Inexpensive CF Hosting (Update)

Because the question of inexpensive ColdFusion hosting continues to come up frequently on mailing lists and forums, i’m posting an update to an post i made last year about Hosting A to Z.

I’m no longer hosting with them, as I’ve moved to a VPS solution at AHP Hosting, but thought others might find this to be of some value. Hosting A to Z has recently announced that they’ve upgraded from CF 7 to CF 8 (Enterprise!). You can find a matrix of their CF plans at http://www.hostingatoz.com/shared_hosting.cfx.

The usual caveats definitely come into play when using shared hosting, but for those who are just looking to get started and aren’t ready to spend money for a VPS or dedicated server (or even ready to spend $20 a month on shared hosting), it’s definitely worth looking into. The most expensive CF 8 plan is $74.99 a year, and the cheapest is $29.99 (again, that’s yearly, not monthly).

Feel free to check out the entry under “related blog entries” for my previous post on the subject and a review. To recap, there was some good, and there was some bad… but they definitely fill a need for those who may just be getting started.

Online Scheduler Available for cf.Objective()

The sessions have long since been announced and made available on the cf.Objective() web site (http://www.cfobjective.com/schedule.cfm), but now thanks to Joe Rinehart and Firemoss, you can select the sessions of your choice via a nifty flex interface.

As Sean Corfield explains, the popularity of a given session will help to determine which sessions are repeated on Sunday. Help the folks behind cf.Objective() by indicating which sessions you want to attend so that they can go ahead and set the schedule for Sunday.

Sean is also taking suggestions for “birds-of-a-feather” (BoF) sessions to be held during the conference. If you’re attending (and if you’re not, why aren’t you?), be sure to leave your comments (there, not here) letting him know what you want to see in the way of BoF sessions.

This is going to be my first time at cf.Objective(), and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s awesome that the people behind the conference take the time to solicit input from attendees in order to tailor the conference to meet their needs as much as possible. Make sure you head over to Sean’s blog and make your voice heard.

Persistent Whitespace Issue

I ran into an issue yesterday that I was able to resolve… but by going around it instead of really fixing it.

I needed to pre-populate a form field with a value that i retrieved from a CFC method. The method was called getUser(), which contained a struct of user properties. For example, #getUser().firstName# may have returned the string “Charlie”.

So i had the following bit of code:

<cfoutput>
	<input type="text" name="username" value="#getUser().firstName#" />
</cfoutput>

…which should have been fine and dandy. However, when I rendered the page, the value in the form field seemed to have some spaces pre-pended to it. Looking at the source, I saw the following:

<input type="text" name="username" value="
charlie" />

Based on that, it seemed that there was a newline character before the text. Should be easy enough to fix (famous last words).

I threw a trim() around the value, but that didn’t work. Fair enough. trim() works on spaces. I don’t believe it removes all whitespace characters (e.g. tab, newline, etc). Sounded like a job for regular expressions. In ColdFusion, the character class [:space:] is supposed to remove all whitespace characters (spaces, tabs, carriage returns, etc). Tried a rereplace(), but that didn’t work either (nor did \s, which is really functionally equivalent to [:space:], but i was running out of options).

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Well that was Fun (Debugging)

I’m better now, but boy you should have seen me an hour ago.

Our story starts out with me installing an instance of BlogCFC inside of a password-protected web site. We’ll refer to this password-protected site as "the extranet".

Everything was going relatively well. Database set up… check. BlogCFC running… check. Log into BlogCFC admin… check. Log out of BlogCFC admin… che… whoa. Wait. WTF.

Logging out of the BlogCFC admin logged me out of the extranet. Interesting. So I start peeking under the hood a bit to see what’s going on.

BlogCFC uses <cflogin> and <cflogout> for it’s admin area. Before today, I had literally never used either tag (or any of the corresponding tags/functions). Seemed like a good place to jump to a conclusion. <cflogout> must be stomping on the session variables set by the extranet’s login process.

At first I thought <cflogout> must have been just clearing the entire session scope. So I dump the session on the extranet login page (after being redirected there as a result of logging out of the BlogCFC admin). Hmm… nope. There’s still a session scope with keys sessionid and urltoken. So I log back into the extranet and dump the session (this is an app that I inherited, so I’m not 100% sure how it’s handling the login). I see that it’s storing a session key called “user” which is composed of several pieces of pertinent user data. Apparently, <cflogout> was stomping my session.user variable. Was it too generic of a name? Why would it be getting stomped?

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Hello (Again) World

I recently made the switch from my cheap inexpensive shared host to a VPS at AHP Hosting. It was a little daunting at first, never having been on anything but shared hosting, and never having had to manage a CF server (other than my own dev box). But the feeling of having complete control over the server has been a very welcome relief over the headaches that frequently accompany shared hosting.

