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  ::   August 24, 2004

Two New CFCs Posted
Two new CFCs have been posted to the site in the past few weeks. Check out checkEquality by Qasim Rasheed and queryTool by Joe Rinehart on the CFC page.

  ::   June 1, 2004

Going on Vacation
I'm heading off for a relaxing two week break from reality. My wife and I, along with some friends, are heading to the U.K for a week, followed by a week in Malta. No cell phones, no Internet, and most importantly, no work!

Needless to say, I won't be doing any blogging while I'm gone. Luckily, I'll be back just in time to see Ben Forta present at the Phoenix CFUG on June 16th. Can't wait.

  ::   May 21, 2004

Blackstoned - O'Reilly Drops ColdFusion MX Title
With all the current buzz over Blackstone (the next version of ColdFusio MX), I decided to shoot an email over to my editor at O'Reilly to gauge their interest in having me write the 3rd edition of my book Programming ColdFusion MX.

Well, I heard back from him today, and it looks like they are going to pass on a new edition. I'd like to say that I was crushed by their decision, but honestly, I'm a little relieved. It was hard work turning out two books over the past few years, each as the sole author while maintaining a full-time job, National Guard service, and a marriage (maybe a bit of a social life too). The first edition of my book ended up selling about 9,000 copies after the majority of the returns were in. Given that an author pulls in 10% of what the publisher sells the book to retailers for, this translated to apprx $2 a copy. Do the math and $18k looks like a nice bit of pocket change - until you also realize that the taxes on that come to apprx 40%. Then take the 1500+ hours I put into the first edition and you can see it didn't amount to much more than minimum wage! I'm fine with that, though, as I didn't write the first edition to make money. I wrote it because I used ColdFusion every day, and I loved sharing my enthusiasm for web application development with CF.

When O'Reilly asked me to write the 2nd edition for CF MX, I was a little hesitant because of the amount of time it took to do the first edition (almost 2 years). I relented and managed to squeeze it out after the 6.1 release after investing about 1000 hours (yes, I'm rounding a bit). It was a fairly major rewrite as CFMX was a huge improvement over CF 5. Lots of new features and revisions added about 250 pages to the book, bringing it in at around 1100 pages.

That brings me to today. Programming ColdFusion MX, 2nd. edition is the second best selling ColdFusion MX book (at the register as it goes), behind Ben's CFMX WACK. Given that it's only sold around 5,000 copies or so in the past year, that's pretty sad, and I can see why O'Reilly isn't interested in doing a third edition. It isn't that the book isn't good (it's gotten many positive reviews), and I realize that the market for technical books is saturated and not in the best of shape, I guess I'm just a little sad (not bitter) that the ColdFusion community is losing the backing of O'Reilly given their reputation in the technical community. I always felt that having an O'Reilly book for a particular technology (even if I weren't the author) put some weight behind it.

So, it's on this note that I'd like to thank all of you who have purchased and read my book. I've recieved many kind emails over the years and have enjoyed corresponding with each and every one of you. I'd also like to take this opportunity to urge all ColdFusion developers to support the other authors of ColdFusion books out there. If we really want ColdFusion adoption to continue to spread, there has to be good material available for the developers who want to learn it.

  ::   May 12, 2004

Join The CFCDev Mailing List
If you are interested in ColdFusion Components (CFCs), and aren't already a member, you might consider joinging the CFCDev mailing list. This moderately trafficed list (avg 35 posts per day) currently has 601 subscribers of varying skill levels. Topics tend toward more advanced subjects, but all discussion related to CFCs is welcome.

  ::   April 12, 2004

Max 2004 OPEN Call for Speakers
I know this has already been blogged, but I just want to mention that this year's Macromedia MAX confernece has an Open Call For Speakers. This differs from past conferences in which only persons affiliated with Macromedia could present. This open call should bring in a lot of new ideas for topics outside of Macromedia's "official" sphere of influence ;-)

  ::   March 5, 2004

Steve Rittler Blogging
I'm happy to see that Steve Rittler, long time Philly CFUG manager, has entered the world of blogging with his State of Independence blog. Steves a really great guy, and an excellent developer. Although his blog isn't specific to MAcromedia technologies (it's built in ASP.Net), Steve has a lot of insite to offer on both ColdFusion and Flash development. Look for a lot of good information from Steve in the near future.

