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.


System boot scripts for CFMX on JRun on Linux

While CFMX 6/7 Server Configuration on Unix and Linux ships with boot scripts that upon system reboot will kick off ColdFusion automatically, this feature is not a part of CFMX 6.1 for JRun or CFMX 7 Multiserver configurations.

I've written and tested these boot scripts that will start ColdFusion 6.1 or 7 on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 and 4 at system boot when using either the JRun/Multiserver configuration or an EAR/WAR configuration for JRun.


Macromedia Hiring ColdFusion Product Support

If you thought about participating in the CF Survivor game last week at CFUNITED, then step up to the plate and try the real thing! There's a contract position open for a ColdFusion Product Support Engineer (tech support) right here in Newton, Massachusetts. Check it out.

From my experience, I can tell you that Macromedia ColdFusion Product Support encompasses not only the ColdFusion server and the CFML language, but also the wealth of web technologies and protocols that integrate with ColdFusion including TCP/IP, HTTP, SQL, SMTP, LDAP, plus operating system usage and administration for Windows, Solaris, and Linux. There's a lot more than that, too.

I find this role at Macromedia to be perpetually challenging and I enjoy learning and keeping up with emerging technologies. Additional perks include exposure to all the Macromedia products, and training is often provided for many of them, including Flash, Flex, Dreamweaver, and Breeze.

Get Glued at CFUNITED! Class for me today, Breezo for everyone tomorrow!

Get Glued with Model-Glue! (Joe Rinehart)My first day at CFUNITED was largely spent in Joe Rinehart's class Forms and Beans: Refactoring existing ColdFusion using Objects. Joe's focus was on how an OO approach to ColdFusion development can save time by encapsulating application behaviors to reusable ColdFusion components, Further, when iteratively blended into a procedural application by gradually replacing procedural code with OO-based code the procedural application becomes easier to maintain and scalable.

The class had about 15 persons, most of whom were reasonably advanced in ColdFusion development and generally understood OO concepts already. This allowed Joe to speed up a bit, although he was prepared to cover CFC best practices or basic OO PIE concepts in futher detail if needed.

The quick pace permitted the class to move on at the end to make room for a great overview of the Model-Glue framework while also digging deeper into the ServiceFacade and Decorator patterns as they apply to CFCs. Indeed, I was not the sharpest knife in the drawer in this class, and I was certainly humbled by Joe's mastery not only of ColdFusion but OO thought processes. Complex code just streamed effortlessly from his fingertips to the screen while maintaining the cadence and never missing a beat in the presentation flow.

Joe advised developers to perform discrete unit testing of components, which in short means building a test harness that isolates a CFC to validate that it behaves as intended, where testing the CFC outside the larger application reduces complexity during the design or debugging phases. Here, Joe recommended Paul Kenney's CFCUNIT as a very convenient and robust means of unit testing in ColdFusion.

Joe's choice of IDE for ColdFusion is CFEclipse, and I think that Joe and everyone else will be very pleased with some important information from Macromedia coming very soon! I followed along in the class while using Fedora Core 4 Linux on my laptop. FC4 actually ships Java and Eclipse with the distribution, so FC4 is a great way to get started with CFEclipse (although FC4 is technically not supported for ColdFusion, its very close to the supported RH distros and I've encountered no CF problems as a result of running on FC4 so far).

On Wednesday night at 9pm in room 4, there will be a panel discussion of Model-Glue under the guise of a new Model-Glue BOF session. Then at 9:30 I'll help Joe start the online Breezo of Model-Glue that will be broadcast live from CFUNITED. You can RSVP for the Breezo here:

After class I headed out to dinner to celebrate ColdFusion's bright future with the Macromedia CF engineers Dean Harmon, Mike Nimer, Tom Jordahl, director of engineering Damon Cooper, CF QA Bob Powell and Billy Sahlas, plus Ben Forta and Tim Buntel who are presenting the keynote tomorrow, and also Amy Brooks and Christine Lawson of Developer Relations. Macromedia definitely has a huge turnout at this unique ColdFusion conference, and Amy in particular has done a great job at organizing everything. Check out the Macromedia booth in the exhibit hall where we'll all be hanging out to talk to you and help answer your ColdFusion questions. Stop by for posters and T-shirts!

I think CFUNITED is booked with 8-900 attendees, so I plan to get up early for Ben and Tim's keynote address tomorrow morning... just a paltry 7 hours from now :( I'd like to set up my video camera to record the keynote, then I'll try to edit it down to a small file for distribution here soon so everyone can share the good news :)

See you there and see you at the Model-Glue BOF tomorrow!

