July 01, 2003
Macromedia MAX 2003As a few others have pointed out, the session schedule is now available for MAX 2003 (November, Salt Lake City). As you can see, there's a good mix of sessions from basic to expert with a lot of interesting ColdFusion-related sessions. Quite a focus on CFCs, Web Services, Architecture and OOP - a good thing, in my opinion. I'll also highlight Dave Watt's session on Working with Multiple ColdFusion Instances which should convince folks what I've been preaching for a while: CFMX for J2EE has a lot of worthwhile benefits over the CFMX Standalone / Server edition.
I've just come back from a weekend in Salt Lake City - a cat show - and found it to be a very friendly (& very patriotic!) city that is easy to get around, once you 'grok' their grid system which is all numbered streets that extend out from the temple. We stayed in Motel 6 at 200 W 600 S - effectively two blocks west of the temple and six blocks south (the road numbers generally go up in hundreds).
June 03, 2003
Macromedia & RSSMike Chambers has listed the various RSS offerings that Macromedia has produced so far (including the Press Release feed which I built in just a few lines of CFML!) and is asking for feedback on what else you'd like to see us offer. Go to his blog and offer your comments!
May 21, 2003
Learning About Macromedia Products - On DemandWouldn't it be great if you could learn how to use Macromedia products by having someone talk you through various tasks and show you "how", whenever you wanted, at your own pace? Check out Macromedia On Demand. These free, online seminars will help you get started and evaluate the products so you can become productive more quickly. I ran through a few of the ColdFusion MX sections and I was impressed. The seminars seem to be well-paced and very clear, with Closed Captioning available throughout (great for when you have to have the sound off, as well as for the hearing-impaired!)
Apart from the sheer usefulness of these seminars, On Demand is a great example of how Flash can be used for educational material (and the back end is powered by ColdFusion MX of course).
May 16, 2003
CFMX & Mac OS XMacromedia's DevNet is fairly Mac-heavy right now, including an article on installing CFMX on Mac OS X. The new Flash Detection Kit is also heavily featured.
May 08, 2003
Rob on Royale"It's essentially Flash for programmers" says our CEO Rob Burgess in an InfoWorld interview today.
Macromedia Press Release RSS FeedA new RSS feed went live today - http://www.macromedia.com/go/news_rss - this provides an outline of the current news items from the ticker on the home page of macromedia.com. Feel free to provide feedback as comments here.
May 05, 2003
Accessibility BlogMacromedia's Bob Regan now has a blog on the subject of accessibility. If you're interested in Section 508 / Accessibility, you should subscribe to this new blog.
DevNet Updated - Lots of ColdFusion Content!The latest DevNet update provides plenty of meat for ColdFusion developers. You can start off with Ben Forta's Logged In column extolling the virtues of CFMX. That article links to several others, including new articles on integrating CFMX and J2EE by Drew Falkman, using
cftransactionby Simon Horwith, building Object-Oriented user interfaces by David Friedel and caching by Matt Boles. Plenty of thought-provoking and informative ColdFusion goodness!
May 01, 2003
cfform & /CFIDEA couple of weeks ago, I mentioned how to get
cfformworking on a hosted environment. Macromedia has a new Tech Note that says much the same thing so now it's even easier to find the solution to this problem!
April 28, 2003
Dream On... Apple & Macromedia Studio MXFor a limited time, you can get Macromedia Studio MX for only $399 with the purchase of a new Macintosh computer! JD's blog had the link to the promo on Macromedia's site so here's the link to the same promo on Apple's site. Save $500! Buy that new Mac you've been promising yourself and get a great deal on Macromedia Studio MX!
April 24, 2003
BACFUG: Web ServicesI'm presenting at tonight's BACFUG meeting. I'll be going over my Under the Hood report to look at the architecture behind macromedia.com then I'll be showing a little of what would be possible if the website had a public Web Services API.
Why don't you comment on this entry, telling me what you would like to see made available as a Web Service on macromedia.com? The most popular suggestion I've received so far has been to provide Web Service access to the search function.
April 23, 2003
macromedia.com Beta 5In this week's report, Al talks about the key drivers behind the ongoing improvements and introduces presentations by Matt Belkin about analyzing customer feedback and Tony Lopez about the new global navigation system as well as an "under the hood" report by Brandon Purcell on how we load tested macromedia.com.
April 22, 2003
DRK3 & FireflySome very exciting announcements on Macromedia DevNet today about the latest DevNet Resource Kit (Volume 3) and the Macromedia Firefly Components behind the forthcoming Flash MX Data Connection Kit.
