How I got started in ColdFusion... place holder...

I missed the "how I got started in ColdFusion" flurry on 8/1/2011. Unfortunately, I've got some personal issues to deal with right now that are taking up all of my free time, and that don't lend themselves to introspection. It's a long story, and I have talked about it on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. I don't mean to be cryptic. I just don't want to get into the whole story right now, but you can see the beginnings of it here:

There's more... but that can wait.

I will tell the story of how I got started in ColdFusion later in the month, once the dust (and mold) have settled.

End of Another Era: Changes at the ColdFusion Helm

It was announced on Friday night that there are big changes taking place at the helm of the ColdFusion and ColdFusion Builder product teams. As part of the recent change where ColdFusion has been moved from the Platform business unit to the Print and Publishing business unit. Adam Lehman announced the news in this blog post. As part of this, their positions are moving to be a part of that business unit, and will be stationed in Bangalore, while Adam and Alison are moving on to other opportunities within Adobe.

Disclosure:  I got a briefing on this news before it was announced earlier on Friday. Though no longer an Adobe user group manager, Adobe Community Professional or Adobe Community Champion, I have joined the new ColdFusion Customer Advisory Board. As I understand it, they want criticism from the advisory board, and I intend on giving it where appropriate. I will speak my mind.

I consider Adam a friend, and without hesitation, I can say that Adam has done an awesome job as the Adobe ColdFusion and ColdFusion Builder product manager. His vision is something that's going to be difficult to replace. When Jason Delmore, Adam's predecessor, was laid off in the "great layoff of 2008", I thought Adam was the logical choice to succeed Jason. When I heard later that Adam was succeeding Jason, I knew ColdFusion was in good hands.

However, unlike when Adam took over, I can't help but be nervous over who Adam's successor will be. I will say, in retrospect, that it's not the first time that I have been nervous about who'd be steering the ColdFusion ship. I remember when Tim Buntel left Adobe, pre-ColdFusion 8, I was nervous then, too. After some time, it was announced that Jason Delmore would take over for Tim. I didn't know who Jason was, or how he would do in that role, but he turned out being a great product manager for ColdFusion. Things worked out well then, and I am hopeful they will work out well now.

That said, all three of these past product managers, Tim, Jason and Adam, had one thing in common: A passion for ColdFusion. No one can credibly argue that Adam Lehman is not passionate for ColdFusion. He's one of the most passionate people I know in the ColdFusion community. I think he ran ColdFusion like it was his baby, and as John Mason said on his post on the subject, I am sorry to see, like Jason before him, that Adam will not get a chance to manage ColdFusion through the "X" release.

As passionate as Adam is for Adobe ColdFusion, that passion has gotten him in trouble at times. A lot of people saw his opinions as severely biased, and I saw his words twisted, dissected, and watch him be ripped a new one, particularly by anti-ColdFusion/CFML and anti-Adobe ColdFusion types. I, personally, would be concerned if he WASN'T a self-admitted Adobe fanboi. I want to see that passion from the ColdFusion champion, at least privately.

While I have been impressed with the work done by the ColdFusion/ColdFusion Builder engineering team, in my dealings with them on prereleases and in my former ACP (and now CAB) capacity, none of them have ever seemed like they could represent ColdFusion well in a non-engineering capacity. I'm not trying to be critical of the team, but they each come from a Java background, from what I have seen, and not from a ColdFusion background. India has never seemed to be, from what I have seen, a market where ColdFusion is very popular. I'm not saying that there isn't someone in India that could take the product management over and do ColdFusion (and ColdFusion Builder) justice. I'm saying that this is a definite risk in this change.

I'm not exactly sure why the change is needed in the first place. Why is it necessary for the product manager and product marketing manager to be stationed in India, exactly? Is this a managerial preference? A cultural difference in business units? A cost cutting measure? I am sure this will be explained better, as to why this change is necessary, but it's not clear to me right now. I'm sure closeness to the engineering team has something to do with it, but it seemed like some spin control.

Here's a reason why this is risky: There have been issues with ColdFusion and Adobe support. I know Adam has addressed much of this during his tenure, but how is an India-based product manager going to be able to do the same? There is a 10 1/2 hour difference between Bangalore and New York City, and 7 1/2 difference between Bangalore and LA, so how much face time will someone based out of Bangalore have with someone in DC or NYC? Won't that hurt the product? The customer relationships?

