Rey Bango

Web developer, honey badger

BlueDragon 7.0 Officially Released! Competitive Upgrade Being Offered!

Its finally here! BlueDragon 7.0 has been officially released.

Its got a ton of great new features including enhanced CFC support and the new CFTHREAD tag for multi-threaded programming as well MAJOR performance improvements that truly make it a top-notch application server. Here's a list of some of the improvements:

BlueDragon 7.0 also includes the following major features and enhancements:

  • CFQUERY enhancements:
    • CACHEDUNTILCHANGE attribute
    • BACKGROUND attribute for background SQL processing
  • Application.cfc with enhancements:
    • onClientStart event handler
    • onMissingTemplate event handler
  • CFDOCUMENT with enhancements:
    • PNG and JPEG output formats
  • CFCHART with enhancements:
    • CFCHARTLEGEND
    • CFCHARTTITLE
    • CFCHARTIMAGE
  • CFSEARCH enhancements:
    • Multi-language support
    • Word and PDF document Support
  • Mac Intel Support
  • CFMX Compatibility Improvements
  • Performance Enhancements

NA has also revamped the pricing for the BD Standard edition from CPU-based to Server-based!!

Another exciting development is that for a limited time, you can trade-in your ColdFusion license for a brand-spanking-new BlueDragon license! Have a valid CF5 license you'd like to trade-in for a new BlueDragon 7 license? Have an existing ColdFusion MX subscription due to expire? Receive a free BlueDragon 7 license when you renew your subscription
with New Atlanta. You can find more details here!

You can download a trial version of BlueDragon 7.0 via the BlueDragon Download Page.

You can also read New Atlanta's press release here:

BlueDragon 7.0 Press Release

Congratulations on this great release New Atlanta!

Performance: BlueDragon & CFMX Under Load

Vince Bonfanti and the New Atlanta crew did some performance testing recently in response to micro-benchmarks published by Mark Drew. I have to say that I was completely floored by the performance improvements in BlueDragon JX 7 Beta.

Its great to see, though, that New Atlanta has done some fantastic work in improving the performance of BlueDragon.

As Vince rightfully pointed out, the only true way to accurately test the performance of a server is in production and under normal, expected load.

Full Article on Vince's Blog

To download BlueDragon 7.0beta, click here.

Is ColdFusion Really Dead?

I was reading Kay Smoljak's recent blog entry, ColdFusion – NOT a steaming pile of… in which she describes her experience with Kevin Yank of SitePoint.com. Now, a little while ago, Kevin really stirred the pot by calling CF development stagnant and Ben Forta jumped in to counter his views (well done Ben).

Well, based on Ben's rebuttal, Kevin revisited ColdFusion and came up with some new conclusions but not really a change of heart. The impression that I got from Kevin's new posting is that he still feels that CF is stagnant and that other languages offer better career opportunities. You can see that here:

The State of ColdFusion by Kevin Yank.

I think Kevin pointed out some good hard facts that most “statisticians” would certainly use to gauge the level of penetration for a product. I think what he failed to show are the productivity gains that ColdFusion developers reap from using a development platform with a truly low learning curve and amazing functionality. Having been a certified Allaire ColdFusion instructor, I had the rare opportunity to see how quickly students took to the simplistic tag-based syntax ColdFusion offers and how they were productive in short order.

If anything, ColdFusion suffers from a perception issue and not a functionality issue. I have friends that are hardcore .Net, Java & PHP developers and they all perceive CF as a toy; a language for non-programmers. That is until we get into a feature to feature debate. Since I've been developing for 17 years, they can't simply write me off and its amazing how they change their tune after many of their arguments are summarily shutdown. Perception is a huge driving force in this industry and the sad part is that its generally driven by the decision-makers, whom for the most part hear a buzz-word and think that a switch is needed. Don't worry about the migration or upgrade costs. We need to be in line with the buzz so lets either dump our staff and get new programmers or lets retrain everyone and lose a TON of money in both lost productivity and training costs. All to be part of the “BUZZ”.

I have friends that are now transitioning from CF to Java or ASP.Net and while they're happy to be learning a new platform, all of them (yes ALL) wish they were still coding ColdFusion. They find that there tasks have doubled in development time with no incremental benefit in functionality or performance.

So to me, I measure the effectiveness of a language by how quickly I can get a product to market. In this category, I think that ColdFusion still reigns supreme. So no, I don't believe that ColdFusion is dead nor do I believe its stagnant. In fact, I'm receiving more calls from recruiters now than I ever have and I see new CF-based sites being developed all of the time.