DRK3 speaks for itself with a lot of ColdFusion content this time around as well as some great sample applications.
You can get a sense of just how exciting the Data Connection Kit will be by reading Aral Balkan's article Building an RSS Aggregator with Macromedia Firefly Components.
April 21, 2003
Virtual Education with Flash Communication ServerAlthough SARS has closed down schools in Hong Kong, Macromedia's Flash Communication Server is being used to provide virtual classes over the Internet.
April 17, 2003
macromedia.com Updated!Another update has been made to macromedia.com this evening which introduces a new, two-tier navigation system to allow faster access to many commonly used areas such as the Macromedia Exchange and, under the Downloads tab, a page containing links to all of the product updaters - a much requested addition!
In addition to the new navigation, the update contains a host of fixes and enhances as usual and a warm welcome on the homepage for Safari users, now that Apple have released Safarai Beta 2!
April 08, 2003
Safari, Opera & macromedia.comIf you are an Opera or Safari user and you're still frustrated that you have to use another browser to visit macromedia.com, rest assured that we are working on it! As Al says, we've made a few changes at our end and both Apple and Opera are making changes at their end. Keep watching this space.
MAX 2003Macromedia MAX 2003 - the event formerly known as DevCon 2003 - will take place in Salt Lake City, Utah in November (18-21). Last year's DevCon - my first Macromedia DevCon - was an extraordinary event so this year's should also be a "must-attend" conference. You can start contributing today by completing the survey - you could win some cool Bose headphones!
April 07, 2003
Under the Hood : Performance TuningBeta 4 of macromedia.com went live on Friday evening and the associated report went up this morning, along with an Under the Hood report from my colleague Jonathan Snyder who heads up our Flash development team in the Web Technology Group. There's some interesting hints and tips in there for creating higher performance Flash applications.
April 05, 2003
macromedia.com online forumsIn response to requests from forums users, the login process is now pure HTML. The previous user experience - hitting an HTML application, redirecting into a full Flash application to login and then redirecting back to the HTML application - was considered less than ideal. Because our membership machinery is implemented with CFCs, it was relatively straightforward to create a single CF page to allow users to login for the forums. Note that if you choose to create a new membership at that point, you will still be taken into the full Flash membership application as before where the single screen interactivity of Flash makes it much easier to work with the many 'views' that make up your Macromedia membership profile.
Mac Mozilla 1.3 & Camino 0.7Why has macromedia.com deemed Mozilla 1.3 an "unsupported browser" on the Mac? Mozilla 1.2.1 is supported - that's what I use - but a bug has been introduced in Mozilla 1.3 that breaks Flash Remoting. Go to DevMX.com to convince yourself it's not just the Macromedia website that is affected - we just do more browser detection and tell users that their browser won't work at the moment. Unfortunately, that same problem affects Camino too.
Macromedia continues to work with Apple and Opera to ensure that future versions of their browsers will work correctly with Flash Remoting. Then we'll be able to put them back on the "supported browser" list.
March 29, 2003
Under the HoodThe first of a series of Under the Hood articles is now up on macromedia.com - these will show you what's going on behind the scenes on the new site. In this report, I talk about the architectural evolution of the ColdFusion applications on the site, moving from 'traditional' CF5 applications through to Rich Internet Applications. Hope you enjoy it!
March 27, 2003
UnpluggedMacromedia Central. Flash Unplugged. Way cool. And useful.
I was extremely excited the first time I saw an internal demo of this new product. As a Mac user, I've become dependent on Watson for TV listings, phone number lookup, weather, movies... To have similar functionality in a desktop Flash application that can also be easily extended and also work offline is pretty much a dream come true for (and, I hope, many others)!
Macromedia Central was just one of many exciting announcements made at FlashForward 2003 - read Christian Cantrell's report for more details!
March 24, 2003
Safari TidbitsFirst up, some information from the horse's mouth about rendering issues with Safari and macromedia.com. I'm glad that Dave and his team have fixes in the pipeline for Safari users. Hopefully the Safari team will get Flash Remoting working as well and then macromedia.com can become Safari-friendly at last!
Second, on the subject of Safari beta builds, Apple have pulled the seed program due to the number of leaks about features in unofficial builds. As I noted back in February, I was a little surprised to see posts about the non-public builds. I'm not surprised that Apple has pulled the program. If you sign an NDA, you're supposed to keep the information confidential.
