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Released today: CF2016, or 'ColdFusion (2016 release)'. What's new, and more

If you're not following the Adobe CF team blog, you may have missed the announcement there today of the newest version of CF, ColdFusion 2016. More on the name in a moment.

And while that Adobe blog post mentions a few of the main new features, as is nearly always the case it leaves out many other new features which may interest folks. It also doesn't point to resources to learn more. I do those things here in this post.

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CFHour going off the air. End of an era? Thanks, Dave and Scott

If you haven't heard the news yet, the CFHour podcast has had it's last show, it seems. Dave (Ferguson) and Scott (Stroz) announced the news at the end of their last episode (#213), quietly and without fanfare (or any advanced indications), citing time challenges, etc.

I'm holding a glimmer of hope that it's all an April Fool's prank, but if true it's indeed the end of an era and time to pause and reflect as if on the passing of a friend.

Update: I'm vindicated! :-) The guys announced in their next show that it WAS INDEED an April Fool's prank. Even so, I'll leave this entry, untouched, for posterity. Plus, most of the info is just as valuable to have shared, with them and with readers, whether they did or did not end the show. And like I said below, this gave them a chance like Twain and Nobel to see what folks thought when they thought they were dead. :-)

I also want to give some solace to fans of the show (and the general CFML community) with respect to where they may want to turn now to keep up on news, resources, etc. Fortunately, there are some places being actively updated. (And while surely some will see this as one more nail in CF's coffin, I don't and I'll address that briefly too.)

But first let's give credit where it's due about the podcast...

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Yet another way to keep up on the CF news of the week

Thank you, Steve Bryant, for your CF_Blogpicks for the week, a series of weekly blog entries he started on Jan 7, highlighting what he feels are newsworthy blog entries that all CF developers ought to consider.

Last week I praised and highlighted Kay Smoljak's week in ColdFusion blog entries. Then last night I was perusing FullAsAGoog and noticed for the first time one of Steve's entries. What a delight to find that.(It's funny to note that he started his about the same time Kay did hers--funny how that goes.)

I recommend you keep an eye on Steve's list, too. He strives to pick 5 key entries a week that he feels most developers will benefit learning from. (I'm delighted to see he picked one of my entries this week, but really it's totally coincidental that I tripped across it this week while perusing the 'goog.)

Do we really need yet another source? I say yes

Now, some may say, "why do we need these additional resources? Aren't aggregators like the 'goog, MXNA, FeedSquirrel, and ColdFusionBloggers, all one needs? And what about the dzone cf page?"

Sure, those are all great. But here's the thing: Steve's been doing his news for a few weeks, and this is the first I'd seen it (same with Kay's last week). I'm sure many of us miss things that come through the aggregators. Most of us don't have time to read EVERY message they show--and then, which aggregator do you pick? While they mostly show the same things, with different approaches, some blogs aren't in all.

Most of all, I have to admit that I don't even have time to keep an eye on even any one aggregator each day, or really even each week. There's just too much content being created for most of us to stay on top of it all.

That's why I LOVE these attempts to do that hard work for us. Like I said last week of Kay's, and earlier this week about the various CF podcasts past and present (and future?), any sort of manual effort to gather and present key news and info shared is really a tough job, and my hats off to all who try.

I have some approaches in mind myself. One of them is similar to the dzone approach, and feedquirrel's recent addition to let the community of readers vote on entries. Those are both steps in the direction I was headed, though my idea is still different. We'll see. But until then, I want to make sure people know about these various features.

"The week in ColdFusion": weekly news update from Kay Smoljak

If you haven't heard of it, I want to give a tip of the hat to Kay Smoljak and her relatively new "the week in ColdFusion" series of blog entries, where she intends to track the week's news. You can find it here:

http://www.sitepoint.com/blogs/category/coldfusion/

The URL above is for all her CF entries on her blog, so you need to find each week's entry among her other entries for the week. But she's noted to me (in a comment in one of them there) that she won't have too many each week to make it hard to pick out the news items. (While someone could also setup a Yahoo Pipe to solve the problem, perhaps out of respect we should just get her entire feed and keep an eye out for those news entries.)

Kay's an Aussie (Perth) who's been doing CF for several years. She's done about 4 weeks of the news so far, and I wish her well. Keeping up with the week's news in the CF community is a noble effort. Many have tried and been unable to keep it up.

In the past, we had the guys on the ColdFusionWeekly offering news into the middle of last year, and CFReports until Sept, but since then it's been mostly interviews. I don't mean that as a slap. I know it's hard work!

Indeed, we also had the guys at the ColdFusion podcasts who would do news as well, but they went off the air completely in late 2006, so at least the weekly's still there. (I'll have more to share about the surprising history of CF podcasts in an upcoming entry.)

We also had Andy Allan also doing a roundup of the best of the blogs ("weekly blog roundup"), but he too petered out in late 2006.

