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An alternative means of archiving your group's mailing list: Google Groups

Note: This blog post is from 2006. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily. Same with links and subsequent comments from myself or others. Corrections are welcome, in the comments. And I may revise the content as necessary.
Did you know that a Google Group can be created solely to be an online repository/archive for another existing, traditional mailing list? I just learned this today.

In an entry last week (see below), I pointed out how the mail-archive.com site offered a great repository for archiving and providing a search interface for any group's mailing list.

But this Google Group's feature may appeal to some as an alternative. For more, see the Google Group's technote, Can I use Google Groups to archive another mailing list?.

For more on the other alternative I proposed, including a discussion for why either of this is different from proposing that any individual create their own gmail account for reading mailing lists (an entirely different subject/solution), see Need a (safe) searchable archive for your mailing list? Get one for free!.

The mail-archive.com service does have one distinct advantage: it can be setup to hold previous messages sent to the list being archived. Google Groups cannot, for now, so it will only be able to start archiving once you set it up.

Hope this helps someone or some group with a mailing list that lacks its own archive/search/web interface features.

Alternative HTTP debugging proxies, for debugging

Note: This blog post is from 2006. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily. Same with links and subsequent comments from myself or others. Corrections are welcome, in the comments. And I may revise the content as necessary.
I've previously mentioned the value of using HTTP debugging proxies, which help you observe the communications out of your browser and back, which can be especially helpful debugging problems with Ajax and Flex/Flash apps as well as general-purpose web apps. Though I've pointed out a couple of my favorites (Fiddler and Firebug) before, here is a larger list. "To each his own", as they say.

Most are free, some are browser-specific, and I've tried to break the list up that way. These tools are also referred to as MITM, or Man In The Middle, proxies or http sniffers.

[Update: Since writing this in 2006, most modern browsers now provide this sort of client proxy/debugging functionality built-in. I wrote about them in a 2012 blog entry. Also, I long ago moved this list (and more such tools) above to a new location with far more updated info: a category in my CF411.com list of tools and resources for CFers.]

And there are still other ways to do the kind of communication analysis, including tcp trace tools and even a Sniffer and a tcpmon tool, both built into CFMX and useful for watching the http traffic going into CF. There's also the NetConnection Debugger for Flash and Flex. Still, I'm limiting this discussion just to HTTP debugging proxies. If folks know of still others, feel free to add them in the comments.

Free, General-purpose HTTP Debugging Proxies

Free, IE-only Proxies

Free, Firefox-only Proxies

Commercial Proxies

I'd like to point out as well that this list appears, along with other similar lists of tools related to CF, on an older site I still maintain: http://www.systemanage.com/cff/considering_products.cfm

Thinking of frying a turkey: YouTube shows why you need to be careful!

Note: This blog post is from 2006. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily. Same with links and subsequent comments from myself or others. Corrections are welcome, in the comments. And I may revise the content as necessary.
As we in America celebrate Thanksgiving, some may be tempted to try to deep fry a turkey, something which has grown in popularity. I've heard many warnings about the approach, and now thanks to Youtube you can see the serious Underwriters Labratories video showing how easily things can go very wrong.

But with care, it can work, as another video shows. The keys seem to be: don't use a frozen turkey, don't use too much oil, do it outside a safe distance from the house, oh, and maybe don't do it while drinking! :-)

Enjoy the holiday, everyone (and the peace on the lists for those outside the states).

CFUnited presentations audio recordings now available free to attendees

Note: This blog post is from 2006. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily. Same with links and subsequent comments from myself or others. Corrections are welcome, in the comments. And I may revise the content as necessary.
Here's great news: if you attended CFUnited and want to listen to the presentations, they're now available free. Check out http://www.teratech.com/cfunited06/ and use your login and password from the event. You can find the powerpoint presentations as well. Video is still available to be purchased separately, it seems.

Sadly, not all the presentations offer recordings, even if they offer video. My own talk, for instance, has no MP3 available, and when I view the video, the audio was really crappy, which is perhaps why no MP3 was made available. Still, I found that 32 of the 41 talks do have audio.

Using Atlas (MS Ajax Toolkit) with CF, and getting CF / Atlas example working

Note: This blog post is from 2006. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily. Same with links and subsequent comments from myself or others. Corrections are welcome, in the comments. And I may revise the content as necessary.
Have you wondered about using Microsoft's Atlas tookit with CF? You can. It helps, though, to recognize that the toolkit is composed of multiple parts, one of which is a purely client-side toolkit and which can certainly work with CF. There's even sample code to demonstrate it.

Before I point that out, let me clarify that Atlas has also been renamed recently and is now named in ways that recognize the different parts. The client portion is now called the Microsoft Ajax Library.

There's a demo zip showing CF/Atlas integration available at the blog of the MS Developer who presented it at CFunited, Brad Adams. As discussed in the blog and comments, just unzip the file into your web server root. Assuming you leave it named AtlasCF, you need not change the code--except for one thing.

If you have CF Debugging turned on, the app will fail to work (without any message). Of course, the debugging will cause his CFM page (called from the Atlas client) to send the big load of HTML debugging info at the bottom of its output--and his Atlas client obviously won't be expecting that.

The simple solution is to drop:

<CFSETTING ShowDebugOutput="no">

into the application.cfm.

Sadly, he's got comments turned off so I can't offer this there, though I have emailed him and hope he may update the blog entry.

Perhaps others out there are also doing CF/Atlas integration. If so, drop some comments here for others who may be interested to hear.

Need a (safe) searchable archive for your mailing list? Get one for free!

