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Learning resource for beginning web developers

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 Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily.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 know anyone needing to learn the fundamentals of web application development--not CFML, but things like HTML, CSS, Javascript, and so on--here's an interesting resource: Beginner Developer Center, Tier 1

Yes, it's a MS resource: don't let that keep you away

Now, some will see this is from Microsoft and flinch, but don't let that scare you away. It's a set of introductory resources that could help any beginning web developer, and while the first 2 and last 2 of the 14 sections are MS-specific, the rest are not.

And besides the web-oriented topics above (HTML, CSS, Javascript, and more), there are also sections introducing basic programming concepts like problem solving, processing and storing data, even introducing OO (again, with no reference to C# or anything .NET), and more.

For each of the 14 topics, there is both an article-level discussion and either an audio or video version.

Yes, it's in a resource center about VWD. Don't let that scare you away, either

I'll note that beyond being "from MS", it's also indeed specifically part of a resource center for their Visual Web Developer IDE. Again, most of the content offered in this beginner resource is not really specific to that editor or to .NET.

And frankly, I wouldn't hold it against a CF developer to consider using the editor. Hey, it's free, and consider also that sometimes you may have to do some editing on a server with nothing but Notepad available. Perhaps you're not a fan of Eclipse, don't have an available license for DW/HS, and you want more than just Notepad. (Yes, I do also know about the many other available free (and some commercial) editor alternatives. I list them in my CF411 site category of Editors/IDEs.)

(And if you're ever stuck in a situation where you're unwilling or not allowed to install any new editor on your server, just last week I wrote about a tip for using Notepad if you ever find that you can't use the Goto Line feature.)

Anyway, the point is I'm not making a pitch here for VWD nor any statement against CFE. Let's not go there. :-) Indeed, to any who may want to take the chance to comment here in scorn or to deride the VWD editor or MS, or to point out some other editor alternative, let's not go there, either.

The point of this entry is the free learning resources for beginning web developers that I found on the MS site. I hope it may help some people.

Got problems with SQL Server tempdb? Here are some resources

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 was working with a client the other day where it turned out they had a HUGE SQL Server tempdb. I shared with them some pretty substantial and informative MS resources. In case this may ever happen to my readers, I wanted to pass them along:

You may want to check out several other equally useful TechNet articles on SQL Server (like the first one above, but available on a wide range of issues).

Hope that's helpful to someone.

Have there been any updates to the CF Report Builder feature? Yes, in fact

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 here some info I shared on a mailing list. Someone asserted that "there's been little to no attention given by Adobe towards fixing bugs in the Report Builder feature". Well, no doubt many have long ago dismissed it if they used it when it first came out in CF7 and hit some snags.

But to be clear, there have been many improvements made to it in each release/point release and CHFs since then (whether bug fixes, minor improvements, or even some modest ones).

For those interested, just search for "report" in the following documents (to find references to cfreport and report builder):

I do realize that many may think there's still plenty more to be updated, but at least it shows it's not really been "little to no attention". :-)

Not picking a fight with anyone. I really think most just haven't noticed, so thought this may be helpful.

Announcing CF411.com: your place to find the 411 on things related to CF

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.
Next time you have (or see someone ask) a question about finding some resource or tool related to CF, first check out CF411.com. :-) It's a list of more than 700 tools and resources in over 100 categories. You might find not just one but many alternatives. I hope this will help folks who might otherwise ask or answer questions on mailing lists, forums, and blog comments where such requests frequently appear.

So what's in it?

It's not a FAQ. Rather, some will recognize this as my long-existing list of tools and resources, which this weekend I decided to rechristen it as CF411. The domain name above simple redirects to that part of my site, now also called: CF411.

Far more than just tools, it also has dozens of categories of resources: CF job resources, self-help resources, professional assistance resources, tutorial sites, conferences, hosting alternatives, certification prep resources, other sites listing CF resources, and much more.

And the tools list has several dozen categories, both those written in CFML (like caching, debugging, file uploading, and code generating tools, as well as CMSs, all the frameworks, and all the CFML engines, to name just a few), and just as many tools not written in CFML but useful for us (including database tools, editors, http debugging, log analysis, load testing, monitoring, and source code tools, to name a few), whether free or commercial.

Like my UGTV, I offer CF411 as a contribution to the community, to save people spending a lot of time looking/asking around for stuff. I hope it becomes another one-stop shop for people to find what they need (well, I use the term "shop" loosely. As always, it's all free).

What's in a name?

I hope the new name will just be easier for people to remember/think of the next time they see a question asked that they know is (or think may be) answered on my list, telling folks: "You should check out CF411."

I was torn about bothering with a new domain name. I didn't need to bother with my UGTV site: you can google that phrase and my site comes up first (even with Microsoft having launched their own UGTV), but I just figured it might be easier for people to reference in conversation, and some might naturally look for a domain name.

As always, I welcome contributions if you think of something (a category or a tool/resource) that I've not listed.

I'll begin blogging again soon to highlight more of the many categories.