For products like Captivate, RoboHelp and even Acrobat, it's probably not important where the team is located, because those are desktop applications, and the customers are users of those desktop applications. ColdFusion is a server product, and its customers are using ColdFusion to make other applications, and its users develop in its language. As such, the relationship between the product manager and its user community is very tight, and I have to think that putting the manager in Bangalore will have an adverse affect on those relationships.

Another reason why I am concerned about ColdFusion X has nothing to do with Adam leaving. Adam says in his post: "ColdFusion X (Link) will have a release cycle that's a bit longer than usual. Quite simply, we are working on some BIG features for ColdFusion X that just couldn't fit within our previous development timelines."

That sounds like we're going to have something incredible once we get ColdFusion X, but when will that be? What happens until then, and how will ColdFusion be affected by the longer release cycle? I want to see ColdFusion continue to evolve in the marketplace. In a rapidly changing marketplace, a long release could be fatal to ColdFusion. Unfortunately, while CF X is being developed, the competitors will be releasing, probably multiple releases, and these releases will take momentum away from Adobe ColdFusion and potentially make ColdFusion less relevant. I wish the big release could be bundled into one or more smaller releases, rather than one big release we have to wait a long time for. A similar release schedule was between MX and MX 7 was ColdFusion MX 6.1. I'd like to see a ColdFusion 9.1 before ColdFusion X. Then, there's also the risk of running into development problems, further delaying its release. I don't want to see version "X" become ColdFusion's Windows Vista, or worse, Duke Nukem Forever.

I think it's healthy to have concerns in this situation, and I do have some concerns over that and more. That said, here's the bottom line: Do *I* think this means anything negative for Adobe ColdFusion  as a viable product? It's often been said that opinions are like a-holes - that everyone's got one. I think this news will be viewed as something negative in places where the opinions and the a-holes intersect. :-) I expect many will use this news as an excuse to make another attempt to drown ColdFusion in a sea of dogmatic anti-CF diarrhea and give ColdFusion a good case of hemorrhoids. Personally, I feel like it's time for me to apply Preparation H and shrink the swelling, while giving those naysayers a healthy dose of Immodium. :-) ColdFusion is not going away, and seeing a bigger investment at a higher level is a good thing for ColdFusion.

I have concerns, and I think talking about those concerns will help to highlight them and help them get dealt with. That means speaking my mind, not staying quiet, as I have done here.

In fact, I have a lot to say, and have had for months now, and I finally have the time and wherewithal to say some of them. I hope I can get it all out.

UPDATE: In fact, there's one more point I want to bring up. Why announce this now??? I don't understand the timing of the announcement. Is there a reason to announce this now vs. after their replacements have been found? And why on a Friday night??? It seems to me that there's no rush in making this announcement, and, to my knowledge, no one outside of Adobe knew about the change until Friday, though I could be wrong. That's troubling. I would think some of their key customers would have some concerns over this decision.

End of an era: I've stepped down as an Adobe User Group Manager

It's been a long, long, long run... but it's time to end it.

At Tuesday's Cleveland CFUG meeting, I officially stepped down as an Adobe User Group manager. Dan Vega, my long time co-manager, has taken over the group. Mike Cooper, the AUG manager, has also decided to step down to spend more time with his family. Andrew Maurer, the Cleveland AUG co-manager, becomes the co-manager of a combined group. I will no longer serve in any official capacity within the group, though I will remain involved, advise, and contribute as time allows.


OO ColdFusion Presentation Today on ColdFusion Meetup!

This is a late post, but I wanted to mention that I'll be presenting my Common Sense Approach to Object Oriented ColdFusion, 2010 Edition presentation in a few hours to the ColdFusion Meetup, 12pm Eastern (UTC/GMT-4) today. This is a slightly refined version to the one I presented in April at the CFObjective conference.

Watch Live Here

After the presentation, you'll find the recording posted here. I'll update this post after the fact with the direct URL.

Also, I'll finally be making the code from the CFObjective/Meetup for public view for the first time following the presentation, as well as post it on RIAForge and Github. One of the sample applications is the most extensive LightFront example posted to date, so this presentation should also show you a little bit on the framework as well. In that sample, there's also an "old school" version, as well as an unfinished Mach-ii/ColdSpring version that I'll continue to work on (but there's enough there to show the stark differences between a typical OO CF application and a simpler OO LightFront one).

I'll also be releasing a new version of LightFront (0.4.5) today as well.

UPDATE: The recording of the presentation can be found here:

Note: It went a bit long... 1:53:02

The code I show and the slide deck in the presentation is available via Subversion here.

