ColdFusion Muse

CF Muse Asks CF Jedi - Film at 11:00

I like checking Ray Camden's blog and I'm always amazed at the number of posts he manages to produce. Some blogs do little more than post recommendations to other blogs in a cyber version of "button button who's got the button" (not that there's anything wrong with that). Ray's blog, however, is replete with helpful information and interesting tips and tidbits. While I was wondering to myself how he managed to come up with so many interesting posts - sometimes several a day - I remembered his neat little "ask a Jedi" pod. He calls the little widgets in the right hand side bar of blogcfc "pods" - things like calendar, ads, search etc. I've seen him write in response to questions posed by readers, so I thought to myself, "that's where he gets some of his ideas." I wrote to Ray asking for the pod to "ask a Jedi". He responded (and I quote), "Sure, but all it does is send email. Do you really need my code for that?" Uh... no not really. Thanks though Ray - I'm sure your use of CFMAIL is all we have come to expect of you (ha). Anyway, I've created "ask a muse" in a blatant copycat attempt to ilicit more feedback from my audience. Ask away... If I can't answer I can always forward them to ray :)

Coding For Posterity - why quality matters

I realize that you have a great coding style. I know you are sold on your personal framework, language and platform. I realize that when you look at your code you say to yourself "dang I'm good!". But I'm pleading with you, when you write an application, try to take pains to consider other developers. Here's 3 principles that you should keep in mind:

  1. You will never anticipate all the eventual needs of the client - don't gamble on it.
  2. You will not be the only one to work on this code. Other developers will see this code. You can count on it!
  3. Your client trusts you - do what's right.

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Coding for Search engines - URL madness

We are not search engine specialists by any means. Most of our customers have applications that are either internal, consist of business to client tools, or productivity tools for management. I recently received a few tips on content indexing however - and a couple of them are very cool and added to my knowledge on the subject. I went did some googling to find out if these 2 tips are common practice and indeed they are. I just wasn't paying attention.

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Top 3 problems with large Content Managed Sites

We were recently asked to review a university web site that uses a CMS system. Like many large complex sites it was really a collection of separate sites and content sections. Looking closely you could almost see the evolution of the site from a manageable and unified tree of usable information to an unwieldy road map of confusion.

Did the Site outgrow it's CMS? It's possible, but its more likely that the site outgrew the process that was used to manage the content. The process used to update a large, content-driven web site is as important as the chosen tools or system.

While reviewing we identified 3 problem areas on a typical "Bulked up" content driven site. Each one of them can be at least partially alleviated by implementing standards, a work-flow and some general rules regarding publishing - in other words, a better and more productive process for managing content. The areas are:

  • Navigation Disfunction
  • A plethora of WebMasters
  • Content that won't die
Let's dive into to each of these.

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