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CF911: CF doesn't respond for extended lengths of time

Note: This blog post is from 2008. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily.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.
This is the first of a series of blog entries I'll do under the heading of CF911, to share info I offer to people when I help people solve CF problems either on mailing lists or by my support consulting.

One problem: CF not responding

Someone asked for help on one of the Adobe forums, with a problem about users reporting that the server was not responding for extended periods.

After checking the logs (CF, Windows event, and IIS logs) and not "seeing anything to indicate errors", he wondered if somehow "you can set site availability windows".

I replied to him that, no, there are no features to set "windows of availability" for CF. So either CF was up and responding, or it wasn't. Even if it was, it may also be that his problem was with IIS. There are a few things that he could check....

[....Continue Reading....]

Connect recordings listed with breezecentral.com domain will break: here's the solution

Note: This blog post is from 2008. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily.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.
If you're a speaker, user group manager, or blogger who offers URLs for previously recorded Breeze/Connect presentations, you may find that some now break because they point to a domain that Adobe no longer supports, breezecentral.com. Someone noted that an old entry that had been entered previously in my UGTV repository now broke. I looked into it, found the answer, and am sharing it here for others.

It's understandable, since Breeze was renamed to Connect a long time ago, but the bummer is that so many folks have for so long pointed to such recordings, and now they will all break. I've changed all the UGTV entries.

Here is a table of the old URLS and new ones that I've found to work for each. It's not always quite as obvious as it may seem:

Old URLNew URL
These need adobe.acrobat.com
adobechats.adobe.breezecentral.com adobechats.adobe.acrobat.com
adobechats.breezecentral.com adobechats.adobe.acrobat.com
mmchats.breezecentral.com mmchats.adobe.acrobat.com
mmusergroup.breezecentral.com mmusergroup.adobe.acrobat.com
seminars.breezecentral.com seminars.adobe.acrobat.com
These just need acrobat.com
experts.breezecentral.com experts.acrobat.com
stevenerat.breezecentral.com stevenerat.acrobat.com
mmse.breezecentral.com mmse.acrobat.com

Of course, I'm sure there are many other URLS out there using breezecentral.com. I'm only listing those that were in my UGTV database, that I tested and changed.

So for example, Doug Smith had noted that this entry from a 2006 talk by Sean Corfield, on "Objects and Persistence" failed (with domain not found):

http://adobechats.adobe.breezecentral.com/p31075720/

The correct new URL is:

http://adobechats.adobe.acrobat.com/p31075720/

So I've taken care of the UGTV entries. If you have your own listing of such URLs, I hope you'll take note of all this and make the changes for yourself and your readers.

Better understanding the IIS HTTPERR logs

Note: This blog post is from 2008. 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.
If you run IIS, are you familiar with its HTTPERR logs? If not, you may be missing out on some useful diagnostic information. Sadly, many (sometimes most) of the entries in the logs are innocuous (you don't need to worry about them), but sometimes they're useful. And if have noticed the logs, perhaps you'd like to know more about them.

There's a useful MS document, Error logging in HTTP API, with more about the HTTPERR logs, including their location, format, and info on the kinds of errors reported within them. Hope that's helpful to my readers.

Here's another (more brief) introduction to the files: in the technical reference section of the IIS 6 docs.

Kids these days, rowdy like it's 19... um, 399AD

Note: This blog post is from 2008. 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.
A teacher writes that he moved to a new city because he heard the students there were much less rowdy than in his former school, where they would "burst in rudely [into a random classrooom] and disrupt the discipline which the teacher had established".

Of course, we take it as a given that this could happen in many places today, but what's interesting is this isn't an account from today, or yesteryear. Not 100 years ago, nor even 1,000 years ago, but the late 4th century AD!

I was persuaded to go to Rome and teach there [because]... I had been informed that the students there studied more quietly and were better kept under the control of stern discipline, so that they did not capriciously and impudently rush into the classroom of a teacher not their own--indeed, they were not admitted at all without the permission of the teacher. At Carthage, on the contrary, there was a shameful and intemperate license among the students. They burst in rudely and, with furious gestures, would disrupt the discipline which the teacher had established for the good of his pupils.

