If your ColdFusion MX server suddenly starts sending pages that display only <. or sometimes .< in the browser, then ColdFusion, or JRun actually, is actually trying to tell you is that an internal server error has occured.

This is a connector bug in CFMX 6.1 Updater 1, recently uncovered by the detective work of my colleague Tom D.

I've heard of some rare reports of this occurring, but I haven't seen any clear explanations of what caused it.

It turns out that the connector was just trying to return a message for "Internal Error" wrapped in some formatting HTML, but due to a connector glitch it just wrote some repeated HTML tags with a dangling bracket and period. If you view source you'll see the pointless HTML tags just hanging around.

So in the end there's no real mystery to it, other than just trying to find out what's causing the internal error on JRun, but that's another story.