Model-Glue BOF: Stop the insanity!!!

Ok, as blogged in my earlier post, the Model-Glue BOF session turned in to a Technology Wild West Show, with danger lurking behind every slide, but dispite the hiccups, Joe held his course and forged smoothly ahead with the presentation.


CFUNITED Day one a wrap: Sessions, BOFs, and Community

Today was seriously intense. The day started at 8am with a Welcome talk to introduce all of this year's speakers followed by a great keynote address by Ben Forta and Tim Buntel, with guest appearance by Simeon Bateman of the CFEclipse proejct (Thanks for the Sam Adams!). At first I tried attending sessions while taking notes which I later blogged, and this worked for a while during Ray Camden's, Nate Nelson's, and Simon Horwith's talks.


Simon Horwith - Design Patterns in CFMX 7

AboutWeb has a 3 day class on Design Patterns in CFMX, but Simon will try to boil it down to 40 minutes.

Who's using DP? About 1/5 of the room held up their hand. Room is huge and there may be as many as 200+ people attending.

No application too large or small for DP, no developer too experienced or too new for DP.

Terminology: Architectur, API, Code Reuse, Object (noun:person,place,thing). Object Oriented Programming OOP, Encapsulation, Decouple (code independence), Design Patterns (recurring solutions to common problems), Anti-Patterns (recurring mistakes in SA/DP).


Nate Nelson - Undocumented ColdFusion MX

Unsupported techniques without any guarantee by Nate or Macromedia. Use at your own risk.

XML Config files:

always make backups, use an editor that helps write XML, CF Service needs to be restarted to pick up changes. ColdFusion file extensions: WEB-INF/web.xml contains mappings that relate extensions like .cfm to the CfmServlet. Tony Weeg nods his head in agreement when Nate says that web.xml looks different between CFMX 6.1 and 7. Recommendation to not modify existing ones but create new mappings based on existing ones.

RDS is in web.xml in the RDSServlet mapping. Nate says to comment out to turn off RDS (there's a technote on this actually). can be used to turn off CF Admin password. He recommends to blank the password values and change setencrypted to false, then type a new plaintext password and restart CF. This is actually safer than hacking the neo-security.xml file to disable CFAdmin password to get back in.


CFUNITED Survivor Game Questions

Here are the ColdFusion challenges used in the CF Survivor game at CFUNITED 2005. Kudos to winner Daniel Elmore and runner up Joseph Danziger.

1) Output to the screen the ColdFusion server product version, including the build number.

2) Find the appropriate UDF from to parse the search terms from a Google referrer, and modify it to work with Yahoo search referrer.

3) Create a ColdFusion custom function or use the built-in functions so that when called it takes a string as input and returns the string in opposite order, such as input "dog" returns "god".


Macromedia Announcements at CFUNITED Keynote

This year's ColdFusion conference CFUNITED, formerly CFUN, has a large turnout from Macromedia, and Tim Buntel and Ben Forta kicked off the official start of the even today with blowout keynote address. I've video taped the keynote, and hope to have compressed wmv available for viewing soon.

A few of the big highlights include not just official recognition but sponsorship of the CFEclipse project. CFEclipse is a fantastic plugin for use with the free Eclipse IDE, and the project is managed by Rob Rohan, Simeon Bateman, and Stephen (Spike) Milligan. Ben and Tim invited Simeon Bateman, manager of the Portland CFUG too, up to the dais to give a brief overview of the current status and future of the CFEclipse project. Simeon noted that the project releases have slowed down since much of the fundemental bug fixes have been patched, and they are now working on new features. Coming later this year, watch for CFEclipse 2.0 with a bundle of new features.

Other big news includes the coming release of CFMX 7.1, code named Merrimack, and Ben demonstrated his questionable graphics skills with a scorpion image rising on the screen while introducing the code name and a couple major features of ColdFusion MX 8, Scorpio. As a Macroemdia Support Engineer, the most important ColdFusion MX 8 features to me was the server monitoring feature which will allow runtime introspection of the jvm and what the running threads are doing. I'm psyched about that, and I'm sure the whole developer community will be too, especially those that have ever tried to track down bottlenecks or other issues in an application where the symptoms only seem to appear in production under load.

Well, now I'm off to Ray Camden's talk on the new Verity 5.5 that ships in CFMX 7.... more soon.

Ray Camden - Verity for Fast Text Searching

Overview of some hidden gems in CFMX 7 Demonstration of isValid("url",form.yoururl)> Read release notes.... For example, can now change webservice SOAP headers

What is Verity? An incredibly powerful search engine, and the version in CF was at 2.6 for a long time, but CFMX 7 upgrades Verity to 5.5. It is a seperate product, you can go out and buy the full Verity K2 server from Verity for perhaps $60,000+, but you get it with ColdFusion MX Enterprise.

-Overview of Verity tags in CF, such as cfcollection, cfindex, cfsearch. File types include HTML, RTF, DOD, XLS, PDF, MP3, ZIP, and Data files.

-Question about version of PDF support in CFMX 7 from Damon Gentry... CFMX 7 does support recent versions of Acrobat PDF files, see the docs for a table of file version support.

-Question about time of indexing for large collections.... Ray says indexing does take time although he hasn't seen any problems with it so far, and he thinks Verity 5.5 has improved.

Text index searches are faster than SQL calls to databases. Verity also ranks the query result sets from a cfsearch, and you get a context (category) which is new in CFMX 7.

Demo of creating a collection and indexing it. The Cfcollection tag has a list function to see what collections exist, so he runs that and if its not there he creates a new collection of that name.