ColdFusion Muse

Muse Review: Exploring CouchDB With Matt Woodward

On Saturday I sat in on ColdFusion genius Matt Woodward's session on practical couchDB. I have experience with both Memcached and MongoDB so I thought I was prepared for the general sense of what you could do with CouchDB (which I had never explored). I assumed it was just another "no SQL" database. But Matt demonstrated some things that were new to me and I am intrigued enough to experiment with them - hopefully engendering a few more "CouchDB" blog posts. Here's a couple pros and cons gleaned from the presentation.

[More]

Muse Reviews: Charlie Arehart on ColdFusion 10 Server Options at Cfobjective

I'm sitting in on Charlie Areharts workshop regarding how ColdFusion 10 and Tomcat live together and how to configure it. It's obvious that a good deal of my specialized JRUN knowledge will be less than useful in a couple years but I'm really excited about the change. Charlie does a good job of identifying:

  • Where everything is at - log files and config files live in new locations now.
  • What should you watch for - lots of new files and folders that may or may not be useful to fool with.
  • What you should not be paying attention to. Tomcat is an app server that can do far more than just serve up jsp (or cfm) files. Charlie spent some time helping us understand what to ignore.

Of Note...

Charlie identified a Tomcat filter (valve) called CralwerSessionManager that can truncate a session for an indexing bot to be very short-lived. That could be very useful for high traffic sites as those of you who have written extensive bot checking code to shorten the session timeout can attest. This would handle that automatically (if I understand what he's saying) at the server app level. He also identified some "listeners" that look interesting. I'm really looking forward to understanding more about Tomcat.

One of the new features is to save sessions after a restart. to do this you have to modify context.xml by uncommenting a node and adding a path. The Muse will try to write this up in his own style at some point. The gotchas are that it has to be a graceful shutdown (not a crash) and it can be a lengthy process which may negate the purpose on a busy server with a great many sessions. Still, under certain circumstances it would be a real plus I think. Another option is to use the built in Tomcat Persistent Session Manager which is able to save to a database or individual files.

Resources

As usual Charlie's presentation is replete with tons of URL resources so I'm going to point you to his site Carehart.org.

Muse Review - Code Reviews With Jim Priest at Cfobjective

Great workshop on Code Review by Jim Priest (The Crumb). Jim demoed a product called Review Board a product that integrates with Git or SVN and provides a mechanism and workflow for reviewing code in a team. Like coding standards it is probably more important that you do review code than exactly how you review it. Spending some time looking at what you and your team is doing with an eye toward improvement and consistency. Great Seminar Jim - I learned a lot.

Addendum - Jim also mentioned Smart Bear as a good resource for code reviews.

Muse Review - Intro to HTML 5 With Ray Camden at Cfobjective

Sitting in on the first third of Ray's HTML 5 intro. He has a "buttload" of code (his word - one wonders about the capacity but I digress) and with his usual efficiency he has posted all his sample code on github here. Great quote from Ray.

"Whenever I hear descriptions of HTML 5 it reminds me of a drug commercial. It's one sentence of benefits followed by 2 minutes of horrible side effects."

Instead of focusing on esoteric things like canvas, Ray's preso spends a lot of times on form features. This is one of the best things about HTML 5. There are simple and straightforward ways to make forms more usable. A great example is the autocomplete implemented entirely on the client side and entirely without Javascript.

<input type="text" name="foo" list="gurus">
<datalist id="gurus">
<option>Ray</option>
<option>Ben (the elder)</option>
<option>Ben (the younger)</option>
<option>Sean</option>
<option>Muse</option>
<option>
</datalist>


The really cool thing is that datalist is ignored by older browsers and picked up by more modern browsers. It sures beats having to gin up some Ajaxian bindings (not that there's anything wrong with that). There's still be times when you need use Ajax for autocomplete when you have a query to run or a huge dataset. But it sure makes those simple select fields easier and provides a great user experience. Remember you have to have that Doctype added so your browser knows to try to render in HTML 5.

As usual Ray teases out some of the most practical and useful tidbits - things that can be used immediately. Make sure and check out the excellent samples at github. Ray also recommends Can I Use - a great site to test your HTML version code.

Muse Reviews - Key Note, Day One at Cfobjective

Rakshith Naresh and Hemant Khandelwal from Adobe did an outstanding job at the keynote. They are not the most compelling speakers but like a lot of engineers their eyes light up when they engage on the topic of their favorite technology (in this case ColdFusion 10). I was impressed by the litany of efforts and initiatives they have underway - and the general direction of the platform. Key notes (some of this old news):

  • Extensive HTML 5 support (video, sockets, canvas, charts)
  • Major security enhancements
  • Better update and upgrade paths with automatic install and rollback from within the admin.
  • More thought and effort toward expanding the number of developers through extending Java skills as well as supporting the community through events like CF Objective.
I'll have more to say throughout the week as I visit some workshops. Best quote was from Ben Forta (via video) who said "ColdFusion supports HTML 4, HTML 5,...every version of HTML. ColdFusion supports HTML 6 and it's not even been invented yet".

The big news or announcement was that ColdFusion 10 will be available on the AWS cloud as an AMI in the near future in both medium and large instances with a price point of 60-80 dollars per month. The Muse thinks this will make a VPS deployment within reach of some folks who currently suffer through shared CF hosting nightmares.

Cfobjective - the Social

Cf.Ojective - the Social

Last night was the reception for Cfobjective. I met some old friends as well as some fantastic new folks. CF Webtools standouts Ed Bartram, Jason Durham and Denny Springle were all there schmoozing with the geek crowd. Dan Skaggs spoke with me about an interesting new product that I'll have to keep an eye on. I met a fellow named Steve who was originally from Ireland but his brogue was slightly disappointing (come on Steve - don't assimilate!). I spent some time With Jordan and Mike the guys from the outstanding Vivio Tech (check them out if you don't already know who they are - they have a booth). I caught up with Dan Vega. I met Steve Withington (again) and finally ended up the night hob-knobbing with Charlie Arehart, Scott Strutz (or Nathan Strozz... something with a single syllable "st" sound) and (a new frend) Darren Pywell who brought us Fusion Reactor.

Like most geek crowds we are a largely male audience, but this year's conference features a lot more women than I remember. Actually that could be my imagination but it's helped along by the fact that virtually all of them sat at the same table. That's one single table (if that gives the rest of you an idea of volume). The rest of the room gave them about 10 foot of padding and I saw many a male developer circling carefully. The Muse - who's lack of inhibition is exceeded only by a lack of modesty (and who's old enough to have fathered most of the folks here)- sauntered up and chatted with them for a while. By the time I left the reception they had at least one non-estrogen dominant member (I'm going on looks here) so perhaps they were making progress... or perhaps he was an unwelcome intruder (ticks are bad in MN). I couldn't tell.

In any case it's shaping up to be a fantastic conference and CF 10 is all the buzz. I'll be checking in throughout the day so keep an eye out for new tidbits. Remember, I'm wandering around in a Red shirt trying my best to be gregarious. Make sure and say hello!




Blog provided and hosted by CF Webtools. Blog Sofware by Ray Camden.