An Architect's View

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An Architect's View

Entries for month: September 2006

A few days downtime

September 29, 2006 ·

I'm off to Salt Lake City in a few minutes for a cat show and will be off-air until Tuesday. Any comments will have to await moderation until I return so don't think I'm ignoring you! There's lots of interesting blog posts and comments around at the moment that I'll be replying to when I get back.

Tags: personal · blogging

Charlie Arehart on Breeze and CFUGs

September 29, 2006 ·

Great post from Charlie on the many benefits of using Breeze for user group presentations. I'm biased, of course, because I'm part of the team that is responsible for the hosted Breeze service and I think it's wonderful! And I'm very excited about our upcoming new offering, Adobe Acrobat Connect, backed by ColdFusion-powered web services. Charlie has also done a great job pulling together a fairly extensive listing of all the recorded Breeze presentations out there - see his User Group Television section.

Tags: connect · adobe · saas

BlueDragon 7.0 Beta

September 28, 2006 ·

A public beta of BlueDragon 7.0 is now available. I'm really in two minds about this. Obviously, I'm pleased to see New Atlanta implementing features that ColdFusion MX 7 introduced (nearly two years ago!) but they still aren't tackling event gateways which are incredibly powerful (nor Flash / XML forms or reporting). On the other hand, they continue to extend the language in proprietary ways (for example their <cfdocument> tag implements PDF but then adds PNG and JPG while not supporting FlashPaper). Some of their proprietary extensions are definitely interesting and useful (onMissingTemplate() for Application.cfc is probably what appeals most to me). However, they also seem to be driving their implementation of the language very much into "Java-Lite" territory with the addition of interfaces and abstract CFCs (and null support). A lot of Java and C++ developers don't seem to be able to figure out abstract classes properly so I really don't think that adding that sort of thing to ColdFusion is a step forward. I really think that the folks clamoring for "more OO" in ColdFusion are a very small minority (albeit very vocal!) and that such things don't address what the vast majority of ColdFusion developers really want from the product. All that said, choices are good and the more ColdFusion engines out there, the more it validates the use of ColdFusion as a rapid application development system.

Tags: coldfusion · bluedragon

Duelling Frameworks?

September 28, 2006 ·

After Peter Bell stirred the pot, Peter Farrel wrote a fairly explosive post (repeating a lot of what he said on the cfweekly, episode ?) and it spurred Joe Rinehart to respond with an impassioned blog post defending the design choices made in the development of Model-Glue: Unity. As someone who has contributed extensively to Mach II, Model-Glue, Fusebox, ColdSpring and Reactor (phew!), I would like to step up and defend Joe's decisions - he's done a sterling job, sticking to his vision for the framework and has been very clear about what should be in the framework and what should not. As a framework developer myself, I can tell you it's a rocky road. The "community" deluge you with requests for all sorts of features and you have to stand firm and defend your vision. None of the popular frameworks are "kitchen sink" efforts - there are countless feature requests that have been denied by the framework authors. I've requested enhancements to all these frameworks. Some of those requests have been implemented but most have been denied. Even as lead developer on one of the Mach II releases, some of my suggested enhancements were turned down (and some of the changed Peter implemented in Mach II were reverted as inappropriate for the framework). When I built Fusebox 5, I was deliberately very conservative about what went into the framework and what didn't. I implemented a few things the community really wanted that I didn't think were great ideas but I also did not implement several things that I thought were great ideas that the community weren't very interested in. Fusebox 5.1 will be a fairly conservative enhancement release. Fusebox 6 has more scope for adding features but, even so, backward compatibility will be maintained and the addition of features will be strictly controlled but community-driven. I don't know how community-driven Mach II is. I don't think it has a public bug tracker (Model-Glue, Fusebox, ColdSpring and Reactor all do). I get the impression that Application.cfc support was added for coolness (the other frameworks have taken great pains to remain compatible with CFMX 6.1 and equivalent competing ColdFusion engines).

Tags: coldfusion · orm · coldspring · fusebox · machii · modelglue

Why SOA is different

September 28, 2006 ·

Nice piece on InfoWorld about the design of services: services are not applications. It's very important to keep this distinction in mind if you are building a system based, primarily, on web services (or Flash Remoting, to be honest). Architecture, performance, coupling and cohesion - those concerns all pull in a different direction for services than they do for applications.

Tags: architecture · saas

Google Analytics - Cool Feature

September 28, 2006 ·

Pete Freitag highlights a very cool feature of Google Analytics that lets you use JavaScript to track clicks on links for things that would otherwise not be trackable (file downloads, outbound links). When I get a few minutes (hah!) I'll be adding this to my download links so this post is mostly a reminder to myself but I hope other folks find it useful too...

Tags: personal · saas

FusionDebug - Charlie Arehart - ColdFusion Meetup

September 28, 2006 ·

Charlie presented FusionDebug via Breeze to BACFUG recently and he is presenting it again on October 12th via the Online ColdFusion Meetup Group run by Steven Erat. It was an interesting presentation at BACFUG, albeit with some technical difficulties, so I'm going to watch Charlie in action again on October 12th.

Tags: coldfusion

Coming soon to the UK

September 27, 2006 ·

In November, I'll be visiting the UK. My wife recently became a cat show judge and has her first two judging assignments in Arcadia, CA and Bourges, France. So I'm taking nearly two weeks off so we can visit friends and family in England and then go on to Paris and then Bourges. I arrive in England on November 20th and we'll head down to Paris on the 23rd I expect. Then on to Bourges on the 24th for the Southern European Regional Awards Show and Banquet. Bourges to Paris to London on the 27th and fly home on the 28th. Not sure if I can fit a CFUG talk in while I'm there but feel free to ping me offline about the possibility.

Tags: personal

Nando Blogs!

September 26, 2006 ·

I'm very excited to discover that Nando has finally decided to start blogging! Nando has been a regular contributor to a number of mailing lists that I'm on and I think we'll see some very insightful information on the blog. Already Nando has posted some great stuff about autowiring and validation (in Model-Glue: Unity).

Tags: coldfusion · modelglue

Red Hat finds JBoss a hard pill to swallow?

September 26, 2006 ·

There's always a lot of chatter around revenue models in the open source world. Red Hat recently purchased JBoss and it seemed - to me - like a promising consolidation of two big names in the open source world but it seems that Wall Street is not very happy with the union. I'm disappointed that Red Hat isn't doing as well as the market hoped. I'm a big supporter of open source projects and, whilst I have some reservations about the polish and documentation around such projects, I'd like to see Red Hat and JBoss succeed here. Both products are solid and, despite documentation concerns and, frankly, the insanely chatty logging of JBoss, they work pretty darn well.

Tags: oss