Adobe Flex 2: Training from the Source

Jeff Tapper is one of the coauthors on an upcoming Adobe Flex 2 book. He recently blogged that the book is not yet available on in the US, only in the UK, but I searched the ISBN and found that Walmart is taking pre-ship orders, so you can get in line for your copy now. Walmart is listing the ship date as around July 31, although when I mentioned this to Jeff today after his great presentation on CF Event Gateways he said that date will probably slip a little. I'd like to point out that the co-authors are all known to be highly knowlegeable in ColdFusion, Flex, and Flash, so this should be a must read for everyone. (Matt Boles taught my the Flex 1.5 class I reviewed here)

Adobe Flex 2: Training from the Source
Author: Tapper, Jeff , Author: Talbot, James , Author: Boles, Matt
Publisher: Macromedia Press
Publish date: Jul 31 2006
ISBN: 032142316X
Format: Hardcover , 600 pages

CFLive! Broadcasting interviews with CFUNITED Presenters live from conference

At 12:30 US/EST today, that's just a half hour from now, we'll be broadcasting some spontaneous chats with speakers and attendees at the CFUNITED conference. We'll have Ben Forta, Peter Farell, and a line of others stopping by for a few minutes each. I'll record the meeting and post the URL here later.

You can join the Breeze Meeting here, just log in as a Guest with your name:


This caps the long series of weekly CFUNITED previews held on previous Thursdays this Spring.

News you can use from CFUNITED

Day one of CFUNITED is winding down, although a networking event is still to come this evening. So far its been a blockbuster event with Flex 2 and ColdFusion MX 7.02 integration taking center stage. The big news you know by now since the blogosphere is saturated with today's highlights, but a short list would include:

  • Flex 2 Released: The Flex 2 SDK is FREE and does not require a server backend. Flex 2 can integrate with any HTTP or SOAP-based Webservice back end.
  • Flex 2 Data Server Released: FDS provides back end data services over RTMP (Real Time Messaging Protocol) for publish/subscribe messaging with Flash/Flex frontend GUIs. There is even a free version of FDS available for use on a single CPU.
  • ColdFusion MX 7.02 Released: ColdFusion is a preferred back end data provider and gateway for Flex 2 front ends
  • Flex Builder 2 Released: Based on Eclipse, Flex Builder has code generation wizards, visual development, and debugging
  • Jason Delmore, the new ColdFusion Product Manager shared a peek at a couple ColdFusion 8 (Scorpio) features at the alpha stage including CFPDFFORM to generate PDF forms with pre-filled information, and the ability to extract information from PDFs, and also dynamically generated Breeze presentations from ColdFusion with CFPRESENTATION.
  • He's Baaa...aaack: Tim Buntel returns to Adobe as Senior Marking Product Manager for ColdFusion

I've had a chance to connect with many of the ColdFusion bloggers again, including Ray Camden, Rob Brooks-Bilson, Mark Drew, Andy Alan, Simeon Bateman, Joe Rinehart, Jeff Coughlin, and Sandy Clark. Mark Drew spent a great deal of time at the Adobe booth explaining the current and future plans for CFEclipse, and he introduced me to a feature that's been in the plugin for a while already, the FTP file browser. Mark also said that he's been running Flex Builder 2 (beta) plugin on Eclipse 3.2, a surprise to me because the System Requirements refer only to support for 3.1.


Creating and Verifying ColdFusion MX 7 Datasources using the Admin API

The ColdFusion MX 7 Admin API can be used to create new datasources or modify existing ones in a supported, programmatic manner. Its useful to verify the datasource once created or modified, however the Admin API does not provide the error detail should verification fail, rather it only provides a boolean true or false result.

To obtain error details for failed datasource verification for a datasource created or modified through the Admin API, the ServiceFactory's DataSourceFactory can be invoked to call its verifiyDatasource() method instead. While this is not an optimal solution since the ServiceFactory methods remains unsupported, the Admin API is essentially a supported wrapper for the ServiceFactory anyway and much has been written about using ServiceFactory to manipulate ColdFusion server configuration. Here, the use of ServiceFactory is read-only, and is not used to make changes, but simply to verify a datasource to get to the error.

One bug to watch out for is that the timeout value for a new datasource is set in seconds, although when browsing the generated CFC metadata for the Admin API the timeout is described incorrectly as minutes.


CFMX 7.01 does not configure Verity to start after a reboot on Solaris

ColdFusion 7.01 for Solaris does not properly install the System V init scripts for cfmx7search (Verity K2). The source of the problem is that a file cf_root/bin/cfmxsearch is created and the file should be named cfmx7search instead. The script used to install the System V scripts to /etc/init.d and the rc.N directories is hard-coded for $CF_DIR/bin/cfmx7search, and the System V script for cfmx7search is not created. This causes the Verity K2 server to not start after a reboot.

A short term solution is after ColdFusion installation to create a symbolic link cf_root/bin/cfmx7search pointing to cf_root/bin/cfmxsearch, and then run cf_root/bin/ install-verity System V scripts.

ColdFusion MX 7.0 wrote the filename cfmx7search correctly, so this is a new problem in 7.01.


ColdFusion Training from Fig Leaf Software is a valuable experience

Earlier this week I was very fortunate to attend ColdFusion MX 7 training from Fig Leaf Software. It was a great experience, and even though I recently passed the Certified Adv ColdFusion MX 7 exam, I still found the course very helpful. The 5 hours spent on Flash CFForms was the highlight of the course for me since this is one area where I've haven't spent much time.

My manager requested a brief follow-up of my experience in the course to assess the value of the material and the quality of the instruction. I'd like to extend my internal recommendation to my blog to share with everyone else.


Mike Nimer's Breeze Meeting Presentation: Flex 2 and ColdFusion Integration

The joint meeting of the Boston ColdFusion User Group and the Online ColdFusion Meetup Group has just concluded. If you missed out on the event you can watch the recording. Mike Nimer of Adobe presented Flex 2 and ColdFusion integration to a local and online audience, broadcasting live from the Adobe office in Newton, MA.

Flex 2 and ColdFusion Integration
Mike Nimer, ColdFusion Software Engineer, Adobe
You can read what online guests thought of this presentation.


Time-lapse video of caterpillar to chrysalis to Monarch butterfly

Captured here is a time-lapse movie of the lifespan of a Monarch butterfly, condensing about two weeks of activity into a short video clip. I kept the caterpillar in a jar supplied with milkweed leaves and ventilation through holes punched in the lid. After days of munching on the leaves, it's interesting to observe the caterpillar 's circling behavior the day before transforming into a chrysalis, although the actual formation of the chryslis occurred at night and is not shown in the video.

When releasing the butterfly into a nearby field, you can see the wings are still damp as it flicks its wings and twitches before resting on leaf to finish drying.

From Monarch Butterfly - USA:
The total time frame for one butterfly's life cycle (one generation) is about 6-8 weeks . . . egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, butterfly. It grows inside the egg for about 4 days. It then munches milkweed and grows as a monarch caterpillar (larvae) for about 2 more weeks. The caterpillar's life inside the chrysalis (pupa) lasts about 10 days and its wonderful life as an adult butterfly lasts from 2 - 6 weeks.

Be sure to also check out my photo gallery of the Butterfly Place in nearby Westford, MA.


Video clips of Valle de Benasque and Llanos del Hospital in Spain

Here are a couple short video clips from a valley in the central Pyrenees, or Pirineos, in Spain. These show the mountainous region close the border of Spain and France, within the Valle de Benasque. My wife and I were married in a small church in this region, since her father and his ancestors lived in and farmed the valley using traditional, non-technological tools and practices.


Science blog on cloning research at Harvard

Science Blog has a long blog posting today about Harvard's Stem Cell Institute and their initiative to begin human cloning or Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer, including thoughts on the work, the history, and the controversy.


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