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Speaking at CFUnited Express Chicago, and I'll see you at Max

For those going to Max, or who will be in the Chicago area but not going to Max, note that there's the CFUnited Express event going on also in Chicago the day before Max, Sunday Sept 30th. It's a day-long conference (9-5) with several speakers, including myself, Ray Camden, Shlomy Gantz, and others. These Express events are much more intimate than CFUnited (or certainly Max), so it's a great way to meet other CF developers.

I'll be presenting two talks, both of which I've presented before (so well-practiced):

After that, of course, we'll enjoy the rest of the week at Max, and I'll hope to see you there! :-)

CF "U-see-Charlie" -- My speaking schedule at CFUnited, and a little CFUnited history

I'm delighted to be speaking again (for the 9th year) at CFUnited, and I list below the 7 times I'll be speaking: 1 bootcamp session, 1 Scorpio session (repeated Sat.), 1 vendor session (for Intergral), a daylong class the day before, speaking at the Minimax event Tues. evening, and co-leading a BOF.

A Couple Tidbits of CFUnited History

Before that, though, I thought I'd share a couple points of history about the conference. Did you know it started back in 1999, as the DCCFUC. Back then it was a single day, single-track conference (though still with hundreds in attendance) held at the NIH auditorium in Bethesda--which I remember pointing out happened to be right across the street from the hospital where I was born, and the hall where my parent's had their wedding reception. :-)

You can get a sense of what it was like from reports about the 2000 event. The one by Eva Holtsmark happens to have a photo of the auditorium. Yep, that's me at the front of the room. :-)

It was at the 2000 conference when it was renamed to CFUN, and then in 2005 it became CFUnited. You can read more about the past events (and indeed all past CF-oriented conferences) at the nifty CFCONF site that Teratech has long run.

I'm pretty sure I'm the only person other than Michael Smith (the organizer) who's been at each of the 9 events, and it's been just a delight to watch how it's grown and evolved. Great job, Michael and company.

My Presentation Schedule

Now, as for my presentations, here they are:

  1. Tues: Daylong class, "New in CFMX 6/7, what did you miss?" (you may be amazed at what you've missed)
  2. Tues eve.: Minimax talk, "Hidden Gems in Scorpio"
  3. Wed 8:00p: Birds of a Feather session, "Solo Coding" (co-leading)
  4. Thurs 3:15: Bootcamp session, "Introducing the CF Admin"
  5. Fri 8:30a: Scorpio session, "Step Debugging in CF 6/7/8 with FusionDebug or the new Scorpio"
  6. Fri 12: Vendor presentation, "FusionReactor and FusionDebug - Professional Monitoring and Debugging tools for CF 6,7 and 8!"
  7. Sat 8:30a: Repeat, "Step Debugging in CF 6/7/8 with FusionDebug or the new Scorpio"

Who's hat am I wearing?

You may notice that I'm doing one of the Adobe Scorpio slots. I was really tickled by that invitation. Yet I'm also speaking in a vendor slot for Intergral. Who am I working for? I work for myself. I'm an independent consultant now.

I'd like to clarify that the debugging talk was originally on FusionDebug alone, but once the Scorpio debugger was announced, I was asked by Adobe if I'd like to speak on it. I explained I already had the FD talk on the schedule, but I could change it to cover both. That benefits both audiences: those who don't move to CF8 soon can still benefit from learning about FD (since it runs on 6, 7, and 8).

And Intergral had asked if I'd like to speak (along with others from their company) about their coming updates to FusionDebug and FusionReactor. Of course, I'm happy to. They're great guys. And Adobe understands, too. They recognize that there is still a place for third-party tools, even if Scorpio may take some of their market away.

I've talked previously about why I don't think it's a bad thing for the vendors, including Webapper's SeeFusion.

I don't mind playing "Switzerland" among the various tools. Those who know me know that I've always just wanted to help folks learn about all the different tools available to solve a problem--yes, even including my days evangelizing BlueDragon.

And in case you hadn't heard, I left New Atlanta 15 months ago. I'm amazed how many people "didn't get the memo"! I still have some BD clients, but clearly I'm back to supporting the entire CFML community, and indeed I'm doing a lot of work with Adobe (more on that soon).

Finally, on hearing of my 7 sessions, someone quipped that I must be "the hardest working man at CFUnited", but that appellation really much goes instead to Michael, or indeed to Liz Frederick, who coordinates the whole thing. Thanks again to them and all the TeraTech employees and volunteers for their hard work and dedication to this annual event. Hope you'll come on out.

PS If you've not yet started filling out your schedule, note that there is an online scheduler. It's gotten a lot of praises for its usability. Note that some of the sessions (one particular room) will require pre-registration.

Looking for CF books? Here's 2,500+ pages for just $50

If you're ever in the market for books on CF, did you realize there are 6 books in the ColdFusion documentation set? And now you can get them (in paperback) for just $50 for the entire set from Adobe, for CF8, or CF7?

The docs contain far more than just the 1100+ page CFML reference. Most important is the often-missed 1100+ page "Developers Guide", which explains and introduces both beginner and advanced techniques. Damon Cooper offers still more details on the offer.

