Reminder: Entries for the Kalendar UI Design Contest are due 11:59:59PM on Friday Oct 12th

Get your entries in today! Remember, the winner gets their name plastered on blogs and takes home a copy of CF8 Standard Edition!

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Adding Subclipse to Flex Builder 3 Standalone

When I tried to install Subclipse into Flex Builder 3 beta Standalone version, I got an error claiming org.eclipse.jdt.core was missing. A recent post by Joao Fernandes pointed me in the right direction. In my case, I needed to update the Java Development Tools and the Plugin Development Environment.

To perform the updates:

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Var Scoper now parses cfscript! Thanks Mike and Zac!

If you read my blog regularly, you know one of my favorite tools to use is the VarScoper. Created and maintained by Mike Schieberl, the tool checks source code for improperly scoped variables.

Yesterday, in addition to a new home for the VarScoper tool on RIA Forge, Mike announced the VarScoper now parses cfscript blocks. This is a great improvement to the tool and is a must-update for all current users.

A big NoDans.com Thank You to Zac Spitzer, who contributed initial code, and to Mike Schieberl for finishing off the feature!

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Dell Dollars - Fine Print Sucks - Laptops with XP are Hard To Purchase

I am pricing laptops after the Dell C640 died Monday night. I want a the new Mac hardware with Leopard on it. So far, there have been various delays and with the Dell finally going to that great /dev/null in the sky, I believe my hand is forced.

I own a very fine HP laptop and would like another. The problem being HP only offers Vista on their new hardware and I refuse to be a Vista Owner. (If you care why, listen to episodes 73-77 on the SecurityNow podcast. Very enlightening stuff.) Because of my preference, I am limited to the following Laptops:

  • Vostro 1000
  • Vostro 1500
  • Latitude D520
  • Latitude D531

As a Red-Blooded Card-Carrying Capitalist, I am offended to be limited to 4 laptop models. We live in a 'Free Market' Society. The last time I checked, there were 4 Major Laptop vendors and a smattering of lesser known/quality manufacturers. Surely one of them (preferrably HP) can offer XP on their computers.

So after swimming through the injustices and trade offs, I finally select a laptop, configure it to my satisfaction and begin selecting the support options. I normally decline support, but Dell offered a very interesting deal:

view plain print about
1Get $70 Dell Dollars w/3Yr Ltd Warranty and Next Business Day On-Site Svc [add $169]
2Apply Dell Dollars coupon to your next purchase! Discount Details

So I get Three Years Support for essentially $100? Lemme check the fine print:

view plain print about
1With a Dell Dollars coupon*, you can return to Dell.com and redeem your coupon to purchase any products and services through the Dell Small Business online store. You will receive your Dell Dollars coupon with redemption information 4-6 weeks after your order ships.
2
3*One coupon per customer, one time use only. Coupon expires 120 days from date of eligible system purchase.

So they will send me a coupon for 70$ off my next purchase. It will take 4-6 weeks after my order ships. This $70 coupon expires 120 days from "date of eligible system purchase".

I am no expert in accounting, but if there are 10 days between the date of the system purchase and 28-42 days required for arrival of said coupon, there will be somewhere between 68 - 82 days to use the coupon. Man, gotta love fine print.

So for now, I am going to put away the credit card, cancel my $1,400 order from Dell and keep it just me, the HP, the old MacBook, and my new Coaster, the Dell C640. There has to be a better way. I appreciate all advice on the topic.

New CF9 Logo?

The illustrious Charlie "CJ" Griefer has found some interesting CF9 artwork. Will this be cover art for the next ColdFusion release?

Every time I look at that Ben-Taur image I laugh.....

Way To Go Adobe - Flex Builder for Linux Alpha is on Labs

The brilliant people at Adobe have just let us know that Flex Builder for Linux has been alpha released on labs.