This is from Augustine's Confessions, an autobiographical work (more than that, really) regarded as one of the earliest in western civilization. Of course it's an English translation of the original Latin, but boy, it sure sounds like things haven't changed.

So next time you want to lament "kids these days", just know that it's not really all that much worse than in times past. Sure, there have been periods where calm and discipline may have reigned, but sadly it's human nature to degrade to chaos. The gist of the work is about the guiding hand that causes this pendulum to swing to and fro.

Even if you don't agree with his premise, it's still an often fascinating glimpse into redemption from a debaucherous life 1600 years ago, from Augustine's pulling pranks as a child to gain acceptance, to falling in with the wrong crowd as a teen and stealing things just for the thrill, to dropping out of school, later shacking up with a girlfriend unmarried for 11 years, and so on. He turns out well in the end, to the extreme, so there's hope. As one who did at least a couple of those things myself, I can surely relate.

But my main point is that we tend to look on the past with rose-colored glasses, as if they were always simpler, more innocent times, so unlike ours, and that today is a time of unprecedented declining moral values. "Sure", we figure, "those were tough times, with wars, pestilence, disease back then", but we assume we've moved beyond with modern culture, intelligence, reason, etc.

I just think it's pretty eye-opening to get a chance to peer into a time capsule like this from so long ago, to see a day in the life as it were, partying like it was 19..., um, 399 AD.

PS For folks interested in the book but who prefer to listen to it, there are many recordings, including a free offer back in August. Of course, it's probably available in audio in most library systems, too.

CF Meetup meeting time update for this week

Note: This blog post is from 2008. 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.
When I posted my weekly announcement about this week's meetup, I mistakenly listed the second talk (with Tom Chiverton) as being at 3pm US EDT. Instead, it's at 2pm.

I've updated that entry, but those who get the feed of this blog won't get notified of that update, I've decided to do this new entry.

"Intermediate ColdSpring: Remote CFCs", with Tom Chiverton

Thursday, Oct 16, SPECIAL TIME 2:00pm US EDT (GMT-4)

Meeting description, details, optional RSVP

The unusual time in the early afternoon (in US Eastern time) is because our presenter is in London, where it will be his 6pm.

Of course, the first talk (at noon, with Isaac Dealey) is on at its scheduled time. More info in the notice last week.

Several SQL Server Performance Tuning how to's

Note: This blog post is from 2008. 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.
Need to solve problems with SQL Server performance? Here are several resources that can help:

Some of these offer knowledge and understanding, others offer specific steps to follow. Most offer links to still other resources (including often specific entries in Books Online).

Note that some may be written more to those still running SQL Server 7 (less likely) or SQL Server 2000 (not so unlikely), though many do cover SQL Server 2005 as well. Just keep this in mind while reading, both if some step doesn't seem to follow, and also in case it may be that some setting that suits one release may not suit another. In fact, some of the resources specifically discuss how things have changed in later releases, and how in fact some settings or techniques for older releases may be very different for later ones. All this just calls for discernment while you read.

These are all in addition to a couple of entries I wrote back in April (starting here) on some other advanced tools and techniques for diagnosing SQL Server problems.

Sometimes CF gets blamed for problems when in fact the problem is in the DBMS--and it's not always a problem due to the SQL being sent from CF. Sometimes the same code can run very differently one time than another. In that case, you really need to understand why this is happening. I hope the resources above may help you. If you ever want direct assistance, this is one of the things I help people with in my available consulting.

FusionDebug 2.02 update available (in beta)

Note: This blog post is from 2008. 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 on CF8 now have an interactive step debugger, but for those on CF 6 or 7, or for those who cannot use RDS (on which the CF8 debugger is based), you should consider FusionDebug. There's a new update in the works, 2.0.2, now available in beta.

Among the features now available in the beta are new abilities:

  • to run to a particular line, from a breakpoint
  • to break when your program throws an exception
  • to work with custom file extensions (such as if you configure CF to run .htm or other file extensions *)

It also contains some fixes to previous issues. Also, see the README.txt in the download for known issues regarding new features.

They indicate that some functionality is still under heavy development and has not been fully included in this release. Feedback is appreciated to help make FD work better for you.

This release is just one a series of updates planned for the next 12 months. Of course it's encouraging to see continuing development of FusionDebug.