While I was on the inexpensive host, I wasn’t quite confident about the uptime. Hey, it was a good deal for the price, but realistically… it wasn’t something that I felt that I could count on. So I chose to use cfblog.com, an external solution for my blog. Again, given the circumstances, that was a great option for me at the time. But now that I’ve got a server that I’ve got a bit more faith in, I figured it was time to run my own blog. As of now, my old blog has been effectively end-of-life’d. *sniffle* There are still a number of old entries (and comments) that I need to port over. Hopefully that will be done in the near future. I do want to take this opportunity to say thanks to Jon Clausen for all of his hard work on cfblog and all of his assistance while i was there.

Moving forward, this is the new improved blog (running Ray’s BlogCFC). I’ve got a few entries planned about learning Model-Glue, building my first Flex app, and continuing to grasp various OO concepts. Stick around.

Oh, and i haven’t done any extensive browser testing on the new design. If it’s breaking in your browser of choice, please leave a comment below and let me know what’s up (and what browser/OS you’re on).

Oh… and sorry for the clogging up coldfusionbloggers with the new rss :(

Y’know What Would be Great?

Y’know what would be great?… If there were a survey or something from Adobe regarding ColdFusion IDEs. If anybody hears of anything like that, please lemme know, k?

In all seriousness, it’s great (from a purely speculative standpoint) to see Adobe asking for this information. It’s also great that CF developers want to make sure as many voices as possible weigh in.

So… doing my part (because maybe there’s like a prize or something if you’re the 1000th blogger to post this) :)

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

A Model-Glue Gotcha

I can’t imagine this isn’t a fairly well known “issue” in the Model-Glue community, but what with being new to Model-Glue, this was a new issue for me. I figure it’s worth mentioning, if only to save somebody else the several billion hours of debugging that i lost this afternoon.

Let me point out first that this isn’t a Model-Glue issue per se. It’s a combination of using Model-Glue with ColdFusion debugging and some JavaScript thrown in for good measure (some of you may already know where I’m going with this).

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The Art of Being Right (Learning OO)

Hey all. I’m back, and I’d like to officially apologize for going all “Bermuda Triangle” on you in the middle of the “Going OO” series. I’d like to take a few minutes and reflect on some of what happened, because some of it is actually relevant.

First… the non-relevant bits. we moved (again). I thought it would be a fairly easy thing to do this time around… because unlike the last 2 times it wasn’t a cross-country move (from AZ to FL, and then from FL to CA). This time it was from CA (southern) to CA (East Bay)… but it still really really sucked. It was just a very draining experience (both physically and mentally) and I never ever want to do it again (but I will).

Factor in starting the new job (which is going great so far, thankyouverymuch) and I just haven’t even had time to keep up with reading blogs, let alone writing an entry.

But things have settled down (somewhat) so I’m going to try and get back into the swing of things.

So the $64,000 question is… where’m I at with all of this OO stuff? Hell of a question. Sorta wish you hadn’t asked. *sigh* but you did, so…

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CF9 (Centaur) Artwork Leaked

Before I say anything else, I’d like to point out that this is unverified at this point…

As many of you know, the blogosphere was lit up yesterday with the news that Adobe is already hard at work on the next version of ColdFusion (version 9, code named Centaur).

It seems that today, some proof of concept artwork relating to this release has been unofficially leaked.

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On the Road Again…

Well, that didn’t last long.

We got to Redlands in September of last year (after having moved from AZ to FL in Jan of 2005). This coming September, we’ll be hitching up the wagons once again to head north.

I recently accepted a new position at Amcom Computer Services in sunny San Ramon, California working with Tariq Ahmed. It sounds like it’s going to be an exciting opportunity, and I expect to learn a few new things along the way (Flex!). They’ve already bought a Flex book for me (thanks, Tariq!) and I’m working my way through the chapters (the book is The Essential Guide to Flex 2 with Actionscript 3.0 by Charles E. Brown).

Not really looking forward to making another move… but the good news is that we still haven’t fully unpacked from the last one (procrastination for the win!). But everything about the move seems right. Everyone I’ve met at Amcom seem nice and genuinely interested in not only the success of the company, but the successes of each other. I think the Bay Area (ok… East Bay Area) is going to be a bit easier to tolerate than the heat of the southern California desert (this same type of heat was the reason we originally left AZ). We’ll also be closer to places like Tahoe and Yosemite… both of which are high on my wife’s list of favorite vacation spots.

Should we start a pool on where I’ll be moving to next September? :)

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