June 26, 2003

Forta Blogging

Ben Forta has finally given in to the inevitable and started blogging. Ben pretty much always has something insightful to say so this ought to be a killer blog.
Posted by seancorfield at 08:18 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack | blogging | cf

May 21, 2003

No Anonymous Comments!

Just a reminder: if you comment on a post here and use a fake contact address, I will delete your comment out of hand. Yes, that means you "x" a.k.a. x@x.com! It also means you bork@yahoo.com :)
Posted by seancorfield at 04:04 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack | blogging

May 19, 2003

Blog Software in CFML (again!)

I got quite a response to my recent post on this subject so I've put together a fledgling Blogging in ColdFusion page that lists the ones I know about. Let me know of others and your experiences with them.
Posted by seancorfield at 02:21 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack | blogging | cf

May 17, 2003

An Architect's Fusebox

Without changing very much at all, I've wrapped my blog in Fusebox. If you click around, you'll see all the links are now fuseactions. There were two parts to making this happen: some PHP Fusebox changes and some Movable Type template changes.
The PHP changes were simple: add a new circuit ("blog"), add a new switch file in that circuit (for actions "main" and "archive" - the latter accepts either "category" or "month" as an argument), override the default layout (the blog circuit sets a flag $full_layout_done which the site's default layout checks to decide whether to add the header and footer).
The Movable Type changes were also fairly simple: in each template, replace links to category archives, monthly archives and individual posts with the equivalent Fusebox URL. This was rather tedious but fairly straightforward.
The fuseactions simply treat the HTML files generated by Movable Type as display fuses and include them!
Posted by seancorfield at 10:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack | blogging

May 16, 2003

CFLib.org RSS Feed

Seen on Ray Camden's blog, CFLib now has an RSS feed describing new utilities on the site.
Posted by seancorfield at 11:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack | blogging | cf

May 05, 2003

Blogging Internally

A few folks have asked me whether Macromedia uses blogs internally. I haven't seen too many in operation but the subject came up again this morning so I set up Movable Type on my team's server and created a team blog. I'm not sure how many of the team will become enthusiastic bloggers but I'm hoping it turns into a really useful resource for the Web Technology Group team.
Do you use blogs internally where you work? Tell me about it (in comments on this entry).
Posted by seancorfield at 05:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack | blogging

April 23, 2003

Restyled

In light of some comments that the grey-on-grey blog was hard to read, I decided to change it to dark-grey-on-white for the most part with some color highlights from the ColdFusion MX palette. Hope you like the new look?
Posted by seancorfield at 07:45 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack | blogging

April 17, 2003

SourceForge.Net & RSS

I was pleased to see that SourceForge now provides a variety of RSS feeds for each project. This makes it much easier to keep track of your favorites!
You can now track Fire and Modus this way. But a black mark to iTerm for not having any news in their feed!
Posted by seancorfield at 11:09 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack | blogging

March 25, 2003

Adam Osborne

I was sad to read of the death of Adam Osborne. I remember working with an Osborne 1 computer over twenty years ago...
Posted by seancorfield at 05:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack | blogging

March 22, 2003

Right-Click!

As promised, I allowed a week of voting in comments and have now implemented the most requested result... which was difficult since people were so split between wanting me to keep target="_blank" and wanting me to drop it! So I added a link in the left nav that allows you to force links in the blog to open in the same window. It doesn't use cookies or anything fancy: you click the link, it replaces _blank with _self. If you reload the page, or go to a new page in the blog, it'll reset to _blank. That should be enough to satisfy both camps.
Posted by seancorfield at 10:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack | blogging

March 15, 2003

Right-click?

After all the talk about right-click (to open a link in a new window) and Flash (not supporting that), I thought I'd ask my readers a question: I currently use target="_blank" for all my offsite links - would you prefer I removed that so that you could choose to open in the same window or to right-click and open in a new window/tab? A week of comments and I'll go with the majority vote.
Posted by seancorfield at 02:54 PM | Comments (20) | TrackBack | blogging

February 27, 2003

Fusebox via RSS

The Fusebox forums are available as RSS feeds which seems a particularly convenient way to keep up with the latest thoughts on Fusebox.
Posted by seancorfield at 11:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack | architecture | blogging

