J.J. Merrick Calling In

J.J., ColdFusion developer extrordinaire and strong member of the Nashville ColdFusion User Group, has been convinced to join the 21st Century, and is now blogging about Life, Love, and the never ending pursuit of that Perfect Line of Code. J.J. is a wealth of developer information, who has helped me out on too many occasions to count, so make sure to follow the ramblings of this mad-man. Be careful, you're liable to learn something;)

Call For Input: Document Revision Comments

A little over a year ago we instituted a new policy within our dev team: placing a comment header at the top of every new (or revised) template. This comment header states what the template is, what it is used for, who originally created the file (if known) and a 'revision' listing. Every time a template is revised a notation was added to this header, with initials and date stamp, as to the purpose of the revision. This didn't replace line level comments to explain blocks of code, only augmented the process so that a total document change overview was available in an easy to review location.

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ExtJS Nested Tab Set with Demo

Ok, following up on my last entry, here is the same nested tab set done with the ExtJS UI Library. I went the the "Build Your Own" section within "Downloads" and built a script for JQuery with the ExtJS Core and the TabPanel. I also downloaded the whole library so that I had all of the example scripts, css, and images. After this I included the following files in my document header (notice the pathing changes):

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Updated JQuery Nested Tab Set with Demo

Ok, there have been some changes, but I'll try to keep it easy, with an example, and there will be an included .zip file. First, you'll need the latest JQuery build, as well as the latest version of the Tabs Plugin. Pay attention to the pathing I have created in my code snippets here.

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The ColdFusion 8 AJAX Components Debate

A debate rages on across the ColdFusion development community about the inclusion, and use, of the AJAX driven components and accompanying tags that have been included in the Beta Release of ColdFusion 8. Many examples of their use and benefit have already been posted by the likes of Ray Camden, Ben Nadel, and Ben Forta. No surprise there, as they all are huge proponents of the product, and, like so many of us, are very excited about the upcoming release of our favorite web programming platform.

But there are others still that think that the inclusion of these tags and components don't necessarily belong in the core language set of CFML. Many of these folks are also diehard JavaScripters, who took up writing AJAX early in it's infancy, fashioned their own components, or even contribute to open source libraries like JQuery. They argue that maybe the tags should have been separate CFCs available through the Adobe Developer's Exchange, or that the JavaScript rendered by the ColdFusion engine is too fat, taking up unnecessary bandwidth.

Can't we all just get along?

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My First ExtJS DataGrid Pt 6: The Grid

Alright, rolling right along. Last tutorial (see the bottom of this post for a complete listing) we covered the initial setup of our ColumnModel, which is telling our DataGrid what the basic layout of our grid columns will be and to which fields of our DataStore each column will be mapped to. Now it's time to actually instantiate our grid.

So, the first thing we have to do is create our Grid object and tell it which html element will be our grid within our page. Basically we'll tell the function the ID of the div element, what DataStore object to use, and which ColumnModel object to use.

view plain print about
1// create the editor grid
2var grid = new Ext.grid.Grid('topic-grid', {
3 ds: ds,
4 cm: cm
5 });

This is it in it's most basic form. We're going to stay away from any fancy stuff for now, and get to selection models and stuff in a later post. Let's add to it a little bit by stating that the grid may be resizable.

view plain print about
1// make the grid resizable, do before render for better performance
2var rz = new Ext.Resizable('topic-grid', {
3    wrap:true,
4    minHeight:100,
5    pinned:true,
6    handles: 's'
7});
8rz.on('resize', grid.autoSize, grid);

That will make the grid resizable, and should be declared prior to rendering the grid. Rendering the grid is our next step, and way simple.

view plain print about
1// render it
2grid.render();

Can't get much easier than that. Going back to the resizable for a second, don't ask, I don't know. Easiest one for me to figure on sight is the minHeight attribute, but I haven't reviewed the API enough to know what all is going on. If you figure it out before I do then leave a comment. Next we'll need to add the paging tool bar to the footer. We'll get the footer, then add the paging toolbar.

view plain print about
1var gridFoot = grid.getView().getFooterPanel(true);
2
3// add a paging toolbar to the grid's footer
4var paging = new Ext.PagingToolbar(gridFoot, ds, {
5 pageSize: 25,
6 displayInfo: true,
7 displayMsg: 'Displaying users {0} - {1} of {2}',
8 emptyMsg: "No users to display"
9});

Notice the arguments of the PagingToolbar() function, the footer object, the DataStore object, and a JSON object with attributes of the pageSize (number of records), whether to display data set info, the message of the count, and a message to display should no records be returned.

The final step here is to load the DataStore. Once this is done you will have a complete, basic DataGrid for display.

view plain print about
1// trigger the data store load
2ds.load({params:{start: 0, limit: 25}});

Notice here the 'params'. These are name/value pairs that are passed, via post, whenever you request the next page of your data, with these values being your initial request (starting at row 0, returning 25 records). If you go back and look at your pagingService.cfm (included in the download) you'll see where these values are used.

