Friday, September 30, 2005

Dreamweave 8 irritants

Ok, we've had a few weeks to look at DW8 and by all accounts, it is a major step forward.

Some things I've noticed that I really, REALLY like:

  1. The coder's menu down the left side of the screen. Some excellent help there, especially the braces matching item.
  2. Stored procedures under the databases tab are now sorted alphabetically by name instead of by the id.
  3. The css stuff looks to be greatly refined, although I haven't really put it through its paces yet.
  4. The "this site only" filter for the components panel helps reduce screen clutter.
  5. The program launches faster in most cases.
  6. Code folding! Great job on that one.

Here are some things that I still find (or now find) irritating that didn't make it into the release:
  1. The tag library still does not have a "Not Formatted but Indented" option. This is really needed because of things like the cfscript tag. If you apply source formatting to a page that has cfscript in it and the formatting routine decides that the indenting is at the wrong level, it only moves the beginning cfscript tag. The ending tag and all of the contents remain unchanged. That means that you have to scan through your code and manually change the indenting for all of that content. This is the case for any of the tags that can have formatted content with ending tags (cfmail comes to mind).
  2. The checkout button on the toolbar at the top of the editor almost never works now if your site is using vss. It's almost always disabled. You should be able to check the file out from this button whenever you can check a file out from the file panel. Why are they different?
  3. Files that are still checked in can be edited. If a file is readonly, you should not be able to make a single edit to it. Allow us to copy and paste into a different document or check it out or do a "save as". I really hate it when I check out a file just to look at it and later decide to make a change. You can type away at will without any indication from DW that you will not be able to save it. You then have to do all sorts of copy/paste/checkout gymnastics to get your code saved.
  4. When vss is integrated into you site, the new background file processess happen in the foreground. I haven't found a way to change that.
  5. Switching between programs in windows to DW can take an eternity. I'm guessing that an update to the file panel for checked out status and refresh of the components panel are taking place, but it almost feels like the computer locks up.
  6. Still no horizontal position for the cursor in your code. This would be helpful in locating bugs in cf since the position is generally listed in the error message.
If you know of a work-around for any of these, please post it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

For Yahoo, Mistrust Is Popping Up

Commentary: For Yahoo, Mistrust Is Popping Up

Yahoo can't help but give us reasons to not like them. I currently don't install any of their software, use their search or any of their other services. Admittedly, some of their offerings are pretty good. Their calendar product is pretty useful, although it offers nothing that MS doesn't with their hotmail calendar.

When will companies learn that no body likes to be made to look like a fool. This is exactly the message they send when they try to trick you into looking at their advertising or installing their software.

Take the Yahoo toolbar/Flash Player install issue that cropped up a few months ago. I think it was very important for the community to stand up and say that we don't want to see our trusted business partners succumb to the same type of thinking.

I think at this point, it is just better to steer clear of companies like AOL and Yahoo! The last thing you need is their reputation rubbing off on you. If it were my decision, I would have to kick Yahoo to the curb for being irrelevant and bordering on evil.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Updates to KeePass and Enterprise Architect.

KeePass 1.0.3 released on 9/10. This is a recommended upgrade becuase of a few bug fixes.

Enterprise Architect 5.0 build 770 This is a small patch to previous builds of EA5.0 Not really needed unless you have an issue that is covered in the release notes.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Project management for the financially impaired

I'm always on the lookout for a good bargain on software tools. Using MS Project to run your project management can certainly add up if you try to extend that to the customer.

A good bargain right now is a product called Basecamp. While it is more of a notification process on steroids than a project management system, it packs a lot of simple functionality into a very low price.

The nice thing about it is that you really only have to pay for the number of projects you are running and the features you want. The best thing, is that there is a permanently free version that lets you run one project. There are no limits on the number of developers or customers you give access to your project!

Again, it's pretty limited in terms of features, but it seems to do what it does well. Plus, there is some pretty cool dhtml in there, too. Certainly worth taking a look. I had a project up and running in about 5 minutes.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

ColdFusion MX 6.1 Updater: Hot fix for cfdump throwing unknown type error for cfcatch structure

This one had me going for a while. I'm working on a project that has a Storage Area Network device that is used for certain file transmission tasks back and forth from a mainframe.

For tasks that fail, I like to send a cfdump of either the error or cfcatch structure in an email to the administrator to help with triage.

In a few cases, I keep getting this cryptic [Unknown Type] error message. In one instance, we were able to fix the issue by correcting some account rights on the directories that were trying to be utilized.

What I failed to realize is that the error is really with the use of the cfcatch structure in a cfdump tag. The hot fix takes care of the issue for cfmx 6.1 after applying the updater. The problem does not exist with cfmx7.

This points out one of the hazards of developing on a different version of cf than your staging and production environments. You'd have to try really hard to pry cfmx7 out of my hands now, though. Just too many goodies. Sounds like a sales pitch might be in order.