It's a tough job, and we're all grateful for those who have, are, and will try to help us all out! :-)

Anyone in the CF world looking into Restlets yet? They went 1.0 today.

Has anyone in the CF community started looking into the Restlets API yet? I happened upon the concept today for the first time, when I saw news that it went 1.0 today, though it's a little over a year old. I did some digging using my Google CSE to search and see if any other CFers had written about it, but I found none.

Restlets are an implementation of RESTful applications atop the Java framework. If your brain thinks "applets", think instead "servlets". Though even that's not quite right, since it's specifically NOT about implementing REST in servlets, as mentioned in the 'restlet inception' section of the intro page. The goal is "supporting the concepts of REST and facilitating the handling of calls for both client-side and server-side applications". I have to admit, I'm not entirely clear on what it can do and what it may do for CF folks.

Note that there is both a restlet API and a restlet engine (NRE), and it can be embedded within another servlet engine (like Tomcat--or in CF's case, JRun).

To their credit, there's plenty of friendly documentation (well, friendly for a Java project) at the site, including intros, tutorials, faq (general and developer), sample code, and more.

The project clearly has a java feel and focus, so if it can be useful to CFers, it will be up to someone to either show how it will be useful, or perhaps even implement some demo atop or in conjunction with it, for most CFers to "get it" I think.

I'm not sure I do, myself, so I'm more just throwing this out there to see if anyone gets interested. (Didn't do much good with my reference to the Ibatis framework. :-) But you never know.) If it helps you or looks interesting, share a comment or link to your blog in the comments here.

Best wishes, Sean Corfield, as he leaves Adobe next week

If you've not heard the news from his site today, Sean Corfield has announced that he's leaving Adobe next week, on April 5th. No, this is not a bad, early April Fool's joke. If you've not heard the news before now, I think it may be because Sean's innocuous-sounding blog entry title ("Scratching the Seven Year Itch") maybe hasn't caught everyone's attention.

Of course, as the many well-deserved comments of praise, thanks, and well-wishing show, there are many who have in fact heard the news and are letting it sink in.

Sean's moving on to do work as CTO of a startup--Scazu, which is in the health and wellness space. I could say more, as I've been involved a little in its early goings as well, but it's not yet time to share any further news.

I will say that I was as shocked as anyone to hear of his decision to leave Adobe. And I'll say for the record, lest anyone conclude otherwise, that I had absolutely nothing to do with his being wooed away. :-) Like I said, I was surprised when I heard of it, even as an insider. Of course it's great news for the Scazu team and he's going to be an incredible addition.

And as the well-wishers have said in his blog comments, this new-found freedom can be as much a blessing for the community as anything else (which is indeed what many said when I left New Atlanta). Sean's also mentioned that he will have time to do independent consulting, and that's even more great news for the whole community.

I do certainly wish him well in the new venture, and I wish Adobe well in finding someone to fill his shoes. So many other things seem to be going so well at Adobe that it I'm betting this will be a smooth transition. Knowing Sean, I doubt he'd have considered it otherwise.

Looking forward to seeing even more from him contributing to the community--if that's even possible! :-)

Congrats to Kevin Towes, new Adobe Technical Product Manager for Flash Media Server

Adobe has announced that Kevin Towes is the new Technical Product manager for Flash Media Server (FMS). Folks who've been in the CF world for a while may recognize him as a frequent contributor to the CF community a few years ago, when he was a certified CF developer, founder of the Toronto CFUG, and a speaker at conferences and user groups.

He was an early and vocal advocate of FMS in its early incarnation (Tin Can and the Flash Communication Server), and has spent recent years in media, continuing to work with FMS in its evolution. It's great to see Kevin directly involved at Adobe, and I can't imagine a better FMS advocate to be named to the post.

Charlie Arehart offers new per-minute phone-based support service

Ever felt stumped trying to solve a CF problem? You've tried everything? Searched the web? Asked on forums and lists, and you're still stuck? Or maybe you're just pressed for time.

Maybe you've wished you could hire someone with more experience but can't justify a high hourly rate. Of course, with so many web tools available to share a desktop, travel need no longer be a significant issue. Sometimes, it could help to simply have someone "look over your shoulder" via the web to resolve a problem.

Recognizing all those challenges, I've created a new service that I'm tentatively calling "AskCharlie", to be able to offer just such assistance.

Via buttons on my site or an 888 number you call, you can arrange to speak with me by phone (and optionally join me in a shared desktop session) to solve some knotty problem.

Best of all, it's very low cost and at a per minute rate (first-time callers can use a 10 minutes free option, and everyone gets a money-back guarantee). That and more are explained on my site:

http://www.carehart.org/askcharlie/

There you can learn more about why I did it, how it works, how the remote desktop sharing assistance works (no problem with firewalls, for instance), and more.

I'd welcome your thoughts on what you think of the idea.