February 20, 2003

Categorized

In response to a comment by Justin MacCarthy, I've enabled categories for the blog and I'm in the process of categorizing 200+ historical entries. Bear with me while I get everything organized.
Oh, and if anyone knows why the first category in the list (main page, left hand side, under "CATEGORIES") never shows as a link in the MTCategories container...
Thanx to Nathan S for spotting the missing '>'. Doh!
Posted by seancorfield at 10:59 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack | blogging

February 19, 2003

!*%$ CSS

I was so proud of my switchover to MT until Dean commented on this entry to point out that it looks terrible on Win IE 5.5. It's looks fine in Safari, Mozilla and Mac IE 5.2.2 but he's right - it looks awful in Win IE 5.5. Drat!
I spent an hour diddling with the style sheet and gave up. For now. Sorry. I was planning to create a new style sheet anyway and when I do, I'll test it on Win IE 5.5 to make sure it looks alright.
Threw in a couple of width: attributes (into the stylesheet template, using MT's admin) and now it works on Win IE 5.5 as far as I can tell. Let me know if you disagree.
Posted by seancorfield at 08:09 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack | blogging

First Comment

Kudos to Ray Camden for being the first person to post a comment against my new MT blog - so he gets a plug for his own blog which is pretty interesting reading.
Posted by seancorfield at 02:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack | blogging

Movable Blog

Bit of a surprise? Yes, I've moved my blog to use Movable Type directly on my site instead of relying on Blogger (sorry, Blogger!). I decided I wanted a proper RSS feed. I'll diddle with the template at some point so it doesn't look just like every other MT blog.
It was fairly straightforward to move the site: MT has great instructions for exporting everything from Blogger and importing it into MT. Good work folks!
This also means my gentle readers can post comments as well as having trackback enabled. No doubt I'll make a bunch more changes as I learn to use MT over the next few weeks.

Posted by seancorfield at 01:40 PM | Comments (5) | blogging

NetNewsWire

Like many others, I've finally been drawn to trying NetNewsWire to read blogs. My first reaction was "Ugh! It's like going back to USENET" but after an hour or two of picking up RSS feeds I realized that it's pretty darn convenient, especially since I can now browse the latest tidbits on my favorite blogs during my commute to work. It's crashed on me a few times, mostly when messing with the weblog editor, but it's an interesting little tool. It's also made me even more convinced that I need to move my blog off Blogger and onto something that let's me mess with the RSS-level feed much more easily. One day.

Posted by seancorfield at 10:37 AM | Comments (1) | blogging | osx

February 16, 2003

Webapper

Mike Brunt's weblog is full of Tips for Web Architects from Web Architects and I've been meaning to mention it here for a couple of months. Check it out!

Posted by seancorfield at 01:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack | architecture | blogging

January 28, 2003

Busy Ken...

After a month-long hiatus, Ken Bereskin's web log has shown some activity again. I'd gotten a bit worried about the lack of activity and I'd been missing my near daily Mac tidbits!

Posted by seancorfield at 06:49 PM | Comments (0) | blogging

January 19, 2003

Reviews & Ramblings

Another new blog, and one that I think will be interesting to watch: Fluid Code's soapbox. Right now it has a couple of book reviews and some thoughts on legacy browser support but I expect it will become a mine of information for Mac web developers over time.

Posted by seancorfield at 12:16 PM | Comments (0) | blogging

January 17, 2003

How do I keep it fresh?

A blog only works if you write something regularly. The web is full of stale content. I've seen sites where the webmaster contact email is forwarded to someone who left the company years earlier... They don't get any 'webmaster' email so they think their site is just fine(!). A few years back, when I moved to California from England, I moved my website from ocsltd.com (Object Consultancy Services Limited) to corfield.org. I took the trouble to search the web for references to my site and to track down the webmasters. Some of them were really grateful and updated their sites. Some said "thank you" but did nothing. Others were surprised their email address was still attached to an 'old' site. The web rots a little every day. We all need to spring clean. I have iCal send me an email every day at 11am to write something. I'm weeks behind - because I'm busy trying to launch a new website. But my mailbox is full of reminders and I will catch up... in due course.


