Andrew's Ramblings

Where personal space is never enough

For a long time I have been seeing a lot of errors in my Application logs, that has had me stumped for a very long time and thanks to Brad Wood, have now got a reproducible solution. For those who haven't seen my rants and raves about this then let me give you a quick run down.

There where two types of errors that would be emailed to me in my actual site, due to the amount of times I was seeing this error it had me worried. I could not see from the email as to what the actual problem was, when I contacted my hosting provider all I ever got was that we don't see this in the ColdFusion logs. So it was hard to know if I was the only one having this issue or not, or like everyone else om my hosting provider capturing the logs and not knowing what or how it was occurring.

As a well ColdFusion should be aware of any serious errors it is causing, this lead me to raise a ticket so that people on hosting servers, would not have to report this error or any other error that ColdFusion itself would consider a serious error. Which got such a back lash by people who, well just didn't understand what the ticket was for, anyway aside from that Brad did a very quick test on a standard two file Application for ColdFusion.

The code is as follows.

ColdFusion Builder and migrating from previous versions

Since ColdFusion Builder 3 has been released, there has been a bit of chatter out there on how to migrate there previous installs over. One of these, was to just use that Workspace. Let me be clear and say that this is really not an ideal solution, for many reasons.

Previous versions of Eclipse, especially ColdFusion Builder 2. Have had major changes to the way things work internally, therefore it is highly probably that you could run into internal issues within Eclipse and related plugins. The other downside to this, is if you ever decide to go back to ColdFusion Builder or even a previous version of Eclipse, you can do so knowing that anything added extra to configuration changes etc., would not create issues for your previous version of Eclipse.

I don't recall from which version of Eclipse introduced this, but I am sure the version of Eclipse that ColdFusion Builder 2 uses, had this option.

Basically, as ColdFusion Builder 3 changes the Workspace name, is also Adobe saying that you should do this as well.

So how do we then do this, what would be the best way.

ColdFusion Error Logging and using the try catch block

The other week when I got an unusual error in my logs, it got me thinking about how and when ColdFusion actually logs anything, especially when we have a try / catch block very little is ever actually logged by ColdFusion. Thought about it some more and think that the way ColdFusion handles logging of errors is wrong.

So far all I have been told is this is normal and it won't change.

What furiates me is this is something that someone, somewhere needs to take a stance and say yes it would be great if it actually did that and change the perception that is there.

So to give a run down on the issues, lets look at what the try / catch block actually does in your Application.

Why ColdFusion will not survive while Adobe own it

Back in 2009 while looking into the possibility of what ColdFusion ORM could bring to the table, I started to look at projects I had on the go and looked at how I could convert some of these over to using the new Entities. One of these projects was a forum based application that was using nested lists, so I looked at how other languages that had ORM where achieving this.

The article that I found (Nested Set Implementation) to be the easiest explanation that would work, would not work in ColdFusion as it is. Not to be determined to not get this too work, I set out to see how far I could get and get it working. The result of this is the following Blog Post ColdFusion and ColdBox creating and using Nested Sets with ORM, but one of the things that it has a problem with is flushing of Entities.

Are Game Companies like King and Gameloft killing the industry?

This is a question that I have been asking myself for awhile now, to be honest I think they are to some degree. As a developer I value my work as much as the next developer, as well as anything that I may release to potential customers. But to have a larger company come along and just tune out rip off after rip off, of existing games is getting a bit out of control.

My first experience was with GameLoft itself, they released their popular version of Uno & Friends onto the Windows 8 Store, within minutes of me playing I no longer saw a need to play it any more. Due to a small glitch in the game, it was and still is today, to cheat and get all the power ups at no cost to you. I figured I would do the right thing and report the issue to them, since then the game has had one update and the issue has not been addressed.

For the last few months I have been trying to find some places in my site that can be optimised, as with my previous article on caching in ContentBox, there are other things we need to look at and you may even be surprised with some of the results.

First lets look at my site, the site is running using ContentBox and caching options, so if the content is cached it can be delivered in a second rather than 6-10 seconds. However the one problem I have is the dashboard inside ContentBox itself, which is now in the process of being rewritten for some clients to give it better performance.

But while I have been doing this, I sat back and ran some tests with the way ContentBox does its ORM and with the way ColdFusion used to do it with the query tag and using ColdFusion ExecuteQuery to see what difference are between these options. One of these actually shocked me, even though I had blogged about this before, those results showed not much of a difference. However since then I have seriously a lot more records than I did then.

The tests that I used are defined below.

Known ContentBox issue and posting to Google+

Since Luis released ContentBox V1.5 I think was the version that introduced this bug, the problem is that when retrieving content from a cache.ContentBox sends back an HTTP status code of 203. The problem is that Google doesn't like this at all, especially when posting links onto Google+, because as the description of that code indicates, Google+ considers the content as not the Author who is posting it.

This was raised with Luis and the team at ContentBox, but so far after 3 months it still hasn't been fixed.

So how do we fix it then.

I have been meaning to blog about this for some time now, just haven't had the time to sit down long enough to write it up. Before I begin, if you haven't checked it out, then I suggest giving it a go.

Out of the box, going to have to pardon the pun there or maybe Luis intended it, anyway ContentBox out of the box is configured with basic settings to get you up and running, but there are some tweaks that one should begin looking into when moving current customers and future customers over to ContentBox.

One of these is the speed of ContentBox and using the underlying ORM framework in the manner that is used by ContentBox, for sites that are low in traffic, it is imperative that you look into some of the caching options to help out here. ContentBox is designed to be at the enterprise level to begin with, but has basic caching enabled for the average user, but scaleable enough to handle the most demanding of server loads. Which comes as a trade off to those like myself, where the traffic is too low to have the website running efficiently.

Upgrading ContentBox things you should know

After being contacted by Jonathan Perret the other day, with some guidance on how to upgrade his ContentBox installation. It was obvious that maybe others might not be aware of the steps needed, or where to even find the update files themselves.

As always the entire source can be found on Ortus-Solutions / ContentBox, however what most people don't know is that every patch and update can be found in the source as well, where all the updates can be found in the folder called workbench and patches with that. This is a list of every update that can be applied to ContentBox, as well as any manual patches that may need to be applied as well.

The steps needed will depend, from what version you are going to be updating from.

ColdFusion could do with better and improved Closure support

I can recall in the days of the ColdFusion 9 beta days, when people had been discussing how to implement script support for custom tags. I can say that a lot of people didn't look at the bigger picture, at least not back then anyway. I am glad that Adobe never implemented some of those suggestions, sometimes it might sound like a good idea in the smaller scheme but not when you think about the bigger scheme of things.

This got me thinking some more after Luis Majano posted on the Railo list and also raise an E/R #3648785 that I think, should not only be adopted for the reason Luis has suggested, but also adopted by the language in areas outside of what is being suggested.

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