To download a zip file, which has the code, PDF and PowerPoint of the presentation all in one, just go here:

LightFront - New Video Series - Getting Started with LightFront

I am starting a new series of videos that will also be carried on the CFConversations feed for my new LightFront. This first video is a Getting Started. In just a few minutes, I'll leisurely set up a LightFront skeleton application, and I'll spend the rest of the video showing you the Model, View and Controller within the skeleton.

LightFront even gets easier than this! I'll save that for the next video!

Update: Some people are reporting issues seeing the entire screen on this video. If you are seeing the same thing, you can view the video here by opening up a window.

Click here to view the video

LightFront 0.4.4 has been released, and... my CFObjective talk...

I've FINALLY released LightFront version 0.4.4. With this version, despite the version number, I am officially deeming this version of LightFront production ready.

Why did it take so long? I've spent a number of months on building a LightFront application, and I had to get that application out the door before I could spend time updating the framework.

That is both a detriment and a blessing. Sean Corfield's FW/1 framework, which started out very similar to LightFront, has been developing a big following, and that just proves that the lightweight framework idea we both had at about the same time had something. However, there's been a lot of work going on with FW/1, and LightFront's been quiet.

It really hasn't been quiet, though. As I said, I've been out there, using LightFront, and I've figured out lots of ways to use the framework and learned ways to be more flexible. While doing that, I also discovered something rather important about Object Oriented ColdFusion that fits right into LightFront. I also figured out some of the potential pitfalls you could run into while using the framework that all revolve around trying to work around the simplicity and trying to be "too clever", trying to do too much. This really had nothing to do with LightFront, but instead dealt with my own pitfalls with the model - the OO.

I'm not going to go into it more right now... this is just a teaser!

As FW/1 has built a following, it's also started to diverge from the direction LightFront is going. Both frameworks are still quite similar, but I definitely do see big differences in how we deal with views, and LightFront's push towards greater flexibility, especially with existing applications, over opinionated software development. The philosophy's different. I've made a career being able to make things work that other people couldn't, or couldn't as easily, so my tendency is to figure out a way how to do something instead of saying that's not how you do something and leave it at that. Rather than giving an opinion, LightFront gives you a chance to form your own software opinions using the framework. That's not, in any way, a slam on FW/1 or trying to say that LightFront is better. It's just different.

Although it's production ready, the documentation and how-tos need a lot of work, and the meetup I did several months back could have been a lot better. My hope is that my schedule will continue to be light enough so I can start making some strides toward building the docs and making some screencasts, and doing another meetup or two.

There are a few people using LightFront, too, besides me. Unfortunately, they aren't bloggers, so you probably won't hear much out of them, at least for now. However, they are very enthusiastic about LightFront, just like I am, and see its potential.

I think LightFront's turning out to be the framework I wanted, but I've got to spend more time showing that to you.

To those who have asked, yes, I am doing a presentation on my Object Oriented ColdFusion talk on the meetup soon. Unfortunately, thanks to scheduling conflicts, it won't be until June. With that, there is a new sample app that has been written three ways: One that shows spaghetti code, one that's a Mach-ii/ColdSpring version, and one that's a LightFront version. I've got a little bit of cleanup left on that, now that 0.4.4 is out, and I'll post the code once it's cleaned up. However, here's that presentation:

Speaking at CFObjective 2010!!!

Following my friend, Dan Vega's post about speaking at cf.Objective() 2010, I, too, am announcing that I am speaking at cf.Objective() this year.

You may remember that my topic last year was "What to Do When OO Fails You in ColdFusion", something that was a bit of a controversial topic... or at least a controversial title. This year, you may be surprised that my topic is "The Common Sense Approach to Object Oriented ColdFusion, 2010 Edition".

Have I changed my tune? Nope, not really. I've just taken a look at the subject in a different way, and I'll talk about how many of the issues that were a problem in the past have been addressed or have workarounds in CF9, and try to explain it better than I did last year. Although a lot of people enjoyed my presentation (which I was going to do on a CFMeetup, but it never worked out), there were some negative comments that I wanted to address in a new version, that I also didn't get to do on the Meetup which I was going to call "Object Influenced ColdFusion". Anyway, it should be an interesting talk, and I hope if you are planning to attend, you'll make my presentation.

A lot of my talk will fall in nicely with Dan's talk, as I'll be talking about CF9 a lot in my talk.

