Archive for May, 2003

New JRun TechNote

Restarting the web server breaks connector-based sticky sessions

Ben Forta’s Presentation on ColdFusion MX for J2EE

Check out Ben’s Breeze presentation on ColdFusion MX for J2EE, The Marriage of Power and Productivity:

Good stuff, Ben.

Browser Detection with BrowserHawk

There is a new article on DevNet about using BrowserHawk to do some very advanced server-side browser detection. You can check out the article here:

BrowserHawk will let you detect Flash player presence and version along with just about anything else you could possibly need. For a quick sample, go to the page below and scroll down a bit:

Find out more about BrowserHawk here:

And now for a quick survey:

  1. Are you currently using BrowserHawk?
  2. Have you ever tried BrowserHawk?
  3. What other packages do you know of that are like BrowserHawk?

Using structKeyExists Rather Than isDefined

If you have ever tried using the isDefined function like this:

<cfif isDefined("url['foo']")>

Then you have probably seen this error:

Parameter 1 of function IsDefined, which is now “url[‘foo’]”, must be a syntactically valid variable name.

In situations where you either have to use bracketed syntax, or simply prefer it, try using the structKeyExists function instead, like this:

<cfif structKeyExists(url, "foo")>

Since variable scopes are actually structs, the above syntax works with all scopes exactly like the isDefined function would.

$100 Rebate on Studio MX

Macromedia is offering a $100 rebate on Studio MX Plus for Windows and Studio MX for Mac purchased before June 30th. You can find out more at the Macromedia online store.

Studio MX Plus also comes with the DevNet Resource Kit, Special Edition. From Macromedia’s website:

The special edition DevNet Resource Kit included with Studio MX Plus provides an introductory sample of the tested, documented and reliable extensions and components that are available in DevNet Resource Kit Volume 1 and DevNet Resource Kit Volume 2.

Out of Office Notice, New TechNote, and Virgin Music Uses FCS

Just wanted to let folks know that I will be out of town for the rest of the week, so if I don’t respond to your emails right away, don’t think I’m ignoring you. I will be back to work on Monday.

In the meantime, here’s a new TechNote on cfchart:

And check out Virgin Music’s Canadian site. They use Flash all over the place, but they are also using Flash Communication Server to stream their top 5 audio and video picks. Being a Mac user, I love to see sites using Flash to stream media rather than Real or Windows Media Player. You can check it out here:

New TechNote: ColdFusion MX and JRun 4 Support for Windows 2003

From Macromedia’s webiste:

Both ColdFusion MX and JRun4 will provide support for Microsoft’s newest operating system, Windows 2003. This TechNote will discuss the availability of this enhancement to these Macromedia server products.

You can find the entire TechNote here:

TheServerSide Features Talk By Macromedia Software Architect is featuring a talk by Sean Neville, the JCP Executive Committee representative for Macromedia and Flash Remoting software architect. From TheServerSide’s site:

Sean talks about Rich Internet Applications (RIAs), how they can be used to aggregate the business tier and enterprise applications using the client and looks at architectural approaches and technologies used for designing RIAs. He discusses how the J2EE Petstore was implemented in Flash, how the Flash Remoting product enables interoperability between J2EE and rich clients, and examines why vendors are trying to attract a new ‘VB-style’ group of developers. He also looks at changes that need to occur in the industry for RIAs to become mainstream.

Check it out here:

Git Rid Of Annoying Line Breaks From Form Tags

If you are very particular about your page layouts, the last thing you need are HTML elements like the <form> tag conspiring against you by adding arbitrary line breaks for no apparently reason (at least it seem arbitrary to me — if anyone knows why the world the form tag behave like this, let me know). The old way to solve the problem was by putting your form tags between table rows or outside of table cells. It doesn’t make for particularly well-formed or pretty HTML, but it made the problem go away. But what do you do if you are using cascading style sheet positioning, so you don’t have any table tags to sweet extra line breaks under? All you have to do is drop the following line in your stylesheet, and you will never have to worry about it again:

form {margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px; }

Of course, you can also use this technique to add wanted and controlled spacing to your form, as well. The areas that the numbers represent are, in order, top, right, bottom and left.

Interacting with XML and CSV Files Using SQL

If you have DRK 3, you might want to check out this application that Simon Horwith wrote. It is sort of an administrative application for the Data File Access (DFA) project, also written by Simon. DFA allows you to interact with XML and comma-delimited files as though they were a database. It’s great for small to medium sized projects like surveys or address books when you need to store relatively small amounts of information. Basically, it gives you all the convenience of SQL and XPath, but you don’t have to worry about a database or about managing XML files manually.

This admin application that Simon has written allows you to dump the data currently stored in DFA XML data tables, add new data to existing datatables, and create new data tables. If you are using DFA or think you might use it in the future, this is a good utility to have around.

You can read more about DFA and other applications on DRK Volume 3 here: