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Top 10 CArehart.org blog posts of 2017

With the passing of each year it's good to look back and highlight some of the most interesting posts of the previous year. These aren't in order by any metric, they're just in an order I think may interest most readers.

The first several are in fact resource lists where I pulled together resources, to help people in addressing some specific topic/challenge, which is something I enjoy doing as a contribution to the community. Sometimes the posts are related to the consulting work I do, but not always (just like some of the conference presentations I do, which are nearly always about CF, but not always about CF troubleshooting).

You'll see also a couple of posts that point to resources where I've been contributing time and content elsewhere (taking away somewhat from my posting things here). First, I've done about a dozen blog posts on the new Adobe CF Community Portal. Second, I've done about a dozen webinars for the FusionReactor folks. I've debated posting each one of those here as I did them (as blog posts here, I mean, throughout the year), but for now I had instead just opted to create a post for each of them last year listing what all I'd done.

Enjoy.

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Some recently added (and evolving) documentation of the CF Admin API

You may be aware of the CF Administrator API, a way to implement most CF Administrator features programmatically, by way of a set of CFCs implemented within CF (as introduced in CF7). But have you ever wished for some complete online documentation of the many (18) Admin API CFCs, including their methods and arguments?

If so, I have some very good news--and some not-so-good news. (Some may know that you can find this info also by running the CFC Explorer--more on that in a moment.) The unfortunate news is that it's not yet COMPLETELY documented, but it's still a good start.

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My recent articles on the Adobe CF Community portal

As some of my readers will know, Adobe has recently created and opened a CF Community portal, for folks to share blog posts, testimonials, showcases, and more. It's even an alternative way to participate in the Adobe CF forums.

Anyway, I have contributed several blog posts (some really article-length, and all written as standalone "articles", so I am referring to them that way here, and in my "articles" page).

I wanted to point to them out in a post here as well. I was also torn about whether to post them in their entirety here, whether before or after posting them there, but for now, I have posted the content only there.

One issue with the portal, though, is that if an author edits one, the date changes to the date EDITED, not the date CREATED. And then they show up in the portal in that date edited order, which is incorrect both because it can be abused (or confusin), but also because but not properly reflecting when the note was written, some context could be lost. Fortunately, in most of the posts, the date created DOES appear correctly when you open the post, though even that is not always accurate. So I have put here the correct date created for each.

I welcome your feedback and/or comments, though please do direct those to the respective blog posts on the portal. :-) And I hope more folks will consider contributing.

Recordings from ColdFusion Developer Week 2017

If you didn't hear, you can get free access to view the recordings of the Adobe ColdFusion Developer Week (devweek) which was held July 31-Aug 4 and offered several useful sessions.

And unlike previous Adobe cfdevweeks, which often involved non-Adobe presenters (including myself), this year's sessions were all from members of the Adobe CF team, on these topics:

  • The now and the next of Adobe ColdFusion (you'll have to suffer through a mistaken use of background music the whole hour)
  • API Economy: Realizing The Business Value of APIs Through Adobe API Management (no music in this or subsequent recordings)
  • Design of Rest API and Rest in ColdFusion
  • Upgrade to CF 2016
  • Finding security vulnerabilities in your codebase using security analyzer
  • Load Balancing, Scalability and Failover with ColdFusion Clustering
  • PDF enhancements in ColdFusion 2016
  • Language enhancements in CF 2016
  • Scale with ColdFusion 2016

About the very unfortunate background music in the first session, I have reached out to Rakshith today to ask if he may want to repeat it on the Online ColdFusion Meetup that I host, and we could offer that recording then as an alternative to the original.

Of course, the availability of the recordings is not new new info, as they were released last month and mentioned in that post I link to above. But I noticed in doing a google search today for "coldfusion devweek 2017 recordings", the first result was my 2012 post on the recordings of that year's devweek. Doh! So I wanted to offer this update in the hopes of replacing that in searches (fortunately, the Adobe post does appear next for me). I also just added "2012" to the title of that older post, as well as a link to this one, to perhaps also help avoid confusion.