I should point out that this is not scheduled to be the only session on what I like to call, "Pragmatic OO in ColdFusion". In fact, there is a similar session scheduled. Since that person hasn't announced his session yet, I'll hold off talking about it here, but we're going to work on making sure we don't repeat ourselves too much. We're looking at it the issues from different perspectives, such as issues vs. technique.

CF8 Cumulative Hotfix 4 is out... and LightFront continues...

It's been a while since my last blog post, so I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone, so to speak, as this post has two subjects. I'm terrible about blogging! :) I figured I could get this one out quickly so here goes!

Subject #1: LightFront development continues...

My last posting was on LightFront back in October. Don't take that to mean nothing has been going on with LightFront... it just means I've been too busy these days to blog much! LightFront has received a lot of updates since that post, and I even did a presentation on it for the CFMeetup: That was back around version 0.4.0. I now have 0.4.3 in a branch, which is fully functional and feature complete (for 0.4.3, not for everything that will go into 1.0.0), but example 2 hasn't been brought up to speed yet. I hope to get to that in the next couple of weeks after I complete a project that's taking all of my bandwidth these days. 0.4.3 brings in full support for the model with the new initService() and initComponent() functions, as well as the new callAction() that will replace callEvent() in the next release, and loadAction(), which allows you to load an action into the request scope instead of outputting it directly. It's a great leap in the framework, despite the version sounding like it's a point release. If you've been using LightFront, make sure to start using callAction() instead of callEvent(), as callEvent() will be deprecated in 0.4.4 and removed in 0.5. This is in reaction to Joe Reinhart's comment in the previous blog entry, and I do agree that "event" portrays LightFront as an event-driven framework, which implies implicit invocation. There's nothing implicit about LightFront, and that's because you call your actions directly (explicit invocation). If you're looking at LightFront for the first time, use 0.4.3, which you can get at RIAForge (see link above).

Subject #2: A new CF 8 cumulative hotfix is out...

A mystery still present in the Adobe CF space is how word gets out on hotfixes and security updates, which don't always get the publicity they need to get them out into the public. Though I'm a registered CF8 user, I never get any emails from Adobe on these, and I wish that would change.

I got word of this one in, of all places, a Google alert. I thought I'd pass it on.

Adobe has just released cumulative hotfix #4 for ColdFusion 8.0.1. You can find more information about it here:

LightFront: The incredibly simple & approachable MVC Framework for ColdFusion

I'm finally blogging here about my new MVC framework, which I call LightFront. I first published it on RIAForge on August 31st, and I finally made the project publicly available on RIAForge on October 1st, with updates almost every day since.

I'm not at MAX this year (sorry no CFConversations episodes from MAX this year), and it's been a bit difficult for me to get out a podcast at the moment (a logistics/timing/personal issue... not worth discussing here, but I have two episodes almost out the door), so I thought it was time to post a blog entry about LightFront here.

First, here's where you can find it, and find out about it (beyond what I have said below):

LightFront is an MVC framework for ColdFusion. What, another one? Yes, another one. This one's a little different than the rest, although it's a close relative to one of them.

LightFront is short for Lightweight Front-controller. Unlike most of the CF frameworks out there, it uses only one CFC, and it's just a little bit above 200 lines, so it's straightforward enough most of you reading this with a CF background can look at the core and understand what's going on.

It's conventions based. If you follow conventions, you only have to set three settings in your Application.cfc. That said, there are some conventions that can easily be overridden with another setting. Need to put your views in the /includes/ folder (and subfolders) instead of the default /view/ folder? No problem - that's just an additional setting:

view plain print about
1lfs.viewDirectory = "/includes/";

There are some optional settings, too, but I'll get to that below.

Your controller is all defined in CFCs. You don't need an XML file. As previously stated, all of your settings are defined in your getSettingsForLightFront() function in Application.cfc as a structure. There are no additional XML files to config or define your events... do that in your CFCs.

That's if you use CFC-based controllers. The folder has to exist, but you don't need them to make LightFront work. LightFront has a unique feature. You can also use switch-based controllers, a la Fusebox 2 and 3. It can take a switch file from an old Fusebox app and it will work in LightFront. That's not to say LightFront is 100% Fusebox compatible, and I don't intend on making it that way, but I think we can offer an easier update path on old Fusebox 2/3 sites than even Fusebox/FuseNG can. It does make it a lot easier for a team who wants to move into CFC-based apps to gradually transition into that architecture while at the same time still maintain legacy Fusebox-ian style applications. There are a couple of additional settings to add if you have a Fuseboxian switch/circuit to add to LightFront, similar to how you define circuits in Fusebox, but it's very simple to do.