  ::   March 1, 2004

7 New CFCs at
CFCZone has recieved several submissions of new CFCs over the past several weeks. I've actually had a few free moments to update the site, the results being 7 new CFCS. Rather than go into all of the details here, drop on by the site and have a look around.

  ::   January 9, 2004

ColdFusion Gets No Respect
I was recently browsing the O'Reilly web site and noticed a link to a Global Developer Survey. Around the third page was a question asking " Which languages are you currently using to develop applications?". Answers included Java, C#,, php, and many others. Unfortunately, ColdFusion wasn't listed among them. I see this sort of thing all the time, so I wasn't really too surprised. What got my goat, though, was the fact that the survey engine WAS A COLDFUSION APPLICATION!

This is more a rant than anything else, but it's a real shame that ColdFusion doesn't seem to get much respect outside the "ColdFusion community". Despite the number of sites (and high profile ones at that) that use it, and despite the great reviews ColdFusion gets in leading publications such as eWeek, I can't help shake the feeling that ColdFusion gets treated like the proverbial red headed stepchild. What are your thought?

  ::   January 8, 2004

Three New CFCs Available on
Three new CFCs have been submitted to the One's a wrapper around Java string functions, another is a wrapper around Java regular expression functions, and the third is an interface for working with pure Java resource bundles. Check them out in the CFCs section of the site.

  ::   December 2, 2003

The CFCDev Mailing List - A Growing Community
If you are into CFCs, and are looking for a high quality, no-nonsense resource for all things CFC, you might consider joining the CFCDev mailing list over at Currently, the list has over 550 members, with an average of 30 messages per day. Although the discussion tends to center around more advanced topics, developers of all skill levels are encouraged to participate. The list can be subscribed in regular or digest versions, and an archive is available for searching.

  ::   November 20, 2003

Curious About Who is Linking to Your Blog?
For all you bloggers out there that are curious about who is linking to your blog and blog entries, check out Technorati, a cool site that lets you put in the URL for your blog and returns a list of all other blogs (that it monitors) that have links to your blog. If you use Macromedia Central, there is also a Central app available that ties into this service.

  ::   November 19, 2003

ColdFusion MX 2 - Codename Blackstone
At today's keynote, Ben Forta "unofficially" announced the next version of ColdFusion MX, code named Blackstone. No details on the development cycle, or when alpha/beta would be available for testing.

According to Ben, the most requested feature for this version is enhanced reporting/printing. In my opinion, it would be a waste of time and resources for Macromedia to try to come up with their own reporting engine, especially when enterpries class engines such as Crystal and Actuate already exist. What I'm hoping is that they add intgration into popular reporting engines, as well as built-in support for generation of PDF files (via Apache FOP and XSL-FO, perhaps?). I would also think that some level of advanced report formatting could be achieved via CSS, so I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Other features hinted at were improved performance, more deployment options, and the ability to "protect" source code. My guess on that one is some sort of obfuscation scheme.

  ::   August 27, 2003

Seapine Software Releases TestTrack Pro 6.0
Seapine Software just released an awesome upgrade to their TestTrack Pro product. If you aren't familiar with TestTrack Pro, it's a Web (and Windows client) based defect/feature tracking system. I've been using it for a few years now and think it's absolutely fantastic. They recently added a SOAP API to the product, making it *relatively* easy to access various featuers of the system programatically. In fact, Geoff Bowers (of FullAsAGoog fame even has a CFC that can access some of the system's basic functionality. If you are looking for a defect tracking system, I can highly recommend TestTrack Pro.

  ::   August 21, 2003

New CFCs Available on
Three new CFCs have been submitted to the by Globalization/Internationalization/Localization superstar Paul Hastings. Check them out in the CFCs section of the site.