And if you're interested in seeing the 2017 Adobe CF Roadmap (about what's new recently, what's coming in 2018 and 2020, as well as support timelines), Adobe happened to blog about that today as well. The sessions above (especially the first) elaborate much more on these than the 3-page PDF with a few bullet points each on CF2018 and CF2020. You'll see I pointed this out in the comments there, and I offered a link to the recordings. And it was in trying to find that which led to the motivation to create this post above. :-)

Dealing with Adobe forums error, "a serious error has occurred in the system"

I happened to try to visit today an Adobe forums page, when I got this error:

System Error

We're sorry but a serious error has occurred in the system.

If this happens to you, I have a possible quick solution (if you just want to get to the page in question):

Use your browser's menu option to have it create a "new private window" (FireFox), or "new incognito Window" (Chrome), or "new session" (IE), or the like.

This will open a new window for your browser, and it will NOT send any cookies to the page in question. And you should find that suddenly the forums "work", which tells you that the problem was about the server's unhappiness with something about the cookies in your browser.

If that's enough, great. If you want to know a bit more, read on.

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Having issues with the popup calendar feature in CF11 or 2016? There's a fix

If you're using the cfinput type="datefield" feature to popup a calendar and are finding that it's a) not working *at all* in ColdFusion 2016 or b) it showing up but not *correctly* after ColdFusion 11 update 12 or ColdFusion 2016 update 4, there's a fix for both.

The first problem was introduced in the CF2016 installer released in Dec 2016, and any after that, where Adobe has literally removed the library used for the calendaring, but you can add it back, as I discuss below. (If you install or installed CF 2016 from the original installer in Feb 2016, you won't see this problem as it wasn't removed then.)

The second problem was introduced in those two named updates, and was fixed in the very next updates (CF11 update 13 or CF2016 update 5). And of course, this could also happen if you're moving to CF11 or 2016 for the first time, and someone else had "fully updated" those to that update level before you started testing against it.

If you'd like to know more, read on.

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VisualVM failing to find plugins/updates? Solving the 503 error with an updated URL

Have you tried to update or simply see the available plugins for VisualVM (the Java monitoring tool built into the JDK), and found that it fails to respond right away (the progress bar will show "checking") and then it reports:

Unable to connect to the Java VisualVM Plugins Center because of Server returned HTTP response code: 503 for URL: http://www.oracle.com/splash/java.net/maintenance/index.html

There is a solution.

TLDR: the quick answer is to change the URL used by the tool (Tools>Plugins>Settings) to use a new URL, such as https://visualvm.github.io/uc/8u131/updates.xml.gz.


For those who'd appreciate more detail, read on.

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Long-time CFer needing to find new non-CF work? You may know more than you realize

Hey CFers: if you're thinking of getting (or are being forced) out of CF, and feel you can't find work, do you feel stuck? You probably know a lot more in terms of marketable skills than you may think.

This is a follow-up to my last post, Looking for CF people, or CF work? What can you do?.

In that one, I focused mostly on helping someone who WANTS to stay in CF, or as important, those who HAVE WORK TO OFFER in CF but have a hard time finding people.

Now this is for someone on the other side of the fence, who is now out of work in CF (by choice or circumstance) and needing to find work OUTSIDE of CF, and can't wait to develop new skills.

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Looking for CF people, or CF work? What can you do?

I'm often asked by clients or folks in the community about whether I know anyone who could do some CF development work (or how they can find someone), or whether I know of any jobs/gigs available (or how they can find them).

I do have a pretty standard answer, and it's not what I think most would expect to hear in reply (if they thought I could just propose some possible specific people looking/available).

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Recordings for nearly a dozen recent FusionReactor webinars I've done

I've been doing a series of one-hour webinars about FusionReactor over the past several months. They've covered nearly a dozen different topics (all with live demos), with more to come, including one just last week, "Making the Most of FusionReactor's Logs".

You can learn more about that and the previous ones and find their recordings at fusion-reactor.com/webinars. I also list all the webinars below, with links to each webinar's page with its recording.

(Note that sometimes the description offered on the main webinars page is a truncated variant, but click on the session link there or my links below which take you to the recording and the full description.)

Of course you'll find future webinars on the FR webinars page as their dates are posted, and you can register for them then (all free). By attending live of course you can ask questions as we go.

Some of the webinars are geared more toward folks who've been using FR (though maybe not to its maximum potential) though I try to make even them accessible to newcomers, while others are more well-suited to newcomers. (To be clear, I don't work for the company that makes the product, but I've been a huge fan for over 10 years.)

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