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An Architect's View

Entries for month: March 2007

cf.Objective() - Early Bird Ends April 1st

March 26, 2007 ·

Just a reminder that the early bird pricing for cf.Objective() - $395 for three days - ends on April 1st. After that, the prices will be $475 for three days. The two day price remains $375. About half of the sessions are posted right now. Jared says some speakers are being a bit slow in providing information about their sessions (maybe this post will jog their memories?) which is why not all of the sessions are posted. The full speaker list is posted however (so you can deduce from the difference between the two lists who is lagging behind... aren't I cruel?). Where else can you get three full days of top-quality training for around a thousand bucks including airfare and hotel costs? I was looking at flights yesterday and can get Oakland / Minneapolis St Paul round-trip for about $330. The hotel will be around $330 for three nights and the early bird conference fee makes it around $1,055 which is darn good value!

Tags: coldfusion · cfobjective

Tweaking OS X

March 25, 2007 ·

What's the first thing any self-respecting Mac-head does when they get a new computer? Customize it so it's your very own "personal" computer! I've been relying on a work-provided computer for quite a while (since I joined Macromedia nearly seven years ago) so I haven't paid much attention to what's available for OS X - my last personally owned Mac run System 7! Unsanity seem to be the company with the best tweaks so I just bought:
  • ShapeShifter ($20) which applies new themes to your system. I'm currently running Cold 1.2 which I think gives the system a very clean but dramatic look to everything.
  • FruitMenu ($10) which adds customizable cascading menus under your Apple menu and to your contextual menus in a number of applications. A very useful way to speed up navigation and access to commonly used files and programs.
  • WindowShade X ($10) which introduces a number of different behaviors for double-clicking on the menu bar in a window. The classic WindowShade extension used to just roll the window up into the menu bar but this new version adds options to make windows transparent or minimize them to a series of "live" icons arranged around the screen.
If you buy more than one product, you get a dollar off each additional product which is a nice touch. I also downloaded ClearDock which removes the background from the dock so your icons just float on the screen. I've always been bothered by that semi-transparent white background so it's good to get rid of it!

Tags: osx

Time Tracking?

March 24, 2007 ·

I was having a discussion with a friend about consulting and hourly rates and they bemoaned how hard it is to keep track of exactly what you're doing all the time when you're working on per-hour billing. Off the top of my head, that sounded like a problem that could be solved with an IM bot (assuming you're always online!) and noticed that you can add Google Calendar to IMified and tell it to add events "in 0 minutes" which allows you to track ongoing activity. What do folks use for time tracking that's unobtrusive and fits in with our busy lives as developers?

Tags: personal · coldfusion

Apple - How Do I Love Thee?

March 23, 2007 ·

My 17" MacBook Pro arrived today. Last time I switched laptops, I did the entire migration manually and it took me several days to get everything across and running properly. This time I decided to try the "easy" route using a FireWire cable and Apple's "Migration Assistant"... Unpack the MBP, plug it in, connect an ethernet cable, power up. The whole welcome experience is just so beautiful and warm and fuzzy that you instantly feel good - Apple have this so right! Do you want to migrate files from another Mac? Yes. Connect the FireWite cable, restart the other Mac and hold down the T key. Continue. Transferring files. Time passes. Up comes the new system, fully configured to exactly match the old system. Wow! That was easy. 60Gb+ of files and settings migrated without manual intervention. It's not quite perfect. Apollo didn't migrate so I had to reinstall that. MySQL didn't migrate either so I just copied /usr/local manually from the old laptop. iCal crashed when it was opened. Odd. Ran a Software Update (to 10.4.9 plus a bunch of other stuff). iCal works just fine now. Parallels wouldn't start either so I had to reinstall that but all my VMs and settings were still intact. Everything else seems to be running just fine. A very pleasant experience - thank you Apple!

Tags: osx · personal

ColdFusion position in Germany

March 21, 2007 ·

Harry Klein let me know his company his hiring:
We are actually in need of a senior core developer. He should have
  • years of experience building enterprise applications
  • good ColdFusion skills
  • good SQL, JavaScript skills
  • the ability to understand and write Object Oriented code
  • to be able to quickly learn new languages
We are based in Munich/Germany. English is fine, but he should have a basic understanding of german. The complete (German) description is on the website.

Tags: coldfusion

ColdFusion position in Baltimore, MD

March 21, 2007 ·

Matthew Lesko just let me know his company is hiring:
Baltimore, MD: looking for a programmer to join a team responsible for maintaining and developing a content management system (SiteExecutive). Aside from the job description: Looking for someone with experience:
  • unit testing existing code
  • migrating procedural code to object-oriented
Feel free to contact Matthew Lesko (mlesko at systemsalliance dot com) with questions. The actual contact info to submit a resume is at the end of the position description link above.

Tags: coldfusion

CFEclipse and FTP

March 21, 2007 ·

One of the recent advances in CFEclipse has been the full overhaul of FTP/SFTP support in the File Explorer. Scott Stroz has an excellent overview blog post about FTP, showing exactly how easy it is to set up and use "just like HomeSite".

Tags: coldfusion · cfeclipse

Comparing Transfer and Reactor

March 21, 2007 ·

Following up on Matt Newby's comment on my recent post about Transfer, here's a bullet point comparison of Transfer and Reactor that I hope will help people who are looking at ORMs and trying to decide which one to use: Reactor:
  • Reactor implements the Active Record pattern, with objects knowing how to handle their own persistence.
  • Reactor provides a rich OO-style query expression mechanism (you construct queries as OO data structures, then have Reactor execute them).
  • Reactor can deduce the basic structure of your database tables for you - you only need XML to describe relationships or to alias columns and tables.
  • Reactor generates "record" objects, gateways and metadata.
  • To customize a Reactor object, you extend the generated object (and Reactor does not overwrite it).
  • Reactor does not provide caching.
  • Transfer focuses on business objects and provides a data access layer - you ask Transfer to load an object, you ask Transfer to save an object.
  • Transfer provides a SQL-like abstraction, called TQL (Transfer Query Language), that makes handling queries of related objects really easy.
  • Transfer does not introspect the database - you need to specify all of the table structure and relationships in XML, but you can also organize those object mappings into packages and have plenty of control over how the relationships are represented in the object model.
  • Transfer builds your business objects on the fly, rather than laying down CFCs for you.
  • To customize a Transfer object, you can either write CFML functions directly in the XML (and Transfer will include those when it generates the business objects on the fly) or you can write a "decorator" object to wrap any Transfer-managed business object.
  • Transfer provides a sophisticated caching layer.

Tags: coldfusion · orm


March 21, 2007 ·

I hadn't realized how much I enjoyed Matt and Peter's cfweekly until they took a break this week and I clicked "Refresh" in iTunes several times, wondering why it wouldn't download this week's episode!

Tags: coldfusion

Transfer 0.6.3 RC1

March 20, 2007 ·

Mark Mandel has been working hard on Transfer in preparation for webDU 2007 and somehow managed to ship Transfer 0.6.3 RC1 before he flew out today. The two key new features in 0.6.3 are:
  • afterNew listener hook so you can inject dependencies into newly created TransferObjects
  • TQL - Transfer Query Language, modeled on Hibernate's HQL
I haven't used the former but I can see how it would be very, very useful in certain situations. The latter, however, has become my favorite Transfer feature overnight! I'm building out a site that uses Fusebox 5 + ColdSpring + Transfer and TQL is a major feature of the model right now. What has really impressed me is the performance: with cache evaluation enabled the overhead is so low that the benefits of the abstraction is completely worth it!

Tags: coldfusion · orm