The Week in ColdFusion: 18-24 June: CFML, Fast and Furious

One of the big topics this week has been the announcement of the CFML Advisory Committee at CFUnited. This group, headed up by Sean Corfield, includes members of the Adobe ColdFusion community and the Railo community, but notably no one from the Open BlueDragon camp. Ben Forta has posted his thoughts on the committee, and a dialogue of sorts between Ben and Alan Williamson from Open BlueDragon resulted in the comments. Alan decided to introduce himself to the ColdFusion community as well as address some of the controversy, prompting a response from Rey Bango (again with involved discussions in the comments). The soap opera will no doubt continue and I’m hesitant to devote any more column space to it, but I think the committee itself is a step in the right direction to ensure the CFML language stays consistent amongst multiple implementations, and hopefully whatever the outcome of the drama, it will be for the benefit of the CFML community.

In fact, there’s already good signs that the community is serious about interoperability: Barney Boisvert reports that Railo has implemented the same underlying mechanisms for arrays and structs as Adobe ColdFusion and Open BlueDragon.

On the flip side, David Shuck questions why Adobe’s marketing department seems to be out of the ColdFusion loop, omitting it from marketing materials related to Flex where it really should be pushed (hat tip and sincere thanks to Mike Henke). From Adobe, Ben Forta (king of evangelists), Kristen Schofield (ColdFusion product manager) and Rachel Luxemburg (community manager) all responded in the comments.

Right, with that out the way, let’s get onto some information that’s actually useful!

Code

Feel like digging around in the internals of ColdFusion server? Inspired by Elliott Sprehn’s presentation at CFUnited (more on that conference is coming in a separate post), Dan Vega has been doing just that – check out what he found out about the implementation of structures, how to find the number of dimensions in an array, random number generation and how to dump all scopes.

ColdFusion Jedi Master Raymond Camden regularly posts answers to questions that readers ask him in his “Ask a Jedi” series. This week, he responds to a question about using ColdFusion Ajax with CFCALENDAR, as well as a question about a complex security scenario, a frequently asked question about browser support for ColdFusion Ajax components and gives a URL rewriting example. He also posts on clearing individual files/folders from ColdFusion’s template cache. Phew – Ray, you’re a blogging machine!

Also on code, briefly:

Charlie Griefer has written an article for Pakt Publishing on lesser-known features in ColdFusion 8 (hat tip to Ben Forta). Pakt will be releasing John Farrar’s new book on ColdFusion this month – good to see another niche tech publisher supporting the ColdFusion community. If you didn’t see it before, read an interview with John Farrar about his COOP framework here on SitePoint.

Open Source

Brian Rinalidi is out there combing through RIAForge and other sources so we don’t have to – this week, his Open Source Update reports five new projects – including a Twitter client and a new event-driven model framework by Sean Corfield – and four updates as well as some announcements concerning frameworks and a ton of tutorials, presentations and reviews. Thanks Brian, and keep up the good work!

The FarCry Framework/CMS has a new web site – looking good, guys! If you didn’t see it the first time around, read an interview with Geoff Bowers about FarCry on SitePoint – hey, you didn’t mention then that a new site was in the works, Geoff…

ColdFusion 9 Discussion

After the CFUnited “sneak peak” of what the Adobe team are working on for ColdFusion 9, there’s been some discussion of one of the proposed new features: hibernate integration. Mark Mandel, author of the popular Transfer ORM framework (read 10 questions with Mark about his product here) has written a pre-emptive post addressing concerns that CF9+Hibernate signals the end of Transfer. After thinking on the topic, Todd Sharp suggests that a CFVALIDATE tag could be a useful enhancement to Hibernate integration.

Community

The new CFConversations podcast is flying along – already, Brian Meloche has posted episodes 2, 3 and now 4, recorded on day 3 of CFUnited. The main issue discussed is how to promote CFML outside of the ColdFusion community – and Brian has also posted the results of his CFUnited ‘Community session’ on this topic. Some good ideas there!

Related to last week’s outcry about code commenting practices, Sam Larbi posts about Common Excuses Used To Comment Code and What To Do About Them.

Thanks for reading and keep coding CFML – it makes your hair curly! If you have a tip for me, email kay at smoljak dot com, leave a comment or tag the link in del.icio.us with for:kay.smoljak.

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  • Yves

    Great post reporting all this stuff!

    ;-)

  • http://www.magain.com/ mattymcg

    Comprehensive wrap-up this week Kay!

    Thanks for reading and keep coding CFML – it makes your hair curly!

    So that’s why I have a head full of curly locks! I was wondering…

  • http://www.dopefly.com MrNate

    Kay,
    Thanks for the update – plenty of items in here that I missed this week. You mentioned Dave Shuck’s rant on CF marketing. When you said that Ben Forta had issued a reply, I was expecting a real battle, but was happily surprised to see that he was completely on our side, seemingly even more than Dave. Kudos to him!

    I have been fully enjoying the CFConversations podcast as well. There’s some dry spots here and there, but overall, more than worth the time.
    -nathan strutz, dopefly.com