10pm so quite a few folks headed to the bar. I sat and chatted for a couple of hours with Chafic Kazoun about our respective current projects, work environments and some shared cultural experiences. I'm looking forward to his talk on Flash and .NET integration on the desktop tomorrow! With that it was time to check email and turn in for the night!

Tags: coldfusion

CFUNITED - Wednesday afternoon

June 29, 2005 ·

I attended Sandy Clark's fascinating and informative session on the CSS box model which served to confirm just how little I really knew about CSS - but I sure learned a lot from it! She really knows her stuff and has a great way of sharing the hints and tips she's accrued from personal experience. She runs courses on CSS - based on this talk (and others I've seen her give), I'd say the courses should be considered "highly recommended"! Simon Horwith's session on architecture and design patterns was next. I like Simon's pragmatic approach to these topics and I agree with him on the broad strokes of his recommendations (even if I may disagree with one or two of the fine details). He's very passionate about software architecture and he likes to share it - by publishing code on his blog that he writes "for fun" to "practice, practice, practice" good design principles. During the break, I reconfigured my machine ready for my session on frameworks, having one last run-through of the demos (running on a Merrimack build - oh, the excitement of life on the bleeding edge!) and the source code I'll be showing.

Tags: coldfusion

CFUNITED - Wednesday morning

June 29, 2005 ·

As often happens at conferences, my carefully crafted plans of which sessions to attend fell apart early this year as I got caught up talking to customers about what they are doing with ColdFusion and missed the pre-lunch sessions! I spent a while talking with Damon Gentry of Mentor Graphics about their teams of CF developers and what they are using CF for. I think Damon and I will have quite a few interesting follow-up talks about what Mentor Graphics are doing in general (I last dealt with them when they were involved with the C++ Standard in the 90's) as well as their specific ColdFusion plans! The networking opportunities of conferences like CFUNITED really cannot be overemphasized! You get a lot out of the sessions, it's true, but you can also get a lot out of "hallway discussions" with other developers and with the variety of exhibitors who have some impressive-looking booths set up here near the community pit.

Tags: coldfusion

CFUNITED - Macromedia Keynote

June 29, 2005 ·

After the traditional introduction of speakers (which took a long time this year with over 60 speakers!), Tim Buntel and Ben Forta took the stage to talk about where we are today with ColdFusion MX 7 and what's coming down the pipeline. Ben went through some of the "non-marquee" features: Application.cfc and the application event model, the administration API, Verity enhancements and charting enhancements as well as a number of "smaller" but very important enhancements (XML processing, data validation, <cftimer/>, <cfntauthenticate/>, SOAP handling etc). Next up was Amit Yathirajadasan from Georgetown University who showed an application his group have built that leverages many of the new CFMX 7 features: a sophisticated Flash form-based web hosting console that lets their users manage their data sources and generate high-level reports based on log file analysis, as well as an interactive customer support chat (using the event gateways). Very slick. Then Ben talked about the upcoming CFMX 7 Updater, codenamed "Merrimack", that is in beta and will be released later this year. The updater will provide, in addition to bug fixes, improved platform support and will surface the "CFCProxy" machinery to allow Java code to call ColdFusion Components. The platforms mentioned include: Mac OS X native installer, RHAS 3.0 / 4.0, SuSE ES 8 / 9, WSND, OAS 10g). Next up Tim talked about IDEs, emphasizing how Dreamweaver MX provides excellent support for visually-oriented designers and developers as well as wizard-based assistance for new ColdFusion developers but that there is another class of developers that prefer a more code-oriented environment. He noted that Macromedia announced its intention to join the Eclipse Foundation and produce an Eclipse-based product for Rich Internet Application development (codenamed "Zorn"). He also said that the ColdFusion product team had been talking with the CFEclipse project team about how Macromedia can best support this effort to help provide the best possible experiences for ColdFusion developers. He introduced Simeon Bateman, the CFEclipse project manager, who announced the new cfeclipse.org website (content in progress!) and said that the team would be bringing the "stable build" up to date with the "nightly builds" to incorporate all the new features that have been developed and tested recently. They are also aiming for a 2.0 release in the fall that will provide improved packaging and more of the features that are being requested by developers. Tim said that Macromedia plan on becoming contributors to the CFEclipse project and will help support the project's goals. Lots of applause for this announcement! And... Ben announced the codename for the next release of ColdFusion: Scorpio! He said it's very early days yet in terms of planning but two of the areas that the team are looking at, based on requests from customers, are:
  • enhancing the presentation features and functionality
  • monitoring and access to the server internals
Ben closed by showing the updated CFMX 7 tag / function poster which is available from the Macromedia booth here at the conference.

Tags: coldfusion · cfeclipse

CFUNITED - ColdFusion T Shirts

June 29, 2005 ·

The codefusiongear T shirts are on sale at CFUNITED from the Community Pit for a special price of $12! There's a limited supply but we have a variety of sizes and styles - so hurry over to the Community Pit and save $3 (+S&H) over the regular price!

Tags: coldfusion

CFUNITED - MiniMAX 2

June 28, 2005 ·

I went to the speakers' dinner (at the Brazilian BBQ place a mile up the road) then back to the hotel for MiniMAX 2. I wasn't really sure what to expect since I didn't go to MAX 2004 which is where the first MiniMAX was held. Adam Bell opened with a short presentation on sIFR where he had several slides showing JavaScript but didn't show a demo of what sIFR does (or even really explain what it actually is / does). Then it was Bill Wade with what was supposed to be a presentation on Adobe After Effects. He showed some TV commercial clips which had been created or worked on with After Effects (that wasn't clear) and then he tried to demo the program but wasn't able to get it working. About this point my phone went off so I excused myself, got my messages and hung out in the "community pit" for a while then went back to my room to do email. I think MiniMAX 2 finished around 10:30pm. The people I spoke to said the sessions improved - if anyone wants to post comments here with their impressions of MiniMAX 2, I'd appreciate that!

Tags: coldfusion

CFUNITED - Day Zero

June 28, 2005 ·

I've been popping in and out of the user group managers' conference today. Good talks from Lisa Heselton on finding good speakers and backup plans and from Don Smith on leveraging business relationships for user groups. I'm having to split my time between that and work because we're running some large volume JMS gateway tests that I need to keep an eye on. I was planning to go back down at 3pm for Mark Gorkin's talk on presentation skills but it looks like I'm tied up with this gateway test for a while longer. The facilities here are very nice. Michael Smith and his crew at Teratech have excelled themselves this year. The hotel is extremly nice, good food too, and what seem to be very good conference facilities. More on that as the conference unfolds. Over lunch I chatted to Simeon Bateman, Jennifer Larkin, Bob Flynn, Matt Woodward, Don Smith, the Dinowitzes, Lisa Wilson and several other user group managers. It's the first time I've met a few of them, with others it's more of a re-acquaintance and a few I'd class as good friends online. People are arriving gradually. Jared Rypka-Hauer gets in tonight, as does Paul Kenney. Joe Rinehart is already here, teaching his refactoring class. I think Doug Hughes gets in tonight. The opportunities for networking are really great - a big benefit of attending a conference like this!

Tags: coldfusion

CFUNITED - Arrived!

June 28, 2005 ·

Room 724 if anyone needs to get hold of me. Already got my wifi setup in my room. Shower, change and off the the UG managers' conference shortly.

Tags: personal

Model-Glue FAQ by Eddie Awad

June 27, 2005 ·

This appeared over the weekend and, as its name suggests, answers many commonly asked questions about how to do things with Model-Glue!

Tags: coldfusion · modelglue