Movie Meme

Taking a clue from Leslee, here's my own take on the Movie Meme...

Total number of films I own on DVD and video:
Looking at the two bookshelves on either side of the living room TV, Id say there must be over 200 DVDs right there. This includes perhaps 100 movies from the states, and 50 foreign films including mostly Almodovar and Amenabar films, but theres the odd French films in there too including almost all of the Audrey Tautou films and an old favorite Betty Blue. The other 50 DVDs are of the educational variety such as the Carl Sagan series Cosmos, the PBS series on String Theory called The Elegant Universe by Brian Green, a whole bunch of Nova episodes, the 2001 PBS 6 hour series on Evolution, the 4 hour Ken Burns special on Lewis and Clark, several NASA/Space Travel type shows like Origins, and the Revolution OS flick which traces the development of Linux and includes curious interviews with Richard Stallman, Bruce Perens, and of course Linus Torvalds. Among the VHS tapes, I still have my very first VHS purchase, Jeremiah Johnson, and my most recent VHS purchase, the Ernest Shackleton 6 part series starring Kenneth Brannigan(?).

Last film I bought:
Just this week the most recent addition to our DVD collection came in from Amazon... Northern Exposure, Season 3. This television series was a centerpiece to my twenties. The story as a whole further compelled me to travel to Alaska several times, although the filming was done in Roslyn, Washington outside Seattle where I had to stop and have a beer in The Brick,and I did manage to spend a couple days in Talkeetna, AK where the series was supposedly based on. Check out my photos. Only this past year has the NX series been available on DVD. Previously, while fearing that I would never obtain a video archive of the series, I bought a few key episodes that were available on VHS from independent vendors on Amazon. I paid $20-45 for individual episodes that I felt were most memorable, including "Northern Lights" from season 1 and "Thanksgiving" from series 3. The most inspiring character to me was Chris Stevens, the self-taught, quasi-hippi/biker from a wrecked home in West Virginia that elevated himself to the Cicelys poet laureate, DJ, lay philosopher. I remember frantically writing down and later researching all the literary fragments that were used by the Chris Stevens role. There was even a book published containing only the musings, quips, and quotes of Chris Stevens, : Chris in the Morning: Love, Life, and the Whole Karmic Enchilada. By season 5 the NX writers were jumping the shark, and as much as I loved the series I could hardly bring myself to watch with the new doctor and all. I missed the final episode Tranquility Base, which ended with the folky Our Town by Iris Dement, so I guess it will be a year or so before its available on DVD.


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.


Red Hat Magazine: A Primer on MySQL

This month's edition of Red Hat Magazine has a nice article on an introduction to MySQL on the commandline. I enjoyed reviewing this primer more than I did reading through the first few chapters my Sams MySQL in 24 hours. Check it out.

Getting started with MySQL
Russell J.T. Dyer

Dual boot Fedora Linux and Mac on a Mac Mini

Why? Why not?!

Check out this article in Red Hat Magazine's May edition

Installing Fedora Core on the Mac mini
by Colin Charles.

I enjoyed the read. The two most novel aspects to me were the yaboot boot loader, used in place of the more familiar grub, and the fact that you can reinstall the Mac OS X at all while also specifying partitions. Nice!

Will I dual boot my own PowerMac G5? Not a chance! I've been dual booting Linux on every machine I can get my hands on for years, but my G5 will remain pristine.

CFMX 7 Search Service not available on Mac OS X

On Mac OSX, the ColdFusion Administrator page for Verity states:

Unable to retrieve collections from the Search Service. Please verify that the ColdFusion MX Search Server is installed and running.

So I reviewed the Macromedia documentation for running ColdFusion MX 7 on Macintosh and found that there was no mention of Verity at all.

After that, I went to the directory where the installer put the cfusion.war file and I found a file named cfmx-j2ee-readme.txt. Searching this document for Verity, I found the following paragraph:

Note: Verity runs on Windows, Linux, and Solaris. If your J2EE server runs on an operating system other than Windows, Solaris, or Linux, Verity support is unavailable on that server. However, you can optionally install Verity on a Windows, Linux, or Solaris server and configure your ColdFusion server to use the remote Verity server.

I know I've skimmed over this paragraph numerous times before, but it wasn't until today when I wanted to check Verity that I realized that this caveat now applied to me while on my Mac. Bottom line, either you have to install the Verity K2 Search Service on another OS like Windows and then connect to it from CF on Mac, or you'll have to find an alternative for Verity, such as Lucene. You can find a few articles by Aaron Johnson in CFDJ on how to use Lucene via a Java CFX (part 1,part 2).

Update: Check out this blog entry on running Verity in a distributed mode.

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