Fedora Core 4 Linux Ships GCJ Stack - Java, Eclipse, Tomcat

I'm psyched about using the new FC4 distribution. It's easier than ever to get started with Java on a fresh install since some of the new package groups are Java Development which includes 122 Java utilites, Eclipse version 3.1M7 (to which I promptly installed CFEclipse 1.1.17 release), and Tomcat 5.

Lots of other fun stuff is included, too, including Open Office 2.0 (Beta) and a new desktop theme called Clearlooks, replacing the old Bluecurve theme.

I mentioned in an earlier post today that I did a kind of semi-destructive install/quasi-upgrade. That means that when I installed FC3 last fall sometime I installed some of the directories as separate partitions including /home, /opt, and /usr/local. Then I can install FC4 while choosing to reformat the / root partition and install all the new stuff there. This leaves my custom partitions alone so the data is preserved. You have to choose the Manual Disk Druid partition configuration during the installation to get this degree of control though.


Running ColdFusion MX 7 on Fedora Core 4

FC4 Linux was just released this week, and while I was excited to see it ships with a whole Java Development suite, Eclipse 3.1M7, and Tomcat5, one of the first things I tested was running ColdFusion MX 7.

Starting the CFMX7 server configuration at the commandline appeared normal, but the first request to the CF Admin was greeted with the error:

The Graphing service is not available.

The FC4 installation was not an upgrade from FC3, although I did have FC3 on it before. Because FC3 was installed with seperate partitions for /home /opt and /usr/local, I was able to do a full install of FC4 while maintaining the data on those custom partitions. Doing it this way allows the Linux kernel and all the chosen packages to be installed under the / root partition which is reformated first, while allowing me to keep everything on my custom partitions without reformatting those.


Spanish Film Recommendations

Preparing to pass the Movie Meme, here's a rehashed, repost of my rather lengthy comments to the 3rd House Party Movie Meme blog entry....

This reads almost exactly like a list of my own DVD collection. I'll buy anything directed by Pedro Almodovar or Alejandro Amen·bar, or starring Gael GarcÌa Bernal or Javier Bardem. Concord isn't all that far from Grafton, so maybe we can swap sometime :)

Gael GarcÃŒa Bernal is really emerging as one of the best Mexican actors, with credits including The Motorcycle Diaries, El Crimen de Padre Amaro, Amores Perros, and Y Tu Mama Tambien.


ColdFusion DevNet Edition - Not for Production Use

The Devnet Edition of Macromedia ColdFusion MX 7 Server produces a META tag as a "watermark" in the generated output to indicate that it is not for use in production although it has all the Enterprise features and no IP restrictions. This is useful for allowing a team of developers to work off a central CFMX server in a shop that chooses not to buy an Enterprise or Standard edition license for development/QA. The watermark is generated as the first line of generated output and will appear before any HTML markup in between the HEAD tags when outputting HTML, but its a problem for non-HTML content. If the generated content is, say, XML delivered via CFCONTENT then the XML will have the unclosed META tag as a watermark which breaks the well-formedness of the XML document.

"ColdFusionMXEdition" CONTENT="ColdFusion DevNet Edition - Not for Production Use.">

In ColdFusion MX 6.1 this watermark could be avoided by setting the content type with CFCONTENT in pages where the watermark broke the generated content, as blogged here, but in CFMX 7 there is no such workaround.


No Turtle Soup Today!

This snapping turtle was found marching across the street in front of my house, the same street as seen in my webcam. To save her from becoming a road kill special, I carefully snatched her up, put her in the back of my truck, and drove her over to a marsh next to the Sudbury River to let her go.

I suspect that the turtle is a female because this time of year snapping turtles come ashore looking for dry places to lay their eggs. She's better off finding somewhere near the river instead of someone's parking lot.

I think the proper way to handle a snapping turtle is grab the front end of the carapace just behind the head, and with the other hand grab the back end of the carapace above the tail. Nevertheless, I preferred to pick it up by the sides. It's head lunged straight forward with a mouth gaping wide enough to chomp a tennis ball, but it never tried to extend its neck to the side, so I felt safe.

Earlier in the day I was driving along Rt 126 in Wayland and spotted another turtle in the grass about 20 feet from the road. I thought about turning around to move it, but there was a lot of traffic and I suspected that it would know better than to enter the road. When I got home I was greeted with a repitilian reminder that they really have no fear of roads, until the last moment.

I was amazed at how agile she was. She was pretty darn near jumping out the back of the truck bed. Upon release, I plopped her in the mud near the marsh's edge, she took a moment to get oriented, then made deep dive into the marsh and was gone in just a couple seconds.

ColdFusion MX Mail Spooler Behavior Might Cause SpoolLockTimeoutException

The mail spooler for ColdFusion MX 6.x/7 locks the mail spool directory when writing mail to disk. If a mail thread is trying to write a mail file to disk and is waiting to obtain the lock, it will wait up to 30 seconds and then throw a coldfusion.mail.MailSpooler$SpoolLockTimeoutException or coldfusion.mail.MailSessionException. I'm still exploring what might require the lock for so long and prevent other mail from being spooled to disk, but so far it seems well correlated with having message bodies of 12-15 MB in one case. The 30 second wait for the lock is hard coded and immutable, but writing a large message to disk shouldn't take 30 seconds in most situations. I'll update this later if I find more.

StackTrace coldfusion.mail.MailSessionException: An exception occurred when setting up mail server parameters
at coldfusion.mail.MailSpooler.storeMail(MailSpooler.java:670)
at coldfusion.tagext.net.MailTag.doAfterBody(MailTag.java:618)

"Error","scheduler-1","06/08/05","09:03:24",,"A problem occurred when attempting to deliver mail. This exception was caused by: coldfusion.mail.MailSpooler$SpoolLockTimeoutException: A timeout occurred while waiting for the lock on the mail spool directory.."

Sys-con's Robert Diamond is very accommodating

So after my mini-rant late last night when I found a crappy photo of me up on MXDJ, Robert Diamond dropped me a note to smooth things out, and he asked for a photo that I would approve of to be used in lieu of said crappy photo. Nice guy! Thanks Robert!

I made the recommendation that they only pick up my ColdFusion RSS feed since that is what's relevant on MXDJ, not my Spain photos, rants, or biology blogs, and I even whipped up my own graphic to replace said crappy photo.

Voila! I love Adobe Photoshop :-)

I made this from a photo of me standing on Sentinel Bridge in Franconia Notch, New Hampshire. Although, I wouldn't be surprised if they scribbled a mustache, a missing tooth, and a eye patch on it ;-)

(note to self: use more emoticons to show I don't bite)

So, my formal apologies for being a weener and picking apart their website, and a big Thank You for asking!

Curiosities abound at MXDJ

Steve Erat - Industry Blog ... Really?

Looking at my blog referrers, I found this one popping up quite frequently today:


When I clicked on this link I was taken to a blog aggregator that displayed a list of images in the left menu, and to my surprise, there was a rather low-res graphic of me, with a banner "Steve Erat - Industry Blog". Really? Industry blog? Hadn't thought of it that way before. To me its just my personal blog. In fact, it says so on my TalkingTree banner image.


Archived: Charlie Arehart & Lou Honick CFUNITED Preview Breezo

Part 1) Charlie Arehart - Integrating CFML and ASP.NET Server Controls

Part 2) Lou Honick - How to Build, Refresh or Rebuild Your Datacenter on Time and Under Budget

These talks are two 15 minute "preview" talks from CFUNITED speakers.They will provide an brief introduction to their topic during these sessions.

This event was recorded and is available for viewing again at this location:


CFUNITED, the premier ColdFusion conference, June 29 - July 1 2005

Finished the Model-Glue Quickstart Guide

I've just completed the Model-Glue Quickstart Guide, written by Joe Rinehart. It reads a lot like the Head First series of tech books, so that made it a lot of fun. In total, it took me about 3 hours tonight starting with the initial Model-Glue download until the end of the last page.

Right out of the gate, I'd have to say that this tutorial enabled me to really understand the Model-Glue framework much more than the Waterswing tutorial did with Mach II. Joe did a fantastic job with this. The mini-quickstarts are easy to follow, make sense, and break the tutorial down into logical parts. This makes it easy to measure success while also providing a clear stopping point while working out any errors. The whole tutorial really flows well.

There are a couple confusing aspects to the tutorial, such as the frequent use of different case for the same variable or page name, including one tag in the StockQuoteConfig.xml that had a matching closing tag, upper case B. The ModelGlue directory structure itself varies in the case of file and directory names compared to the tutorial. I thought that the inconsistent case usage would cause problems, but even though I completed the tutorial on a Mac while using vi and CFEclipse the case issues were largely negligible. Some of the mini-quickstarts show code that builds upon code from the last quickstart, but the lack of markup makes it difficult to catch exactly which parts are to be changed for the current lesson, such as in the Message Arguments lesson.

While some polishing could be used, it is very well written and entertaining. I liked it a lot. I highly recommend you check out the Model-Glue Quickstart Guide too.

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