Resources for getting into cloud computing

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.
Interested in getting into cloud computing? Check out this blog entry with a compendium of links to other resources on the topic:

http://highscalability.com/useful-cloud-computing-blogs

By cloud computing, most think of Amazon EC2 and S3, but there really are more options, as shown in one resource listed on that entry.

I should note I didn't create that list. Someone else did. I don't generally do an entry just pointing to that of another (we often see way too many dupes in the CF blogosphere that way), but in this case it's a non-CF blog and therefore many readers here may not see it otherwise.

Also, some will know that I do like to do such resource lists myself, whether as blog entries of that sort, or as resources lists offered on my site, so I really appreciate this blogger's efforts here.

Hope that may help someone interested in the topic of cloud computing. (And yes, if someone would ask if this might be a good topic for the Online ColdFusion Meetup, it would be, and we've had a few sessions on the topic. You can find them either by doing a search for "amazon" on the UGTV site (which has more than just Meetup recordings, of course) or by scanning the list of all previous CF meetup recordings.

Beware: you could be missing news of some CF technotes

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 thought some others might be concerned about something odd I just noticed, regarding the "recent CF technote" feed I just blogged about. I'm noticing that several of these "recent" technotes (even a couple months old) don't show up on the pages that purport to list all the CF technotes! Yikes. That means that if you're not following the feed, you may not otherwise have any way to know that there are new tech notes.

And sadly, the feed lists only the 10 latest, so there may be others you could have missed out on if you've not been getting the feed. What's up with that?

Perhaps the HTML page is just out of synch with the feed but then I'd wonder where the feed is getting its source information? and why isn't the technote page updated immediately with that same info?

Here are a couple of examples that show up (as of today at least) on the recent CF technote feed list but do not show up on the page listing technotes (more on this below):

I couldn't find any HTML page that listed those (and links to them) on any of the following expected pages.

Not on the Hot Fixes page

Curiously, all three offered a link back to the CF 8 Hotfixes page, but they're not technically hotfixes. Anyway, to my point, they're not listed on the hot fixes page.

(I'll say, for those worried most about hot fixes, that all the technotes I saw listed in the "recent feed" that really were hotfixes are indeed listed on the hotfixes page, so it seems that's kept udpated.)

Not on the Tech Notes page(s)

But the above are indeed technotes, and could be important to some, yet they are not listed on the pages that purport to list CF technotes: the CF Support page and the CF Technote Index page have no mention of these. (Indeed, that 2nd technote index page seems quite old, mentioning nothing of CF8 on it.) These are where I'd expect they should be listed, so it seems that these pages are not being kept updated.

And it's not like the technotes above from the recent feeds are really that new. The one on the ServerMonitorUI.swf, for example, is from May. It should be listed on the technotes page by now, shouldn't it?

Or if it's that these pages aren't meant to be the one all-encompassing list of all CF technotes, then what is?

Not found via searching

Just to make sure I wasn't missing some other meta-list of CF technotes, I used the Adobe site search, and even Google and Yahoo, to search for pages referring to the page titles above. I couldn't find any pages that had these listed. I could only find the individual pages themselves (in other words, short of the feed, I'd only find them by searching for them directly).

The problem restated: any solution?

So again my point is: the recent feeds page has technotes that are not offered in any list anywhere else on the Adobe site. Shouldn't a feed supplement a page that otherwise has the info? Does it make sense that if you don't follow the feed, you have no other way of knowing that the page exists (short of lucking out on finding it via a search on the topic)? Some of us would like very much to be able to always find and review a list of all known tech notes. The pages referred to above would seem by most to be expected to do that, but clearly they don't.

And given that the feed only shows 10 entries, the problem gets worse as new entries are added to the feed. What about those who have only just learned of it? How are they to know of items that are just old enough to no longer be listed on the feed?

Maybe someone needs to set up a page that saves the feed data. (There are other pages that show what's coming from the feed, but when the feed changes, they do too.) I'm talking about something that captures the feed output and keeps old entries while adding any that are new. But should we have to do that?

Any way to get the feed to list more than 10?

Finally, in the meantime, since the "recent feed" stops at listing 10 items, does anyone know a way to get it to list more? That would help us to find more that we might otherwise have missed (and would certainly aid in a tool to capture as many as we can).

I tried adding "?entries=20", as a guess, but to no avail.

Get your fill/feeds of Adobe ColdFusion Technotes, Hotfixes, Security Bulletins, and articles

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.
Ever wish you could be notified when there's a new CF technote, hotfix, security bulletin, or DevCenter CF article? You can be, whether via your favorite RSS reader or by email (more below). There are feeds for each of the following:

Don't have an RSS feed reader? Get them by email

If you don't have an RSS feed reader, or you simply prefer to receive such things by email, you can. Check out the various RSS-to-Email tools (all free) which I list in my category, "RSS to Email Tools", in my list of over 100 tools and resources for CFers.

Adobe Feeds for Other Products

If you're interested, you can find many other feeds across all Adobe products at http://www.adobe.com/support/rss/.

Beware of older CF feeds

One last FYI: you may find reference on the web to the following old technote URLs, which do still work but have not been updated since CF 7, such as http://weblogs.macromedia.com/product_feeds/archives/coldfusion/index.rdf and this "ColdFusion news" feed.

