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The Week in ColdFusion: 13-19 Feb: Hidden gems

Kay Smoljak

The Software and Information Industry Association have announced the Codie Awards finalists for 2008 – and ColdFusion 8 is listed in the Best Web Services Solution category.  The winners are revealed in May.

One for the Mac users: the built-in rich text editor in ColdFusion 8 uses FCKEditor – but at the time when CF8 was released, Safari was not supported by FCKEDitor. According to Ben Forta, the next CF updater, which is due out “shortly”, and includes support for Leopard and 64-bit Windows, will include an updated library which adds support for the WebKit rendering engine.

Charlie Arehart has done a round-up of all the ColdFusion podcasts – including those that started and have since disappeared. In fact, there’s more that have fallen by the wayside than are currently producing new episodes! Charlie has also has his chapter from CFWACK posted online in PDF format, on Using the CF8 Debugger.

Onto some technical stuff – Rupesh Kumar, from the ColdFusion engineering team, has posted code showing how to read meta data from swf files using ColdFusion (via Java). Handy for dynamically embedding Flash files – particularly to get the correct dimensions, as Rupesh points out. Anuj Gakhar has found another hidden gem using Java – the ability to display color-coded source code using a method in one of the built-in libraries. 

Ben Nadel has created a user-defined function for Cleaning High Ascii Values For Web Safeness In ColdFusion, inspired by Ray Camden talking about RSS parsing breaking when CF hits a character it doesn’t recognise. Very useful also for cleaning Microsoft Word input.

For those interested in the ExtJS framework, Dan Vega has posted a tutorial on getting started with ExtJS forms, covering creating and customizing forms, submitting forms using Ajax and loading form data using Ajax. Not happy with the default look of CF8’s built-in Ajax controls? Todd Sharp shares a tip for changing the theme.

If you’re using the new CFPresentation feature in CF8, you might be interested in this tip from Ben Forta: you can change the default colors and fonts by editing an XML file. Ben reminds you to backup the original first! Also new in CF8 is support for the open source Derby database. Sam Farmer has released a CFC to streamline the process of creating new Derby databases.

Finally, in the framework arena – Bruce Phillips has posted The Grade Schooler’s Guide to Mach-II Version 1.5 – Part 1 Naked Mach-II.

I mentioned last week that I had received my copy of the latest Fusion Authority Quarterly Update but hadn’t had time yet to do a full review. I’ve now finished reading (and enjoying) it, but I think Ben Nadel has beaten me to the punch with his review – there’s not much I could add to his excellent overview.

Have you seen a link that you think I should include in my weekly updates? Feel free to leave a comment, send me an email or – better still – flag it for me directly using del.icio.us. My username is kay.smoljak so if you use del.icio.us, simply tag the link with for:kay.smoljak and I’ll see it.