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2016 in review: top 10 CArehart ColdFusion posts of the year

I thought it may be useful to gather up a categorized listing of my most (seemingly) helpful/resourceful blog posts of the past year, to help others be aware of them (and indeed to help me be reminded).

OK, I said "top 10" in the title but I list 14 below. I titled this my "favorite" posts originally (which was factual), then I modified it to "14 favorite" (to better convey in a tweet that it was indeed a list), but both seemed clunky. "Top 10" just has a nice ring. And while most are related to CF (thus the mention in the title), some will benefit those using another CFML engine or none at all.

And they're not ranked by visits or anything (or date), just in the order I think they may help the most people, within each category below. I left out ones announcing upcoming conferences that have since passed, or any other time-limited posts. This leaves just those that I hope may be helpful for readers in this next year and and perhaps years to come. (I have some posts from several years ago and older that till get visits and comments.)

Blogs may well be waning in general popularity (in terms of people following them regularly), but they're just as useful as ever for information to be shared, and as important, to be found via folks searching for help well into the future. They even help us, the blog entry writers, to remember something ourselves! :-)

I wish I had thought to create this annual summary each year. (My blog of course lets you view posts by year or month, and by category. But a list like this just seems useful.) Maybe at some point I'll go back and gather up previous years' entries in new posts.

I have broken this past year's entries into two categories:

Troubleshooting (Mostly CF)

Introducing CF2016

Here's to more in 2017!

I'll be speaking at CFCamp in Munich, Germany, Oct 20-21. See you there!

I'm delighted to announce that I'll be presenting again this year at CFCamp, in Munich, Oct 20-21.

As at CF Summit the week before, I'll be offering the same two talks. First, as I do for each release, I'll be offering my "Hidden Gems In ColdFusion 2016". It should be as classically useful as ever, whether for those either new to or experienced with CF 2016.

Second, I'll offer again the "vendor" talk I have created for Intergral, makers of FusionReactor, "Keep applications online with FusionReactor 6", highlighting the key new features of FR 6, which I help people use about every day.

I certainly appreciate the Michael and the CFCamp conference team selecting me again to be a speaker at the event, my third in a row.

The conference is always a great time, as is getting to visit Germany (and my wife, Kim, will be joining me this year). Then there are all the great attendees, and sponsor booths, and of course lots of useful information shared from all the presenters.

If you'll be attending, I hope to see you there! There are still tickets available, and reasonably priced for this two-day event. See the Tickets page.

Why you should think twice about leaving on the "public JRE" option of the Java JDK installer

This is a follow-up to a post I did in late 2014, CF911: 'Help! I've updated the JVM which ColdFusion uses, and now it won't start!'. In that post, I listed about a dozen common problems that befall people who try to update the JVM that CF is using (and it and this post apply as well to Lucee or BlueDragon, or indeed any Java application server).

In this post, I want to elaborate on one more common mistake. Well, mistake may be too strong word. It's about a default option when you run a Java JDK installer (see the other post for more on JDK vs JRE options).

In short, I make the case here for why you should NOT let the JDK installer implement its "public jre" option.

As I concluded in that earlier blog post, do beware that when you run the Java JDK installer, it will have a few options, one of which is the "public jre". You should generally choose NOT to install that, both for security reasons, AND to prevent Java from later prompting you or someone else to let it update itself, which then could break CF. One other reason is in case there may already be another JRE already installed and being used (by default) by other applications. Let me explain all these.

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How to solve common problems with applying ColdFusion updates (in 10 and above)

While ColdFusion 10 and later releases add a new automated update installation mechanism, what do you do if the update doesn't work? The answer may be simple on the surface, but not obvious to most. (And you'll likely be in panic mode.)

Many find after applying a ColdFusion update that either CF won't start at all, or they can't access the ColdFusion Admin, or some part of CF or their app doesn't work. The problem may be simply that there was an error in the update process CF did, and it may be rather easily confirmed and resolved.

In this post, I share several tips and observations to help resolve this, based on my years of providing remote CF troubleshooting support.

The TLDR version: check the ColdFusion update log (not logs in the normal CF "logs" folder. More detail below.) And if there are errors, try stopping CF yourself and then either try the update again, or if it still fails, try to manually apply the update from the command line. If that's enough to get you going, great--especially if you ARE in panic mode! (If the "problem" you need to solve, instead, is that you can't get CF to show you updates because you're behind a firewall preventing outbound internet access, I help with that also, toward the end.)

For most people, though, even those "simple things to do" can prove challenging (and understandably so). And you may find different resources on the web offering perhaps truncated discussions of the topics, which is why I elaborate on things in this post.

And even if you're in a panic, it may take only about 10 minutes to read this whole post. (You can also hire me to help instead, of course. See the link above.) Hope the info to follow is helpful for you.

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I'll be speaking at the Adobe ColdFusion Summit in Vegas, Oct 10-11. See you there!

Many have been asking if I'd be speaking again at this year's Adobe ColdFusion Summit, in Last Vegas (Oct 10-11). I will indeed!

(There was some challenge in getting all the speakers posted until just last week, so though I had known I was speaking for months, I held off announcing it until I could point to the link.)

I'll be presenting (as I do for each release) my "Hidden Gems In ColdFusion 2016" See the description via the links above. It should be as classically useful as ever, whether for those either new to or experienced with CF 2016.

I certainly do appreciate the conference team selecting me again to be a speaker. I've spoken at each of the 3 so far, the first in 2013.

The conference is always a great time (and has gotten larger and better each year, by most accounts). And Vegas is of course a great location (though honestly I barely leave the venue the whole time). Then there are all the great attendees, and sponsor booths, as well as nearly the entire CF team on hand, and of course lots of useful information shared from all the presenters.

If you'll be attending, I hope to see you there! And if you're still considering it, see the Why attend? page and other links offered there. Finally, note that the "early bird" price has been extended to August 31. See the Pricing page.

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