LightFront is also easy to make work with legacy applications that use no framework at all. Let's say you have an application that has index.cfm, aboutus.cfm, contactus.cfm at the root. No problem. Create a view/home mapping and point it to your root. then, you will be able to call /view/home/aboutus.cfm as displayView("home.aboutus") or displayView("home/aboutus").

That is a double benefit. Let's say you have a site which has a number of static or mostly static pages. You don't need a switch or a CFC controller if you follow simple conventions. If you want to call a static /view/home/aboutus.cfm directly as an event, no problem. As long as all home events are direct calls to view pages and don't use a home.cfc controller or a home switch file, you're fine. Your URL would be ?/do=home.aboutus. LightFront will automatically check for the existence of a home controller. If it doesn't find one, it will try to call /view/home/aboutus.cfm and it will display that as the event. This is also great for prototyping a site, too. You can also define pre-events and post-events, should you need to call events before and after each url called event (they only run once per request).

You can also map assignments from one event class to another (help.contactus goes to home.contactus), change event names (do) and delimiters (.), change naming conventions of the CFCs, and a few other things.

The closest currently supported framework that I know of in ColdFusion to LightFront is FW/1. In fact, Sean beat me to the punch to release FW/1 over LightFront by a few days. I had to go back and see if LightFront was worth it at all to complete, and stopped working on it for a few weeks. After a lot of reflection and some deep analysis of the two frameworks, I decided just before CFUnited that LightFront would continue. FW/1 is very similar, but it doesn't support legacy applications quite as easily as LightFront does, it's more conventions based than LightFront and less flexible in how you code (some would say "more opinionated"), and it ties into ColdSpring or Lightwire and the services layer. I intentionally decided not to do this. It's not that I disagree with using dependency injection/inversion of control or a simple bean factory, or in the idea of a services layer (all my apps have them). It was a conscious decision for LightFront to be a controller framework - nothing more and nothing less. The same can be said for ORMs - LightFront doesn't care whether you use them or not. It's up to you. LightFront only cares about being the controller. In fact, FW/1 and LightFront have so much in common that I could see them merging at some point if that's what people want, or they could travel separate paths. I'm open to either possibility.

Where I see LightFront going depends on what developers that use the framework want. As the first developer to use the framework :-), my thought is if people want what the big frameworks have, those things would go in via a plug-in architecture. Perhaps that would continue to be in the controller folder, or a plugins folder... I don't know. That said, it's fairly simple to build a controller CFC that functions like a filter or add a controller CFC that handles caching, and building those things directly into the framework adds greater complexity to the framework - something I am dead set against. I want to keep LightFront approachable, easy to learn and easy to use.

In fact, one of my goals in making LightFront was to make a simple framework for people to use. I wanted something that didn't require a CS degree or 10 years of CF experience to understand. LightFront should be a framework you can teach any developer the basics in 30 minutes or less you have to learn three functions:

  • callEvent()
  • displayView()
  • relocate()

That, and a few helpful settings changes, are all a developer needs to know.

If you can keep things simple enough for a junior developer to both be productive AND build good code, LightFront will succeed in its main objective.

Anyway, I hope you take a look at the framework, join the Google group and help shape the new framework. And now, back to CFConversations!

Want a stripped down Eclipse? A 64-bit Eclipse? Get it here...

Since I was first introduced to Eclipse about 3 1/2 years ago (via CFEclipse), I've had a love/hate relationship with it.

I've loved the power it gives you, particularly in most of CFEclipse (though it's also but I've found myself going back to other IDEs and editors. I've always found Eclipse to be slow, bloated and often buggy. Mind you, those are often the fault of the plugins I use, but that's always been a sore spot.

Eclipse just is a pig. Well, that's what I thought, but I'll get back to that in a minute.

I never know... WHICH version of Eclipse should I run? I've tried the J2EE version, but that's the biggest one, and as a CF developer, installs a lot of plugins that I don't use, and although some of those I may use or use occasionally, many of those plugins I'll never use. The Java version in the past gave me problems, but that was a couple of versions back. I've thought of running the PHP version, but... I don't use PHP much, so that's not a great match. Classic? Yeah, but that installs all the source code, and I don't see myself in the immediate future needing that. I've tried the newer interactive builds like YOXOS, Pulse and I even tried MyEclipse once (trial). I've tried standalones of Flex Builder (now Flash Builder), and now ColdFusion Builder. I thought maybe CFBuilder would be the ticket - but... well, it's a beta, and even that's not been the best experience.

