Video Archive of CFUNITED Keynote

If you missed CFUNITED this year or would just like to relive the Keynote event given by Tim Buntel and Ben Forta of Macromedia, then you might want to check out this 61MB clip of their 50 minute talk.

Highlights from the talk include the announcement of the CFMX 7 Updater codenamed Merrimack, the CFMX 8 announcement codenamed Scorpio, and the big hurrah from the crowd during the announcement of Macromedia support for the CFEclipse project.

Download Video [248 MB]

This was exported from iMovie on Mac OSX, which has better options for compression so that you can keep the full audio quality but compress only the video.

  • 0:00 Tim Buntel introduces himself and Ben Forta
  • 1:50 Ben Forta on where ColdFusion is today
  • 4:00 Ben polls crowd about CFMX 7 usage
  • 6:00 Ben on: Why Upgrade?
  • 7:00 Ben Forta begins discussion of what's new in CFMX 7
  • 19:20 Introduction to Amit Yathirajadasan of Georgetown University who demos CFMX 7 app
  • 20:50 Amit begins, but is generally inaudible
  • 25:30 Tony Weeg's big moment
  • 30:00 Tim Buntel recaps Amits talk and segueways to CFMX future
  • 30:19 Jared Rypka-Hauer saunters by...
  • 31:50 Ben Forta introduces CFMX 7 updater, code named Merrimack
  • 36:00 Start of CFEclipse discusssion by Tim Buntel
  • 42:00 Simeon Bateman of the CFEclipse Project joins the stage
  • 48:50 Tim Buntel and Ben Forta introduce ColdFusion MX 8, codenamed Scorpio
  • 53:50 Ben Forta demos the new CFMX 7 Language Poster


If you would like only the audio of the keynote, you can find it here.

For a video of the CFUNITED CFDJ Panel discussion, see this blog entry.

Do you know about the Code Compatibility Analyzer?

A lot of people at the CFUNITED conference last week didn't know about it, so I'd like to take a moment to highlight this helpful utility, the ColdFusion MX Code Compatibility Analyzer, which helps check code that you are migrating from earlier versions, such as ColdFusion 5.

This setting is available in the ColdFusion Administrator, in the left menu under the Debugging and Logging section. You select a directory containing the ColdFusion application or CFML source code to be analyzed, list the type of extensions to match such as .cfc or .cfm, and then under the Advanced options I always recommend selecting ALL for the Filter By Severity option. The ALL option will provide warnings at both the ERROR level and the INFORMATION level. The default is ERROR, so you might miss some important INFORMATION messages with that, so choose ALL.

Using this utility is a great first pass at your application when considering the migration process when moving to ColdFusion MX, and will probably save you a little frustration later. Its available in both CFMX 6.x and 7.

Helpful Resources:

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.

Model-Glue BOF: Stop the insanity!!!

Ok, as blogged in my earlier post, the Model-Glue BOF session turned in to a Technology Wild West Show, with danger lurking behind every slide, but dispite the hiccups, Joe held his course and forged smoothly ahead with the presentation.

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CFUNITED Day one a wrap: Sessions, BOFs, and Community

Today was seriously intense. The day started at 8am with a Welcome talk to introduce all of this year's speakers followed by a great keynote address by Ben Forta and Tim Buntel, with guest appearance by Simeon Bateman of the CFEclipse proejct (Thanks for the Sam Adams!). At first I tried attending sessions while taking notes which I later blogged, and this worked for a while during Ray Camden's, Nate Nelson's, and Simon Horwith's talks.

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Nate Nelson - Undocumented ColdFusion MX

Unsupported techniques without any guarantee by Nate or Macromedia. Use at your own risk.

XML Config files:

always make backups, use an editor that helps write XML, CF Service needs to be restarted to pick up changes. ColdFusion file extensions: WEB-INF/web.xml contains mappings that relate extensions like .cfm to the CfmServlet. Tony Weeg nods his head in agreement when Nate says that web.xml looks different between CFMX 6.1 and 7. Recommendation to not modify existing ones but create new mappings based on existing ones.

RDS is in web.xml in the RDSServlet mapping. Nate says to comment out to turn off RDS (there's a technote on this actually).

CFMXDirlibpassword.properties can be used to turn off CF Admin password. He recommends to blank the password values and change setencrypted to false, then type a new plaintext password and restart CF. This is actually safer than hacking the neo-security.xml file to disable CFAdmin password to get back in.

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CFUNITED Survivor Game Questions

Here are the ColdFusion challenges used in the CF Survivor game at CFUNITED 2005. Kudos to winner Daniel Elmore and runner up Joseph Danziger.

1) Output to the screen the ColdFusion server product version, including the build number.

2) Find the appropriate UDF from cflib.org to parse the search terms from a Google referrer, and modify it to work with Yahoo search referrer.



3) Create a ColdFusion custom function or use the built-in functions so that when called it takes a string as input and returns the string in opposite order, such as input "dog" returns "god".

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Macromedia Announcements at CFUNITED Keynote

This year's ColdFusion conference CFUNITED, formerly CFUN, has a large turnout from Macromedia, and Tim Buntel and Ben Forta kicked off the official start of the even today with blowout keynote address. I've video taped the keynote, and hope to have compressed wmv available for viewing soon.

A few of the big highlights include not just official recognition but sponsorship of the CFEclipse project. CFEclipse is a fantastic plugin for use with the free Eclipse IDE, and the project is managed by Rob Rohan, Simeon Bateman, and Stephen (Spike) Milligan. Ben and Tim invited Simeon Bateman, manager of the Portland CFUG too, up to the dais to give a brief overview of the current status and future of the CFEclipse project. Simeon noted that the project releases have slowed down since much of the fundemental bug fixes have been patched, and they are now working on new features. Coming later this year, watch for CFEclipse 2.0 with a bundle of new features.

Other big news includes the coming release of CFMX 7.1, code named Merrimack, and Ben demonstrated his questionable graphics skills with a scorpion image rising on the screen while introducing the code name and a couple major features of ColdFusion MX 8, Scorpio. As a Macroemdia Support Engineer, the most important ColdFusion MX 8 features to me was the server monitoring feature which will allow runtime introspection of the jvm and what the running threads are doing. I'm psyched about that, and I'm sure the whole developer community will be too, especially those that have ever tried to track down bottlenecks or other issues in an application where the symptoms only seem to appear in production under load.

Well, now I'm off to Ray Camden's talk on the new Verity 5.5 that ships in CFMX 7.... more soon.

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: http://coldfusion.meetup.com/17/events/4726812/.

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!

Post mortem ColdFusion Issue Analysis

Here's a typical type of ColdFusion support ticket that we get in Macromedia Support. In this case, the server stopped responding or crashed over a weekend, and I was sent the log files and server settings to review for clues about what happened.

I'm providing this just an example of how I go about drawing conclusions and reconstructing the events that transpired. Maybe it will help you when thinking about troubleshooting your own CF servers if needed. This case isn't complete, so when further progress is made, I'll try to update the critical info here. Names and private info have been removed.

Background, this is ColdFusion MX 6.1 Updater 1 server configuration on Windows 2000 and IIS 5:

Problem Report

We had one of our CF sites go down this weekend and we dont know why the services were simply offline. Id like some help doing a post-mortem analysis to figure out why the services stopped.

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