Damon Cooper's BLOG
January 7, 2020
Adobe ColdFusion IDE Survey

The Adobe ColdFusion team would like to understand more about how you develop CFML code, what tools you currently use, what features you look for, use and would like in a IDE.

The survey is very short and to-the-point and can be found here:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=321RrO9_2fWaP_2bdYMnmF9CuQ_3d_3d

Please do take a minute or two to fill it out if your shop uses ColdFusion at all.

Thanks in advance!

Damon

January 5, 2020
2020 Election: Undecided? Select-A-Candidate

Not one to venture far into politics (I'm Canadian, proud of it, and can do everything in this country but vote, which is normally ok by me), you do have to be hiding under a pretty big rock not to be inundated with the 2020 US Presidential Election coverage in the media and online. And I'm sure it'll only get worse as the year progresses :)

So I thought...if I could vote, who would be my candidate? After all, I have firmly held beliefs that both mainstream parties claim as near and dear to them. I suppose that puts me firmly in the "undecided" or "independent" camps, I don't know.

So I was trolling around with my morning coffee this morning trying to figure out which candidate from which party most closely maps to the issues I think are important, and came across this handy "candidate selector" tool where you plug in in what you're for and against, and it pops back your closest match for a 2020 Presidential Candidate.

Now, I make no claim as to this tool's accuracy, etc, but thought it was a good idea. Anyway, check it out (caveat emptor, etc):

http://www.dehp.net/candidate/

EDIT: Two more I found interesting and you might find useful:

1) http://minnesota.publicradio.org/projects/ongoing/select_a_candidate/poll.php?race_id=13
2) http://www.selectsmart.com/president/2020.html

Damon

January 4, 2020
The Economist on ColdFusion 8

We received an email from Stewart Robinson at Economist.com and The Economist is now running on Adobe ColdFusion 8.

He writes,

"I thought I'd let you know that Economist.com has finished it's port to ColdFusion 8 across the whole live cluster and we have seen a reduction in page generation time of around 20% which is amazing and totally unexpected...the whole thing is ridiculously stable. I am amazed. Feel free to use this mail in any form you like."

Check it out here at http://www.economist.com

If you haven't upgraded to Adobe ColdFusion 8 yet, you're missing out on the instant boost of performance, scalability and stability ColdFusion 8 offers over all previous versions.

Just the process of upgrading will give your site and Web Applications a serious shot of adrenalin, not to mention making you look like a hero to your customers!

Damon

January 3, 2020
Gosling on Flash

I have a lot of respect for Sun's James Gosling, fellow Canadian that he is, and inventor of Java, but his comments here about Adobe Flash seem off center to me: http://reddevnews.com/qandas/article.aspx?editorialsid=121

In particular, "If you look at something like Flash, when you get to the much more advanced stuff -- richer interfaces, more complex network protocols, more complex APIs -- it really falls short."

John Dowdell, fellow Adobian, captures my sentiments exactly in his blog here: http://weblogs.macromedia.com/jd/archives/2020/01/gosling_on_flas.cfm

Damon

January 2, 2020
They'll Never Catch Me....

NY Times Article: F.B.I. Brings a Fresh Set of Eyes to a Plane Hijacking Mystery.

Damon (aka "D. No-B. Cooper")

December 31, 2007
Happy 2020 Everyone!

May you all have a very happy and prosperous New Year. 2007 was a ride and a half, but 2020 promises to be truly fantastic in every way.

Have fun, stay safe and make some good resolutions for 2020!

Damon

December 29, 2007
XBOX 360 Goodness

The XBOX 360 Elite is one sweet little machine! I'm very impressed with it so far.

The XBOX Live functionality is particularly impressive. Microsoft has done a simply fantastic job with the entire platform.

My XBOX 360 games so far (aren't holidays fun?) :)

2K7: Major League Baseball
2K7: NHL Hockey
Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation
America's Army True Soldiers
Armored Core 4
Battlefield 2: Modern Combat
Blazing Angels 2
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Chrome Hounds
Flatout Ultimate Carnage
Forza 2 Motorsport
Halo 3
Mass Effect
MX vs ATV Untamed
Over G Fighters
PGR 4 Racing
Rainbow Six Vegas
Test Drive Unlimited
Transformers The Game

My XBOX Live profile is "Carrera4997" if anyone has an XBOX 360 and wants to mash it up online.

Happy New Year and Happy Gaming!

Damon

December 22, 2007
Unbelievable Christian Music Mixes now on iTunes

I put these together and they're now available via iTunes. (The Christmas mix is at the bottom if you want some great Christmas music).

When you click on these iMix panels (Flex apps from Apple) you get iTunes opened up on your local computer and you can buy the songs or play the song previews, etc.