March 21, 2003
ColdFusion MX Updater 3Reported everywhere already, but I was waiting until I'd installed it myself before blogging anything about it. I downloaded the CFMX for J2EE version yesterday morning (using the AIX download to get the JAR file) and installed it on JRun on my PowerBook G4. It went very smoothly and the whole process took only about ten minutes before I was up and running again. I'm going to install it on Tomcat later today (alongside my existing three instances!). The nice thing about the J2EE version is that you can easily upgrade one instance of CFMX without upgrading others so that you can run your applications side-by-side on both the original and the updated CFMX for J2EE for regression testing.
First off, make sure you read the release notes for details of all the fixes in this update - it's a long list!
Second, read the Updater FAQ, in particular What's required to use the Updater?. You need a Macromedia Membership ID. That means you need to login to get the Updater, which means you need the latest Macromedia Flash Player.
My favorite fixes in Updater 3 are probably:
- The Web Service proxy in Flash Remoting can now be disabled (and is disabled by default). I talked about this issue in January. It's good for security.
- Web Services have been enhanced by upgrading the Axis engine to the 1.0 release. Furthermore, CFMX Web Services can now be consumed by .NET clients.
- All the web connector fixes! Lots of them, including the failure under load with Apache 1.3.x with I reported back in September.
- Search Engine Safe URLs are now correctly supported.
Let me know what your favorites are by commenting on this post!
3.26.2003 By way of clarification: the Web Services Proxy change is purely to block the ability to use the Flash Remoting gateway as a proxy to call other Web Services (e.g., on other servers) - it does not affect the primary Flash Remoting functionality.
March 19, 2003
Ben Forta's TagsBen Forta's website lists all the ColdFusion Tags he has on the ColdFusion Exchange. Ben rather cryptically mentions "the magic of Web Services" on that page so I thought I'd take this opportunity to provide a little bit more detail. Since the new Exchange is a Rich Internet Application, the Flash user interface relies on CFC methods with
access="remote"in order to perform all dynamic queries. This means that the CFCs are also available as Web Services (with a caveat I'll mention below). Ben is able to dynamically retrieve his published extensions by using
cfinvoke webservice="..."and getting back a query object containing the relevant data. As I've previously explained in my DevNet article about design patterns, we use a façade CFC for each of the major parts of our applications. Each of those CFCs is essentially a Web Service, theoretically exposing all of the functionality on macromedia.com through a variety of remote methods (suitably secured via membership authentication where appropriate).
As you can imagine from the functionality of the various Rich Internet Applications, there's a lot of potential for third-party interaction with macromedia.com that will take things like the DevNet XML resource feed to a new level.
The caveat: we aren't publishing the URLs for these CFCs at the moment because they are currently optimized for use with our Flash user interfaces rather than being general Web Services. We are, however, considering what sort of Web Services would be useful - please feel free to provide your thoughts here as comments or send me email.
March 17, 2003
CFMX for J2EE ClusteringQuite a few people have been asking me for more information on setting up CFMX for J2EE for clustering (after my earlier blog posts on that subject). Before I could find time to write a lengthy post on that subject, Brandon Purcell has just published a terrific article on the subject on Macromedia DevNet! Brandon explains the process in great detail, showing several possible options for creating clusters. Required reading!
March 14, 2003
Remember Me?I've seen some feedback about the "Remember Me" functionality being 'broken' on macromedia.com so I figured it would be worth writing something to clarify what exactly it is supposed to do.
First, let's look at how many membership-based sites work today: they provide cookie-based identification of users but require you to prove your identity in order to access or update personal information. I'm sure we've all seen "Hello Sean! If you're not Sean, click here!" and we're fairly comfortable with that on sites like "Yahoo!".
Now let's turn to macromedia.com's "Remember Me" check box on the membership login page. If you check that box when you login, it will do two things: it will set a cookie to 'remember' you (of the "Welcome Sean" variety) and it will pre-populate your membership ID the next time you are required to prove your identity. You are asked to prove your identity (enter your password to login) whenever you are about to access or update your personal information. "Remember Me" does not keep you logged in from visit to visit (which would be a security risk on a shared computer!).
When are you logged out? Whenever you close your browser, you are logged out immediately. If you are 'idle' for 20 minutes, you are logged out. Browsing static pages on the website counts as 'idle' time because you are not interacting with one of the Rich Internet Applications. If you have been logged out and you try to access or update personal information, you will be prompted for your membership ID (which will be pre-populated if you checked "Remember Me") and password - even if the navigation bar still shows "Welcome Sean". This is just like "Yahoo!" which challenges you to login from time to time, even tho' it 'remembers' you ("Hello seancorfield! If you're not seancorfield, click here!").
