An Architect's View

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An Architect's View

Entries for month: July 2008

How did you learn the basics behind Flex?

July 30, 2008 ·

Learning Flex means tackling a number of other technologies - server-side scripting / programming, some OO, CSS, XML etc. Matt Chotin is asking what non-Flex resources helped you learn this in order to grasp Flex's programming nuances. If you are a Flex developer these days but had to go through that broader learning curve, comment on his blog post with specific recommendations for books, blogs, websites etc that helped you.

Tags: adobe · flex

A little frustration

July 29, 2008 ·

I have not been blogging as much as I'd like recently. The truth is that right now I'm working on a bunch of things I can't talk about. We announced that we'd hired Ray Camden, Nicolas Lierman and Joe Rinehart but we can't announce who else we've hired yet (next week, I promise!) and obviously we can't talk about who we're going after next (we're still expanding). We're planning our next generation services (products) we can't talk much about that. Joe has hinted at the analytics work we're doing but we have a roadmap for three distinct Software-as-a-Service products. We'll be talking more about our products later in the year - stay tuned. We're adjusting our technology stack to take advantage of performance, power and expressiveness. Again, I can't really talk about what we're doing in detail but I can say that we have more Java and Groovy code in our SVN repository today than we had a few weeks ago. We're still deeply wedded to Adobe ColdFusion but I think this trend toward Java and Groovy - and Spring and Hibernate - will continue. On the other hand, we're adding Flex to our stack now and looking at AIR. We're just diversifying. We're talking about a Broadchoice team blog where Ray, Joe, Nico, myself and - oh sorry, we can't say yet - will blog about technical issues we hit and (hopefully) solve! This is all just to say the quietness of my blog is temporary and I expect to be back to full volume soon!

Tags: coldfusion · broadchoice · saas

iPhone 2.0 and Applications (again)

July 24, 2008 ·

After using several applications for a while and spending more time in the AppStore, I figured I'd do another quick blog post covering the apps I've tried...
  • AIM - I'm not using this as much as I expected but it definitely is useful occasionally (when I'm away from my laptop and need to ask someone a quick question).
  • WeatherBug - This has dropped down my list and I may delete it fairly soon.
  • AirMe - As suspected, I am taking more photos and using Flickr because of this app!
  • Evernote - This has become core to the way I organize my life and work, as has the desktop version!
  • People - An occasional app but still useful.
  • Dobot Todos - Unused after a week so it was deleted.
And here are the new apps I've added recently:
  • Units - A useful little conversion calculator. It was 99c - cheap enough that it doesn't much matter if I end up not using it.
  • Urbanspoon - A free, fun restaurant picker. It uses the accelerometer built into the iPhone to operate a "slot machine" style UI which is a great novelty but the restaurant reviews are actually useful. Recommended if you travel and you like food!
  • Shazam - Recommended by lots of people and it will hopefully solve a recurring problem I have of hearing music I like and not knowing what it is! More on this when I've actually used it a few times.
  • Sudoku Unlimited - $2.99 - The first app I actually paid for. I'm a sucker for Sudoku and this is a really nice looking app that plays pretty well. Great for keeping boredom at bay in the unlikely event I actually get some free time...

Tags: iphone

Broadchoice is proud to announce...

July 24, 2008 ·

Joe Rinehart! I'm very excited about Joe joining Broadchoice as Systems Architect. I've always enjoyed interacting with Joe on software design and development issues (and socially) so I'm very happy that I can now do that on a daily basis! Joe's blog post talks about why he joined and what he'll be doing. By the end of his first day on the job, he'd already produced a thought-provoking document on the analytics system that he'll be building with Nicolas (Lierman) and our database specialist, Robert Xiong. We're a Model-Glue 2 shop right now but we'll be migrating to Model-Glue 3 soon so you can expect several blog posts (from all of us) on that! Working at Broadchoice just keeps getting better and better! Stay tuned for more hiring news within the next few weeks...

Tags: coldfusion · broadchoice

Broadchoice Global Developer Meetup '08

July 21, 2008 ·

We just completed our first mini-conference in-house and it was an exhausting - but exhilarating - three days. We flew our remote developers into the Bay Area and had three days of sessions, with evening social events, just like any number of conferences we've all attended. Friday focused on company vision - both business and technical - kicking off with a keynote from our CTO, and then Saturday and Sunday were deep dives into architecture, system integration, user interface design and process & communication. As a company that has a number of remote engineers, we feel this is an important way to help everyone get on the same page and to encourage intense interactions and information sharing. We're going to try to do this twice a year from now on. As a result of these sessions, we're also going to be making some changes to how we manage communication internally to help remote folks stay connected (e.g., more video conferencing, more screen sharing when working on projects, regular but brief cross-company conference calls to share business and technical news, increased use of internal blogs). Does your company do anything like this? How do you work with your remote team members?

Tags: broadchoice

CFML Advisory Committee Update

July 16, 2008 ·

Although we've been relatively quiet since the announcement at CFUNITED, I wanted to let folks know that the CFML Advisory Committee are working away in the background. After that announcement, Ben Forta posted his thoughts on the committee but there haven't been any other public utterances about the committee by its members. We're working on a number of things.
  • We're drafting a document that will outline what cfscript features, tags and functions we believe to be "core CFML language".
  • We're also going to draft a document that gives guidance on adding new features in a consistent manner - attempting to define the essence of "CFML-ness".
  • We're in the process of setting up a website that will have a wiki where we publish our documents and discussions as well as a blog where we make announcements and, more importantly, ask the community for feedback on issues we are considering.
We're considering a Birds of a Feather session at MAX to discuss things with the community as well, very much as an interactive, two-way discussion. There are also ongoing discussions with the Open BlueDragon team to see if we can bring them to the table. Hopefully we'll have more to share on all of this in a week or two.

Tags: cfml-advisory · coldfusion

Vegas Baby!

July 15, 2008 ·

So I said I'd post an off-topic piece about my trip to Vegas. If you don't like off-topic stuff, stop reading :)

[Read more →]

Tags: personal

Bob Silverberg on Transfer ORM and Architecture

July 15, 2008 ·

Update: Bob just added Part VII so I'm updating this post to include that.
For ease of reference I just wanted to post a quick note highlighting Bob Silverberg's excellent series on using Transfer ORM and OO architecture: If Bob adds additional pieces, I'll update this post with his new articles. There's a lot of good information here although it may be a bit overwhelming on first read so be prepared to keep coming back to these posts!

Tags: coldfusion · architecture · orm

Web on the Piste 2008

July 15, 2008 ·

In case you can't stand another month without a conference - or you're "down under" and want something local instead of constantly commuting halfway round the world - you should check out Web on the Piste 2008 which offers a great selection of RIA-focused talks over two days in August, which is mid-winter in New Zealand so you can get in some snowboarding while you're there (or skiing if you're that way inclined - weirdo!). I haven't made it to WotP yet but given the atmosphere and buzz at MXDU/webDU, I'll bet it's a great event - the aussies are a terrific bunch and there is so much hardcore RIA work going on down under!

Tags: coldfusion · ria · flex

BACFUG - Tomorrow (July 16th) - Intermediate Uses of CFCs - Nolan Erck

July 15, 2008 ·

Intermediate Uses of CFCs - Nolan Erck 7/16/08 6:30 PM for networking; 7:00 PM for the main event; pizza sponsored by Internet Media Inc! Adobe San Francisco - Kojak Nolan Erck returns with part two of his series on ColdFusion Components (part one was our April talk). If you're ready for the next step in learning OO with CF, this talk's for you! Directions 601 Townsend St, San Francisco, California 94103

Tags: coldfusion