  ::   August 18, 2003

New O'Reilly ColdFusion MX 6.1 Book Now Available
Pardon the self-promotion, but I wanted to announce that my latest book, Programming ColdFusion MX, 2nd Edition has been released. It's worth noting that this is the only book on the market that covers ColdFusion MX 6.1.

If I was fortunate enough to have you as a reader of the first edition of this book (Programming ColdFusion), you'll be interested to know that the second edition has been completely revised and updated for ColdFusion MX 6.1. Just about every chapter has been rewritten, several of them completely. Many of the changes are the direct result of reader feedback. Four new chapters were added to deal with totally new topics introduced in ColdFusion MX. Additionally, the majority of examples used throughout the book have also been rewritten to reflect new and improved coding techniques and practices. It's worth noting that many of the changes to ColdFusion from Version 5 to MX are significant and simple to spot, while others are subtle and easy to overlook. Wherever possible, I try to point out the differences between the two versions.

  ::   August 8, 2003

On Vacation/Away from Blogging
I'll be on vacation all next week, so chances are I won't be blogging much. I've got a lot to say about the MX 6.1 release when I get back, so stay tuned.

On a related note, my new O'Reilly book, Programming ColdFusion MX should be on store shelves next Wednesday (8/13). I'll try to blog an entry from the road, but if not, I'll have a lot to say about it when I return.

  ::   June 25, 2003

Welcome Ben Forta to the Blogging World
Ben Forta's blog is now online. It's great to see that Ben's entered into the mix!

On a side note, Ben's using Ray Camden's Blog.cfc as the engine for his blog.

  ::   April 17, 2003

Away from the Office Next Week
I'm traveling next week, so I most likely won't be blogging anything new. I'm headed back to the East coast to upgrade a cluster of CF 5 servers to CFMX (among other things). Should be fun...

  ::   April 15, 2003

CFMX Design Patterns - Call for Contributors
The other day, Sean Corfield pointed to a Design Patterns site that contained listings for several of the more popular design patterns. Code samples for C# were provided for most of the patterns. Sean closed his blog entry by asking if the CF commnunity might be up to the challenge of creating a similar site for design patterns in ColdFusion MX.

After a discussion with Brendan O'Hara, the author of the monthly Design Patterns column in the ColdFusion Developer's Journal, we decided that this would be an excellent idea. I've offered to host the content as part of the (this ties in nicely with the site as most design patterns are implemented using CFCs). Brendan's offered to contribute some of the initial content based on the articles he's written so far.

What I'd like to propose next is an open call to the ColdFusion community to contribute as well. What is it we are looking for? Well, for starters, we need to define how we want to structure the offering. Obviously, we don't want to copy the same format as the Data & Object Factory site. We need to come up with an original way of presenting the design patterns in a way that makes sense for ColdFusion. The second thing we need is for developers with an understanding of design patterns to author the actual content. Brendan's offered to start things off, but we'll need the support and talent of several developers if this is going to work.

Fell free to add your suggestions via the comment link, or email me directly at .

  ::   April 4, 2003

Blog Updated
I made some major changes to my blog today that should make it much easier for me to keep updated. Here's a breakdown:

  • Switched from Blogger to a ColdFusion blog written using CFCs. The blog is based on Raymond Camden's blog.cfc. Thanks Ray!
  • Updated the RSS feed for the blog
  • Added ability to search the blog
  • Added a commenting system
  • Added linkable categorization

Keep an eye out for a lot more new content here as I plan to start updating my blog on a much more regular basis.