Why does this matter? Allow me to present my perspective:

  • While statistically small, the Linux userbase is very influential and represents disproportionally influential users who use and recommend advanced technology.
  • Linux is a serious desktop Operating System and market share for Linux based systems continues to grow.
  • Adobe has aligned the organization behind a cross-platform strategy. Any ground gained for platforms not belonging to other commercial competitors is a boon for Adobe. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend"

Congratulations to the Adobe team in charge of implementing the Linux version. Equally, congratulations to the management who greenlighted the project. This shows amazing vision.

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ColdFusion 9 Centaur

Sarge just posted that ColdFusion 9 will be called Centaur. Apparently this is late breaking news, and details are still to come, but......

HURRY UP AND POST MORE DETAILS ALREADY!!!!

Super Awesome Centaur Image courtesy of IT Premium

Digg Kalendar Design Contest - 2 weeks remaining

The Kalender team is hard at work making sure the upcoming release of Kalendar is the best yet. Meanwhile, the Kalendar Design Contest has 2 weeks remaining.

Are you a talented designer? Compete and win a copy of ColdFusion 8 Standard for your top design!

Are you a mediocre designer, compete anyways! It is much better than watching re-runs of Hee Haw on TV

Are you a crappy designer (like me) with a Digg account? Digg the Contest Announcement

See, everyone can play along!

Win a Copy of ColdFusion 8

Is your code Thread Safe? How do you know?

Code that is not Thread Safe is sneaky, dangerous and leads to bewildering production errors and strange side effects.

As part of my deployment procedure, I run code through an automated code analyzer for improperly scoped variables. Today, while running the analyzer, it flagged this set of code:

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1<cfset var ExistingRiskValuesList = "" />    
2<cfset ExistingRiskValueList = valuelist( RiskAssessmentQuery.TotalLeaseRisk ) >

"Wait just a minute", I said, "There is nothing wrong with that bit of code". Upon closer inspection I noted the 's' and quickly made the correction. Had I not used the automated code analyzer, this Thread-Unsafe code would have went into production.

There are many good posts about var scoping your variables, should you need more convincing. Mike Schierberl actually made and posted a video showing a memory leak in action caused by code that is not thread safe and Mike also gives away the automated code analyzer. If you haven't yet, I challenge you to download it and run it against some code. You might be surprised!

Update: Mike Schieberl and Zac Spitzer have made some improvements to the Var Scoper tool. The tool parses cfscript and is now hosted on http://varscoper.riaforge.org/ . Thanks Mike and Zac for the fine work on one of the most important code checking tools out there!

Missing Features from Gmail

If you asked, I would say I like Gmail a lot. However, I have been yelling at it lately because it is missing some vital features.

Missing Feature 1:

The ability to instantly mark a single email as read. I do not like unread email in my box. I am happy when I see 'Gmail Inbox'. I do not like 'Gmail Inbox(23)' even if I know those 23 emails are garbage. Call me neurotic if you must.

To mark email unread, you can open it, which takes much longer than I want to invest, or you can use the drop down command. The drop down command requires clicking the tiny checkbox on the left, going to the drop down box and selecting 'Mark Read'. Sometimes, I accidently select Mark Unread. Or for more fun, 'Add Star'.

Solution: Add a 'Mark Read' button

I'd be happy to trade either my 'Archive' or 'Mark Spam' button for it. I will settle for a context menu option.

Missing Feature 2:

The ability to ignore future emails in a 'conversation'.

I subscribe to quite a few mailing lists and sometimes I lose interest in a thread. I want to push a button and have all future emails in the thread marked read. This way I am not annoyed by the Unread counter, but I have the message for historical purposes when I want to search through all the mailing list posts for an answer.

Solution: Add an 'I Don't Care' button

Ideally, this would be a button on the same level as 'Archive', 'Delete' and 'Mark Spam'. I certainly would use it more frequently than either of those three. If trading buttons is offsides, I'll settle for a drop down entry.

Attention Google

Lots of people want these two features, just read the comments below! Surely you are busy with your new office suite and don't have time to enhance Gmail. You are welcome to hire me on to help you with this. For a small fee and some stock options, I am sure we can get this worked out.