Beta 2In this multi-page article, Al Ramadan talks about what Macromedia has done in response to user feedback about the Beta 1 version of the macromedia.com home page. Naturally, I'm a little disappointed with the change after my comments about how cool the Beta 1 home page was but that's democracy in action. You wanted a faster, more information-rich home page - you got it! Macromedia takes its customers very seriously... that sometimes means the super-cool, leading edge stuff doesn't always make the cut but, even when you're trying to showcase your technology, there are realistic limits on how far out on a limb people are willing to go.
Mind you, I was pleased to see a fragment of one of my architecture diagrams on page 4 of Al's report. I'm a big proponent of UML as a lingua franca, allowing architects, designers, developers and business users to discuss and understand systems using a common notation.
March 11, 2003
Macromedia DevNet XML FeedIf you've been using the XML feed of DevNet articles, the recent website redesign may have broken it for you. We moved the XML feed and put a server-side redirect in place. If your
redirect="true"then you'll be OK. If you omitted that attribute, you'll be getting a blank result or an exception depending on how you wrote your code. Todd Rafferty laments his lack of error checking... Sorry Todd!
Read more about the XML feed.
Your macromedia.comDid you know you can personal the home page on macromedia.com? The selections you make in the "Products" and "Solutions" drop-down menus are remembered from one visit to the next. I use this to provide me with short cuts on the home page to CFMX pages (product page, support center, application development center and exchange) and the Rich Internet Application pages.
The drop-down navigation tray (activated by the small triangular button on the left of the main navigation bar) also remembers your selection from visit to visit. I leave it pointing to the DevNet > Topics area so that I can get to any topic area with just two clicks (less than the alternative route of clicking DevNet in the navigation bar, then choosing a topic from the drop-down - either click-drag or click, click - then clicking the
These selections are all remembered using Local Shared Objects from the Flash user interface to save information locally. LSOs are something like cookies only more flexible - they allow Flash movies to store & retrieve structured data directly where as cookies only handles strings. The Flash Player stores each domain's LSOs separately, respectively the sandbox security model of the Flash Player, and allows users to control how much disk space can be used to store LSOs.
Oh, and before you say it, yes, the drop-down navigation tray is a little slow at the moment - it has to download and parse an XML document that describes most of the site structure and then dynamically create the necessary Flash Components to render the menu - but we're working on speeding it up and we'll probably use LSOs to cache some of that information.
Flash Remoting MX SP1As noted elsewhere, there is an updater available for Flash Remoting MX to update the Flash MX Components (for authoring) as well as the Java and .NET versions of of 'standalone' Flash Remoting MX Server. If you develop applications with Flash MX and use Flash Remoting MX, you should download the updater to get the fixes for the Components.
The server-side fixes for Flash Remoting for ColdFusion MX will be included in the next CFMX Updater (Updater 3), coming soon.
March 06, 2003
Opera, Safari & macromedia.comIf your favorite browser is Opera or Safari, you're probably not very happy with the new macromedia.com right now. As a die-hard Safari user, I sympathize. Let's be realistic, however. Safari is in (early) beta and has many problems (it can't even render my wife's cattery website correctly) and is steadily improving. Safari renders my blog beautifully. Windows Internet Explorer 5.5 cannot render my blog properly (the left nav bleeds under the main content and the text size is enormous). Opera also cannot render my blog properly - Mac Opera 6 has almost exactly the same problem as Win IE 5.5. I do no browser detection and have just a single, simple W3C-compliant CSS in a W3C-compliant XHTML 1.0 page. Furthermore, neither browser currently supports Flash Remoting.
It shouldn't be much of a surprise then that macromedia.com does not currently support Opera or Safari. We're working with both browser vendors to help them improve their browsers and we'll implement workarounds in the meantime to provide a better user experience where we can. One workaround we have implemented for Opera and Flash movies is making the
flashVarsparameter non-XHTML-compliant so that Opera will pass it correctly into the movie (by using & instead of &).
macromedia.com feedbackThere's been two main negative issues about the new website: performance and browser compatibility. Tony Lopez, our Executive Producer, has some interesting things to say about the perceived performance on the new site in a guest post to mesh's blog.
If you were able to compare the old Exchanges - either the BroadVision-powered ones on dynamic.macromedia.com or the CF-powered ones on devex.macromedia.com - to the new RIA Exchanges side-by-side, you would see a longer initial load time but then subsequent interactions would be faster and you would find you have more information available to interact with on each 'view' in the application.