I have wanted a stripped down Eclipse - one that had only the plugins that I installed, and nothing more. I've looked, but hadn't found it.

Recently, I've been running a Vista 64-bit edition, and have just converted my laptop (as of last night) to Windows 7 64-bit to take advantage of all the RAM I could throw at it. Strangely, I searched, but could only find a 64-bit for Linux. Surely, I thought, there HAD to be a Windows 64-bit.

That's where these two journeys meet each other.

Thanks to a reply on a list that I belong to (thanks, Andrew), I've found both (for Galileo - Version 3.5 - the latest at the time of writing) here:

YES, there IS a Windows 64-bit version of Eclipse. It doesn't seem to exist as a package, but it definitely exists. Mac lovers? There's a 64-bit OSX version, too.

The category for the one that's stripped down, with no extra extensions is called: Platform Runtime Binary. You'll find that about half way down the page.

Now, that said, you'll have to download and install the plugins you want... but that's just it... install Eclipse as small as you need to, and don't add stuff you don't need. In previous versions of Eclipse, this would have been a major pain, but Galileo will include the dependencies you need.

Anyway, it was a MAJOR find when I found both the 64-bit Windows Eclipse AND the stripped down Eclipse all in one! I thought I should share it... since it took ME so long to find it.

Kudos to Andrew Scott for the tip that helped me solve two problems at once!

UPDATE 1: Get the latest downloads here:

That page will always have a link to latest and greatest. For example, the June 11th build is linked today, but when 3.5.1 comes out, and newer releases as they come out, you'll find the links here. You'll also find early Eclipse 3.6 builds as well as the 3.4 (Ganymede) builds.

UPDATE 2: Eclipse 3.5.1 came out late last week so the latest and greatest can be found at:

(I'll update this post with more links later, if you need them...)

Having problems installing a new instance of ColdFusion 8 or 9 on J2EE with JRun?

Like many of you, I have been testing out CF9, and I ran into a problem that I thought I'd share that's not CF9 at all, but... well, here it goes.

I usually install my CF locally as a J2EE install, as that gives me compatibility with back at the office and more flexibility (my long overdue multiple instance blog post will have to wait, but this is related).

I need to keep running and supporting ColdFusion 8.0.1, so rather than messy double installs, I installed CF9 as an EAR file. Initially, I had some successes, but when I had to uninstall everything and start from scratch on an unrelated issue that I won't get into here, I couldn't install CF9 as an instance. It kept failing on deletion of folders, like this example:

There was a problem Message: The specified directory attribute V:\JRun4\servers\cfusion\SERVER-INF\temp\cfusion-war-tmp\{UUID here}\cfusion.ear\cfusion.war\WEB-INF\cfusion\temp_zip cannot be deleted. Detail: You may not have permissions to delete this directory. The exception occurred during a cfdirectory action="delete".

It was not a permissions issue. I bumped up CF8 to run as an Admin on the notebook. Same result. It also wasn't CF9. Although I hadn't replicated it before, I since replicated it twice on a CF8 EAR file.

I will backtrack to say this is on an HP laptop, running XP SP3 with an effective 3GB RAM from 4GB (after running Physical Address Extension).

After reporting the issue to Adobe, and trying many variations on the install, a couple of guys from the CF development team asked me to turn off my Antivirus - eTrustITM - to see if it would work. I wanted to go further, so I turned off: Firewall (XP standard security), eTrustITM antivirus AND PestPatrol, and try installing until I could find a culprit.

Turning on each of them and not the other two resulted in good installs for each. That told me it wasn't one of them, but a combination of two or more of them was the problem.

It was the combination of eTrustITM - antivirus, AND PestPatrol that caused the problem. Turning those two on and leaving the firewall off caused the failure again.

Anyway, I bid you a cautionary tale - if you try running a similar J2EE JRun install and try to make a new instance... beware that you should turn off both antivirus and anti-spyware program before doing so. I hope it helps someone out there. And thanks to the Adobe team who were able to steer me in the right direction!

About to leave for CFUnited

I am about to leave for CFUnited... I just wanted to just send out a quick post.

It's been a while since I've released a CFConversations episode, just due to me being insanely busy on a bunch of things. There hasn't been any time for a podcast, but I'll be trying to get some out this week, including ones recorded at the conference.

