An Architect's View

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An Architect's View

Entries for month: January 2008

Vista Upgraded

January 30, 2008 ·

As folks know, I bought Vista to run on VMware Fusion on my MacBook Pro. I'd felt it was slow and bloated but I figured I'd give it a good run to really make up my mind. What I like about Vista:

[

Tags: coldfusion · microsoft · bluedragon

Want to see how to install SVN, Apache and Trac?

January 22, 2008 ·

And I mean see... Kev McCabe has posted a series of video tutorials about Apache, Subversion and Trac on Windows. This should be very helpful for folks wanting to set up local version control and bug tracking but who feel a bit daunted by all these packages. Kev takes you through how to install each package and then how to configure them to work together.

Tags: coldfusion · oss · apache

Me and Gmail

January 20, 2008 ·

Please do not send personal email to my Gmail account! I use it exclusively for mailing lists. I sometimes go days without checking it and I get so much email there that I often just mark swathes of it as "read" without actually reading it. If you want me to see something and actually respond to it, send it to my account (or use the contact form on my blog).

Tags: coldfusion · personal

SVN merge - crib sheet

January 20, 2008 ·

Geoff Bowers has posted a helpful crib sheet on the Daemonite blog that shows how to merge branches under SVN. I do this often enough that I get frustrated with how counter-intuitive it seems but not often enough that it becomes second nature. Geoff's post definitely helped clarify things for me.

Tags: coldfusion · programming

Flex 3 / AIR Pre-Release Tour Kick Off

January 16, 2008 ·

BACFUG, BAADAUG and Fire on the Bay are proud to be hosting the kick off of the Flex 3 / AIR Pre-Release tour in San Francisco this Monday (January 21st). It'll be a big event - we have around 150 RSVPs so far across the three groups!
  • 6:30pm for food / drink / networking
  • 7:00pm for the main presentation from Ted Patrick, Adobe's Technical Evangelist for Flex
Location: Adobe, 601 Townsend St, San Francisco, CA 94546 The raffle will include:
  • iPod Nano
  • Flex Builder 3 Professional ($699 value - when released)
  • CS3 Web Premium Suite ($1,599 value!!)
as well as Flex backpacks and some Flex/Air T shirts Due to the popularity of this event, we will be in the "Town Hall" open space inside the security area so you must RSVP using the BACFUG web site - (scroll down - the RSVP link is below the meeting information) Direct RSVP link. About this presentation: Flex 3 and AIR are getting close to launch and in preparation, Ted Patrick from the Adobe Flex/AIR product team is traveling to select cities to show off the great new features and help prepare us for this exciting launch. Flex 3 is a feature-packed release, adding new UI components like the advanced datagrid and improved CSS capabilities; powerful tooling additions like refactoring; and extensive testing tools including memory and performance profiling, plus the addition of the automated testing framework to Flex Builder. Adobe AIR is game-changing in so many ways, extending rich applications to the desktop, enabling access to the local file system, system tray, notifications and much more. Now you can write desktop applications using the same skills that you've been already using to create great web apps including both Flex and AJAX. Don't miss out on the opportunity to see and hear about this highly anticipated release of Flex 3 and AIR during this special pre-release tour. Plus, in addition to giving away some one of a kind Flex/AIR branded schwag, we will also be raffling off a copy of Flex Builder 3 Professional (pending availability), a full commercial copy of CS3 Web Premium and an iPod Nano at this event! About Ted Patrick: Ted Patrick is a Technical Evangelist for Flex at Adobe Systems. He worked with Flash since FutureSplash Animator and watched its evolution from animation to application. Ted helped Macromedia/Adobe with the development of ActionScript 3, AVM2, ASC compiler, and Flash Player 9 for some 18 months prior to Flex 2's release. Prior to joining Adobe in May 2006, he provided consulting services at PowerSDK Software and Cynergy Systems. Ted is a serial entrepreneur having successfully started-up 4 times and raised over 7 Million in VC funding for companies he founded. 3 companies have been successfully sold to other businesses and one was sold to a publicly traded company in 2001. Ted is actively involved in the Flex development community and works at Adobe to define the future of rich media.

Tags: air · adobe · flex · bacfug

Amazing CSS editing tool

January 16, 2008 ·

The creative director at one of my clients just turned me onto CSSEdit. It has a really nice user interface for working with CSS but the really cool thing is that you can view any site in CSSEdit's built-in browser and then download and edit the CSS file live and see changes on the remote web page directly (without needing to actually modify the remote site). This is really useful for previewing how a site - any site - would look with different CSS applied, which is essentially for skinning (which I think is just going to get more and more important).

