Archive for October, 2003

I Fired My IM Clients

As nice as iChat is, I finally got tired of having to use both it and ICQ for OS X, so I’m testing out Fire. Fire is free, open-source messaging client for OS X which supports AIM, ICQ, IRC, Jabber, MSN and Yahoo! Messenger. So far, I’m pretty happy with it, though I only use it for AIM and ICQ, so I don’t know how well it works for other protocols. It downloaded my contact (buddy) lists just as expected, and aside from one or two annoyances (not quite bugs, but certainly not features, either), it seems to be working great. I have to get some new sounds for it, though, because it uses the default AIM sounds, which makes my computer sound like my wife’s. Maybe something from Star Wars will do the trick. Anybody have some good WAV files?

What instant messaging client(s) do you use? Once I get a feel for what’s out there, I’ll set up a poll so we can find out which are the most popular.

ColdFusion MX 6.1 CFFORM Hot Fix

From the Macromedia TechNote Index:

Macromedia has created a hot fix to address issues with the cfform controls in Macromedia ColdFusion MX 6.1. The updated JAR file resolves the following issues with the cfform applets:

  1. Required fields in cfform / cfinput are not processed in the order they are defined within the form.
  2. When more than one image is specified for cftreeitem, the first specified image is displayed for all levels.
  3. Using cftree and cftreeitem throws Java ClassCastException error.

Birthday Money

Today is my birthday, and since I’m notoriously difficult to shop for, my family usually just sends me money. I’ve accumulated a couple hundred dollars so far, but I’m having difficulty deciding on what to pick up. The next big thing I have my eye on is a new Handspring Treo 600, but I have to wait until AT&T supports it, which is likely to be several months. I’m considering:

  • Playstation 2. I don’t have a lot of time for gaming, but I have a few friends across the country who think they can beat me online in Tiger Woods 2004 and the upcoming new version of SSX.
  • Apple iSight
  • Nike Shox. I’m in need of a new pair of shoes, and I think Nike Shox are the coolest ones out there.

Of course, what I really want is a new 15″ Powerbook, but I’ll need a lot more checks and gift certificates before that happens. If you had about $200 or $300 to blow before the end of the week, what would you do? (Hint: I already have an iPod and a GBA SP.)

New Version of Macromedia Pollster

I have a new version of Macromedia Pollster running just to your right. My favorite new feature is unlimited options. I also like the fact that you can browse old archived polls (though I don’t have any yet to browse).

Now let’s see what the most popular handheld device is. Did I leave any out?

Test Page for IE Pre-Release

For those of you who want to test out the IE 6 Update Pre-Release and the Macromedia-recommended JavaScript fix together, we put together this test page:

http://www.macromedia.com/go/ietest

This page explains what you should see and what you should do if you don’t experience the expected results.

OT – What’s your Handheld of Choice?

I think I’m going to make Friday’s my off-topic day. Today’s (off) topic is handhelds. What’s your handheld/PDA/PIM of choice? I’ve used them all, and I like different things about each one. Right now, I’m using a Palm Tungsten T, primarily because it works will with my Mac. There isn’t anything particularly special about it except that it is very compact, has a great aluminum case, and I can synch it wirelessly via Bluetooth. The screen is sharp and bright, as well, which is something relatively new for Palm.

This will remain my PDA of choice until the Handspring Treo 600 is available from AT&T. I’ve been waiting for a long long time for a phone and PDA hybrid that finally got it right.

Where Do You Put Your Components?

The Macromedia Web Technology Group, in their most recent ColdFusion MX Coding Guidelines, recommends that you put components which are to be accessed directly either through Flash Remoting or web services in {cfmxroot}/wwwroot/{applicationname}/ and any other components should be stored under {cfmxroot}/extensions/components/{applicationname}/. I sometimes do something similar, although I generally use {cfmxroot}/com/macromedia/apps/{applicationname}/ instead. This works well for applications that you write, install and configure yourself, however I found that when I wanted to distribute an application, I preferred having all the application’s files in a single directory. Therefore, I have started putting all application-specific components — whether or not they are accessed directly through the browser, Flash Remoting or web services — in {cfmxroot}/wwwroot/{applicationname}/components/{subdirectory}. At first, this may not appear to be the most elegant relationship, however I like the idea of having people unzip a single directory in their web root, set up a data source, tweak a few configuration parameters in the Application.cfm file or an external XML file, and be up and running. Now there’s really no reason you can’t do the same thing with your components outside your application directory, however I have found both packaging and unpacking to be more straightforward when everything is contained in a single directory.

So my current thinking is that I try to consider the type of application that I am writing and what it is intended for before deciding where to place my components. Where do you put yours?

Also, one circumstance that the WTG coding guidelines does not address is the location of generic, reusable components. For instance, I have a calc.cfc which performs certain mathematical functions in {cfmxroot}/wwwroot/com/macromedia/util, which has worked out well.

Ben Forta Holds Forth on ASP.NET and ColdFusion

Macromedia recently published an article by Ben Forta entitled Life After ASP. The basic premise is that ASP developers are going to have to think about migrating pretty soon since ASP is no longer being developed and Microsoft is obviously trying to get developers to start adopting ASP.NET. Ben points out, however, that going from ASP to ASP.NET may not be as easy as it sounds. And if you are already going to make a significant investment in what is essentially a new technology, why not take a look at other options like ColdFusion MX 6.1 for the reasons that all of us already know:

  • ColdFusion is quick and easy to learn.
  • You don’t have to trade power for simplicity.
  • CFMX 6.1 is incredibly feature rich.
  • CFMX 6.1 supports all the right acronyms.
  • Platform independence.

Ben says it much more eloquently than I just did, so go have a look, and make sure you forward it to any friends you have who are using ASP.

Upcoming Version of IE Requires Updates to “Active Content” Tags

Due to upcoming modifications in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser, changes will have to be made to web sites that use embedded “active” content such as Macromedia Flash, Shockwave, Authorware content, QuickTime video, Java applets, etc. You can find out more about the upcoming version of Internet Explorer on Microsoft’s website at:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/ieupdate/

Macromedia’s goal is to ensure developers are able to easily update their sites, so we created the Active Content Development Center to assist them. This site provides information, tools, and resources. Once these changes are implemented (sometime early next year), the result should be completely transparent for the end-user. The Active Content Developer Center can be found here:

http://www.macromedia.com/devnet/activecontent/

For active content update related discussions, check out the Macromedia Active Content Update forums here:

http://webforums.macromedia.com/activecontent/

Check out the active content update FAQ here:

http://www.macromedia.com/devnet/activecontent/faq.html

Does This ColdFusion Tag Make Sense?

I had a debate the other day over whether this tag makes sense or not. I say it doesn’t, but the ColdFusion server says otherwise. What do you think, and why?

<cfargument name="foo" required="true" default="bar"/>