Note: This blog post is from 2014. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily.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.Some of you may have seen that Adobe released a new hotfix for ColdFusion 10 last night, called Update 13. If you only read the text in the update (shown in the "Server Update" page of the CF admin), you might proceed to apply that update (which is ok).
But guess what: it technically only has changes related to Mac OS X (specifically adding support for its Mavericks version).
This is addressed if you read the technote that the update text points to, or the Adobe blog entry from last night which announced the update (more on these in a moment.) Those DO indicate that if you are not running that OS, you need not apply the update. (And the day after I wrote this entry, this indication was added to the update text itself.)
But what if you are on Windows (or another *nix variant besides OS X)? Should you apply it? What if you do? (there's NO PROBLEM!) What if you don't? And given that the update text says you need to reconfigure the web server connector, do you really need to bother on Windows?
And what if you are installing CF10 for the first time, since you DO need to apply updates upon installation? (you can either apply update 13 or 12, but you must apply at least one of them to be fully updated.)
As important, how might Adobe have better clarified this
, and how might they make a simple change now related to that (they since did)?
I address in this entry these questions and a few other concerns I have, about confusion that may ensue.
Summary of concernsI started to write some of this as a comment on the Adobe blog entry, but once it got to more than a paragraph or two I realized that was not the place. I'll instead point to this entry there.
And I then realized there was some more I could share, to help others, so I have expanded this still further.
So here are my concerns:
a minor quibble, but also easily fixed I think: why doesn't the update page (shown in the CF Admin) also clarify if this is for OS X-only, so that those on Windows (for instance) don't bother to proceed to apply it?
- what happens if folks on Windows do apply it? (again, there's no harm!)
- what will happen in the community now that we have an update that for some is "not needed"? Those whose CF admin shows an update pending may be left thinking that they (or someone else) haven't done their job (they should go ahead and apply it)
- the hotfix text DOES tell folks they have to reconfigure the web server connector. Surely some will do that needlessly. What may happen for people who do reconfigure their connector when that's not necessary?
- and what if someone is installing CF10 for the first time, on Windows. Should they apply this update? (Yes, unless for some reason they opted to install only update 12, seeing this only had changes for OX S.)
finally, can Adobe update the text on the CF 10 Admin update page for update 13, to clarify that it's for OS X only?(And that it's ok if others do?)
I'll address these points in more detail.
But beyond those technical matters about the update page text, some may also wonder:
- what happens if people on Windows DO proceed to do the update? (there's nothing wrong!)
- Is there really nothing in the update that applies to Windows?
I'll discuss these, also, but since those last two points are important, let me say right away lest anyone be scared about them, it's ok if you proceeded to do the update on Windows.
And while a review of the hotfix files changed shows files NOT specific to OS X, that too is ok! As I'll explain later, keep in mind that the hotfixes are cumulative. So this hotfix includes changes that were in previous hotfixes AS WELL AS the changes in this fix itself.
So bottom line: you don't need to apply it on Windows, but it is ok if you do. And if you've not applied any update at all, you should apply at least 12, if not 13.
Still, for all these reasons above, I have a bit of fear that this update, being labeled as "OS X-only" could cause some confusion, especially for Windows users, so I wanted to address these things here.
About the text of the update page, and whether this is for OS X only
(This issue has been addressed since I wrote this entry.)
So first, about how easily people can be confused about whether the update applies on other than OS X, here's the issue.
If you view the update as displayed in the CF Admin "server update" page, it (for Update 13) reads simply:
> For details click on the "Read More" link below.
OK, it does say it "includes support for OS X", but it doesn't say that it's ONLY for OS X. More on why I fear that could cause problems in a moment.
Let me note first that I DO realize that the technote pointed to there does say that "This update applies only to users who are on OS X Mavericks (10.9) or plan to upgrade to OS X Mavericks".
And the Adobe blog entry from last night, after discussing the fixes for OS X, does also state that "Users on other platforms need not apply this update".
My concern is that this is NOT clarified in that page shown in the CF Admin, which is what I suspect most will see (only). And more to the point, I have seen (in mailing lists, blogs, and my CF troubleshooting consulting services) that many (if not most) people never bother to click that "read more" link, to see that technote.
I fear that there will be some confusion as people speak about the update (whether it should or should not be applied, and whether one who has not done so is or is not "fully up to date".)
About the text of the update page, and whether people applying it MUST reconfigure the web connector
But my bigger concern is that the text on that CF Admin "server update" page (for Update 13) does go on to say specifically:
So for those on Windows who do proceed to apply the update on Windows, if they have previously applied update 12 and reconfigured their connectors, they don't technically need to do it again (but they may).
Why is that a problem? Well, it could be an issue for some people, because rebuilding the connectors does several things (beyond just rebuilding the connector), like adding the CFIDE directory back to sites where folks may have removed it (especially an issue if you choose to reconfigure for "all sites") . It will also remove any custom mods that some may have made to the [cf10]\config\wsconfig files, such as uriworkermap.properties.
Now, it's true that I'm usually on a crusade to explain to people why they SHOULD be sure to reconfigure their connectors, when they are supposed to, as I have discussed in these blog entries:
- CF911: Why/when you MUST update the web server connector for #ColdFusion 10, and may have missed it
- Still more reasons to make sure you have updated your #ColdFusion 10 web server connector
And in fact, if someone has just installed CF10 for the first time, they should apply at least some update (whether update 13 or update 12). And as I discuss in those blog entries, they then SHOULD reconfigure their connector.