So, that's the end of this post. You now have a basic DataGrid. In our next tutorial we'll start to style some things, and show you how to implement a custom 'renderer' for a specific column's data.

Scorpio Tour Nashville: Quick Check In

Just a quick check in. Ben's presentation was 3 hours long, chock full of Scorpio goodness! I have a ton of notes, with quick outlines of all of the features discussed. There were tons of great questions from around the room, and Ben had answers for nearly everything. Tomorrow I'll wrap all of it together in a new post.

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My First ExtJS DataGrid Pt 5: The ColumnModel

OK, we're winding down to the end of this tutorial, with only a few key components left. Today we cover the ColumnModel, which is how we manage the initial layout of our ExtJS DataGrid. We've already covered initial setup, our paging query, and defined out DataStore (see related entry links at the bottom of the post).

First things first, let's instantiate the ColumnModel

view plain print about
1var cm = new Ext.grid.ColumnModel([{
2    // cm is our ColumnModel object
3
4}]);

Next we'll define the layout of the first column in our grid

view plain print about
1var cm = new Ext.grid.ColumnModel([{
2    id: 'fname',
3    header: "First Name",
4    dataIndex: 'vcFirstName',
5    width: 120
6 }
7}]);

Alright, pretty basic stuff here. We've placed an 'id' on this column. This allows you to later reference the column specifically for styling. We didn't really mark this one for a particular reason, we just did it to explain. Next we have the 'header', which is the text that appears in your column header at the top of your DataGrid. This is then followed by the 'dataIndex' to define the data column it is mapped to within your DataStore. Lastly we have the 'width' attribute, which speaks for itself.

There are several other possible attributes that are available to you here, most of which are fairly easy to grab from the ExtJS API. We'll cover a few more in our next tutorial, but for now we'll just complete the layout of the ColumnModel.

view plain print about
1var cm = new Ext.grid.ColumnModel([{
2    id: 'fname',
3    header: "First Name",
4    dataIndex: 'vcFirstName',
5    width: 120
6 },{
7    header: "Last Name",
8    dataIndex: 'vcLastName',
9    width: 120
10    },{
11    header: "Is Admin",
12    dataIndex: 'bIsAdministrator',
13    width: 40
14    },{
15    header: "Is Active",
16    dataIndex: 'bIsActive',
17    width: 40
18    },{
19    id: 'last',
20    header: "Last Login",
21    dataIndex: 'tsDateLastLogin',
22    width: 150
23}]);
24// by default columns are sortable
25
26cm.defaultSortable = true;

The order you work in will be reflected in your final initial layout. Each column definition is contained in curly braces, separated by commas. Each attribute is also comma delimited, with the attribute name being un-quoted, while their values are quoted if string values and not if numeric. Also notice the double quotes around the 'header' values, but the single quotes around the others. I don't know if this is intentional, and haven't really tested it, but this is the way it was in all of the example files so I thought it best to stick with the convention. The last thing we did here was set a directive on the ColumnModel to state the the columns will be sortable by default.

Alright, now you have defined your ColumnModel. A few steps left to go just yet, like the grid itself, custom renderers, styles, and other things to give it a little more cowbell. We'll begin wrapping those up in our next edition. For those coming to the Nashville CFUG Scorpio Tour presentation tomorrow night I hope you'll flag me down and say high.

Scorpio Tour: Nashville CFUG

Tomorrow (May 9th) is the big day! Ben Forta will begin his Scorpio presentation at 7PM at Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace Plaza (address below). The buzz just keeps getting bigger, and the signups have been coming in. We'll be raffling off a license for Scorpio, to be given after release, and a copy of Flex Builder with Charting, but you must be registered and in attendance to win. But, there's more!

The Lampo Group (Dave Ramsey) will be supplying some great food from Lenny's. And, to top it all off, everyone will receive a copy of Dave's latest book "The Total Money Makeover." Plus all of the great Scorpio swag!

BTW, we did mention that Ben is speaking about Scorpio, right! The coolest, slickest, fastest, most feature rich version of the ColdFusion server ever released! The list of new features continues to grow, with something new being announced at every stop so far. What's in store for Nashville? You,ll have to come and see! If you haven't already the register today!

Date/Time
Wednesday, 9 May, 2007, 7PM Central Daylight Saving Time

Location
Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace Plaza
1749 Mallory Lane
Brentwood, TN 37067

Scorpio Tour: Nashville

Ben's visit is quickly approaching, and every stop on the tour (so far) he's announced another exciting new feature in our favorite platform. Aaron came out of his office today to announce that the giveaways are getting even bigger. Aside from raffling off a Scorpio license (to be given upon release), we'll also be giving away a copy of Flex Builder with Charting!

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