News of the week

In case folks have missed it, and as I alluded to in a previous post, a couple of folks are doing us all a nice service and putting together a nice update of the week's news in the CFML community.

First is Andy Allan's weekly summary of top news from the blogs, and you can find the latest each week at:

http://www.creative-restraint.co.uk/blog/index.cfm/Blog-Round-Up

Second is Ryan Hartwich's summary of the top news (blogs or not). For now, there is no place listing all his posts of that sort, but the latest is here:

http://www.fusionauthority.com/News/4642-Adobe-ColdFusion-News-Brief-August-8-2006.htm

Finally, there are also the podcasts (and their sites) that I mentioned in my earlier blog entry. I won't point these out each month, but I do want to bump up their visibility. These guys are all doing us a great service. Thanks.

Keepin' up on what's happening in the CF world - Part 4: Weekly Summaries

In my previous three entries, I've discussed how someone can keep up with the news of the CF world by leveraging blogs and blog aggregators. In this final installment, I want to point out a few resources that do all the work for you to keep up with a weekly update of what's going on in the CF world. One is a summary of the top CF blog entries (in that author's opinion), another is a summary of CF news (again, another author's opinion), and finally I want to point you to a couple of podcasts that include a focused summary of the news each edition.

Andy Allan's weekly blog summary

First, let me point out the nifty new weekly summary of top blog entries as determined by CF developer, Andy Allan, of the Scottish CFUG. His "roundup" of the CF blogosphere is just one of his regular blog postings, but he has demarked them by a category of "Blog Round Up", so you can keep an eye on just those particular new entries (if that's all you care to see) by watching the URL:

http://www.creative-restraint.co.uk/blog/index.cfm/Blog-Round-Up

As I noted in part 2 of this series, you can set up your browser to bookmark this URL in a way to make it easy to visit frequently.

Better still, as we discussed in part 3, you can leverage an RSS feed instead and Andy also offers such a feed for these "roundup" entries:

http://www.creative-restraint.co.uk/blog/rss.cfm?mode=full&mode2=cat&catid=93661280-C6C5-1A2A-16D86B1A3ADA948E

I first blogged about Andy's new service at http://carehart.org/blog/client/index.cfm/2006/7/21/andy_allens_weekly_cf_blog_roundup.

Ryan Hartwich's Weekly CF News Review for FusionAuthority

Now, where Andy is picking out the top blog entries, another take is Ryan Hartwich's new "News Brief", on the FusionAuthority site. So far, he has offered these two:

http://www.fusionauthority.com/News/4640-Adobe-ColdFusion-News-Brief-July-31-2006.htm

http://www.fusionauthority.com/News/4626-Adobe-ColdFusion-News-Brief-June-16-2006.htm

While there is no single page that keeps track of new entries to just the News Brief, it may be worth noting that for now you can use the following page that tracks all "news" items on the FA site, including the News Brief:

http://www.fusionauthority.com/News/

Sadly, it's not even presented in chronological order (for now), so you kind of have to wade through its contents to see what's new. Judith has told me that they are looking to address this challenge (of tracking what new entries are made in the News Brief and other article series), so look for that in the future.

Listen to the News: CF Podcasts with a News Focus

Finally, another outlet for CF news may appeal to those who just don't have time to read web pages, RSS readers, or emails. Of the several nifty CF-related podcasts, two in particular try to highlight the latest news each edition.

http://www.coldfusionpodcast.com/

http://www.coldfusionweekly.com/

Note as well that each of them also list the points they raise, including links, on a page for each podcast, which can itself be another avenue for keeping up on the week's news.

And a Summary of the Podcast (Summaries)!

OK, this may be getting a little too "meta", but for those who would like to keep tabs on what the CF podcasts are talking about, Charlie Griefer is offering another "meta" resource on FusionAuthority, in his somewhat regular podcast reviews. A couple of the latest entries (at this time) are:

http://www.fusionauthority.com/Reviews/4625-The-ColdFusion-Podcast-Roundup-Thursday-June-8-2006.htm

http://www.fusionauthority.com/Reviews/4624-The-ColdFusion-Podcast-Roundup-Wednesday-May-30-2006.htm

And, as with the News Brief discussed above, there is no one page that lists just new entries to the Podcast Reviews, but they are listed along with hundreds of other "news" pages (going back to 1999) on the page: http://www.fusionauthority.com/Reviews/.

CF Open Source Updates

Oh, let me share one more. I'm sorry I forgot it initially. Brian Rinaldi is now keeping a weekly update on the OpenSource part of the CF World. Here is the latest:

http://www.remotesynthesis.com/blog/index.cfm/2006/7/31/ColdFusion-OpenSource-Update--July-31

If he offers me a URL that lists them as they're updated, I'll offer that here.

OK, that's it. I hope you got some value from these 4 parts on "keepin' up on what's happening in the CF world".

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