For the record, I get absolutely nothing out of this other than the pleasure of sharing pointers to good music, and seeing how many other people agree with me, so be sure to VOTE on these there in iTunes!! :)

Also, FYI, for anyone with a Sirius satellite radio, Channel 66 "Spirit Radio" is also pretty good. Check it out online here: http://www.sirius.com/spirit. Since I got it installed in my car, it's pretty much become my default Sirius channel.

XM satellite radio customers can tune into XM Channel 32 "The Message" which is similar on XM. Check it out here: http://www.xmradio.com/onxm/channelpage.xmc?ch=32.

Merry Christmas to everyone and have a safe and Happy New Year!

Damon

December 13, 2007
Adobe BlazeDS FAQ

Some pretty exciting stuff happening today as we (Adobe) have announced plans to release source code for its remoting and messaging technologies under a new open source product named "BlazeDS". I'm excited to be a part of this project as we move the Internet forward another notch in terms of richness and usability and bringing it all to the world with even more free and open software.

The public beta is available now for download from Adobe Labs here: http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/blazeds/

Read the Adobe Press Release PDF that went out this morning here.

With BlazeDS, developers can easily connect to back-end distributed data, as well as push data in real-time to Adobe Flex and Adobe AIR applications for more responsive RIA experiences. BlazeDS is being contributed to open source under the Lesser General Public License (LGPL v3) – the same license used by Red Hat/JBoss, which is good.

In addition, the Action Message Format (AMF) protocol specification has been published to open it up for other implementations across other server environments, and we'll be adding an Appendix to the AMF spec doc to include the details of the Small Messages feature new in BlazeDS as well.

What about the product Adobe LiveCycle Data Services product? We'll be offering a LiveCycle Data Services, Community Edition as a subscription offering that includes certified builds of BlazeDS, enterprise support, additional developer support, and may contain additional benefits, such as product warranty and infringement indemnity.

The commercial version of the product, LiveCycle Data Services ES, includes enterprise class capabilities for building advanced customer engagement applications. We haven't yet announced the feature set for the next version of LiveCycle Data Services ES, but a private Beta program begins early next year, and we're very, very excited about it.

Also note that with today's announcement, there are new Beta versions of Adobe Flex and Adobe AIR also available from Adobe Labs as well.

Why is this important?

Organizations are using RIAs to more effectively engage with customers, partners and suppliers across their extended enterprises. This has dramatically increased the requirements for better data connectivity options to back-end systems, improved data transfer performance, and a consistent and simplified programming model for exchanging data between clients and servers.

Contributing the BlazeDS data connectivity technologies to the open source community makes them accessible to all developers, and the documentation of the protocols opens them up for other implementations on non-Java back ends. This enables developers to extend the reach of their applications across different server technologies in a compatible and consistent approach, thereby accelerating application development and increasing application performance.

What is BlazeDS?

Previously available only as part of LiveCycle Data Services ES, BlazeDS is the Remoting and HTTP-based Messaging technology that Adobe is contributing to the community free and open source.

  • Easily connect Flex and AIR applications to existing server logic.

  • High performance data transfer for more responsive applications

  • Real server push over standard HTTP

  • Full pub/sub messaging that extends existing messaging infrastructure

  • Free and open source

What is LiveCycle Data Services, Community Edition?

LiveCycle Data Services, Community Edition allows organizations to take advantage of open source BlazeDS, but with all the trust and Adobe backing required for business-critical applications.

  • Includes access to the latest BlazeDS technology as it is tested and released, as well as patches, bug fixes and upgrades to newer releases

  • Also includes product warranty, infringement indemnity, additional enterprise and developer support

  • Subscription pricing will be announced at the time of general release of BlazeDS under the LGPL v3, currently scheduled for early 2020.

What is LiveCycle Data Services ES?

LiveCycle Data Services ES is the commercial version of the product for enterprise-class applications that require data synchronization, offline support for Adobe AIR, portal integration, RIA integration with LiveCycle Enterprise Suite business processes and document services, as well as more advanced deployment options for maximum salability.

A good example of the capabilities added with LiveCycle Data Services ES is the recently announced win with NATO for its new Mission Support System.

NATO crew members will be able to put together mission briefs aggregated from over 80 different data sources, including information such as flight numbers, details about the region and routes to take refuge in case of an emergency. Mission briefs are highly visual electronic maps that show all the information they need to analyze, develop and deliver in preparation for a mission.

Pricing for LiveCycle Data Services ES starts at $6,000 per CPU.

Open is Good!

This announcement builds on Adobe’s commitment to open technology initiatives and its support for a vibrant developer community.

Examples include open source Flex (announced in April 2007), contribution of source code for the ActionScript Virtual Machine to the Mozilla Foundation under the Tamarin project, the use of the open source WebKit engine in Adobe AIR, and the release of the full PDF 1.7 specification for ISO standardization.

