September 30, 2002
Rich Internet Applications
A new topic area has just appeared on the Macromedia - Designer & Developer : Rich Internet Application Development. You can find out what all the fuss is about, download your "starter kit" and learn how to build your own Rich Internet Application!
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!
Dreamweaver corrupts include statement
Users of DWMX occasionally see a mysterious rewrite of a server-side include (e.g.,
<cfinclude...>) even when they have disabled all code rewriting. Macromedia - Dreamweaver TechNotes: Dreamweaver adds translator code to document source code might help you resolve this problem.
Branden Switched!I was pleased to see WaxPraxis : I Did It - I Switched. Welcome Branden to the wonderful world of PowerBook G4 users!
September 27, 2002
At BACFUG last night, Matt Liotta presented the fruits of his company's labor: Alchemy EX. It wasn't a sales pitch - kudos to Matt for that - but instead it was a very interesting presentation about what Montara Software have been busy building. What they have built is a suite of products that help Java and ColdFusion developers build content-managed web sites. Their "Studio" product is their visual site designer tool and it is a full Rich Internet Application: a Flash MX user interface that provides a graphical representation of the navigation structure of the site you are building, with popup forms for properties and layout etc. You then write JSP or CFML pages that use the Alchemy tag library to access page properties. Very slick. Check out his website for more details - he's also running a series of WebEx demos of the product suite. You can access his presentation on the BACFUG "code" page.
September 26, 2002
Remarkably painless! Insert the CD, a few clicks, wait an hour, restart, insert second CD, wait ten minutes, done! Every single application and preference seems to be untouched (with one minor exception in my mail client setup). Yes, it's much faster. Yes, the new iChat and other tools are awesome, e.g., being able to "mount" an ftp site as a readonly network drive on the desktop! The next task is to finish off the Oracle 9i install. Another day. Right now, it's time to go and hear Matt Liotta talk about his company's Rich Internet Application that lets people build dynamic websites - at BACFUG.
September 25, 2002
I finally broke down and ordered Jaguar (Mac OS X 10.2) yesterday. What finally convinced me to upgrade was Oracle's developer release of their 9i database server for OS X. I downloaded the 345Mb(!) installer but the setup instructions all refer to Jaguar. I could've tried setting it up on 10.1.5 but, hey, the upgrade is only $129 and everyone I know who has already upgraded loves the new version. The folks who have CFMX running on OS X say that it runs just fine on Jaguar too. I'll probably post my own Jaguar upgrade story next week...
September 24, 2002
If you are running CFMX on Solaris, you will need to use Apache 2.0.39 with the base CFMX product or Apache 2.0.40 with the updated product (i.e., after running the CFMX Updater). If you run Apache 1.3.26, it's time to upgrade because under load you will see your Apache processes consume more and more CPU until your system becomes unresponsive. My team had seen this internally but I had not seen it reported publicly until this morning, so now I know it's not something quirky about our development machine. We're already in the process of upgrading to Apache 2.x but there are some 'gotchas' since mod_perl is not yet completely stable in the new Apache release. Our approach is to use the lightweight, multi-threading Apache 2.x as a front-end, routing CF requests to CFMX and most other requests to an Apache 1.3.x process running on the loopback address which does the 'heavy lifting' of mod_perl, images, swfs, HTML etc.
September 23, 2002
OS X Weblog
One of my colleagues, Tony Lopez, turned me onto Ken Bereskin's Radio Weblog which is full of useful hints & tips for Mac users!
Flash Remoting MX
Macromedia Flash Remoting MX Available for .NET and Java Application Servers. This brings the power and ease of the NetConnection machinery to platforms other than ColdFusion!
September 21, 2002
< cf notes >
A web site with some interesting technical notes on ColdFusion MX, this link was sent to me by Andy Burton at Tanjents originally for his notes on how to persuade IIS to talk to both CF5 and CFMX on a per virtual-server basis.
September 20, 2002
Recently......I haven't been very active in my blog. I've been working hard on the macromedia.com rewrite project which has kept me extremely busy over the last week or so!
September 17, 2002
The much awaited Updater for ColdFusion MX has been released. You can read the Release Notes for the Updater to see what it will do for you.
For Apache users, please note that the updater will require an upgrade from 2.0.39 to 2.0.40 to incorporate the latest security fixes for Apache.
September 13, 2002
Jeremy on the RadioAnother blog worth checking out: Jeremy Allaire's Radio which is a broad exploration of media, communications and applications over the Internet.
September 12, 2002
Do you use
cflock when updating shared scope variables? You should. Do you lock based on scope or do you use named locks? You would do better to use the latter. Consider the situation where you have two difference pieces of code that access different variables in, say, server scope. If they both lock on the server scope, then only one of them can run at any time. That would be particularly bad if one piece of code is executed frequently (but is otherwise fast) and the other piece of code is executed rarely but is very slow - you'll block several of your users for no reason. It's much better practice to use named locks:
<cfset server.foo = someExpression()/>
<cfset server.bar = someOtherExpression()/>
This is better than having both pieces of code lock on the same resoure, server scope.
I received an email about this advice, questioning whether locking is necessary at all in CFMX. Well, yes and no. In CF5, if you failed to lock your updates, your shared scopes could get corrupted - that won't happen with CFMX. But if your updates are susceptible to race conditions, you should still lock on updates to prevent such races. Since that can be hard to figure out sometimes, it's still good advice to lock on updates in general.
Ben Forta yesterday posted to several mailing lists and forums some (unofficial) clarification on our forthcoming ColdFusion MX update program. He writes:
"Yes, an update for CFMX is on the way. No, it is not a full
service-pack, rather, it is a new update mechanism that will allow
patches or fixes to be applied safely and easily. This will not be a one
time update, the intent is to provide a means by which to get important
updates and fixes to customers as quickly as possible whenever the need
"Along with the updater will be an initial set of updates. We're still
doing some testing, so no final details yet, but as an FYI, here is some
of what is included in the first update:
- COM connectivity (both functionality and performance)
- Database connectivity improvements
- Administrator functionality fixes
- Internationalization/UNICODE fixes
- Debugging fixes
- Web server connector improvements"
More details will appear in due course. (see the 9.17.2002 entry)
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
Upgrading from CF5
When you install CFMX and you have CF5 already installed, you get the option to "upgrade" and have the installer import and convert all your CF5 settings. However, if you have to abort the installer for some reason (disk space, time for lunch, whatever), when you run the installer again to complete the process, the option to "upgrade" has gone. Bummer. Sean Daniels just posted a solution on CF-Talk: "In case anyone else has this issue, I found a solution. There is a key in CF5 registry called
CFMX_Upgraded. I deleted this key and got the option to upgrade again when I ran the installer." Useful!
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 06, 2002
CFMX in production?
Who is running ColdFusion MX in production seems to be a common question. ColdFusion Examples is one such example and - hopefully - a useful one too!
September 05, 2002
The Other Side
As a bit of light relief (it's nearly Friday, after all), check out Twisted animations by Mata. It's only a little bit offensive. Honest. Says he, sitting here in his Mr. Snaffleburger T shirt...
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.
September 03, 2002
My comments about cfbughunt appear to have upset several people. Today I received an anonymous email via my web site accusing Macromedia of being surly and naive and suggesting that I am "mislead" (sic). The email asked me to clarify Macromedia's position regarding cfbughunt and blog it. My blog doesn't speak for Macromedia, just for me. I don't know whether we have an 'official' position on cfbughunt. I'd have responded to the person who submitted the email to me, but they didn't fill out a reply address...