If you're wondering why a third party debugger would still make sense in the face of CF8's inclusion of one (other than the point I made at the outset above), see this blog entry I did in the past on that subject. For an online presentation about both debuggers (CF8's, which is only for CF8, and FusionDebug, which is for 6, 7, and 8), see the recording of my CF Meetup talk from December 2007.

Finally, for more on FusionDebug in general, see fusiondebug.com. You can also see past blog entries I've done, listed at the bottom of this entry.

*BTW, If you're wondering how to configure CF to run files with other extensions (than .cfm, .cfml, etc.), as mentioned above, here's a reference on Adobe.com. Though it's in an article on modifying the internal web server, the technique applies just as well if using external we servers, too, like IIS and Apache. You can find more on the extra steps to make that happen in at least one blog entry that explains how to do both steps.

If at first Outlook find (and spell check) doesn't succeed, try, try again

Note: This blog post is from 2008. 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 wanted to share this observation with anyone else who may be suffering the problem--and perhaps not even realize it. I've had a couple of instances where I've noticed that in Outlook (2007, though perhaps in 2003), when I use Advanced Find (ctrl-shift-f) to search my mailboxes, folders, calendars, tasks, or such, it sometimes hasn't found something I know is there.

And in fact, if I repeat the find a few times, sometimes it will go from showing no results, to showing what I expect. Woah! So keep that in mind, if you use.

Similar problem with Spell Check

I'll also note that I've found a similar problem with spell checking, at least the automated one that takes place when I send a message. I've got outlook set to check automatically (tools>options>spelling>always check spelling before sending), and sometimes I know I've typed an error and rather than stop to correct it have relied on the spell check to catch it later. But sometimes it's closed the message (on sending) without pointing out the error.

When I re-open it and do it again (not even a manual spell check, just sending it again), it then does catch the error. Yikes.

Not interested in hearing from nay-sayers

Now, I really don't want to hear from those who will complain about MS products, or Vista, or Outlook, or who would point me to alternative mail clients (like Thunderbird) or ask why I don't use gmail (I do, and I collect it in Outlook). Please, that's not the point of this thread, and some of us have legit reasons for the choices we've made.

Just trying to help others, maybe find a solution

I'm bringing this up here for those who do use Outlook, in case they may have also found they got no results on an Advanced Find search, or who rely on Spell Check. I'm just saying, try the search again a couple of times before giving up. And you may want to open and repeat a spell check if it's an important email.

It's certainly very dismaying that the problem exists. I don't even know where to begin to try to report it effectively.

This quirk about needing to search twice is unfortunate, and can certainly hamper one's trusting its results, but I've resorted to just repeating the search if I don't find something I know is there.

I'm pointing this out here in case others have the same problem, and especially if someone knows a fix. I do Windows Update pretty regularly, so there's not some obvious solution in that regard which I've missed.

Some tips about the features mentioned above

BTW, for anyone interested, Advanced Find can also be found (in 2007 at least) under the Tools>Instant Search menu. And to be clear, I don't use the instant search (or the search box at the top of the mailbox), nor the Search Desktop feature, both also in that menu. I also do not use the Windows Search feature built into the operating system, at all, for files or for email. When I want to search my mail boxes, folders, tasks, calendars, and such, I just use Advanced Find as I so prefer the greater control it affords.

And some of you may wonder, "how do you reopen the email once sent. It always goes immediately when I send". Well, I think that's the default. I always turn off the option, which is in tools>options>mail setup>send/receive>send immediately when connected (don't click the button lablelled send/receive. It's to the left of it.) With this option turned off, email doesn't get sent until you do a send/receive (f5 or tools>send/receive, or it happens automatically as scheduled, as in tools>send/receive>send/receive settings).

The delayed send is a great feature if you ever want to have a chance to reconsider a note actually before sending it, or you think of something just after trying to send it. Of course, sometimes you'll miss out and it will be gone, and of course there's always the drafts feature (just close the message, without sending) if you really aren't yet ready to send.

Anyway, it's a real boon with the problem above to being able to open a message after it's queued for sending to send it again, to trigger the spell check.

Another little trick I use, to catch when the spell check isn't working, is that I always end my messages with /Charlie (set as my signature), and I don't choose the "add to dictionary" option for that. So if a message fails to at least prompt me to correct that, then I know to re-open it and try again.

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