Tags: osx

Thank you Apple and Google

January 16, 2008 ·

Some people were not very excited about Apple's keynote yesterday but the 1.1.3 firmware update for the iPhone is plenty enough for me, along with Google's updated mobile apps. I use Gmail a lot on my iPhone and one of my clients has standardized on Google Mail/Docs for their communications so I'm constantly reading mail and documents on my iPhone. Gmail was OK on the iPhone and Google Docs was bearable but Google Reader was a nightmare. At the weekend, I noticed Gmail suddenly got a lot nicer with a very iPhone-style UI, sliding panels between labels and mail. Great... now what about the other apps? Tuesday night, I got home from said client's site and eagerly updated my iPhone firmware. The new "location" feature in the Maps application is very sweet (and seems sufficiently accurate for my needs). Then I started reorganizing my home screen. Screens. That's when I noticed that Google had updated most of its apps to be iPhone-friendly. Google Docs makes a great reader now, even for fairly large spreadsheets. Google Reader is a huge improvement! So now my iPhone has:
  • 43actions - a great little GTD (Getting Things Done) task manager
  • Calculator
  • Calendar
  • Clock - with 10 cities
  • Maps
  • Notes
  • Stocks
  • Weather
Followed by: Then my menu bar is:
  • Mail
  • Phone
  • Safari
  • Settings
On screen two, I have a row of games: Then my multimedia tools:
  • Camera
  • iTunes
  • iPod
  • Photos
  • Text
  • YouTube
And, yes, they are in alphabetical groups. Call me anal retentive and see if I care! Anyway, a big thank you to Apple and Google (and those games companies) for making my iPhone an even more lovable and addictive little toy!

Tags: hosted · iphone · osx · blogging · personal

cf.Objective() 2008 interview and early bird news

January 14, 2008 ·

Judith Dinowitz just posted a great interview with Steven and Jared about cf.Objective() 2008. They talk about the focus of the conference on intermediate and advanced ColdFusion developers and the deliberately more intimate nature of the event. They also talk about how the event has changed, becoming more organized and more streamlined, with an active committee that started working behind the scenes soon after the 2007 event ended. It's also worth noting that the early bird rate of $499 for the three day package has been extended to January 20th - an extra five days.

Tags: coldfusion · cfobjective

TransferDecorator bean injector

January 14, 2008 ·

Brian Kotek has released his Transfer decorator bean injector observer which I'm very excited about because I just needed this functionality for a client's project and had to write a version myself. Brian's is more sophisticated and, hopefully, will be integrated into ColdSpring in due course. Now I can use his version instead of mine and know that I'm using a community-supported resource. I know Brian Ghidinelli also ran into this issue and had started to write his own as well. I expect he'll switch to Brian Kotek's version now. So what does it do? Well, as you build complex domain objects by writing decorators for Transfer objects, you find you need access to services that you are managing with ColdSpring. Transfer provides an event model so you can add a listener (observer) for the afterNew event and use that to inject dependencies into your domain objects. It's a fairly manual process. What Brian's CFC does is completely automate the process. You declare the injector in your ColdSpring file and pass in Transfer to its constructor. When ColdSpring initializes the injector, the injector registers itself as an observer for that event and then it automatically injects any matching services, based on setters in the decorator. Very slick!

Tags: coldfusion · orm · coldspring

Recognizing Good Programmers

January 12, 2008 ·

An interesting blog post aimed at helping non-programmers recognize the indicators common in good programmers. The comments are long (over 180 as of this writing!) but mostly in agreement although there are some interesting dissenters as well. He talks through six major issues and then summarizes in positive and negative bullet points. It's not a perfect list but I agree with most of it. When I'm hiring, I look for someone who is passionate, programs in their spare time, works on personal side-projects, learns additional technologies "for fun". I want someone who has "strong opinions, weakly held" (which is a toned down version of what is presented on that blog post). Similarly, I hear alarm bells when I am interviewing a developer who views programming as "just a job", only learns new technologies when the company sends them on training courses and only knows one set of technologies. I'm less concerned (than the blog's author) about someone who started programming "late" in life. As folks who've been interviewed by me know, I don't "quiz" people or set them "clever" tests. I get them talking about their work and their projects. I want to hear passion, I want to hear about problems and how they solved them - and how they dealt with managers (or peers) who didn't see eye to eye with them on solutions. Are your criteria different?

Tags: personal · programming · coldfusion