November 25, 2002
A lot of people seem obsessed with speed. Common questions on the CF mailing lists is "how fast is X in CF5/CFMX?" and "has MM published any performance figures?" The answer to the second question can be found on the Macromedia - ColdFusion MX : White Papers, Data Sheets and Briefs page. I was particularly interested in the new performance brief on CFMX for WebSphere. Page 14 has some throughput numbers showing CFMX standalone is about 1.5x faster than CF5 and that CFMX for WebSphere is about 2x faster than CF5 on single- and dual-processor systems. Impressive.
The first question? Oh write some code and test it yourself... just remember that overall application speed is likely to be more important to your users!
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 21, 2002
BACFUGThe Bay Area ColdFusion User Group met early this month, on the 14th, and Kelly Ross talked about the state of the web applications industry and what can we do to protect our careers. It was an interesting talk, if a little gloomy, and it contained some good advice for consultants looking to keep their clients and stay afloat in this tough economy. You can download Kelly's presentation from the BACFUG Code Sharing page.
I presented a snapshot of Hal Helms' new version of Fusebox but at the moment the code is too fluid to share even a snapshot and Hal would not allow the presentation to be shared either, since it explains how the current code works and will change with the code over the coming weeks. I'll keep y'all posted as I get more information on Fusebox MX.
The main focus of my life right now is to become intricately familiar with CFMX for J2EE and JRun 4 since we're in the process of rebuilding all our development and QA servers to use a new and improved configuration. So far I've been very impressed with JRun - the JMC (JRun Management Console) makes it simple to manage multiple servers, deploy applications and generally tune your system. Combined with CFMX for J2EE, it makes an awesome platform!
November 13, 2002
FuseboxedWell, I decided to launch the new version of my site tonight, built with Fusebox 3 for PHP. It should behave mostly like the old site. Let me know if you find any problems with it. I'll be updating quite a bit of content over the next few evenings and also writing up more thoughts about Fusebox now that I've had more exposure and experience with it.
OOver your head?
Do you find all this Object Orientation stuff a bit mystifying? Want to learn more about design patterns or object oriented design? Here's a great resource: Ootips - Object Orientation Tips. This site is packed with interesting articles and book recommendations. Highly recommended!
My only minor complaint is that they don't recommend Andrew Koenig's "Accelerated C++" as the best introductory book for C++.
Design Patterns in ActionScript
This is one of many fascinating threads on the Digital Illusion Forums. Digital Illusion, based in India, has done some impressive Flash work and was a Macromedia Showcase site a while back. Definitely worth a read!
November 12, 2002
DWMX for CF Studio users
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.
November 10, 2002
Fusebox & PHP
I just spent a reasonably enjoyable Sunday rewriting my personal site using Fusebox 3 for PHP (as I promised I would when I reviewed Nat and Jeff's book, a while back). I launched the new version of the site on 11/13/2002. Most of the site is up and running under Fusebox although there are some sections that are just links to the old site - I'll work on those in the next few weeks and I'll also write up a full report. First impressions are: it's a fair bit of machinery to learn - and a couple of details had me stumped for an hour or so (since I'm trying to do this all from memory, rather than revert to Nat and Jeff's book!) - but overall it isn't too bad. The additional work of adding fuseactions to
fbx_Switch.php whenever I create a new 'page' is a little annoying but the nested layouts means less files that include headers, footers and navigation which is an improvement. It's also proving a good opportunity to get rid of stray
<font..> tags and move to consistent use of style sheets, as well as allowing me to restructure the directories to tidy up code (since Fusebox lets you totally hide your directory structure).
November 08, 2002
Already reported in a few other blogs, DevMX is a very promising new site dedicated to development of applications using Macromedia's MX suite of products. In approach and appearance (and, in some places, content), it clearly owes a lot to FlashCFM and, indeed, the sites share visionary and editorial personnel. DevMX provides forums, mailing lists and a nice example of data aggregation in a Flash UI on the home page, pulling in hot books from Amazon, articles from Macromedia's Designer & Developer Center and tips from Ben Forta's site. It will in future offer a component library - presumably both Flash and CFC - as well as a "Knowledge Base". Sites like this can be a great resource for the community so Kudos to Dennis Baldwin, Todd Rafferty, Kevin Bridges, Justin Watkins and Edoardo Zubler for creating and maintaining the site!
November 06, 2002
QSome hotly contested votes last night. I was very happy to see Davis retain his position in California and particularly happy to see my local district's Measure Q go down in flames: Castro Valley remains unincorporated and the campaign for cityhood was soundly defeated. We get to keep our sense of community and no self-important city council can tell us what we can and can't do. I love democracy.
ColdFusion is kind of in that state too - it has a vibrant community and there's no standards organization deciding how the language should behave. Today, Macromedia talks to customers, collates their wishlists and tries to keep the language in tune with what the community want. Macromedia also tries to support the community and at DevCon I think we saw how good that relationship can be. Castro Valley has defeated incorporation three times now. The will of the community at work. There's been talk on some of the mailing lists of standardization for ColdFusion. I don't think the community is ready for that yet - we can work together to retain the good things we like about the language whilst adding expressive power. Standardization is a good thing when there is a risk that diverse vendors will create incompatible language dialects. ColdFusion has two vendors today - Macromedia and New Atlanta - and so far New Atlanta has shown sensitivity to the issue of compatibility. Will we need standardization in the future? Maybe. Will Castro Valley become a city in the future? Maybe. For now, community - and democracy - is paramount.