One of the things I've done recently - with ColdFusion - is to write a little utility to validate URLs in our redirect system. It sends automatic email to people who created a shortcut URL that is now giving a 404 error. Spring cleaning. I've also written a little utility to read specifications (HTML documents) and extract URL and redirect information from them, upload to a database and then export to our web server. Whenever you see a URL of the form /go/keyword on Macromedia's site, it's probably been processed by a ColdFusion utility to ensure it's valid. Every day I continue to be impressed by the power and simplicity of ColdFusion...

Posted by seancorfield at 11:52 PM | Comments (0) | blogging

January 06, 2003

A New Macromedia Blog

The recently appointed Server Community Manager has just launched his web log - Christian Cantrell's Perspective - and it's all written in ColdFusion MX! This should be a blog worth reading regularly.

Posted by seancorfield at 10:22 PM | Comments (0) | blogging

December 27, 2002

MVCF Revisited

Back in August, I blogged a reference to Benoit Hedard's MVCF articles - a look at applying MVC to ColdFusion MX. I said back then I would some day take the time to read and review his articles in more depth. Today is, finally, that day.


Benoit starts off by showing an example of fairly typical spaghetti ColdFusion code that mixes business and display logic on each page and gradually refines this code, over about half a dozen pages, to something represents a reasonably clean MVC implementation. He roughly partitions his MVC approach into:


  • Model: CFCs - business logic and objects

  • Controller: CFMs - control logic

  • View: CFMs - presentation logic and HTML

All supported by a UDF library across all tiers and some custom tags. It's nicely summed up in this diagram. Benoit approach deals with real-world issues of configuration, caching and i18n (internationalization). Without trying his approach out in a real application, I can't speak to the actual scalability, but it seems to be fairly well thought out. I would probably use CFCs more extensively, delegating parts of the presentation logic and control logic to them as well but that's more my OO background showing through I suspect, rather than any pragmatic ColdFusion experience. Probably the one thing I would take Benoit to task over is his use of Hungarian prefix naming conventions - something I feel very strongly about: it breaks encapsulation by announcing to the world the implementation type of a variable. If you later change the implementation, you either have to change every instance of the variable name or let the code tell a lie - neither option is good for maintenance! On the plus side, I particularly like his study of what he calls "pagelets" and the granular caching he provides for them. He leverages the new cfimport syntax to create clean, readable code. His separation of presentation logic from generated HTML is not perfect - although it will clearly be good enough for many applications - and this shows when he tries to create pagelets that can generate WML as well as HTML. This is a case where I'd separate WML generation from HTML generation physically (i.e., put them in separate files) and also separate the actual presentation logic physically as well. But that's a relatively minor criticism considering how much of an improvement his MVCF approach is over unstructured CFML code.


Is it a framework? No, you still need to build almost all of the application yourself. Is it a methodology? Yes, I think it can be classed as a methodology although it only covers the structure of your code, rather than any grander design considerations for your application as a whole. Is it an architecture? Not really - it doesn't address the 'bigger picture'. Is it a set of best practices? Well, that's what it claims to be and I think it serves that purpose admirably.

Posted by seancorfield at 04:35 PM | Comments (0) | blogging

December 13, 2002

Charlie Arehart Rocks!

In response to a few questions from ColdFusion developers about Dreamweaver MX, I referred folks to the presentation Charlie gave at DevCon, in the Community Suite, called "Dreamweaver MX for Studio / HomeSite Users". It was a condensed excerpt from his one-day seminar on the subject and it was very, very good (I mentioned it in my reports
from DevCon
). Charlie has a PDF copy of the slides on his SysteManage : Presentations page. Another that just caught my eye is "Augmenting Application.cfm with Filters" where he shows how to integrate Java filters - Servlets - with your CFMX system to do some cool things, including on-the-fly compression of transmitted HTML.

Posted by seancorfield at 01:19 PM | Comments (0) | blogging

December 10, 2002

Methodology

An interesting article on kdub's log about choosing technology and methodology based on 'best tool for the job'. Kurt Wiersma has a great mix of content on his blog covering Java, OS X, ColdFusion and PHP which are all subjects near to my heart!

Posted by seancorfield at 04:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack | architecture | blogging | cf | j2ee | osx | php

October 28, 2002

Blog Problems

A couple of times recently I've written up a blog entry and posted it and Blogger says it worked fine but when I go back to look at the blog, the entry is missing. This is particularly frustrating while I'm trying to write up information about DevCon!

