Anatomy of a Flex MXML Request

The initial HTTP request from a browser for an mxml page made to a Macromedia Flex application will generate a series of HTTP Request/Response pairs due to the multiple pieces that comprise a Flex presentation tier interface. Specifically, the HTTP response first returns an HTML wrapper containing the appropriate Embed and Object tags to contain the Flash SWF file. That wrapper also contains references to other HTML and JavaScript files that (partially) provide the History Management feature. As the browser makes additional calls back to Flex for the remaining pieces, the second HTTP Request that occurs is for a small piece of JavaScript code. The third piece of HTTP traffic is a request for the {filename}.mxml.swf file (note the double extension). This request is intercepted by the MXML Servlet which will perform the content cache routine and then return a SWF back to the browser in the response, which is the primary interface to the Flex application. The fourth request is to the flex-internal servlet for a smaller SWF file which contributes to the History Mangement functionality. Together, when a simple mxml application file loads in the browser, there are 4 HTTP Request and Response pairs.


XML User Interface Languages (XUL) Meetup

Recently posted to the mailing list, there will be an International XUL Meetup day this week, Tuesday, April 6th. There's one in my area scheduled for Chili's in Westford at 7pm. The group appears to organize these meetups on the first Tuesday each month, although I know nothing about them so far, so I don't know when they formed or how long they've been meeting. The only XML user interface langauges that come to mind at this point include XSLT, XSL-FO, XAML, and of course MXML, but it appears that XUL has its own specification all by itself.

I'd be interested in attending some time, just to see the scope of the discussion in case it extends to the general class of XML UI languages. For more information see:

Flex Samples on Tomcat

I re-ghosted a Windows box today, so I decided to set up Macromedia Flex with Apache Tomcat. Shooting from the hip, I just unzipped the Flex samples.war file into Tomcat's webapps directory with all the other web applications. Initially excited to see if everything would just work right out of the box with no further configurations, I launched the Flex Samples Explorer application. The application compiled, and the main Explorer interface loaded. However, the Hello World mini-app, which is the first one to load by default, threw a pop-up alert for:

HTTPService Fault
Internal Server Error


Configuring Flex Samples Application for ColdFusion MX

Macromedia Flex has gone live tonight [CNET News], and I greatly anticipate working with this awesome product going forward. One of my first Flex Technotes addresses how to configure the Flex Samples application for ColdFusion MX. The Flex installation comes with the basic Flex war file for deployment to a J2EE server, and it also comes with an jaw-dropping suite of pre-built Flex sample applications like the Flex Explorer and the Flex Store. For those interested in running Flex, Flex Samples, and ColdFusion MX all on the same JRun server instance, here's how to do it: TechNote 19258

Flex Bloggers include:

I'll be contributing with my own Flex blog category as well.

Welcome Flex!

Its just past midnight, and while checking the Macromedia website I found that Macromedia Flex has just been publically launched. Welcome Flex!

From the Macromedia Flex page, Flex is described as:

The Macromedia Flex presentation server offers a familiar, standards-based programming framework and powerful set of components for creating a rich, responsive presentation tier for enterprise Rich Internet Applications (RIAs).

CNET News describes Flex as:

Flex, formerly code-named Royale, allows developers to create scripts in common languages such as Java and .Net and to run them on top of Web applications. Flex breaks them down into a Macromedia dialect of extensible markup language (XML) that can be read by the Flash Player, the widespread Flash client commonly used to spice up Web pages.

Libby Freligh provides an Overview of Flex in a Breeze presentation here, and Ben Forta provides an update for the ColdFusion Community in a Breeze presentation here.

I'm pleased to see that my first Flex Technotes also went live tonight:

  • [ TechNote 19260 ] Protection of MXML Source Code using pre-compiled SWF files

  • [ TechNote 19258 ] Configuring the Flex Samples application for ColdFusion MX

CF_MKVDK: Programmatically Index Documents with Verity's Utility mkvdk

Unofficial Workaround for CFMX Crashes When Indexing PDF documents on Solaris.

If you've ever been interested in checking out the Verity tool "mkvdk" or if you are currently experiencing JVM crashes when indexing PDF files on Solaris with CFMX 6.0 or 6.1, then you may want to have a look at a custom tag cf_mkvdkcreated as replacement for using CFINDEX.

In the ColdFusion documentation the mkvdk utility is described, briefly, as:

"The mkvdk utility is an indexing application, provided with other Verity utilities, that you can use to create and maintain collections. It is a command-line utility that you can use within other applications or shell scripts to provide more sophisticated scheduling and other capabilities."


From the Archive: CFUN02 Trivia Questions for CFJeopardy

Previously this year I posted the questions used in the CFUN03 ColdFusion User Conference gameshow CF Celebrity Squares. The annual CFUN conference is organized and sponsored by TeraTech's Michael Smith, and Michael proposed that I develop the questions to use for the gameshow portion of the conference.

Today, I just happen to dig up the questions from the previous year's gameshow CFJeopardy, held at CFUN02. You can play the game here, or just have a look at the questions and answers below:


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