BlazeDS source code, builds and licensing will be hosted by Adobe, along with an open planning process that includes the publication of specifications for review and comment by the community. Contributions to the BlazeDS technologies will be encouraged initially through the public bug database, including feature requests and a community voting system. Over time, Adobe plans to promote external contributors to “committer” status, allowing them to contribute code to the source tree.

What is Remoting?

BlazeDS remoting provides a call and response model for accessing server-side Java objects and ColdFusion components from Flex or Ajax applications as if they were local objects. BlazeDS integrates with the existing Java security policies on the server and provides transparent data transfer between ActionScript and Java data types, including data structures that use Java 5 enumerations.

By freeing developers from writing tedious marshalling code, remoting saves developers valuable time, and the use AMF, a binary data transfer protocol natively supported by the Adobe Flash Player, can improve data transfer performance an order of magnitude compared to XML/SOAP.

What is Web Messaging?

The web messaging service in BlazeDS provides support for publish and subscribe messaging over HTTP using standard protocols, concepts and terminology.

  • Adobe Flex and Ajax clients receive pushed messages from the server by subscribing to one or more topics.

  • When client or server code publishes a message to one of these topics, it is received by all clients who have subscribed to that topic.

  • >The management of subscriptions and publishing of messages is performed by a messaging adapter.

Adapters are provided for routing messages between Flex/Ajax clients and between Flex/Ajax clients and the Java Message Service (JMS) and ColdFusion. -Developers also can write their own message adapter by writing Java code to perform custom message processing or subscription management.

With BlazeDS web messaging, developers will be able to create real-time collaboration and data push applications for better decision-making and more engaging user experiences, such as guided self-service, live help, performance monitoring, and incident tracking.

BlazeDS introduces a new HTTP streaming channel that establishes a persistent connection between client and server for true data push

What is AMF?

"AMF" stands for "Action Message Format", and is a compact binary format for data serialization/deserialization and remote method invocation.

A key feature of this format is that it preserves the entire graph of data without duplicating identical objects. Object encoding controls how objects are represented in AMF. Flash Player uses AMF to enable efficient communication between Flash Player and a remote server. AMF encodes remote procedure calls into a compact binary representation that can be transferred over HTTP/HTTPS. ActionScript objects and data values are serialized into this binary format, which is generally more compact than other representations, such as XML.

Data delivery performance when using AMF is up to 10 times faster than applications delivering data payloads using plain XML over HTTP or web services. As data size increases the performance benefits of using BlazeDS increase exponentially. AMF improves performance by dramatically compressing the size of data transferred and parsing binary data into objects in memory far more efficiently than parsing XML data.

How does BlazeDS relate to Adobe’s RIA technologies?

BlazeDS is an integral part of Adobe’s RIA technologies, including best-in-class tools, servers, services and runtime environments, that allow designers and developers to create engaging application experiences that run on more platforms and devices than any other technology.

The combination of open source Flex and BlazeDS dramatically reduces the time it takes for developers to build responsive RIAs.

Damon

December 11, 2007
NATO Adopts Adobe Flex and LiveCycle Data Services

This morning a joint press release went out over the wire from Adobe and NATO, headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, announcing that NATO is adopting Adobe® Flex™ and Adobe LiveCycle Data Services ES software. Flex and LC Data Services ES will be used for in it's new "Mission Support System" (MSS).

Read the full press release here.

The system will "...help improve NATO's operational readiness, by reducing the time to prepare for missions, and improve the delivery of information to flight crew members."

Very cool stuff. Since I've taken on the additional responsibility for the Adobe LiveCycle Data Services ES Engineering team here at Adobe, it's a reminder to me that we bear an awesome responsibility to our customers to make sure our software is the very best we can humanly produce when it goes out the door. Organizations the world over are depending on us to get it right.

According to the press release, by delivering the new system as an Rich Internet Application (RIA) with Flex and LCDS, NATO crew members will be able to put together mission briefs aggregated from over 80 different data sources, including information such as flight numbers, details about the region and routes to take refuge in case of an emergency. Mission briefs are highly visual electronic maps that show all the information they need to analyze, develop and deliver in preparation for a mission.

For those who may not be familiar wth Adobe LiveCycle Data Services, check out the official product page here on the Adobe website: http://www.adobe.com/products/livecycle/dataservices. It allows applications tpo be developed that automatically synchronize data between rich Internet applications (Flex and Ajax) and back end servers, providing real-time data push and publish/subscribe messaging, and enable collaborative and occasionally disconnected applications.

For those Adobe ColdFusion customers following my blog, not to worry: I'm still a part of the ColdFusion team and will keep my responsibilities there for the foreseeable future. But watch this space for more to come about both Adobe LiveCycle Data Services ES AND Adobe ColdFusion.

It's a great time to be building Internet applications!

Damon