  ::   October 28, 2002

Live From DevCon Day 2 (Monday)
Greetings on the official first day of sessions at Macromedia DevCon 2002. Things have been going well so far. Rather than go on and on, I'll give you the highlights (at least for me):
  • Wireless Internet Access! There are several open access points setup throughout the conference area where anyone with an 802.11b card in their laptop (or other device) can connect anf get high speed Internet access. Kudos to Macromedia!
  • Networking. I can't say this enough. If I take nothing else away from this conference (don't worry, I will), I can say that without a doubt, I've met some of the most fantastic people in the ColdFusion community. Things started at yesterday's CF_Underground 4, organized by Michael Smith and his crew and progressed through the night with Macromedia's Welcome Reception, followed by more schmoozing at Kimono's with a great group of developers. For me, the night wrapped up over at the House of Fusion's Community Suite, hosted by Michael Dinowitz and his group.
  • This mornings keynote was good, but I do have a few comments. Having attended all three previous Allaire/Macromedia DevCons, it was a little sad to see some of the attention taken away from ColdFusion and given (understandably) to Macromedia's other products. While I totally understand this (after all, Macromedia does have a full, integrated product line), it made me a little nostalgic for DevCon's gone by. That said, the keynote did a good job of showing how Macromedia has evolved over the years. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's keynote more, however, as I'm really hoping Macromedia will give us more of a glimpse of where they are headed in the future!
  • Speaking of glimpsing into the future, there's a lot of buzz over macromedia's previews. What could they be??? I wonder...
  • I gave my first session today - UDFs in ColdFusion MX. It went fairly well, although I had some technical difficulties with the projector, needed to borrow a mouse (long story), and really needed more than the alloted 60 minutes to deliver everything that I had to show. All in all, it was ok, but I would have liked it to have gone a little better.

There's still a lot of great stuff happening tonight. There's an event for meeting Team Macromedia members (of which I am one) as well as Coldfusion User Group Managers. With so much to see and do here at DevCon, you could never leave the hotel, and still not be board. More later...

  ::   October 26, 2002

Blogging from DevCon 2002
I'll be in sunny Florida all week (including today) attending Macromedia DevCon 2002. If prior Allaire/Macromedia conferences are any indication, this year's conference should be fantastic. Besides the excellent technical presentations, DevCon is absolutely the best networking opportunity for ColdFusion developers.

If anyone is interested in meeting up, feel free to drop me an email at . Alternately, I'll be hanging around at various events throughout the week (Macromedia Community Connection Room, CF Underground 4, Meet the Authors Event, etc.). Check back for regular updates throughout the conference. If I get the opportunity, I'll try to upload some pics of each day's events.

  ::   September 6, 2002 Blog RSSified
I just RSSed the site to make syndication/aggregation possible. Thanks to Geoff Bowers for the suggestion to use's RSSifier.

  ::   September 5, 2002

I started adding CFC related FAQ's to the system today. My hope is to have a decent number of them to turn live within the next few weeks. The FAQ will of course be a living document. I'm kicking things off with a lot of basic questions, many related to general OOP concepts, and how they relate to CFCs. Things like "What is method overloading?", etc. There have been a lot of good discussions lately on the various mailing lists, and I'm using those discussions to generate ideas for FAQs.

  ::   September 3, 2002

Site Update
Ok, so it has been a while since I last blogged. Since the blog portion of the site isn't live yet, I haven't had the motivation. Anyhow, for those of you reading the pre-release blog, the site is progressing well. I've almost finished the site admin applications - all using CFCs. Once that's finished, I'll begin working on exposing the front-end functionality. That should be much easier to do as all of the tough stuff is in the admin. Stay tuned...

  ::   June 12, 2002

Site Update and CFUG Presentation
The development of is still progressing behind the scenes. We won't be able to turn the majority of features/functionality on until we have ColdFusion MX running on the server. As this server hosts other sites, it's a matter of ensuring the upgrade won't disrupt the operations of any of the existing sites.

In other news...

Last night, I gave a presentation entitled Getting to Know ColdFusion MX to the MDCFUG. There were about 45 people or so in attendance. The presentation is about 70 slides and includes code samples for a lot (but not all) of ColdFusion MX's new features as well as changes in existing functionality.

Arden Weiss also presented on Getting High on Search Engines with Webposition Gold. The MDCFUG is a fantastic user group - one I highly recommend you check out if you are local to the Bethesda, MD area.

  ::   June 3, 2002

CFCZone Blog Launched
If you can see this message, then my ColdFusion Blog is up and running. Stay tuned for regular postings on ColdFusion related information, tips, tricks, code, etc.

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