Note: This blog post is from 2006. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily. Same with links and subsequent comments from myself or others. Corrections are welcome, in the comments. And I may revise the content as necessary.
Is your group's mailing list run on a traditional list server? If so, do you have an available, searchable archive of past messages? If not, or if it doesn't work well, here's a free solution for your group.

mail-archive.com is a free service for archiving any mailing list. Once your list's archive is created, the service will receive and archive all future messages to the list, and offers a web-based interface for anyone to view the list messages (by date or thread) and of course search existing messages.

And yes, someone can even import past messages to stock the archive (http://www.mail-archive.com/faq.html#import). Cool! Better still, it protects the privacy of the list members by hiding or obfuscating their email addresses. They even make it possible to respond to the sender via the archive using a special server mechanism that avoids delivering the address to a spambot. See the info at http://www.mail-archive.com/faq.html#spam and skip to the 2nd paragraph for more. I note they even detect emails in signatures and remove those, replacing it with "[EMAIL PROTECTED]". Very nice. They even have a mechanism to permit a sender to a list to PREVENT their message being archived (by their including the header X-No-Archive: yes). Finally, I'll point out that other CF mailing lists already use it, including the venerable CF-talk list: http://www.mail-archive.com/index.php?autobahn=nolimit&hunt=fusion so a list organizer or list member can check out the interface before deciding whether to use it. If you're interested in doing this for your list, you may want to contact the person who runs it (though, technically, they don't mandate that you be the list owner to set it up). You may at least want to announce your intent on your list to avoid a bunch of members setting up duplicates. Feel free to point them to this very blog entry to learn more.

And on a related topic, if your group's mailing list is hosted on a "groups" site like google or yahoo groups, then you should already have archiving and searching of the list contents there.

If you have a group and don't yet have a list, you should consider those free "groups" services. It's a great way to bring a community together. I've written elsewhere about that. (Update: tipicalcharlie domain is no more, but page recovered using Archive.org.)

PS I do realize that Gmail could help me here, as an individual, but this is about solving the problem for all members of the list.

PPS I'd like to point out that I did previously write an entry on this same topic on another blog but wanted to reprise and update it here for those who may have missed it.

Switching among source windows in Eclipse/CFEclipse

Note: This blog post is from 2006. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily. Same with links and subsequent comments from myself or others. Corrections are welcome, in the comments. And I may revise the content as necessary.
Those who know me well know I'm a big fan of keyboard shortcuts. I could give a whole session on them (and perhaps someday will), so I want to share one that I learned and which is useful if using Eclipse, CFEclipse, or FusionDebug. While many know ctrl-tab will swap among windows in many programs, that doesn't work in Eclipse. Try ctrl-F6 instead, which will show a drop down list of open files and let you scroll forward through them. To go backwards in the list, use Shift-ctrl-f6. Cheers.

PS For other keyboard shortcuts I've shared, going beyond things related to CF, check out the category/tag on the topic at my other (older) blog, tipicalcharlie.com: http://www.tipicalcharlie.com/tags/?/keyboard%2Bshortcuts (domain gone, page recovered from Archive.org)

PPS The entry above on ctrl-f6 is just one more point to be made about looking at Eclipse as a whole when using either CFE or FD. Don't just focus on what those plug-ins add, but rather also on the built-in features of the Eclipse interface which may help you with day-to-day functionality.

Update: Since writing this in 2006, note the several comments below where people offered still more. And of course since then CFBuilder has come out, and with its built-in Aptana offers still more of them. Indeed, in a talk I did on hidden gems, I list other shortcuts for switching windows.

Looking for great (free) web site design templates? check out oswd.org

Note: This blog post is from 2006. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily. Same with links and subsequent comments from myself or others. Corrections are welcome, in the comments. And I may revise the content as necessary.
Most of us CF/web app developers aren't particularly skilled at site design/layout/CSS, etc. If you're creating a new site for yourself or clients, how would you like to know about a repository of over 1,600 free, well-designed, CSS-based, XHTML-compliant web site designs? Check out http://www.oswd.org/, a 5-year old repository of just that. Indeed, if you like the design of my site (carehart.org), I got it there, as mentioned at the bottom of my site's front page. Just thought others might not yet have heard about the resource. Enjoy!

oswd logo

My latest 2 CFDJ articles

Note: This blog post is from 2006. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily. Same with links and subsequent comments from myself or others. Corrections are welcome, in the comments. And I may revise the content as necessary.
Check out the 2 latest articles I've done in the CFDJ (you can read them online for free): one is on FusionDebug Tips and tricks, and the latest is on using the nifty (free) LogParser tool with CF.

Sys-con has been working hard to catch up on late delivery of the magazine, as well as to bolster the content with topics that will appeal to a wider CFML audience. I'm glad to be a part of that effort after being quite absent myself for must of the past 3 years. (See the more than 50 other CFDJ articles I've done in the past 7 years.)

Good news: the CFDJ site search feature is functioning once again

Note: This blog post is from 2006. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily. Same with links and subsequent comments from myself or others. Corrections are welcome, in the comments. And I may revise the content as necessary.
For those who, like me, often refer to past articles in the CFDJ magazine's online site, I'm delighted today to notice that the search bar (top of all pages) is now working again. It's been disabled for a couple of years.

Don't know if others have blogged about that (as I just mentioned, I'm in Europe this week and next, so not connected too often or too well while traveling).

It turns out that they've enabled the Google Site Search feature, which while not an internal search engine is at least much better than nothing at all. It found the things I was looking for, and though I've long used the Google site search feature to get around this there (and at other sites), many don't know how to use it, so it's certainly a step in the right direction.

I understand after talking with them that they are indeed looking to get the real CFML-based search to work again, and I may even help them with that now that I'm on my own. Anyway, in the meantime, enjoy.

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