Tomorrow morning the 615Flex group (Nashville Flex User Group) is hosting a Flex/Flash Camp with six speakers giving one hour talks. I'll be giving a presentation on integrating BlazeDS, Flex/AIR, with a little ColdFusion mixed in for fun. After giving an overview of the technology behind BlazeDS and how BlazeDS messaging works I'll dive into the construction of an application in real-time. The app will demonstrate the use of BlazeDS messaging from a browser application to remote AIR clients. Registration for the event is closed but given its a free event I'd be willing to bet we'd find a place for you if you want to come out. More info is here.


Andy Matthews delivered a nice presentation last night on integrating jQuery and HTML to create Adobe AIR applications. He showed several examples including how to use AIR's file system API, how to create and deploy SQLite databases, what a .air file is and what's inside them, how to access remote resources such as ColdFusion components, and how to use Aptana to create, build, and deploy a complete HTML-based AIR application. Oh, and did I mention he built an entire AIR photo slideshow app, start to finish, in 8 minutes?

If you are at all interested in HTML-based AIR applications you should check out this hour and fourteen minute presentation.

View the Adobe Connect presentation now!


Tonight, the Nashville ColdFusion User Group is having our May meeting and the topic is jQuery and AIR: Desktop Development for the Front End Designer. Nashville's own Andy Matthews is giving this presentation which is the same one he gave recently at the cf.Objective() conference. If you missed the conference, you have a second chance to hear Andy's talk.

Folks local to Nashville are encouraged to attend in person (and RSVP here) while remote attendees can join via Adobe Connect (http://mmusergroup.adobe.acrobat.com/ncfug/). Full details of this meeting are on the NCFUG site.


I've been adding photographs and screenshots to my blog posts for years using simply image tags. I've grown tired of the lack of full screen images and always worrying if the 520px images are even useful. And I've seen all the snazzy imaging tools out there giving users a better interaction with photos on Web sites. This weekend I decided to look into adding Lightbox to BlogCFC and wound up with Slimbox, a visual clone of Lightbox. The major difference between the two is Slimbox is super lightweight and very customizable.

To see Slimbox in action click the photo of my son below. If you want to add Slimbox to your installation of BlogCFC here's how to do it.

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I have an application using an ExtJS grid that doesn't work quite right in Safari 3 and 4. I'm hoping someone reading this might know what's going on. Oddly, I can't replicate this behavior in any of the example grids on the ExtJS Web site (example 1, example 2). The big difference in their example versus my application is their examples have scrolling inside the grid whereas my app has scrolling inside the browser window itself. If you want to help me figure this out, watch the short screencast I recorded which demonstrates the problem.


Shrinkadoo AIR Application

Posted by Aaron West at 12:42 PM in ColdFusion, Adobe AIR, Ajax, Flash

A co-worker of mine, Andy Matthews, has released a new AIR application I think everyone should check out. Shrinkadoo, an HTML/Ajax/ColdFusion powered AIR application integrates with a slew of URL shortening services to bring the functionality to your desktop. Andy's app is super small and lightweight and makes it really easy to quickly shorten those nasty URLs you want to put in e-mail, blogposts, or on Twitter. Other than the URL shortening itself my favorite features so far are the integrated feedback form and the auto application updates. Andy has a ton of ideas on where he wants to take the application but be sure and let him know what you think after you install it. Simply hover over the minimize/close buttons to see a slide out menu of extra features (nice!). Press the envelope icon, type up your comments and press submit!


I receive questions from time-to-time from folks reading my blog entries or working through my tutorials and typically these don't wind up as blog posts themselves. But they should. And to help with my goal of increasing my blog post count for 2009 I'm going to start blogging these more. Since everyone is doing the "Ask Bob" thing I thought I'd veer from the norm and put these types of posts into a new category called Aaron Answers. To begin the category of posts here's a few questions from Irv concerning my ColdFusion 7 Secure Login tutorial.

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For the past three years I've had the pleasure of working with Steve "Cutter" Blades at Dealerskins. I hired Cutter in November of 2005 as a Web developer. He came to Dealerskins with a huge passion for programming and a desire to contribute to a small company with a very big vision. He's helped us realize that vision over the years but recently he's realized a vision of his own.

Cutter has always been interested in growing his own developer skillset and he's very good about giving back to the Web community too. He's recently contributed to the community by writing chapters for the Learning ExtJS book by Packt publishing. The book is available from several places (online and offline) including the publishers site and Amazon.

Dealerskins created a press release around Cutter's accomplishment which so far has been picked up by the following sites:





More info about Cutter's accomplishment is on his blog: