Best ColdFusion Blogs 2005

Author of O'Reilly's Programming ColdFusion MX, Rob Brooks-Bilson has collected what he believes to be the best ColdFusion blog entries throughout the blogosphere for 2005. I'm very pleased to see that even one of mine has made the cut. Now that I have a couple weeks off for the holidays, Rob just made my reading list for me.

Rob's list of The Top ColdFusion Blog Posts


Concord Community Swim and Health Center To Open Soon

The Concord Carlisle Community Swim and Health Center is nearing completion. The state of the art facility continues to accept charter memberships until the middle of February '06.

UPDATE: The opening date has been pushed out to April 18, 2006
Read about the Grand Opening of the Beede Center.


The facility will have the following features:

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Renderings of the Wayside Inn, Grist Mill, and Mary-Martha Chapel

This photo gallery taken on a recent fall morning when I spent a couple hours in Sudbury at the Wayside Inn. First popularized by Longfellow's book after the Civil War, and then further developed by Henry Ford in the early 20th century.

Wayside Inn
Formerly known as Howe's Tavern starting in 1716, the Taven was renamed after Henry Longfellow published a book of poems in 1863 about the Tavern. Longellows book is called "Tales of a wayside inn".

Grist Mill
Henry Ford's Grist Mill, near the Wayside Inn in Sudbury, MA.

Martha-Mary Chapel
In 1923, Cora Lemon sold the Inn to automobile manufacturer Henry Ford, and Ford built the Martha-Mary Chapel on the site in 1940, just across the street from the Wayside Inn.

www.flickr.com

Working with SELinux and ColdFusion MX in Red Hat Linux 4

Support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 is introduced with the release of ColdFusion MX 7.01. This presents a new security challenge to System Administrators configuring ColdFusion MX for Apache since the SELinux functionality is ACTIVE by default starting with RHEL4. SELinux, or Security Enhanced Linux, is a software product developed by the National Security Agency and has become a standard in Red Hat Linux distributions including RHEL and Fedora Core Linux (FC remains unsupported by CFMX). The most notable problem arises when attempting to configure the webserver to run the ColdFusion connector stub. This problem and a recommended solution are described further below, but first I'll quote from two references regarding the nature of SELinux.

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ColdFusion MX and Database Design at Harvard

Proper Database Design remains a weakness of mine when considering my web application development skills, so this semester I've decided to cross that one off my list by enrolling in the Harvard Extension School class:

CSCI E-253 Developing Web-based Database Applications
Web-based applications offer the advantages of workstation productivity and ease of use together with the power and sophistication of relational database servers. This course provides the concepts and skills necessary to design and develop web-based database applications. Students build a working database application using Oracle and a client application using ColdFusion to serve the information needs of an enterprise. Through hands-on projects, students will build, populate, query, and write transactions for a relational database using SQL and then develop a client application to access their database. As a final project, students will build a prototype client/server application.


We've only met one week so far, and tonight will be the second class. I'm thrilled to know that the instructor is not only very articulate when conveying technical ideas, but she professes to be very passionate about both Oracle and ColdFusion.

Database design is a topic not commonly found in ColdFusion FastTrack classes or other CF-related classes from private vendors/instructors. Outside of formal academia, the most comprehensive course on ColdFusion and Database Design that I know of is taught by Adam Churvis and his brother son at Productivity Enhancement. I've often perused the curriculum there, but I find it hard to take time off of work for travel.

Advanced Development with ColdFusion MX and SQL Server 2000
This new version of our ever-popular Advanced Database course is now even better. We took out the Oracle content because only 5% of our students really used it and the other 95% didn't care, plus we removed the data warehousing and load testing content so we could add even more exercises and also spend more time teaching engineering principles, like when you would use one technique for a solution as opposed to another... Now there's plenty of time to explain exactly when and why you would use a correlated subquery versus an outer join, when you should stick with CFQUERY rather than migrate to a stored procedure, etc.

Back in the saddle again

This week I've returned to the office from Macromedia's generous sabbatical program. For the last 45 days I've occupied myself with a wide range of activities, and surprisingly almost none of which had anything to do with ColdFusion. Now that's a vacation!

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Geocities Guestbook - Recovered

Before this blog on TalkingTree.com, and before TalkingTree.com at all, I began a homepage with Geocities back in 1994, my first experience with homepage wizards or any kind of content management. Soon after getting hooked on HTML, I began building a laberynth of photo galleries and personal information, and after a couple of years I had managed to hack together some form of a Guestbook form on my own. Well, I know that Guestbooks are so 90's, but nevertheless I've rescued my Geocities Guestbook off Archive.org and am republishing it here...

Name: Jeremy Reines
Date: April 22, 2001

Hi Stephen: Loved your web. Great photos, I am sure you are going to love my site as well. I have just launched the MOST AMAZING virtual tour of Madrid at www.multimadrid.com and I would love for you to place my mini Java refresh live Plaza Mayor image on your website, if you place it on your links page I will include your URL in on my Madrid Webs dropdown menu, you can see more about htis program I have created at http://www.multimadrid.com/mm_info/madrid_webs.htm

Thanks for your time and I hope to hear from you soon,

Jeremy Reines...
www.multimadrid.com




Name: ylse sanchez
Date: April 19, 2001

Hi Steve,

Hace mucho que no se nada de ti, aunque no nos conocimos personalmente, se que eres un buen chico y espero estemos en contacto. Como sabes, estoy en Alemania con mi esposo y ahora espero un bb, estoy feliz. Recibe muchos carinos y escribeme pronto.

Tu amiga, Ylse


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[steven@macromedia /work]$ shutdown -h +360 'Going on sabbatical. Please log off'

Like many others at Macromedia, its my turn for a long sabbatical, although I've been eligible for over a year. For the next six weeks, until September 12th, I'll be out of the office. I suspect that this is the first and the last time I'll be able to take such an extended leave.

I plan to spend the first 3 weeks at home, biking, swimming, reading, and blogging. Some of my objectives include reading parts of several technical books including one on Eclipse which has a chapter on building plugins, one on building Dashboard Widgets on Mac OSX, and one on Photoshop CS. I may take some time to read up SELinux, too.

During this last month I've been reading Thomas Friedman's The World is Flat, which I highly recommend, so I hope to finish that up. I think that Friedman's book is complemented by Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel, and by Spencer Well's The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey, but best if read (or viewed) starting with Wells and finishing with Friedman. If I find a day to spare, I think I'll finally sit myself down to watch the whole 8 hour series Cosmos, by Carl Sagan.

During the second half of my sabbatical, I'll be in Barcelona, Spain and then in the high Pyrenees. My wife and I were married in a civil ceremony two years ago and now we will be having a formal ceremony in a 12th century church in a small mountain village near the border with France, close to Pico Aneto, the highest mountain in Spain. I used Ray's BlogCFC to create a dual English/Spanish informational website to assist the guests.

If you're not familiar with the region, check this out. Its a small Javascript app that zooms in on Barcelona and the Pyrennes, which I made for those who will be travelling from the US. It's a little slow in MSIE, but great in Firefox. This was before Google Earth came out, so I was trying to provide a way for non-technical people to get their bearings.

shutdown -h +360 "Going on sabbatical. Please log off"
Broadcast message from root (pts/1)
(Fri Jul 29 11:56:35 2005):
Going on sabbatical. Please log off
The system is going DOWN for system halt in 6 hours!

How Many ColdFusion Titles Does Your Local Book Store Carry?

Over the weekend I passed by the Barnes & Nobles in Burlington, MA across from the mall, so I stopped to check out the latest titles in their vast Computers section, which spans about 8 bookshelves, each about 12-20 feet long and 5-10 rows high. This is an enormous amount of books for a generic book store just devoted to General Computing, Web Programming, Web Design, Graphic Design, Macintosh, Databases, XML, Perl, Java, C/C++, Windows, Unix/Linux, and more.

I poured over the titles looking for ColdFusion books, through the Java/J2EE section, past the ASP and PHP sections, on to the Web Programming section and even into the General Computing section, but there was no sign of the familiar blue and white covers, a popular color scheme in CFMX related books. Disappointed, and already thinking up a rant blog entry, I turned the corner and stumbled into the Web Design section. There among a towering but narrow shelf that was 10 or more rows high, saturated with Flash and Dreamweaver books, I finally recognized what I was looking for. Just below center were a tiny handful of ColdFusion books, including the CFMX Bible, the CFMX WACK set of books, the O'Reilly book, and a couple other titles I don't remember. Right next to it was a single Macromedia Flex book.

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Video Archive of CFDJ Panel at CFUNITED

Here's a good quality video archive of the discussion panel of CFDJ authors at CFUNITED 2005, including Hal Helms, Charlie Arehart, Ben Forta, Michael Smith, Ray Camden, and hosted by Simon Horwith.

The panel fielded questions from the audience on a range of topics from the Adobe Merger, to the lack of presence of ColdFusion material in bookstores, to what features are wanted in CFMX 8, to the ColdFusion framework debate.

The video was made with iMovie on Mac which allowed me to preserve the full audio quality while compressing the video. Note that I also remade the CFUNITED Keynote video with Ben Forta and Tim Buntel since my first try with that came out with rather poor audio. I think you'll like these videos better although the file size is much bigger.

Download Video of CFDJ Panel [165 MB]


The video is 35 minutes, although the event went for about 40, but I ran out of tape :)

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