Still Here

OK, it's been a little busy. BlogCFC has had a few updates (which still need to be applied here). One of the nicest updates I've seen is the liquid layouts. I replaced the Alagad image component with Efflare's imagecr3 tag. After extensive testing, I (and my colleagues) have found that the java imageio based tags were just not stable enough, nor was the conversion quality up to par. After looking through our (3,000+ templates) codebase, I wrote a new image.cfc wrapper for the imagecr3 tag, writing functions with names that matched those we were using within the Alagad component. Although the update to our three production servers definitely outlined our need for version control, overall the replacement of the image.cfc worked like a charm.

Stay tuned. I'm hoping, this week, to post another installment to my tutorial on "the View", where I'll begin to get in to making the templates dynamic. We might also talk about the use of <cfinclude> inside of CFCs and UDFs (some things to be aware of).

The New CF IDE

OK, what are Damon Cooper and the Adobe crew up to? There a post on Damon's Blog on What's Your Ultimate ColdFusion IDE? This has gotten some very interesting responses. Overwhelming support for CFEclipse, with suggestions on what to extend in it's feature set (everyone says 'Debugging').

And then Damon makes this cryptic remark:

Guys, thanks for the feedback this far. Much appreciated. We've heard you all loud and clear, and I, at least, realize now more than ever from this small sampling of feedback that our suspicions were correct.

I sincerely hope we can both pleasantly shock and awe you with what we have on store.

I will say this: the solution we come up with may not be what you're expecting, but it may be what just what you've wished for :)


Wow, do these people know how to tease us or what? I know that I saw at least two comments telling them to hire Mark Drew (and mine was one of 'em). I also saw quite a few things mentioned that I believe the CFEclipse crew is already working on (at least in R & D). Tell me, what do you think?

(CF) Eclipse RDS Plugins: First Impressions

OK, been quite a few posts out there, within the CF community, about how you can download the ColdFusion RDS plugins for Eclipse (Well, CFEclipse). Now, if you have Flex Builder 2.0 then you already have it. At least I think you do, it might be an option during install, but either way it's available to you with Flex Builder 2.0. But, you can also go to that first link in this post to download it by itself. Install is pretty cut and dry, but you kind of have to search a little to find out what to do next.


Making the View: Pt 3

For those of you coming in late, you may reference the related entries to catch up (quick reads, I promise).

Last time we began filling our template and creating our stylesheet. Just some basics, where we defined a primary content area.


Development Tools

More than once I've had someone ask me what I've got in my tool box, what apps and utilities do I use for programming applications. I thought it would be a good idea to post these. Maybe someone will find something interesting, or useful. Maybe I'll look back on it in a dozen years and laugh. Here's the listing. How does yours compare?

  • Internet Explorer -
    Yes, I know. We hate it. But 88% of the users of the sites I develop use it, so I must test in it.
  • FireFox -
      Browser of choice (and champions), along with a few extensions:
    • All-In-One Sidebar
    • ColorZilla
    • DOM Inspector
    • FireBug
    • HTML Validator
    • Tabbrowser Preferences
    • View Formatted Source
    • View Source Chart
    • Web Developer
  • Eclipse + Callisto + CFEclipse
  • Photoshop CS2 or Fireworks (just depends)
  • Thunderbird (yes, email counts in development)
  • ColdFusion (6.1 converting to 7 at work, 7 on most side work)

But my most important tools? Books and Blogs. Here is some current reading:

Somewhere down the line I hope to throw the Flex Builder into that Eclipse. At work I use MSSQL, but on most side work I use MySQL. I use BlogCFC for this blog). I love Model-Glue, though I've worked with Mach-II, and I hope to look at Fusebox 5 real soon (never really liked the earlier implementations much, though).

Pretty simple. I throw some other things in when I need to. I like the "find" functionality of Dreamweaver better than that of CFEclipse (note to self: drop Mark a ticket in the bug tracker). I use Flash at the office, but mostly to troubleshoot issues (we have a bang up Flash designer who is also learning ColdFusion).

