PBS Show 'Innovation' Looks at the Stem Cell Research in Modern Medicine

The new PBS technology series Innovation is currently airing episode 6, Miracle Cell.

From the website program description,

"Miracle Cell goes to the front line of these new procedures. With unprecedented and exclusive access, the program explores the current successes and future potential for stem cell therapy. ... Miracle Cell travels to Portugal to document on film, for the first time ever, the harvest and transplant operation. The film also tracks the progress of several of Dr. Lima's patients in the ensuing months."

See also an Innovation's essay on the Stem Cell Controversy.

Anatomy of a Flex MXML Request

The initial HTTP request from a browser for an mxml page made to a Macromedia Flex application will generate a series of HTTP Request/Response pairs due to the multiple pieces that comprise a Flex presentation tier interface. Specifically, the HTTP response first returns an HTML wrapper containing the appropriate Embed and Object tags to contain the Flash SWF file. That wrapper also contains references to other HTML and JavaScript files that (partially) provide the History Management feature. As the browser makes additional calls back to Flex for the remaining pieces, the second HTTP Request that occurs is for a small piece of JavaScript code. The third piece of HTTP traffic is a request for the {filename}.mxml.swf file (note the double extension). This request is intercepted by the MXML Servlet which will perform the content cache routine and then return a SWF back to the browser in the response, which is the primary interface to the Flex application. The fourth request is to the flex-internal servlet for a smaller SWF file which contributes to the History Mangement functionality. Together, when a simple mxml application file loads in the browser, there are 4 HTTP Request and Response pairs.


CFMyAdmin - MySQL Administration Made Easy with ColdFusion

I've been using PHP for years now just so I could run PHPMyAdmin, but now Daniel Mackey of Digital Crew has written a ColdFusion based interface for managing MySQL database servers, CFMyAdmin. Fantastic! I can't wait to start using it. Daniel announced this new product on the CFTalk list today, and here is his post (reprinted with permission):

Hi All,

Just a quick email to introduce a new free tool we have developed for ColdFusion Developers looking for an online MySQL Management Tool called CFMyAdmin. Full details, screenshots and free download is available at:


This is the first public release and is at Version 1.0 Beta. Many features are fully implemented with more to be released very soon.

Please provide some feedback in the Support Forums, any suggestions, comments or queries are very much appreciated.

Thanks again and we look forward to handing over the keys to a tool we feel has alot of potential in the future for ColdFusion Developers!



Cameron Childress Kicks Off A New Blog

I know Cameron Childress as a frequent contributor to the ColdFusion mailing lists, and his posts are usually well informed and educational. Cameron has recently initiated a technology focused blog here. I look forward to watching it regularly. Welcome! ... now where did put that blog aggregator? ...

Installing Linux on a Dead Badger: User's Notes

This is too good to keep to myself. If you think your a Linux whiz, you ain't seen nuthin yet! Read on...

Excerpt from Installing Linux on a Dead Badger :

"Let's face it: any script kiddie with a pair of pliers can put Red Hat on a Compaq, his mom's toaster, or even the family dog. But nothing earns you geek points like installing Linux on a dead badger. So if you really want to earn your wizard hat, just read the following instructions, and soon your friends will think you're slick as caffeinated soap."

Open Source Software Flourishes in Boston Area

Here's a fresh article from Linux Insider:

Open Source Software Flourishes in Boston Area

"Boston area venture capital firms are jumping on the open source bandwagon, funding companies that are experimenting with new business models based on packaging, servicing, and supporting free computer software rather than the traditional software licensing model."

XML User Interface Languages (XUL) Meetup

Recently posted to the FlexCoders.org mailing list, there will be an International XUL Meetup day this week, Tuesday, April 6th. There's one in my area scheduled for Chili's in Westford at 7pm. The group appears to organize these meetups on the first Tuesday each month, although I know nothing about them so far, so I don't know when they formed or how long they've been meeting. The only XML user interface langauges that come to mind at this point include XSLT, XSL-FO, XAML, and of course MXML, but it appears that XUL has its own specification all by itself.

I'd be interested in attending some time, just to see the scope of the discussion in case it extends to the general class of XML UI languages. For more information see:

Flex Samples on Tomcat

I re-ghosted a Windows box today, so I decided to set up Macromedia Flex with Apache Tomcat. Shooting from the hip, I just unzipped the Flex samples.war file into Tomcat's webapps directory with all the other web applications. Initially excited to see if everything would just work right out of the box with no further configurations, I launched the Flex Samples Explorer application. The application compiled, and the main Explorer interface loaded. However, the Hello World mini-app, which is the first one to load by default, threw a pop-up alert for:

HTTPService Fault
Internal Server Error


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