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Finding resources on ColdFusion 11's mobile development features

Have you wondered where you can find more about ColdFusion 11's mobile development features? (Did you know that CF11 added such features?) There are several resources provided by Adobe and others. In this post I highlight those various resources, with a focus on the many (and many kinds of) Adobe-provided ones.

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How to create a "new file" in ColdFusion Builder without use of a project

A newcomer to ColdFusion Builder (coming from Dreamweaver) expressed frustration on the Adobe CFBuilder forum about the challenge of doing something as simple as creating a new file--without having to name it first, and when not using "projects".

I offered a reply, both explaining why CFB has a project-oriented nature (being an Eclipse-based product) and also how they could be seen akin to DW "sites". Still, I appreciate the difference and the challenge to newcomers.

But most important, I explained how the Aptana plug-in built-into CFB does indeed offer a solution for him, in its "Untitled Files" feature, easily accessed from the File>New dialog. This would let him create a new file without need of either naming the file first or picking a project (whether when creating the new page or when saving it).

It's not an obvious solution, but I show how it can be made to be easily accessible with a single keystroke.

Rather than repeat myself here, I'll just point interested readers to the forum thread, "Creating a new file". Perhaps others will share more insights after mine, and feel free to leave comments here or there as you see fit.

Some hidden gems in ColdFusion Builder 2.0.1 for those who edit via FTP

Let me say this up front: I realize that some folks may well decry my pointing this out (hold that thought). But in the spirit of my tradition of pointing out "hidden gems" in things related to CF and CFBuilder, those who may edit files via FTP will want to know that there are some enhancements for that support in CF Builder 2.0.1, now in public beta.

Among the "other enhancements" mentioned at the bottom of the "New Features Notes" (PDF), note a few related to FTP:

  • New Upload On Save option on the FTP connector dialog box to upload a file by way of FTP when saved locally
  • Use shortcuts to perform Synchronize and Upload (Ctrl+Alt+W U)/Download (Ctrl+Alt+W D) simultaneously
  • Take advantage of the shortcut for Synchronize (Ctrl+Alt+W Y)

Those may be big news for some, which might be easily missed, and which are not likely to be pointed out in most posts on what's new in CFB 2.0.1. And some would even intentionally leave them out, so I'm "takin' one for the community" here by pointing these out. :-)

Why some may decry these features

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Setting up CFBuilder to process htm files with the ColdFusion editor

A client of mine asked if I might know how he could setup ColdFusion Builder 2 so that when he opened an htm file with it, it opened with its ColdFusion editor. He's one of those folks who've configured their environment so that htm pages are processed by CF so they can have CFML code in them. (More on that notion, the pros and cons, in a moment.)

The solution for getting CFB to open an HTM file in the CF editor is not too hard, but since he was thrown off a bit by some things he saw (when I suggested simply that the answer was in Builder's Preferences>General>Editors>File Associations page), I offered the specific steps. I then decided to go ahead and blog it, since I don't find anyone else having done so (feel free to comment if someone did).

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cf.Objective(): I'll be there, and I'll be busy with 4 sessions

I've gotten word from the folks running the cf.Objective() conference that besides the 2 talks I'm giving, they've also recently accepted my proposals for a BOF (birds of a feather) session and a slot in their lightning talk session. Phew! I'll be busy.

Here are the details.

First are the two talks:

(I had put in just the first talk originally, and then a few weeks ago a slot opened and they asked if I could do the other, which I was happy to offer, as an reprisal/update to my talk from the first release.)

Then for the Lightning Round (or what was originally referred to as the Pecha Kucha), my talk will be:

  • Lies, damned lies, and CF request timeouts (in which I'll share in 5 minutes some information that even experienced developers admit having never known)

Finally, for the Birds of a Feather (no page on their site listing them yet), the session I will be leading will be:

  • CF911: Share your CF server troubleshooting tips (come share some ideas, or learn from myself and others)

Sense a theme? Yep, other than the CFBuilder talk, the other sessions are all focused on the topic that is now most near and dear to my heart (and livelihood): CF Server Troubleshooting. It's what I do, and more important it's how I feel I can best help the most people.

There's one last aspect of my involvement at the conference that I'll mention: they started a new sponsorship program this year called "Friends of cf.Objective()", and I'll be participating in that. No mention of it yet on their site, but there should be more news at the event.

So hope to see you there, or if you won't be there, I'll post if any of these are recorded, or if not then I would likely record them myself in the future.

CF911: Want to modify the CF Step Debugger's use of a random port?

Here's a quick tip (and some elaboration): if you've noticed that the CF step debugger (in CF 8 or 9) causes CF to listen on a randomly changing port, you can change that behavior (assuming you have good reason to do so, such as perhaps some challenges with firewall configuration).

It's a simple JVM tweak to cause it to use a fixed port:

-DDEBUGGER_SERVER_PORT=portNumber

You can add this either in the "Java & JVM" page of the CF Admin (if in Standard or Enterprise Server), or on the java.args line in the jvm.config file (for any form of CF).

You do need to restart CF for this to take effect.