Tools and Resources for CFers, Part 8: CFML Documentation/Help Tools and Resources

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.
Today's first category from my Tools and Resources to Consider for CF developers is from the Resources section, and it's "CFML Documentation/Help Tools and Resources".

CFML Documentation/Help Tools and Resources

While the Adobe docs are the best source for CFML documentation, there are online versions of that both from Adobe and others, providing access to the docs in various ways. Please note, though, that while most of the other resources show only the CFML reference, the actual Adobe docs contain more than just the CFML Reference, including a Developer's Guide, Installation Guide, Administration Guide, and more. See the Livedocs for more on those.

About this series

This entry is part of an ongoing series, sharing each of the 100+ categories and the tools and resources I (and others) have identified. They're designed to answer the questions we hear, like , "does anyone know of tools or resources to help with ...?"

I've decided to start offering each category here as a blog entry, to give the list more exposure and to make sure I'm not missing anything. For now I'm offering each day one list from the resources and then another from the tools categories. To see the list of all categories, see Part 1 of this series. I may in the future offer an RSS feed of any updates made to the list.

I hope people will get great value out of the lists, here or on the tools and resources page. Please try to remember to point the list out to people you see asking for these kind of tools and resources. Thanks.

Additions/Corrections

The tools/resources list is a perpetual work in progress. I definitely welcome additions or corrections to it. If you have any to offer, you can leave them here as a comment on this blog entry and I'll move them to the list on my site.

BTW, before you offer an update here, please do check the category on the real list. I won't be coming back here to update these blog entries to sync them if I add new items to the real list.

Next up later today will be CFML Caching Tools.

Tools and Resources for CFers, Part 6: CFML Conferences

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.
The following conferences have some, if not an entire, focus on ColdFusion and CFML.
  • Adobe Max, organized by Adobe (location varies)
  • cf.objective(), organized by Jared Rypka-Hauer, et al (Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN, USA)
  • CFDevCon, organized by Russ Michaels (London, England)
  • CFUnited, organized by Michael Smith et al (Washington, DC, USA)
  • Scotch on the Rocks, organized by Andy Allan, et al (Edinburgh, Scotland)
  • Spring
    , organized by Dave Hannum, et al (Athens, OH, USA)
  • WebDU, organized by Geoff Bowers, et al (Sydney, Australia)
  • WebManiacs, organized by Steve Drucker et al (Washington, DC, USA)
  • See also Teratech's list of Upcoming CFML conferences

About this series

This entry is part of an ongoing series, sharing each of the 100+ categories and the tools and resources I (and others) have identified. They're designed to answer the questions we hear, like , "does anyone know of tools or resources to help with ...?"

I've decided to start offering each category here as a blog entry, to give the list more exposure and to make sure I'm not missing anything. For now I'm offering each day one list from the resources and then another from the tools categories. To see the list of all categories, see Part 1 of this series. I may in the future offer an RSS feed of any updates made to the list.

I hope people will get great value out of the lists, here or on the tools and resources page.

Additions/Corrections

The tools/resources list is a perpetual work in progress. I definitely welcome additions or corrections to it. If you have any to offer, you can leave them here as a comment on this blog entry and I'll move them to the list on my site.

BTW, before you offer an update here, please do check the category on the real list. I won't be coming back here to update these blog entries to sync them if I add new items to the real list.

Next up later today will be CFMAIL Replacements/Enhancements.

Tools and Resources for CFers, Part 4: CFML Certification Preparation Resources

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.
As some may know, I keep a list of over 700 tools and resources of interest to CFers, broken into more than 100 categories. I've decided to start offering each category here as a blog entry. To see the list of all categories, see Part 1 of this series.

Today I'll jump from the tools section of the list back to the resources section. This entry is about CFML Certification Preparation Resources.

I'd like to ask that we don't use this blog entry as a place to reopen up the old debate about the value of certification. I'm just point out resources, not judging the value of certs (or the resources). Please fight the urge... (I'm betting someone with a short attention span will have skipped this text and will do it anyway.)

CFML Certification Preparation Resources

The tools mentioned here are still only oriented toward CF 7, so if you're looking for CF8-specific information, the best bet is the CFML documentation.

Additions/Corrections

This tools/resources list is a perpetual work in progress. I definitely welcome additions or corrections to it. If you have any to offer, you can leave them here as a comment on this blog entry and I'll move them to the list on my site.

BTW, before you offer an update here, please do check the category on the real list. I won't be coming back here to update these blog entries to sync them if I add new items to the real list.

About this series

This entry is part of an ongoing series, sharing each of the 100+ categories and the tools and resources I (and others) have identified. They're designed to answer the questions we hear, like , "does anyone know of tools or resources to help with ...?"

Someone may ask why I'm blogging each of these categories, when they're available online anyway. It's just that, through aggregation and feeds, blogs present a way to reach a wider (and new) audience who may not otherwise come across the list of tools and resources. This also widens the pool of eyes for possible updates to the list. I want it to be as accurate and up to date as possible. I may in the future offer an RSS feed of any updates made to the list.

Otherwise, I hope people will get great value out of the lists, here or on the tools and resources page.

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