The Week in ColdFusion: 5-11 March: BlueDragon steals the show

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Without doubt the biggest news this week has been the announcement by New Atlanta that they are open-sourcing the J2EE edition of BlueDragon, one of their CFML server products. Other editions will remain as commercial products. The reactions from around the blogosphere have ranged from the enthusiastic gushing of SitePoint blogger Eric Jones to mild indifference in Terrence Ryan’s Yawn, Blue Dragon Goes Open Source; some see it as a great thing for ColdFusion the language, while others such as Adobe Engineer Damon Cooper, think it’s an admission of defeat by New Atlanta. For some good insight into the potential success and failure points of this move, check out Sean Corfield’s Open Source BlueDragon, Geoff Bowers’ BlueDragon is dead! Long live BlueDragon! and Charlie Griefer’s Here There Be Dragons! And if you’re wondering how this announcement might affect you personally as a CFML developer, Alan Williamson from New Atlanta has attempted to answer that question with Open Source BlueDragon, what does it mean for you?

The announcement has overshadowed what would otherwise have been pretty big news this time around: Adobe ColdFusion 8 has won a Jolt Award in the Web Development category. This is the 18th Jolt Product Excellence Awards and the competition, judged by a panel of software industry experts, recognize those products, books, and web sites that have “jolted” the industry in the past year. This is a pretty nice achievement for Adobe, following up their shortlisting in the Codie Awards (winners to be announced in May).

Snippets for this week:

Enough business talk, let’s cut some code! First, the ever-popular CF8/ExtJS combination: Scott Bennett shows us first how to add a minimize/maximize button to a CFWindow using a JavaScript function, and then how to disable selected row highlighting in CFGrid. Andy Jarrett then shows us how to dynamically hide a CFGrid column. With all these fantastic grid tutorials showing how easy it is to extend the built in functionality, the ExtJS CFGrid fast becoming one of my favourite ColdFusion 8 features. If you’re not using CF8 yet, don’t despair: Justin Carter has released Alpha 3 of ColdExt, the ExtJS forms library that also works with ColdFusion MX7. As of this newest release, support for GridPanels has been added!

Ben Nadel shares a handy technique for extending Application.cfc and OnRequestStart() with the SUPER scope. He also shares the source code for a simple ColdFusion 8 image manipulation web service. As always, Ben explains concepts very clearly and includes lots of example code, so these two are well worth checking out.

Hat tip to Brian Rinaldi’s weekly open source update: Fusebox 5.5.1 is now available for download from the Fusebox site. This is a minor bug fix release, but is especially important for those developers using the no-XML style introduced in 5.5.

Finally, if you’re not using the Firebug extension for Firefox to help with debugging HTML, CSS and JavaScript, you really need to check it out – it’s really a must-have tool for anyone working with web pages. ColdFire, the CFML debugging extension that makes Firebug even better, has been updated to version 1.004. According to Nathan Mische, this new release doesn’t add much in the way of features, but lays the groundwork for the next major version which will support Firefox 3.

So that’s it for this week. As always, if you have a link for me, email me, leave a comment here or tag it for:kay.smoljak on

Kay SmoljakKay Smoljak
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