Archive for October, 2004

What If You Want To Round Down?

ColdFusion’s round() function rounds up. What if you want to round down? Use this:

<cffunction name="roundDown" output="no">
<cfargument name="target" type="numeric" required="true"/>
<cfreturn abs(round(( * -1)))/>


round(1.1) = 1
roundDown(1.1) = 1

round(1.5) = 2
roundDown(1.5) = 1

round(1.6) = 2
roundDown(1.6) = 2


Bill pointed out that the function above doesn’t work with negative numbers. This one does. Thanks, Bill!

<cffunction name="roundDown" output="no">
<cfargument name="target" type="numeric" required="true"/>
<cfreturn (round(( * -1))) * -1/>


roundDown(-1.5) = -2

Are You Using a robots.txt File?

If you have a lot of 404s in your access logs from search engines looking for robots.txt, then this post is for you.

A robots.txt file in your web root can help search engines index your site’s pages more efficiently by telling either all search engines, or just specific ones, which areas of your site to index and which areas to stay away from. Why is that important?

  • Spiders can really throw off your metrics. I found that an aggregator I recently release was getting massive amounts of clicks in a particular category. A little investigation revealed that it was an MSN bot following links to my click handler, completely ruining any chance of gathering any type of meaningful data.
  • Although you probably want most of your site indexed, there is no sense in drawing people to your site through search engine results that aren’t really relevant. robots.txt files can help improve the quality of all search results which makes the web a better experience for everyone.

robots.txt files are quick and simple to write and put in place. Find out more at

(Note that robots.txt files are not a replacement for security. If you really don’t want anyone to see a particular portion of your site, protect it with a password!)

Live (Almost) from Paris

Mike Chambers is in Paris right now, taking pictures with his Sidekick II and posting them to Vision. If you’re an art fan, check it out.

As an aside, I’m so amazed by technology sometimes. Yesterday, Mike was in a cafe in Paris and I was sitting in a line to get my car inspected in Virginia (I’m sure he wished our situations were reversed!) and were we able to chat in real-time as though we were both right in front of a PC. And thanks to MXNA Mobile, we were easily able to keep up with Macromedia community news at the same time. There’s no question that wireless is the wave of the future.

MAXBloggers Syndicated

I’ve received several requests for a dedicated MAX RSS feed, so here it is. It displays the last 30 posts and is updated hourly.

MAXBloggers Mobile: Keep Up With MAX Anywhere You Go

Yesterday we launched MXNA Mobile — today it’s MAXBloggers Mobile. Keep up with all-things-MAX wherever you happen to be.

I think MAXBloggers Mobile is especially useful if you plan on attending MAX since you can keep up with what people are saying about the conference while you’re there without having to find a place to sit, break out your laptop, and pray for battery life and a WiFi connection. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

MXNA Mobile: Read MXNA News Anywhere You Go

A couple months ago, Mike Chambers and I released Take-Away which allows you to read and even listen to MXNA aggregated news on your iPod. Today, we’re introducing MXNA Mobile. This is definitely still beta since there’s no way we could gather enough devices to do a thorough test ourselves, but so far, it seems to work on everything we’ve tried so far. It should work on anything with a connection (GPRS or WiFi) and can run even the most rudimentary of browsers. Give it a try and let us know what you think!

MAXBloggers is Back

If you’re going to MAX in November and you intend to blog it, we’d like to add your weblog to the MAXBloggers aggregator. Also, if you plan on taking any pictures, check out Community Vision.

Mobile Aggregator Test

A couple of weeks ago, I launched a new general news aggregator called Newsbrew. A few days later, I created a mobile version. I tested the mobile version on my Sidekick II and a Motorola V600, but those are the only mobile devices I have access to right now. If you have some kind of mobile device with either a WiFi connection or GPRS, and you have some time to help me experiment, it would be a big help if you could give it a try and post your findings here. The mobile URL is:

Thanks for your help!

Weblog Comment Changes

FYI, we just made some changes to the way comments are handled by our weblogs. If you see some odd behavior, feel free to email me. In fact, it might not hurt to leave a few comments here just as a test. Thanks!

MAX 2004 Approaches

It’s that time of year again. MAX is only a few weeks away. November 1st through the 4th in New Orleans. Get details on the Macromedia MAX 2004 home page. Who’s going to be there this year?