I'll be hosting a day 1 open mike round table podcast scheduled for 5:30 on Wednesday, and CFConversations will be situated in the Legolas room throughout the conference, interviewing and podcasting away. Anyone who's at the conference can attend the open mike session, to listen and/or participate, and I'll be looking to schedule interviews throughout the conference.

That's all I have time for right now, but for more, see here:

The ColdFusion and Flex Tours come to Cleveland this Wednesday!

On Wednesday, June 17th, join us for what will be the biggest Adobe user group event in Cleveland history! All of the official Adobe groups: The Cleveland ColdFusion User Group, the Cleveland Flex User Group, the Cleveland Adobe User Group and the Cleveland InDesign User Group join forces for this big, big, BIG... SOOOOO BIGGG event that you'll want to be there!

The ColdFusion 9 and Flex 4 tours are here! Adam Lehman of Adobe, who was featured on CFConversations this week, will be our speaker for this event.

If you're in or near the Cleveland area, join us! It's at 6pm, and at the offices of:

Dealer Tire, LLC 3711 Chester Avenue Cleveland, OH 44114

There will be food, beverages, and prizes, along with swag!

If you are planning to attend, it's imperative that you RSVP on the Cleveland CFUG website.

If you're not in the area, check out your user group website for more information about a tour date in your area.

Server Side ActionScript in ColdFusion: The VIDEO

After MAX 2008 in San Francisco, I went on vacation, so I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get this uploaded.

However, I've finally uploaded a video of the ColdFusion sneak peek from MAX 2008, showing the server side ActionScript functionality in ColdFusion:

CFConversations 13 AND 14 - Hal Helms and Mark Drew!

I never blogged about it, but episode 13 of CFConversations was a good one! And, with episode 14, we have another good one, so I guess I'll blog about both of them now.

For episode 13, Brian Swartzfager was able to interview one of the legends in the ColdFusion community, Hal Helms.

On Sunday night, episode 14 came out. Adam Haskell interviewed Mark Drew. Of course, most of you know of Mark as the lead developer of the CFEclipse project, and, of course, CFEclipse is discussed, but Mark and Adam talk about a lot more during this interview, including Railo, ColdSpring, conferences, tattoos, cooking, a little about bendy buses, and a couple of things you might not know about Mark.

Listen to them both!

We're going to be starting a new round of interviews in the next couple of weeks, so if you would like to be interviewed and we haven't spoken about it yet, please email me at podcast at cfconversations dot com, and we'll try to get you on the schedule.

CFConversations 12 is out! Ray Camden!

I neglected to mention a few days ago that CFConversations Episode 12 came out on Thursday, with Ray Camden.

This interview was recorded at Day 2 of CFUnited. Ray was a great interview!

Listen here.

CFConversations 11, Roundtable 5 is out!

With CFUnited quite a few weeks in the past and 10 episodes under our belt, it was time for another roundtable! We brought it back in style we've gathered 8 stellar participants including:

We had a lively podcast this time, with some great content that covers a wide range of topics.

Bob Flynn announced bFusion and bFlex, where you can get two days of free hands-on training in Flex and ColdFusion at Indiana University. We also discussed the educational licensing and whether or not Bob and Richard (from Gallaudet University) thought it would make a difference at their schools.

From education, we moved onto the hiring space. As you probably know, Sean's company, Broadchoice has been hiring several top developers recently, including Ray Camden, Joe Reinhart, Nicholas Lierman and Brian Kotek, and Sean shared his technique for hiring top talent that appears to be working. Note: This was recorded before it was announced that Brian Kotek also joined Broadchoice).

Next, Sean talked a bit about the CFML Advisory Board. I announced that a new vendor-neutral site to promote the CFML language is in development. I pulled the domain name from the podcast because, well, we're not quite ready to completely open it up to the general public yet (the basics are up). If you are really interested in helping out, use the contact form and I'll tell you more.

We asked Mark Mandel how he felt about ColdFusion 9's Hibernate functionality vs. his Transfer ORM. We all chimed in about other ColdFusion 9 functionality, and talked a bit about alternative editors and search tools.

We also covered the hot topic of SQL injection, including a free tool from HP called scrawlr and a project called Query Param Scanner.

We did a "final thoughts on CFUnited. Some of the things we had covered on previous roundtables, but there were a few new things.

We also talked about the Railo 3 beta (now in Release Candidate) and progress on Open BlueDragon releases.