If you are a Mac user, you've seen the Sherlock and Watson applications so you'll understand how a desktop application interface can present web-based information in a convenient, fast, easy-to-navigate format. I find the new Exchanges operate in a similar way. You can browse categories with a single click in next to no time. You can sort results with a single click, again in next to no time. Click, descending order. Click, ascending order. It feels like a desktop application. You cannot do this in HTML with this sort of responsiveness because HTML requires you download the entire page every time. With an RIA, you only have to download the data itself without all of the markup.
As the initial shock dies down on the forums and lists, we're starting to see some very thoughtful and reasoned posts about the new site. Several people are picking up on the application-like aspects of the new Exchanges and saying how much of an improvement they are over the previous version.
I'll be posting more about browser compatibility later - I'm a Safari user so I'm in the "unsupported" camp but I'm not too upset by that...
macromedia.com a.k.a. Dylan65Well, yes, it's finally here and everyone's very excited. After many months of work, both on the design & production side (kudos to Tony Lopez for steering that ship) and the engineering side (kudos to my boss, Robin Ducot, for same), we launched the brand new site on Tuesday evening. The deployment went smoothly - amazingly so considering the complexity of rolling out such a vast rewrite.
We've received a lot of feedback about it, via the feedback form on the site and the survey, as well as via the many community mailing lists and forums. We're reading it all and it'll help us decide what to address and how. Thanks to everyone who has provided direct feedback so far.
As Christian points out, one of the key things to remember is that this is a dog food site now using ColdFusion MX on the back end for all dynamic content, powering the Rich Internet Applications and other parts of the site. When you look at the numbers, you'll see that no one can tell you that ColdFusion "doesn't scale" - during morning peak times, we see in excess of 15,000 concurrent active sessions. There's about 80,000 lines of in-house developed CFML code in production, just over half of which is in CFCs. There's about the same amount of code again behind our automated test harness and regression suites. About 10,000 lines of that production code represents CFC façades that are called via Flash Remoting as part of our Rich Internet Applications: Exchanges, Membership, Trial Downloads and Product Registration.
There's also about 75,000 lines of ActionScript in about 300 movie files that make up the user interface of those four Rich Internet Applications and the home page navigation system. Finally, there's about 30,000 lines of Java code behind the site, mostly dealing with encryption, data security and search engine integration.
Sure, there are some issues with the current site. I think we know about most of them (thanks to all the valuable feedback we're getting) and we'll be addressing them as we move forward. We still have a long way to go and we'll be deploying new and improved Rich Internet Applications over the coming months.
March 05, 2003
Flash Player Versions & macromedia.comAndrew Muller commented on the new Flash Player release, asking about the website project (Dylan65). It's a complex story and it'll get told in due course but, as he correctly observes, for some parts of the new site, you need a fairly up to date player. The December release (6,0,65,0 on Windows, 6,0,67,0 on Mac) is, in fact, sufficient to view all of the new macromedia.com site but it's a good idea to upgrade to the latest player anyway as we continue to make all sorts of improvements, including performance, security, compatibility...
That's why some people visiting the site, who already have an earlier version of Flash Player 6 installed, are being told that they need to install (the new version of) Flash Player 6.
You can go get the Flash Player at this URL: http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer.
March 03, 2003
New Flash PlayerAlso reported elsewhere but important enough to repeat: an update of the Macromedia Flash Player is now available.
February 27, 2003
J2EE Sessions &
There's been a fascinating and somewhat complex discussion on CFGURU about issues with J2EE sessions on CFMX with
cflocation. The seed of it all hinges on whether
;jsessionid=XXXis valid in a URL or not. The J2EE specification says that J2EE application servers can insert that into URLs, after the filename but before the
http://www.mysite.com/hello.jsp;jsessionid=234354?name=SeanNormally, what happens next is that the J2EE application server's web server connector is passed the URL and it parses out the session ID and the query string.
Consider this URL tho':
http://www.mysite.com/hello.html;jsessionid=234354Some J2EE application server connectors will intercept this and strip the session ID, some won't. It's unclear what the behavior should be and there are arguments in favor of both approaches.
You might ask why this is even an issue - if you're creating a URL to a static page (or to an external server), you simply don't want to add session management information, right? Well, yes, except that if you use
cflocation, you can't avoid
jsessionidunfortunately. You can say
addToken="false"but CFMX still adds the session ID. That's a bug (#49530) and Phil Costa posted that a fix will be included in Updater 3.
David Grabbe emailed me to ask where to find this fix. Well, it isn't out yet but it prompted me to suggest a workaround: use
cfheaderto write out
Location: destinationURLinstead of
cflocationwhen you want to redirect to another server (or a static page on your own server).
Specifically, you need:
<cfheader statuscode="302" statustext="Temporarily Moved"/> <cfheader name="Location" value="destinationURL"/>You need to set the status code so that the browser honors the location header!
February 24, 2003
Macromedia DevNet & PHPPHP is featured very highly in the latest Macromedia DevNet update. Lots of articles about building sites in PHP, covering how to set up your environment (Linux, PHP, Apache, MySQL), PHP and IIS, PHP and Mac OS X, PHP and server-side graphics and hand-coding PHP. Take advantage of Dreamweaver MX to build better PHP sites!
February 19, 2003
Read Freehand files in Flash
I just spotted this on Mesh's blog:
"We just released a FreeHand MX Reader for Flash MX. What does it do? From the download page: The FreeHand MX Reader for Flash MX allows Flash MX to import files that are stored in FreeHand 8, FreeHand 9, FreeHand... [mesh on mx]"
February 11, 2003
More on SWF Presentations
To the anonymous person who emailed me via my website contact form: no, I am not using Keynote (Apple's presentation software). There's a number of reasons for that. First, it would cost me $99. I like free software (OpenOffice is my free replacement for PowerPoint). Second, it isn't a Macromedia product. I try to use Macromedia products where I can, and free software where I can't. I make few exceptions (SQL Grinder - from Advenio Software - and Watson - from Karelia Software - spring to mind). Third, it doesn't appear to export to Flash which is my primary requirement right now. Interestingly, it seems to import Flash...
maximize.A new version of the Studio MX product appeared yesterday which I ought to have mentioned, alongside DevNet Subscriptions. Studio MX Plus now contains Freehand MX - a major upgrade - as well as Contribute and a special DevNet Resource Kit CD. Mac users have Studio MX - no "Plus" - which omits ColdFusion MX, Contribute and the Resource Kit although you can download free copies of JRun 4 and CFMX for J2EE for Mac OS X. The only thing I really miss about switching from Windows to Mac is not being able to run Contribute...
February 10, 2003
I always feel guilty when I create a presentation in PowerPoint (or, more recently, OpenOffice) because I feel I ought to be using Flash... But I just don't find it easy enough when I'm in a rush become I'm not proficient enough with Flash (yet). That's why I was pleased to see the purchase of Presedia recently and why I like this article from Joanne Watkins about using Freehand MX to create Flash presentations. Another reason for me to learn to use Freehand!
The Designer & Developer Center has been rebranded DevNet as part of the DevNet Subscriptions offering. Read Mike Chamber's article on what this means to the MX developer in the street.
February 06, 2003
We did a test deployment of our soon-to-be-released new website last night and, although it was only up for a short time before, quite a lot of people noticed! To those who saw it: I hope you liked what you saw? Some of the write ups we've seen during the day are very encouraging. To those who missed it: don't worry, the new website will be launched soon...
January 16, 2003
Flash for Presentations and e-Learning
A very exciting announcement today: Macromedia Acquires Presedia, Inc.. In much the same way that Macromedia Contribute enables non-technical users to author web content (in a controlled environment), so Presedia Express allows non-technical users to create presentations and other e-learning materials in familiar ways and then deliver them via Flash.
January 11, 2003
I don't whether anyone else has noticed yet but the Macromedia web forums are now running on CFMX. If you haven't noticed, that's a good thing of course!
January 08, 2003
More Macromedia Mac OS X
A one-stop shop page for information can be found at Macromedia - Server Products for Mac Users.
January 07, 2003
CFMX for J2EE on Mac OS XI downloaded the Mac edition and discovered it is a
.jarfile. I was hoping it might be. The installation offers you a
.earfile deployment or a
.warfile deployment - I chose WAR file and was rewarded with
rds.war. Out of curiosity, I went to my Tomcat installation and created a new
/home/tomcat/webapps. Then I unpacked the
jar xvf ~/CFMXJ2ee/cfusion.war) and restarted Tomcat.
http://localhost:8080/cfmac/CFIDE/administratorbrought up the ColdFusion MX Administrator.
Of course, Tomcat doesn't give you all the features of JRun, but it's interesting to see it running on top of Tomcat, alongside my installation of BlueDragon!
1.8.2003 - Guess I should RTFM since that provides full instructions for installation on Tomcat!
More Mac OS X GoodnessChristian Cantrell has plenty to say about this in his article, Macromedia - Designer & Developer : Logged In: Macromedia Expands JRun and ColdFusion MX for J2EE to the Macintosh OS X Platform.
JRun & CFMX for OS XIt's sort of 'old' news, even though the announcement has not been made officially. Macworld has this snippet from the Expo - ColdFusion gets X support. The downloads are accessible on macromedia.com: JRun 4 Developer Version, ColdFusion MX for J2EE (JRun Mac OS X Developer Edition). JRun for Mac OS X can also be purchased in the Online Store. No doubt there will be a lot more information published about this later today.
