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Are you still running CF11? Beware its countdown clock is ticking

For those of you running ColdFusion 11, did you know that the countdown clock is ticking toward its end of support by Adobe?

After April 30, 2019, Adobe will no longer provide any updates for CF11, so there will be no security patches or hot fixes for CF 11 after that. Of course, updates for CF2016 will indeed continue into Feb 2021, while CF2018 updates will continue into July 2023. And we could expect CF2020 (when it comes) to by supported into 2025.

How do I know this? Where does Adobe say it? And can one buy support (yes) to "buy extra time to get such CF11 updates beyond April" (no)? And what about CF11 support for Java 11 (no)? Finally, could you use help in moving off CF11 to CF 2016 or 2018? For more on each of these, read on.

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Considering use of Amazon Corretto, the new openjdk jvm, especially with ColdFusion

As I posted earlier today, there are big changes afoot in the Java world, about production (not just "commercial") use of Java going forward. This is big news, as it is for anyone using Java 8 or 11 for production purposes.

But here's some good news: Amazon has recently released a new free JVM (java virtual machine) implementation based on the OpenJDK specification, called Corretto. In this post, I want to share some news about it. (Off the bat, let me tell my friends on any Linux flavor other than Amazon Linux 2, this is not yet available to you. For now it is only available for Amazon Linux 2 as well as Windows, MacOS, and as a docker image. Other Linux flavors are due in Q1 2019.)

For much more, read on.

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What's an admin to do: Oracle's changed stance on production use of Java, going forward?

Did you know that Oracle announced in 2018 major changes regarding free production use of Java 8 and 11?
  • Regarding Java 8, did you know that Oracle will no longer offer free updates/security patches for Java 8, if used for production (NOT just "commercial") purposes beyond Jan 2019? After that, you must pay them for support/updates (including security updates). For more on why this is NOT just about "commercial" use, see below.)
  • Regarding Java 11, the next major release, did you know that the Oracle Java 11 JVM cannot be USED at ALL for PRODUCTION purposes, without paying for it?
  • Finally, while Oracle will be offering a free openJDK implementation (which CAN be used for production, for free), did you know they will only be committing to supporting/updating their Oracle Java 11 openjdk for 6 months after release, leaving subsequent updates to the community of contributors?

For more, including why this may have significant impact on your use of Java-based applications, as well as alternatives that may exist for you going forward, read on.

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How to get the checksum for a file on Windows

If you're running Windows and ever want to know the md5 or sha-1 checksum for a file you have, did you know there's a built-in command to get it? From the Windows command prompt, run this to get the sha-1 checksum:

certutil -hashfile [path\]filename

or to get the md5, just add that as an argument:

certutil -hashfile [path\]filename MD5

The tool is built into Windows 7 and above, and Server 2008 and above (at least). Tools like it are included in other OS's, but I'm sharing the above for Windows users.

Regardless of what OS you use, for more on why knowing the checksum can be useful (and why comparing file sizes instead may not be enough), and especially with regard to some interesting info about installers for CF2016 and CF11, do read on.

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I'll be speaking at 3 upcoming events, first on Tomcat then on CF and FR

I've been negligent to get a post out about this, and now the events are upon us. I'll be speaking in coming weeks at 3 events, about my favor topics: troubleshooting and monitoring, both CF/Lucee and Tomcat, as well as CF2018 hidden gems. Here are their titles, descriptions, and links to the events:

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Keeping your FusionReactor updated

If you are using FusionReactor (the monitor for CF/Lucee/Tomcat and other Java servers), are you on the latest release, or at least a relatively recent one? You really should be, as new features are added all the time (I especially love the new "archived metrics" added in 7.2). I've written in the past about various FusionReactor updates. It's on 7.4.1 as of this writing.

In this post, I want to encourage you to update as well as show you how to do it (and a mistake you could make that would leave you NOT completely updated because you missed a step.)

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Fixing CF: "Hey, how come ColdFusion debugging output is not showing up in my localhost testing?"

This is a problem that has troubled many CF users for some years (especially as they have moved to later operating systems): they find that ColdFusion debugging output does NOT appear to them when testing using a URL with "localhost" for the domain name but it DOES appear if they use the 127.0.0.1 ip address instead.

And sure, they could change to just using the ip address, but they wonder why it fails with "localhost" and whether they can fix things so that it does? In this post, I offer the explanation and solution.

In brief, the problem happens when the OS you're working on processes your "localhost" request via ipv6 (if it makes the request as ::1), rather than ipv4 (as 127.0.0.1).
  • One option could be to edit your hosts file to force 127.0.0.1, and that should work
  • But another would be that if you knew about your localhost calling with the ipv6 address of ::1, you should be able to add that to your CF Admin "debugging ip addresses list" (or use its "add current") button. But you will find that if you try that, it will change to "0:0:0:0:0:0:0:1", which does not solve this problem. I have a workaround for that, editing the neo-debug.xml.
Adobe could fix that last problem (and I have filed a bug report, CF-4203295), but until they do, here's a workaround and explanation of things.

And this latter point, of the inability of the Admin to accept ::1--and on the matter of editing that file--is the real focus of this post.

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What's new in CF2018, part 2 (finding still more info and resources about CF2018)

CF2018 released: what are the key new features, and where to find more?

Adobe has released ColdFusion 2018 late last week, July 12 2018, after a several month pre-release cycle. As is often the case, info about the release (new features, pricing, etc.) is a bit spread out, so I wanted in in this post to pull that info together, after I've been reviewing it the past few days.

In particular, I want to highlight a new way (which you may have missed) where Adobe has been sharing info about the new release as a series of blog entries about each feature from CF team members. Some of these have examples (which have been missing sometimes in the past with discussions of new features). That said, and helpful though those are, there's not a single post linking to them all, so I'm offering that here in effect. There are also doc pages about each new feature, and I link to those also.

And there is still more info about the new release which is NOT covered in those blog posts (including pricing, upgrades, licensing, etc.), and I want to add those here.

Some may remember that I had done a series of posts back when CF2016 came out, and I'm condensing what I covered in a couple of those into this one. Hope it's helpful (and I will update it as I learn new information).

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What's new in FusionReactor 7.3 - over a dozen useful new features and enhancements

FusionReactor (my favorite server monitor) continues its onward march of refinement and improvement with its latest release which came out last week, 7.3. In this post, I highlight over a dozen of its new features and improvements.

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