Posted by seancorfield at 08:01 PM | Comments (0) | blogging

October 12, 2002

More Brazilian ColdFusion

Another non-English blog, this time from Marcello Frutig, manager of CFUG-Rio, and run using the FuseTalk forums software CFUG-Rio Forums - Blog do MF.


It's really good to see a lot more native-language blogs (and web resources in general). I remember when the technical side of the web was all English, and that wasn't so long ago. Now we have thriving communities around the world and companies have to think about Globalization, Internationalization and Localization whenever they build a software product or launch a website. Some of my C++ pages have been translated into Chinese (The Casting Vote column) and I recently discovered that some of my C++ information was being discussed on a Serbo-Croatian web forum!

Posted by seancorfield at 04:43 PM | Comments (0) | blogging

October 05, 2002

Helping the Goog

Thanx to Charlie Arehart and Geoff Bowers, here's a useful tip if you use VoidStar's RSSifier (see the [XML] link to the left). Since VoidStar uses the first link in the rss:item entry as the <link> for the blog entry, an aggregator ends up with links to external sites instead of back to your blog. Hence, Geoff's little Warning: link does not go to the authors blog! warning icon! The trick to solving this problem is to add an empty link to the blog entry, in the blog template, ahead of the entry itself. If you're using blogger, you'll need something like this:


<span class="rss:item"><a
href="{URL}<$BlogItemArchiveFileName$>#<$BlogItemNumber$>"></a>
<$BlogItemBody$></span>

Replace {URL} with the full URL to your blog, otherwise you'll get relative links, instead of absolute links. Do "View Source" on this page to see how it works and click the [XML] button to see what VoidStar does with it.

Posted by seancorfield at 05:19 PM | Comments (0) | blogging

September 13, 2002

Jeremy on the Radio

Another blog worth checking out: Jeremy Allaire's Radio which is a broad exploration of media, communications and applications over the Internet.
Posted by seancorfield at 11:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack | blogging

August 26, 2002

Flogging Flash

Our very own Dave Humphreys has created a blog aggregator for Flash-related blogs. It includes Google's news service in the aggregate and let's you subscribe to the 'daily flog' by email.

Posted by seancorfield at 10:35 AM | Comments (0) | blogging

July 19, 2002

blogs & links

I've added Pete Freitag's blog to the links on the left (and he has an RSS feed) and here's an interesting site: cfbughunt.org. I'm not entirely sure of the value of this site at the moment - I hope that it will become genuinely valuable in terms of troubleshooting problems with ColdFusion MX rather than just a platform for people to gripe about the new release. Some of the issues reported so far are not really bugs - however, given the dramatic nature of the release, there's going to be a lot of interesting features and changes that many people will insist are bugs.

Posted by seancorfield at 07:33 AM | Comments (0) | blogging

July 09, 2002

RSS

In response to various requests, I've added an RSS 0.92 feed to this blog. See the left margin. Thanx to Geoff Bowers for finding this gem and to VoidStar for providing the "rssifier". I've also added a link to Geoff's wonderful "full as a goog" aggregation of blogs.

Posted by seancorfield at 12:00 PM | Comments (0) | blogging

June 27, 2002

blogged again!

Another worthwhile ColdFusion MX blog has appeared: CFMXPLUS by Charlie Arehart.

Posted by seancorfield at 11:58 AM | Comments (0) | blogging

June 23, 2002

blogged! (continued)

So many good resources, so hard to find. I've added links to a variety of blogs covering ColdFusion and Flash, as well as to the other Macromedians' blogs.

Posted by seancorfield at 02:49 PM | Comments (0) | blogging

June 21, 2002

blogged!

Nice to see more ColdFusion blogs springing up: cfblog.net, created by Robert Occhialini, is intended to be a "central, developer authored repository" of news and noteworthy resources; Geoff Bowers has taken on the task of editing <cfguru/> postings into a useful blog; Stephen Milligan's spikefu blog contains a lot of useful code fragments and techniques.

Posted by seancorfield at 09:57 AM | Comments (0) | blogging

June 02, 2002

Welcome to my blog!

Everybody's doing it. People tell me I have a lot to say. I'll talk about software architecture, ColdFusion, Rich Internet Applications... I'll probably talk about Flash (I'm still learning it). I'll talk about standards and Java and C++ sometimes too. Oh, and Macromedia.
Posted by seancorfield at 10:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack | blogging