Are your clocks cleaned?

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Here in the states most of us ritualistically change our clocks twice a year in hopes to gain more daylight. This practice has been known as Daylight Savings Time and it’s my understanding that it’s also practiced in other parts of the world. Well the US Government recently changed the dates for when Daylight Savings Time would start and end. This caused in some places a y2k like panic and people feared that their software would all of the sudden start reporting the wrong time for lunch breaks. So much like y2k, software makers started issuing patches for their software and operating systems to account for these changes.

For those of you running your own ColdFusion server you’ll need to take note here because there are things you need to do, in order to be ready for next weekend sine the 2nd weekend in March is when the changes take effect.

For ColdFusion to be “fixed” you need to actually update the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) which ColdFusion uses to process your code. According to Adobe’s web site the SUN JVM Version 1.4.2_11 fixes the Daylight Savings time issues and is certified for CFMX 7.02, CFMX 6.1 Updater 1 and JRun 4 Updater 6 (for those not running in standalone).

Now grabbing the proper JVM is a bit tricky. Sure you could just head over to SUN’s java site and grab the latest version but these newer versions haven’t been certified by Adobe to work with the current version of CF which could mean nothing, or it could me some wonky acting web sites for sure!

Here are the steps I took in order to get the SUN JVM 1.4.2_11

  1. Visit http://java.sun.com/products/archive/index.html
  2. Scroll down the page until you see the following in bold J2SDK/J2RE – 1.4
  3. To right of this you’ll see a drop down selector with the word Go next to it. Click this drop down selector and select the “1.4.2_11″ version and click on the Go button
  4. On the next screen you need to select either the j2SDK 1.4.2_11 or the J2RE 1.4.2_11. I choose the j2SDK just so I knew I had everything :).
  5. The next screen should be the download screen. Before you can download though you’ll need to select the radio button next to the “Accept License Agreement” text above the table with all the versions
  6. Once you’ve accepted the license agreement the page will refresh and you can select the version for your OS. If you have multiple servers running different OS versions you might want to put a check into each box next to the version you need and then click on the link to “Download selected with Sun Download Manager”. For those running Windows 32 bit I suggest grabbing the “Offline Installation”. It’s a bit beefier but you won’t have to worry about the installer trying to download the parts it needs etc.

Once you’ve got it downloaded you’ll need to install it on the same computer where ColdFusion is running. The installer is easy just double click on the installer file and follow the prompts. When asked where you want to put the files I recommend placing them in the root of drive ie C: or d: to keep the path names as short as possible. And also when it asks which browsers it should register with you can leave those already selected if you don’t have a JRE already installed. Most machines will have a version already installed so in this case you’ll want to uncheck the browsers you use to avoid any possible conflicts.

Once the J2SDK / JRE has been installed you’ll need to upgrade the JVM shipped with ColdFusion to use the 1.4.2_11 version. You can do this by following the steps outlined in Adobe Technote 2d547983.

If you’re running standalone this is a super easy step that just involves you logging into the ColdFusion administrator and making a simple change.

Be sure to restart ColdFusion so that all the changes take effect.

If you want to read more about this issue check out this search from the weblogs.Macromedia.com MXNA aggregator.

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  • LiQ

    What’s the problem? Just use the machines time. Like Excel’s Now() function, which gets the system’s time.

    If the user hasn’t adjusted to daylight savings on his server all other systems would get the wrong time as well, so that would be the “actuall time” anyway for the company/server.

  • http://www.realityedge.com.au mrsmiley

    @LiQ: Not having the correct time in business apps can be a very big deal. Take a CRM for example that collates incidents by time. These applications also need to be aware of the client timezone so the appropriate corrections can be made on screen to any timestamp. It is highly unintuitive when you start seeing times one hour into the future or having them display out of order because of when various people around the world logged their issues and how much correction was applied. This is not an uncommon situation in global software solutions.

  • Travis Roberts

    This is pretty trivial, but it’s not ‘Daylight Savings Time’, it’s ‘Daylight Saving Time’. No ‘s’ at the end of ‘saving’.

  • Ray G

    My understanding of how it extends beyond getting the current system time is in time calculations — if you need to know the amount of time elapsed from March 10th 9am to March 11th 9am, I’m guessing the answer will vary depending on whether the system knows when the time changes. In theory, the correct answer will be 23 hours?

  • http://www.trulybored.com Gamermk

    So what’s the big deal happening here? The US is now changing at the same time as the rest of the world?

  • http://www.realityedge.com.au mrsmiley

    If you live in Melbourne, Australia like I do, they altered the DST dates by one week to accomodate the Olympic games, otherwise it would have changed half way through (I think). Sometimes the government decides that for a specified period of time, the DST dates will be different to accomodate various things for that time.

    Does anyone know if this change is permananent or temporary?

  • RobC

    Piece of cake to update. Takes all of 2 minutes. Just do it.

  • tgoyer

    mrsmiley, at least here in the US, it is decided by the US Congress. This change was passed back in 2005.

    Since it is Congress that makes the determination, it is permanently temporary. :)

  • http://basicstate.com/ plumsauce

    A very good reason to run on GMT, aka UTC for the new generation.

    My canned speech is that “the internet is a worldwide place”, there is no reason your timezone preference should take precedence over anyone else’s timezone preference.

  • Bruno

    WHEN UPDATING PATH FOR JAVA JRE IN THE COLDFUSION SERVER, REMEMBER TO USE FORWARD SLASHES (/) AND NOT BACKSLASHES!

    EX: C:/JRE/

    BACKSLASHES WILL CAUSE PROBLEMS.

  • wALser

    you rock man, i tried following adobe’s tech note but yours was spot on. cheers!