A few warnings are in order

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My CFBuilder Debugger chapter (for CF9 WACK Vol 2) is online

Here's good news for folks seeking more documentation on how to configure, use, and troubleshoot the ColdFusion Builder debugger.

My chapter on the topic, in the newly released CF 9 Web Application Construction Kit, Volume 2 Application development is available free online. It's one of 3 chapters at the end of the book (out of 21 total) that were forced online due to pagecount restrictions.

While it's a bummer for those who buy the print book and may not notice these are missing (though it should be mentioned in the TOC), the good news is that it means anyone can read the chapter.

You'll find the 25-page chapter (chapter 45, "Using the Debugger") online in a PDF of all 3 chapters available at Ben's site. Note that since mine is the last chapter of the PDF, you will want to skip to page 71 within the document. The following link should open the PDF directly to that page (if not, just use the Acrobat feature to go to a page):

Read the PDF, starting at page 71

Finally, some may notice on the Amazon page offered above that only Ben Forta is listed as author for the book. Of course, there were multiple authors. Ben, Ray Camden, and I were contributors to all 3 volumes, while there were still other contributors for volumes 2 and 3. Ben says that this oversight will be addressed soon.

How to open CFBuilder/FlashBuilder/Eclipse to view a given perspective, from command line

Someone on a list asked an interesting question: how do you switch perspectives in CFBuilder (or FlashBuilder or Eclipse) from the command line? For instance, if one has CFB with FB as a plugin, how might one use the command line to create a shortcut so as to launch to the CFB or FB (or another) perspective?

The good news is that there are in fact various command-line switches for launching Eclipse, and these apply just as well to the cfbuilder.exe and FlashBuilder.exe (for instance, some have needed to use the -clean switch to resolve some problems).

In this case of specifying the desired perspective, we want to use the -perspective argument. The trick, though, is knowing the right value to provide. It's *not* the perspective name. Rather, it's the perspectiveid, and that's not so easy to determine. I'll explain below how I found them, but to cut to the chase, here they are.

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More reasons to buy ColdFusion Builder

I wanted to add some more thoughts to Adam Tuttle's helpful recent entry, Why (I Think) You Should Buy ColdFusion Builder. I started to offer them as comments but it got lengthy, so I decided to create this entry instead.

A little background on the question

Adam's entry was his response to an observation I'd made on a private mailing list that I'd not seen any good single resource to point people to when they raised concerns about having to pay for CFBuilder. We who have "seen the light" wonder why people even debate it (as he addresses with observations from others in his entry).

While his entry expands on the oft-shared Adobe graphic comparing features among it and the existing CFML editors, there are some more features that may not have been t important enough to be listed on that graphic, but are sometimes a source of concern/contention for some as they consider CFB. Here are a few of them.

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Presenting "CFBuilder Hidden Gems" twice this week

This week I'll be offering my "Hidden Gems in ColdFusion Builder" talk, which was well-received at the recent CFinNC conference. Besides sharing the date/time/location details, I also want to clarify here what the talk is and IS NOT going to cover.

First a local (longer) in-person then an online worldwide presentation

First, I'll be offering it first in-person at the Atlanta ColdFusion User Group (ACFUG) on the evening of Wednesday Nov 4. The meeting description and details are offered on the ACFUG site. Since food and drink are served, you're asked to please RSVP. This talk will not be recorded, as trying to record an in-person user group talk presents lots of challenges.

Second, I'll be offering it on the ColdFusion Meetup (the online ColdFusion user group I run which meets weekly) on the evening of Thursday Nov 5. You can find details and optionally RSVP on the CFMeetup event page. This talk, like all CFMeetup talks, will be recorded.

What the talk is and IS NOT

I want to clarify some things about the talk.

First, the talk is NOT a general introduction to CF Builder. It's a tips and tricks talk, sharing lots of things that people seem to miss (or struggle with) about the IDE.

By the same token, there are also a lot topics that I simply won't have time to cover, so please don't hold it against me if I don't address some favored topic. :-)

Also, please note even these two talks above won't be identical. In the ACFUG talk I've been given both hour-long slots, while on the CFMeetup I'll have just the normal one hour. As such, in the ACFUG talk I'll have much more time and be able to cover more than on the meetup. I've also been asked to take a little of that extra time at the outset to do a quick intro to the editor. So if you're in or near Atlanta, you'll want to attend that talk rather than await the online one.

Finally, both talks will be a bit different from the one I gave at CFinNC. I've added some tips while also condensing some others for time (even in the longer ACFUG talk).

So many gems that I need to create a half-day class

Indeed, as happened with my "Hidden Gems in CF 8" talk a couple years ago, I've gathered so many tips that really a user group talk doesn't offer enough time to do much more than just list them, quickly demo only some of them, and point to resources to learn more for each.

For those who might like to have a more leisurely presentation, with time to follow along and try things (while raising any concerns), as well as time to see demos of most of the gems and for me to discuss more of them at length, I do plan to create a half-day class which I will announce soon.

(I never did get around to that for the CF8 gems, but I may still offer that class even now, as some people are only now moving to it or are skipping it on the way to CF9.)

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