So Kevin, while I love your site and your articles, I think you need to look past your stats to really get a firm understanding about what the CF community is about. If the lack of dynamic image handling is a big hinderance for ya, then I'll help you out:

The Alagad Image Component

Enjoy…

Ajax: What's the CF Community Using?

I took a very informal poll on CF-Talk to see what Ajax frameworks were being used in the ColdFusion community. The results were interesting but not too surprising. Some were sticking to the CF-based frameworks such as AjaxCFC, CFAjax and the new MXAjax while others were really behind Spry. JQuery also received some kudos so its interesting to see how people are moving in different directions.

I'd certainly like to understand the rationale behind their choices as I'm sure would everyone else looking at Ajax frameworks. Essentally, why'd you go with AjaxCFC vs. JQuery vs. JSMX etc….

Here's the list of Ajax frameworks that came out of that thread:

I'm leaning towards Dojo or JQuery. Dojo is a monster though and JQuery has an easier learning curve plus a great plug-in feature.

Any thoughts?

Rey…

AjaxCFC Debugging Tip

Here's a tip that I wanted to share within everyone here. It may be known but I only found out about it today and wanted to share.

If you ever get the dreaded “Invalid Reply from Server” message from AjaxCFC, spark up Firefox/FireBug and call your site from your local IP. This will give you the actual message that DWR is sending back.

Put a stop point at about line 517 (or immediately after “batch.req.send(query);”) of engine.js and look for the “batch” object. In the there you'll find the “req” (XMLHttpRequest request) object which has a standard attribute called responseText. That will give you all of the details of your error but for security reasons, it only shows it via your local IP address (127.0.0.1).

Also, if you're not using FireBug for your Ajax & javascript development efforts, you're REALLY missing out. Its a FREE addon for FireFox and it truly is an amazing addon that lets you step though all of your client-side code and inspect the DOM.

Finally, be sure to get yourself a good HTTP sniffer. I recently picked up Service Capture and it works awesome. It lets me see all of the traffic come from my request which makes identifying issues with my Ajax requests MUCH easier. Its definitely worth the $40.

UPDATE: Rob Gonda pointed out that FireBug also has a built-in http sniffer and I just tested it out! And works like a charm! Thanks Rob!

Rey…

Fusion Authority Quarterly is the Best ColdFusion Magazine..Period!

Having been a long time reader of the ColdFusion Developer's Journal, I was disappointed with what I felt was a gradual decline in substance & articles coupled with a substantial increase advertisements. I just didn't find the articles as informative as they used to be.

I used to write for the PowerBuilder Developer's Journal (another Sys-Con publication) so I understand the need to justify the costs involved in producing any magazine and granted, its a real pain to find good writers but there also needs to be a balance between good content and paying the bills.

Well, I finally found an awesome replacement to the CFDJ; Its Fusion Authority Quarterly! Not only does it have some of the best minds in the CF community writing in it (eg: Ray Camden, Hal Helms & Sean Corfied (yes Sean I consider you a top mind)), the articles are just awesome! Michael Dinowitz's article on Event Gateways is worth the subscription price alone. Even the material used for the magazine is top notch!

Just go here and subscribe. Its definitely worth it!

I can't wait to dig into this.

Rey…

AJAX Framework from Adobe!!

AJAX is definite hot when it comes to the web but it takes some know-how to navigate Cascading Style Sheets, DHTML, the DOM, JSON and all of the other things that go into the whole Web 2.0 experience

Adobe has jumped onto the AJAX bandwagon by releasing a new AJAX framework called Spry along with several demos that show how to use it.

I'm not sure how it compares to script.aculo.us or prototype but if they build hooks into CFML that make it even easier to build RIAs, they'll have me sold.

BlogCFC5 Powered

I've just upgraded to BlogCFC v5 beta and so far so good. Ray Camden has been a huge help in getting it running.

Again, we can't thank you enough for your efforts Ray!

Rey….

BlueDragon Sales Continue to Skyrocket in 2006

Wow! New Atlanta quadrupled their sales of BlueDragon in the first quarter of 2006. That is incredible and shows how solid a product New Atlanta has built.

You can read the full press release on Vince Bonfanti's blog.

Great job guys!

BlueDragon & CFMX on Linux: My Next Project

I've been chomping at the bit for awhile to get BlueDragon and CFMX running on Linux. Well, I just got my free copy of Ubuntu Linux and I'm ready to go. Having focused primarily on CFML-based app-servers on Windows, its going to be cool to get to work on Linux again.

If you guys have any suggestions, tips or pitfalls, I'm all ears!

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