CFUnited presentations audio recordings now available free to attendees

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.

Congrats to the top 3 speakers at CFUnited...my streak is over ;-)

Congratulations to the top 3 speakers at CFUnited this year: Josh Adams, Dave Ross, and Jeff Tapper. Each had the highest average rating (out of a total of 20 points) per attendee for one of their sessions. Josh had a stellar 19.827.

With 80 total sessions being scored (ratings were per session, even if a repeat), it's quite an honor to come out on top. Indeed, I had been one of the top speakers the past 2 years, so my streak is over but I heartily congratulate the new winners.

I'll note that only .03 points separated the next 7 speakers, so it was a tight race. Those who scored 19 or over were, from 4th place on: Sean Corfield, Ron West, Joey Coleman, Maxim Porges, Shlomy Gantz, Ray Camden, myself, Sandy Clark, and Ray Camden again. (Remeber, it was per session, not per speaker, nor even per all sessions by a speaker. Of course, it was also only based on those who filled in surveys.)

Sean and I can take some consolation in having rated the top two number of surveys turned in, both over 90 at 93 and 92, respectively. But I know that many other speakers had very crowded rooms and hear lots of raves about them, so the lesson here is "turn in those surveys".

See you next year! :-)

Handling optional arguments to web service method calls in CFMX 7

Have you tried to invoke a web service method from CFML when it declares optional arguments, and you don't pass in those optional arguments? You get an inobvious error message. Well here's good news: there's a new solution in CFMX 7, with CFINVOKEARGUMENT's Omit="yes|no". Very nice.

Thanks to Steven Erat for pointing this out.

For those who have seen my presentation on CFML web services (at CFUNited and over the past few years in other venues), this has long been a sore spot for me. So glad to see it fixed.

Some personal trivia about the CFUnited location, Bethesda/Rockville

In my last post, I referred to CFUnited as being in DC. I said that simply because most people don't know what you mean if you say Bethesda, Maryland. I do, because I was born there, 6/4/62, at Suburban Hospital on Old Georgetown Road just down the street a couple miles. :-)

That reminiscing got me thinking some thoughts that others might enjoy on the eve of CFUnited.

First, I'll say that I used to buy burgers at the "Gino's" that was near the spot where the conference hotel now stands. Here's a trivia question for my fellow long-time DC folks: do you know where Gino's (a burger chain now long gone) got it's name? I'm told it was Gino Marchetti from the Baltimore Colts. Wikipedia backs me up. :-)

Here's another: the large open air shopping center behind the hotel on Rockville Pike used to house a large Korvette's department store. Ever wonder about that name? I was told it was formed by some former KORean VETerans. :-)

I grew up skating at Congressional Roller Rink, which was also just up the road a mile (now long gone) in Rockville. It was the center of our lives for many of us, and a great, safe place to grow up. Well, we'd hop the train back and forth to either Rockville Mall or White Flint (which had just opened in the 70's), and I suppose that wasn't too safe. But we could find great old beer cans on the tracks--anyone else ever get into that collecting? Still have mine. I recently started a site to connect with others who may have skated/grown up at the rink, http://congressionalrollerrink.com. :-)

Moving forward a couple decades, those who have attended the Maryland CFUGs, where I used to speak often before moving to Atlanta, will know I've told the story that my ancestors farmed property just a mile away from the conference facility, across the street from where we used to hold the Maryland CFUGs on Parklawn Drive. In the 50's they sold the land and soon thereafter arose the big black Parklawn building.

One last bit of trivia, that few could answer: where and when was the first place I spoke to a CFUG audience? It wasn't the DC CFUG, run by FigLeaf, where I spoke often while I worked there in 1999-2000. It was the Maryland CFUG, back in Feb 1998. Sadly, the records of those early meetings are missing from the archives, but I have it at my old Systemanage site list of past presentations.

OK: one more piece of personal CFUnited trivia. Last year it was determined that only one person (other than Michael) had attended all the CFUnited events, back to when they were first called CFUN and held at the NIH facility. Um, guess who? :-)

If you have other fun CFUN/CFUnited memories or trivia, please do share.


Come say hi while I'm speaking at CFUnited

Are you coming to CFUnited next week in DC? It can be so hard hooking up with any one person during conferences like Max and CFUnited. I always welcome the change to say hello to those who've worked with me or learned from or taught me.

As such, I'll point out that I'm speaking 3 times regarding 2 topics at CFUnited. That will be a great time to know you can find me, if you want to say hello. :-) Both talks are on web services, one beginner and one intermediate, and the beginner has been chosen by popular demand to be repeated on Saturday.

I'll welcome your feedback as well if you attend. Last year I was voted one of the top speakers, along with Glenda Vigoreaux and, I believe, someone else--I can't recall. We're supposed to get some form of recognition at this year's event, perhaps a special hotel room or something, so that will be fun. They think of such clever things, that Michael and Liz. :-)

I should note I'm also speaking at the CFUG Manager's event the day before, and I really look forward to saying hello to other CFUG Managers (I'm now presiding over the team who run the Atlanta CFUG).

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