December 13, 2002
Flash Player 6
The latest version of the Flash Player is now available from the Macromedia Flash Player Download Center. This is the first version 6 release for Linux and brings many new features to the Netscape plug-in and the Mac as well. I've played around with it internally for a while and I really like the possibilities offered by the transparent window-less mode that is now available on all platforms! Download it today!
December 08, 2002
This seems to be an area of interest that goes from strength to strength. I just received an email alerting me to this Component Headquarters website. I'm not quite sure what I think of the UI on the home page - more Flash than Flash - but it certainly shows the increasing popularity of Flash Components and the sophistication of some of them.
December 03, 2002
Macromedia - bugs Fixed in Dreamweaver MX 6.1 should encourage you to upgrade and start using Dreamweaver instead of ColdFusion Studio! I've been using this new release internally for a while and I can definitely verify it is much more stable - and no longer rewrites code!
November 25, 2002
Today the press releases announce that Macromedia Introduces Director MX with support for Mac OS X, leveraging the Aqua interface and QuickTime 6. I think it's fair to say that this release has been long-awaited by the Director community, with better integration, broader media support and the MX user interface.
November 11, 2002
Macromedia's new product, Contribute, was announced today. I can't say enough good things about this new product. I was involved with the beta program and the usability studies and I was very excited about Contribute's ease of use. I've seen people's reactions at various sneak previews and most people have been blown away by the point-click-edit simplicity that Contribute brings to maintaining HTML websites!
You can learn more about Contribute and how it can make your life easier in the new Macromedia Contribute Development Center.
October 30, 2002
Customers AgainAs I've said before, one of the best things for me about DevCon has been meeting customers and hearing what they are doing with our products and what they think about then and the conference itself.
I was just chatting to a fellow ColdFusion developer (& Mac user) who said the conference had energized her and made her feel that the MX web technology will really allow her to implement anything her clients come up with. In the past, she's been a little unwilling to just let clients "dream" but she feels confident now that she can allow them to "dream" and that she will be able to implement those dreams for them. She enjoyed all the sessions, although she felt a few of them focused too much on 'how' rather than 'why', and she singled out Paul Wille of ISITE Design for his excellent presentation on Web Services with ColdFusion & .NET.
October 29, 2002
Echoing JD's comments, the excitement around the "Straight From The Lab" product preview is amazing. The waiting list for this morning's session was over 100 people! Everyone I've spoken to privately who has seen this product preview has been very excited. It's all under NDA right now so I can't add anything to the information in JD's blog I'm afraid.
Monday, MondaySince blogger ate my Monday report yesterday, I'll try to reconstruct it this morning!
First off, that cool code. I can't tell you too much about it right now except that it is a great example of "Generative Programming" (see my bookstore for a good reference book by Czarnecki and Eisenecker). We're talking with the developers about featuring the techniques on the Designer & Developer Center in due course and, hopefully, making the code available through some channel. I get very excited when I see this sort of stuff being developed in ColdFusion MX!
Then I spent a couple of hours with ColdFusion customers, discussing content management. Despite the diverse group, there were several common threads and 'wish lists'. Overall, people felt that off-the-shelf content management systems are usually too complex for their needs and need a lot of customization. What they were mostly looking for was a simpler framework that would allow them to integrate content management with their applications, to provide security, access control and permission management, simple workflow and fairly free-form content. Common pain points were multi-page documents (and associated media in general) and managing HTML markup in user-submitted content. It was interesting to see that these issues were common across both large and small sites and across a variety of industries.
Later on I talked to one of our education customers who was very excited about the MX products and the information she was getting from the conference. It's definitely encouraging to see so many folks from the education sector here, mostly looking to the future as IT can sometimes move rather slowly in academia. These people are the evangelists, helping to carry Macromedia's message back to their colleagues, excited about how they can, in turn, empower their users and make their IT resources go further by becoming more productive through the increased use of advanced features in our products.
October 28, 2002
CustomersLast night was the opening reception and it was great to meet so many customers. Some folks came up and said "You're Sean Corfield, aren't you? You're that outspoken guy on [insert your favorite] mailing list!" Many people are here for the first time although I met some regulars too. This morning's keynote seems to have gone down well with customers... "My jaw was on the floor" said one; "You guys are so well integrated" said another. I'm just about to sit down with a customer to go over a cool piece of code they're working on.
