ColdFusion Technical Journals, Past and Present

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The latest issue of Fusion Authority Quarterly Update (FAQU), the only print journal on ColdFusion, is now available from Fusion Authority.

First, a bit of background. Once upon a time, there was a ColdFusion magazine, The ColdFusion Developer’s Journal (CFDJ). Produced as part of a stable of technical journals by publishing company Sys-Con Media, it was a glossy affair, packed with advertisements, and included articles by many of the world’s best ColdFusion authors.

The publishing world is cut-throat. Over time, advertising started to take over the content, and nowhere was this more apparent than the accompanying web site, which became overrun with popups, intrusive flash ads which covered the articles and auto-playing video commercials. The quality of the print magazine started to decrease, and allegations of Sys-Con using blog material without permission started to rile developers.

At some point, Adobe decided it no longer wanted to support Sys-Con by purchasing ads in CFDJ, given it had lost a lot of community support. Sys-Con inked a deal with Microsoft instead, and decided to discontinue CFDJ in favour of a publication on Silverlight. Which was all fine – no one would have missed it much – until they decided to announce the new deal with a series of inflammatory and childish articles damning ColdFusion, blaming Adobe for the death of the journal and suggesting that Adobe’s decision not to advertise in their low-quality magazine showed a lack of support for ColdFusion.

All this is old news – it’s done the rounds on the ColdFusion blogs and been done to death in the process. What’s also old news, but perhaps less widely known, is that at the time of CFDJ’s demise, there was already another print journal for ColdFusion to take its place, put out by ColdFusion community leaders Michael and Judith Dinowitz: the excellent Fusion Authority Quarterly Update. Michael and Judith also run, home of the CFTALK mailing list which is the largest and oldest community resource for ColdFusion.

FAQU features in-depth articles, often with code samples, and each edition is loosely based around a theme. Having been a contributing author in the past, I can say from personal experience that the quality and thoroughness of the editing and technical review process is second to none – as you would expect in a professional technical journal.

The current issue – Volume II Issue II, the fourth released – focuses on usability, with articles on user interface design, prototyping, separating layout and logic. A section on Flex covers ColdFusion/Flex integration, reporting and printing from Flex, building Flex components, the Cairngorm framework and two articles on Adobe AIR (the desktop runtime engine for Flash). Part II of a very interesting article by Michael Dinowitz on Google AdSense – titled “Making Google Pay” – is probably worth the purchase price alone (a yearly subscription starts from USD $49.95, and individual back editions are available for purchase in physical or PDF format from US $6.95).

The first issue is available for download from the web site in PDF format so you can get an idea of what the journal is about. That issue – which focuses on new features in CFMX 7 – includes the now infamous article where I rip the guts out of ColdFusion Integrated Reporting. Although if you read that, bear in mind that in the next issue I do a run-through of the updates Adobe released in the CFMX 7.0.2 updater, where they fix a lot of the bugs.

Fusion Authority Quarterly Update – well worth checking out.

Kay SmoljakKay Smoljak
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