But in a case like this where the hotfix does not have any changes for Windows, and some will apply it on Windows who already have applied update 12 and reconfigured their connectors, the update text suggests that *everyone applying this update* should reconfigure their connectors, I'm just worried for them who would do the reconfiguration needlessly.
What about those installing CF 10 for the first time, especially on Windows?
(Update: I have added this question and answer two days after writing the entry, to address the question as I saw it being raised in the community.)
Here's another area where there will be some confusion.
As most know, when you install CF10 for the first time, it does NOT have any updates yet installed, so you need to apply them. (That's not new to CF10. It was the case in previous releases, as I have blogged about before.)
So yes, if someone is is installing CF10 for the first time, they need to apply the updates. Since they are cumulative, they need only do the latest. Now, if you're on Windows, then technically you can apply update 12 instead of 13, since the changes in 13 are unique to OS X. But as I will explain in more detail later, update 13 DOES still have in it all the changes from the previous 12 updates, since again they are cumulative.)
So it's not that you must not or cannot apply update 13 on Windows. It's just that you need not, if you already have installed update 12, as update 13 has no changes other than something that supports OS X.
But to be clear, if you are installing CF10 for the first time, you do need to apply SOME update after install, whether update 13 or 12 (or in the future, update 14 or later.)
Adobe: Can you tweak the update text?
So while it's great that the Adobe blog entry about this update and its technote do both clarify that it applies only to OS X, I wonder if Adobe could tweak the text shown on the updates page to add they did in the blog entry, "This update applies only to users who are on OS X Mavericks (10.9) or plan to upgrade to OS X Mavericks"?
At least then those who may see the update in their CF Admin going forward would be made more aware not to apply it if on another OS.
And then the text saying they must reconfigure the connector would make more sense as applying only to Apache on OS X.
But then, how about going a step further to clarify that as well as pointing out that it is indeed ok for those on Windows to apply the update. How do I know that, well, not from wording in these resources, but from my own testing. More on that next.
What if those on Windows DO apply the update?
One might reasonably wonder what happens if someone on Windows DOES go ahead and apply the update. Is it ok if they did? Should they go ahead, just so they no longer see an available updated? And what if they don't?
Well, the good news is that I just applied update 13 on Windows (on a dev machine), and I can report that it worked just fine.
I'll note that I did NOT bother to rebuild the connector, because judging from the technote and blog entry, I really didn't need to.
But that really leads to my final concern about this update...
Is there really nothing in Update 13 that applies to Windows? (The answer seems "no")
I know the technote and blog entry say it "only applies to OS X", so if those on WIndows do not, is there really truly nothing in the update for Windows users?
For reasons I've outlined above I went ahead and did it, to see what may happen (if anything). And again the good news is that the update does "just work" on Windows.
But after doing the update, I was a little curious to just double-check to make sure that there were indeed ONLY files related to OS X...
Yes, the update IS extracting files that are not OS X-specific--but not to worry
So I looked at the list of files updated by the hotfix, as shown in C:\ColdFusion10\cfusion\hf-updates\hf-10-00013\hotfix_filelist.log, and I was surprised (at first) to see many, many files not limited to OS X.
Again, before I leave any readers worried, fear NOT! this is not a problem. I will explain what we're seeing after showing what I saw, as others may notice. Here was the list of "modified" files, which had caused me stress initially:
I thought, "what are those DLLs and BAT files about? Those are obviously for Windows only. And what about all those CFM files in the Admin? Are those really only updated for the sake of OS X users? And the wsconfig.jar?"
And to be clear, I WAS in fact only updating from Update 12 to 13, as shown in the last line, where it was removing update 12.
And then I realized: ah, the CF10 hotfixes are cumulative. If you never applied any, and you applied the latest--such as after installing CF10--then you would get what was new in THAT hotfix AND all the previous ones.
And THAT's what all these file changes are about. They're not REALLY being "modified". It's just that the hotfix automatically exports all the files even if you don't REALLY need them to be "updated".
More specifically, I directly compared the various folders listed above (as found, deep within the hotfix jar) to the corresponding folders in the backup directory (C:\ColdFusion10\cfusion\hf-updates\hf-10-00013\backup), and indeed they were all the same, no not really "modified". (The wsconfig.jar was indeed updated, but again that's a known aspect of the OS X support that Update 13 is all about. I did not study any further to see what else was "really" changed for the OS X support.)
So I hope all that may help someone. It all had me wondering, and as I explored it, I thought others may be curious.
Again, to repeat my one plea to Adobe from the top: could you consider adding text to the update 13 text (as shown in the CF Admin page) to clarify a) that this is indeed really only for those on OS X, b) that only THEY must reconfigure their connector (if applying this update, after already having applied an earlier one and already reconfigured their connector after that), and c) that it's ok if someone on Windows DOES proceed to apply the update? :-)
I'll look forward to thoughts from Adobe or others to clarify.
But let me ask commenters please: let's not turn this into a screed of complains about how this is "just another example of Adobe dropping the ball", yadda yadda. That's not constructive. What I have offered is (I hope) constructive criticism. And while I could have made the plea to Adobe in just a couple of paragraphs (and will in my comment on their blog), I thought that readers may benefit from far more detail here. I don't write all this to complain against Adobe but to help other CFers.
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