An easier way to take ColdFusion thread dumps on Windows

Thread dumps are often used a diagnostic utility to qualify and quantify the page requests running in a ColdFusion MX or JRun server. This is most useful for servers that appear to be hanging or spiking the CPU.

Brandon Purcell demonstrates how to generate ColdFusion MX thread dumps, also known as stack traces, while running it as Windows Service rather than from the command line.

Obtaining a Thread Dump with ColdFusion or JRun running as a Windows Service
While there is a limitation if using Terminal Services, this method will otherwise allow you to attach to a running jvm process to take a thread dump.

What to do with a ColdFusion thread dump once you've got it? This Macromedia technote on Debugging Stack Traces in ColdFusion MX helps make sense of it, although in my experience you have to read quite a lot of thread dumps before they start to look warm and fuzzy enough to be familiar, but that is when they start to offer up some of their secrets :)

Related entries:

[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.


Securing the ColdFusion MX Administrator

UPDATE June 2010:: You should read the the 2010 article on ColdFusion 9 Lockdown Guide [PDF] for the most recent security advice at this time.


While there are Macromedia technotes and documentation on securing the ColdFusion 5 Administrator, there hasn't been much published on securing the Administrator in ColdFusion MX.

You would think that you could just remove the physical /CFIDE directory from the external webroot, or remove the /CFIDE mapping for the website from the IIS Management Console, but some ColdFusion features like CFFORM or CFGRID have dependencies on files under CFIDE, so removing it entirely would likely break applications or limit them if those features haven't been used yet, and of course, you'd have to restore the /CFIDE everytime you want to adjust ColdFusion Admin settings.

[More] The system cannot find the file specified

So I wanted to freshen up my ColdFusion MX 7 Multiserver configuration since I've done so much testing and hacking on it. I uninstalled Macromedia ColdFusion MX 7 for JRun from the Windows Control Panel, and then immediately proceeded to install it again. Wrong move.

The new installation completed without any errors in the install log, the directory structure looked good, and the 2 JRun services were present. But neither Service would start, and attempting to start any server instance from the console failed like this:


Breeze Presentation Archive of CF Birthday Party

From: Christine Lawson
Subject: CF Birthday Party Recording!

Hi Everyone, For those of you who could not attend the various User Group events last night here is the recording from the ColdFusion 10th Birthday Party hosted here in Newton, Ma: Amongst the speakers were JJ and Jeremy Allaire, Tim Buntel, Ben Forta, Charles Teague, Sim Simeonov, Adam Berry, Damon Cooper and Edwin Smith. Please be sure to post this on your blogs and share it amongst your fellow community members on the various lists.

Christine Lawson
Team Macromedia Program Manager

For my personal VIDEO of the event, see this blog entry.

Video Archive of ColdFusion Birthday Party with Founders Panel Discussion

Watch the video of Macromedia's ColdFusion birthday party event held in the Newton, MA office yesterday, July 13 2005. The founders of ColdFusion, which was almost known as Prometheus or Horizon, recant the early days of Allaire Corporation.


ColdFusion 10th Birthday Party - Photo Gallery

Here's a fresh photo gallery just taken of the Macromedia Newton birthday party setup, including a plethora of CF swag. Check it out.

My Pre-Party ColdFusion Swag Photo Gallery

Ben Forta's Party Photos

How do CFCs see arguments passed by argumentcollection?

This was a question presented to me earlier today, and while it may be a yawn for many of you, I thought I'd review it here since it stumped me for a little while until I read the docs again.

The problem was that the calling page created a structure and populated a few struct keys with Strings, then passed the whole struct as input to a CFC method with [7 argumentcollection="#myStruct#" ...> when myStruct was a required input argument of type Struct, but the CFC returned the exception:

The parameter MYSTRUCT to function handleArgCollection is required but was not passed in.


CFUNITED 2005 Macromedia Keynote - Audio

In addition to the good quality video of the keynote address at CFUNITED, here is an audio only export of the keynote in mp3 format:

Audio mp3 track of the CFUNITED Keynote on June 29th [25MB]

Ben's microphone wasn't tuned as well as Tim Buntel's, so while Tim comes in loud and clear, Ben is a little difficult to follow. The audio for guest Amit who demos a CF7 app was lacking in volume entirely, so it barely comes though here. Simeon Bateman's talk on CFEclipse comes through very well.

  • 0:00 Tim Buntel introduces himself and Ben Forta
  • 6:30 - 15:00 Ben Forta begins discussion of what's new in CFMX 7
  • 16:40 Introduction to Amit Yathirajadasan of Georgetown University who demos CFMX 7 app
  • 17:45 Amit begins, but is generally inaudible
  • 27:20 Tim Buntel recaps Amits talk and segueways to CFMX future
  • 31:20 Ben Forta introduces CFMX 7 updater, code named Merrimack
  • 33:30 Start of CFEclipse discusssion by Tim Buntel
  • 39:40 Simeon Bateman of the CFEclipse Project joins the stage
  • 46:00 Tim Buntel and Ben Forta introduce ColdFusion MX 8, codenamed Scorpio

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