October 25, 2002
DevCon & Pocket PC
Although I don't own a Pocket PC, this Flash-based Macromedia DevCon 2002 Event Guide for Pocket PC is both useful and very cool! In addition to the Pocket PC version, you can also download it as a standalone Flash movie for both Windows and Mac. Almost makes me wish I had a Pocket PC...
October 16, 2002
More DesDev Goodness
Another update to the Macromedia Designer & Developer Center brings an interesting article from Matt Liotta on Dynamically Manipulating Images with ColdFusion MX and Java Advanced Imaging API (JAI) and, from Ben Forta, On using XML well: Creating a dynamic XML menu which shows the power of CFMX and XML.
There are also useful tutorials on Internationalizing Macromedia ColdFusion MX applications with downloadable code and Using Macromedia Flash Remoting MX with Macromedia ColdFusion MX (downloadable as a PDF file). The latter replaces the "Flash Remoting" chapter in the documentation book "Developing ColdFusion MX Applications with CFML".
Lots to read - enjoy!
September 30, 2002
DevCon PreviewYou can catch a sneak preview of some of the DevCon 2002 topics on the updated Macromedia - DevNet including Macromedia Flash for ColdFusion Users. The Logged In column this time features Tiffany Beltis, telling you all about the Certification Challenge at DevCon 2002!
September 10, 2002
Round, DaRK and Handsome?
Check out the Macromedia - MX Developer Resource Kit which provides some excellent Flash UI Components and Dreamweaver MX Extensions as well as sample applications and a tutorial on "skinning" the Flash UI Components.
September 09, 2002
CFMX for J2EEToday we announced ColdFusion MX for J2EE, running on IBM WebSphere, Sun ONE and Macromedia JRun. My team will be deploying ColdFusion MX for JRun 4 shortly.
September 04, 2002
Lock-down!Check out the new Security Development Center in the Designer & Developer Center. There's an excellent two-part article from Charlie Arehart on sandbox security and Tom Donovan provides the top ten tips on security ColdFusion MX.
August 15, 2002
Tipscf-talk recently had a discussion about best practices and, in addition to mentioning the Coding Guidelines I published and the Macromedia Tips Application, someone pointed out this fledgling site: HOW2CF - Your source for ColdFusion Answers. There's only a few tips there at the moment but, like the Macromedia Tips Application, these things take time. I'll keep an eye on it and see how it develops.
August 01, 2002
Ten years and counting...
Macromedia is ten years old. There's a nice presentation on the web site about how it got from there to here: Macromedia: The Story.
July 24, 2002
Performance!Macromedia has now announced official performance data for ColdFusion MX. You can read the whitepaper, ColdFusion MX Performance Brief (PDF, 363 KB), on the Macromedia - ColdFusion MX : White Papers, Data Sheets and Briefs web page.
The summary says "See how ColdFusion MX outperforms ColdFusion 5 in both performance and scalability. Testing was done on Windows, Linux, and Solaris."
July 19, 2002
Performance?Macromedia has not said much about the performance of ColdFusion MX compared to earlier releases. Some people find this particularly strange after the trumpeting about CF5 being so much faster than CF4.5. Back in May, eWeek did some tests (on the Release Candidate) and published their results as part of an article about application server maturity. Their tests indicate that CFMX scales better than CF5. Since those tests (on the Release Candidate), further performance enhancements were made to the product so the shipping release should be even better.
If I hear of more performance results being published, I'll provide links to them here.
June 26, 2002
Full program details are now available for the big event of the Macromedia calendar: Macromedia DevCon 2002.
Whilst DevCon will focus on design and Rich Internet Applications in general, I am presenting a much more ColdFusion MX-oriented talk, at BACFUG tomorrow (Thursday, 6.27.2002), that will focus on architectural issues and design patterns.
June 23, 2002
Open SourceAs several people have been pointed out over the last few days, Macromedia applied to the Open Source Initiative for approval of our (draft) Open Source License. After some discussion, we've decided to go with the standard Common Public License instead of a Macromedia-specific license. Of course, there's a lot of speculation about what we might want to release as open source but right now I don't know the answer to that!
ArchitectureThe Macromedia DevNet has recently turned the spotlight on architecture - a subject dear to my heart - and I particularly like Jeremy Petersen's article on Benefits of Using the N-Tiered Approach for Web Applications.
Also in the architecture section are links to Ben Forta's excellent Introduction to ColdFusion Components and one of my favorite books, Design Pattern by the "Gang of Four". In my mind, this is essential reading for any developer who wants to get their teeth into OO. More importantly, ColdFusion has now reached a level where the ideas in this book can be applied in ColdFusion.