Ouch! I have no content. Guess I've been away too long. See, we have this FNG (Fairly New Guy, get your mind out of the gutter) in our office, working in our SEO/SEM department, who's been hacking away in PHP trying to make a few tools for their team. Since he wants to tap into our databases, and write tools that interface with the rest of our system, he is now going to start learning ColdFusion. Not much of a stretch, and I'm confident that, once he's into it, he's really going to enjoy himself. Anyway, I pulled up my blog today, to get him the links for setting up his dev environment, when I notice a big "Sorry" message on my blog's homepage. For shame! Sorry folks, I've been busy.

Let me give you a little run down. My daughter started school, with some separation anxiety in the mix. Our best friends moved to Nashville, staying with us for three weeks while they found a place and a job. We went to my grandmother's 79 and 2/3rds birthday party (long story, don't ask). And, oh yeah, I've been finishing off a nice project at the office. Nothing massive, but important for us. I'm very happy with it, as it adds some nice functionality to our system, with some nice, reusable code, and certain aspects written to benefit even beyond this product. It also allowed me to get my hands really dirty with Ajax and the ExtJS library.

Now, some of you may be asking "But Cutter, why aren't you just using the Ajax widgets built into ColdFusion 8." Fair question. Well, right now we're not using ColdFusion 8. We're set to migrate when we switch our datacenters in a few months. We've had the pleasure of thoroughly testing in 8, and are happy that we haven't had to change a single line of code. But, knowing that we're moving to 8, and realizing that we'll use it's Ajax widgets for rapid application prototyping, it made sense to use the ExtJS components for the project. This is so the "look and feel" would maintain consistency down the line. Here's the great thing though, I really love the library, and I got to really play with a number of different pieces. I built a DataGrid, with custom cell renderers and event handlers, created a custom LayoutDialog with tabbed, Ajax fed content, added in tooltips and help text/dialogs, and even threw in a little JQuery to help out with Ajax fed related selects...Lot's of cool stuff, which I'm hoping to share (the ins and outs) in the near future. I'm probably going to start with some tutorials that are focused on using the CF8 components (and using the sample Derby databases that come with the server install), extend them some with JavaScript, then really flesh 'em out with some more advanced Ext functionality, or replace them with the Ext components all together. With ExtJS 2.0 on the horizon, it's good to have some background.

On a side note, I submitted the 1,000th site to GotCFM.com. I saw that post to the CF-Talk list, from Rey Bengo, about the contest, and immediately started fishing through old sites to submit. The first site I submitted, for the Appoquinimink School District of Delaware, was the winner. They are using the exact same site that I built for them almost seven years ago, when I was working in the corporate support department of Delmarva Online. Adobe sent to me (through Rey) a very nice backpack with three t-shirts, a USB fan, a monitor mirror, and a CF sticker. My wife took pictures of me opening the box, but none of them came out with our camera (hhhhhmmm, can anyone say "wishlist item"?) Rey also sent me a "got coldfusion?" coffee mug. Thanks to Rey, for putting up this great resource for the community.