BlogCFC 5.1 Up and Running

Many thanks to Ray Camden, CFJediMaster, for once again making the contributions that he does to the ColdFusion community. This blog is now running on the newly released BlogCFC 5.1, which you can download from the project page on Ray's site. Thanks Ray!

Making the View: Pt 2

Ok, before we continue lets's pick apart our template a little.

view plain print about
1<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "">
3<html xmlns="">
4    <head>
5        <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1" />
6        <title>Untitled Document</title>
7    </head>
9    <body>
11    </body>

We defined the doctype of our page as a transitional XHTML 1.0 document with english as the language. The doctype declaration is a required element of any well-formed XHTML page, and references the appropriate DTD (document type definition) for the content of the document.

From W3Schools:

DTD is used by SGML applications, such as HTML, to specify rules that apply to the markup of documents of a particular type, including a set of element and entity declarations.


The History of Cutter and Computers: Part 3

Bad Habits and Disillusionment

A continuation of The History of Cutter and Computers

So, there I was, back into computers again. And, in my mind, this World Wide Web thing was gonna take off. I quickly got tired of perusing online porn day-in and day-out, IRC was boring, and people were really starting to try to make money. This new online bookstore of the day,, was really taking off in sales, even though they still weren't turning a profit.


Making the View: Introduction

Years ago, when I returned to development after a short haiatus developing business automation systems, I began re-learning web development. Things had changed a little. HTML 2.0 was now HTML 4.0. New tags were available, old tags had been deprecated, JavaScript had matured, and this new thing called CSS was just beginning to catch on. And, oh yeah, I was also learning ColdFusion (4.0 at the time).

Over the years I've seen a trend. There are a lot of designers who've learned some development, but fewer developers have learned design.


CFUnited Wrap Up Pt 1: CFEclipse

Well, I downloaded the CFEclipse beta plugin, and installed it into a fresh install of Eclipse 3.2. I opened my workbench, set up a project, opened my perspective and everything broke. CFEclipse has always been a great tool, but this beta is way too early, and should probably be scrapped to start over.

OK, jokes over. Mark Drew will quietly chuckle at this post, the last time I'll bring up this now old joke from the conference. The fact is, CFEclipse is the new phenom. Everybody loves it. Everybody was talking about it. Every session showing code examples was using it. And everyone from Ben Forta to Sean Corfield to Joe Rinehart (etc., etc....) was telling us "If you're not using it you should be".

Those of you who've been following this blog know that we spent quite a bit of time with Mark while in Bethesda. Aside for consuming fairly large amounts of alcohol, we also had the opportunity to give Mark some feedback on CFEclipse features, for which he was furiously taking notes for later updates. In Mark's (paraphrased) words, "This is great. I spend so much time working on CFEclipse (in Java) that sometimes I lose site of what features might be necessary from a (CF) development standpoint."

Needless to say, downloads of CFEclipse saw a sharp increase during and after the conference. In a small bit of irony, during the Flex sessions the presenters kept saying "use CFEclipse" for CFC editing, yet Flex 2.0 does not yet work on Eclipse 3.2 (several key features break, including the RDS support), yet the beta ("Beeta", as Mark would say) only works on Eclipse 3.2. I asked Mike Nimer about this during the Flex and ColdFusion Integration session, at which point he stated that an update to Flex would be "a priority." (Side Note: the Eclipse Callisto release, an update to 3.2 for the IDE, as well as several key related projects, came out two days after Ben's keynote announcement about the release of Flex 2.0)

The good news? For those who care to do so, Eclipse runs standalone, so you could run 3.1, with the current stable version of CFEclipse, if you wish to do Flex development, while also running 3.2 with the CFEclipse beta for straight CF development.

Some features of the beta? Language versioning per project for tag insight and code complete (courtesy of funding from NewAtlanta), Word Wrap (yeah!), and CF dev toolbars similar to those of Dreamweaver or Homesite (for those of you who like that sort of thing).

And, straight from the CFEclipse session, the one really cool feature that's been there that most never knew about? The scibble pad. Look it up, you won't regret it.

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