Get Glued with Model-Glue! (Joe Rinehart)My first day at CFUNITED was largely spent in Joe Rinehart's class Forms and Beans: Refactoring existing ColdFusion using Objects. Joe's focus was on how an OO approach to ColdFusion development can save time by encapsulating application behaviors to reusable ColdFusion components, Further, when iteratively blended into a procedural application by gradually replacing procedural code with OO-based code the procedural application becomes easier to maintain and scalable.

The class had about 15 persons, most of whom were reasonably advanced in ColdFusion development and generally understood OO concepts already. This allowed Joe to speed up a bit, although he was prepared to cover CFC best practices or basic OO PIE concepts in futher detail if needed.

The quick pace permitted the class to move on at the end to make room for a great overview of the Model-Glue framework while also digging deeper into the ServiceFacade and Decorator patterns as they apply to CFCs. Indeed, I was not the sharpest knife in the drawer in this class, and I was certainly humbled by Joe's mastery not only of ColdFusion but OO thought processes. Complex code just streamed effortlessly from his fingertips to the screen while maintaining the cadence and never missing a beat in the presentation flow.

Joe advised developers to perform discrete unit testing of components, which in short means building a test harness that isolates a CFC to validate that it behaves as intended, where testing the CFC outside the larger application reduces complexity during the design or debugging phases. Here, Joe recommended Paul Kenney's CFCUNIT as a very convenient and robust means of unit testing in ColdFusion.

Joe's choice of IDE for ColdFusion is CFEclipse, and I think that Joe and everyone else will be very pleased with some important information from Macromedia coming very soon! I followed along in the class while using Fedora Core 4 Linux on my laptop. FC4 actually ships Java and Eclipse with the distribution, so FC4 is a great way to get started with CFEclipse (although FC4 is technically not supported for ColdFusion, its very close to the supported RH distros and I've encountered no CF problems as a result of running on FC4 so far).

On Wednesday night at 9pm in room 4, there will be a panel discussion of Model-Glue under the guise of a new Model-Glue BOF session. Then at 9:30 I'll help Joe start the online Breezo of Model-Glue that will be broadcast live from CFUNITED. You can RSVP for the Breezo here: http://coldfusion.meetup.com/17/events/4726812/.

After class I headed out to dinner to celebrate ColdFusion's bright future with the Macromedia CF engineers Dean Harmon, Mike Nimer, Tom Jordahl, director of engineering Damon Cooper, CF QA Bob Powell and Billy Sahlas, plus Ben Forta and Tim Buntel who are presenting the keynote tomorrow, and also Amy Brooks and Christine Lawson of Developer Relations. Macromedia definitely has a huge turnout at this unique ColdFusion conference, and Amy in particular has done a great job at organizing everything. Check out the Macromedia booth in the exhibit hall where we'll all be hanging out to talk to you and help answer your ColdFusion questions. Stop by for posters and T-shirts!

I think CFUNITED is booked with 8-900 attendees, so I plan to get up early for Ben and Tim's keynote address tomorrow morning... just a paltry 7 hours from now :( I'd like to set up my video camera to record the keynote, then I'll try to edit it down to a small file for distribution here soon so everyone can share the good news :)

See you there and see you at the Model-Glue BOF tomorrow!