Sean and Adam closed out the episode with a fairly big announcement that should have been made by now, so we sneaked it in! You'll have to listen to the podcast to know what it is.

Find the episode here.

Run time: 1:36:37

CFConversations 10, Interview 6 - Gert Franz of Railo

In case you missed it, CFConversations Episode 10 was released yesterday.

On Day one of the CFUnited conference, several of us sat down with Gert Franz of Railo, correctly pronounced "Rhy-low" (not "Ray-low"). Railo, a Swiss company, sells an alternative CFML engine, also called Railo, which has been getting a lot of attention in the CF developer community in recent months. During Gert's keynote at the Scotch on the Rocks conference in early June, it was announced that version 3.0 would have support for CFVIDEO and Hibernate, which had been getting a lot of attention in the CF blogosphere, especially since the cf.Objective() conference in early May. Furthermore, Gert announced that Railo version 3.1 would be released as open source under the LGPL license, with support from JBoss and hosting from

The Railo open source announcement was enthusiastically welcomed throughout the CFML community, as has been documented on several previous episodes of CFConversations. Even key Adobe personnel such as Ben Forta and Adam Lehman were enthusiastic about the announcement.

Also, during Adobe's keynote at CFUnited, it was announced that Gert was one of the members of the CFML Language Advisory Committee.

In this episode, we talk about all of these things, some of Railo's history, and a little about Gert himself, who's a warm and very approachable person, with an interesting history that I think you'll enjoy hearing about.

This was an interview that a lot of people wanted to be a part of, or just listen to in person. Also in the room were: Peter Bell, Sean Corfield, Mark Drew, Adam Haskell, Jeff Coughlin, Joe Reinhart and Rick Mason, and most of them get involved in the interview at one point or another. This interview was one of my highlights of CFUnited, so I hope you enjoy it.

This was the first podcast recorded at CFUnited, and we didn't have access to the Blue Snowball microphone we used for most of the interviews and round tables. This interview was recorded from three Macbook Pro built-in microphones, although one of them produced a recording that was unusable. The interview itself required substantial post production editing to make it listenable, so the quality may not be as good as episodes six through nine. However, I think, it's now in a listenable form.

Due to the difficulty in editing this episode and the timeliness of other episodes, this episode got pushed back a couple of times. Ironically, this worked out, as Gert is doing a U.S. user group tour that starts on Monday, July 28th, which coincides with the release of this episode.

This is the first episode where my inserts are recorded via the new headset, courtesy of Marc Esher. If you liked the new music track, it's from a band called spineCar, from the Album Up From the Mud, and the track is called "Smoke". I'm thinking it's going to be the podcast's theme song. What do you think?

Run time: 56:47

CFConversations 9, Interview 5 - Nick Kwiatkowski - 07/23/08

In this... controversial... special mid-week episode of CFConversations, Rick Mason interviews Nick Kwiatkowski, manager of the Michigan Flex User Group, and the organizer of the Michigan Flex Camp, which will be held in East Lansing on July 30 & 31. It's a two day Flex camp that only costs $40... and that's a heck of a deal.

This episode, like the last one, has a lot of Flex content, but there is a lot of ColdFusion content, too. Nick talks about what he thinks about ColdFusion frameworks, the ColdFusion "elite", Flex and "the cloud".

We're using a different theme from the last episode. This track is courtesy of, and it's called MEGARAT30. Tell us what you think of the music intros. We're experimenting, and will try a few more in upcoming episodes.

Run time: 38:02

Listen here!

CFConversations 8, Interview 4 - John Wilker of 360 Conferences

CFConversations Episode 8 is out!

This is our fourth interview, and this is also the first podcast not produced by me. Dan Wilson did both the interview and the producing this time around. Dan's a big part of the team, and although this is his first appearance on the podcast, he's been involved from the beginning. You may remember Dan from the same ColdFusion Weekly round tables I participated in.

In this episode, Dan interviews John Wilker of 360 Conferences, the company that brings you the 360 Flex conferences.

John and Dan talk about the 360 Flex conferences, the upcoming conference in San Jose on August 18-20, ColdFusion and Flex. A summary of the conversation can be found here:

Note: By popular demand, this episode features our first experimentation with theme music. Let us know what you think. We'll experiment with other tracks and how they are presented in the next upcoming episodes. Also, since Dan was the producer on this episode, let us know what you thought of the audio quality, and how it compares to our most recent interviews.

Run time: 43:06

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