Jun
7

Git Workflows: Archiving Old Branches

Posted by Aaron West at 9:57 PM in ColdFusion, Git

I decided to take some time today to clean up old sprint branches that have been resting in Git unused. Some for well over a year. I had two goals I wanted to accomplish when trying to come up with a workflow. First, I wanted the list of branches that display with the command git branch -a (which I have conveniently aliased to just gb) to be shortened. Second, I didn't want to lose any of the commits part of old branches. Sure the commits were already merged into the master branch, but I didn't want to lose commit chain that was stored as branches.

My solution was to archive each branch as a tag then remove the branches from Git on my local machine as well as the Git origin server.

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Apr
20

Tomorrow evening (April 21) the Nashville ColdFusion User Group and Dave Ramsey / The Lampo Group are sponsoring a stop on the Adobe ColdFusion Builder 2 tour. If you are in Nashville tomorrow you should head to the Brentwood area to hear Greg Wilson talk about CF Builder 2, ColdFusion, and Flex on mobile including iPad/iPhone.

Food and drink will be provided and prizes will be awarded to some who RSVP. Hit up the NCFUG site to submit your RSVP and get the full meeting details.

Apr
18

Earlier this week I was trying to create a new ColdFusion Builder snippet that would insert the current date and time along with my initials into an open template. After inserting the snippet I wanted my cursor to be positioned in the middle of the comment so I could immediately begin writing some notes.

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Mar
1

For the past few months I've been planning on writing a post about the services that make this site possible. I've read these sorts of posts on other sites and they seem very marketing heavy. They're often titled "sponsor post" or something equivalent. This post is different. I'm genuinely a fan (and customer) of all of these services and in most cases I pay for them monthly. After the break I discuss each service/app I rely on to power this site. I put each service within category blocks such as: the server, the app, backups, uptime, etc.

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Feb
9

For those reading this that do not know, I'm the CTO of Nashville-based startup Dataium, LLC. Dataium is the largest aggregator of Internet automotive shopping activity, and we're looking to hire a software engineer. We're specifically looking for someone with skills in several different technologies such as Java, Apache Hadoop, Adobe Flex/ActionScript 3, ColdFusion, and MySQL.

If you're interested in learning more, the full job description is included after the break.

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Feb
7

This post is a followup to my previous guide to installing ColdFusion 9 on Ubuntu. While that post was all about the specifics to getting ColdFusion up and running on Ubuntu, this post is all about CentOS. The overall process is the same and I'm covering all the same steps, but the commands in this post are specific to the CentOS operating system. So why I'm writing this?

Overall, installing ColdFusion isn't that big of a deal. But I've yet to see a guide or blog post that outlines all the other topics related to getting a decent ColdFusion server on CentOS up and running. That's why I wrote this super guide, to outline what I believe is important to know about installing ColdFusion. Of course, I'm not covering every single possible detail, but I believe I've hit on all the major topics. Along the way I sprinkle in my own ideas, thoughts, and what I believe are best practices. After you read this post and walk through all the instructions you should have a very solid ColdFusion / Apache set up on CentOS Linux.

There are two important things to note, so please read on.

Everything you will read, all paths, and every setup aspect is written specifically for CentOS. I've tested these instructions on CentOS 5.5, but they should be applicable to other recent versions. If you need instructions for Ubuntu, please read that guide here.

Secondly, and this is extremely important, all commands throughout this post are assumed to be run as root. Some of the commands can be run without root, but most of them cannot. So please, log into your CentOS server using the root account, put sudo in front of every command, or run the su - root command (under a non-root account) before walking through the instructions.

Before we get going, here's a list of what I'll be covering:

  1. Creating a Linux user for ColdFusion
  2. Disabling SSH and FTP login for the coldfusion user account
  3. Installing the required libstdc++.so.5 C++ Library
  4. Running the ColdFusion installer
  5. Starting ColdFusion for the first time
  6. Installing the ColdFusion 9.0.1 updater
  7. Verifying the installation of 9.0.1
  8. Creating a new ColdFusion instance for general use
  9. Tweaking the JVM memory settings
  10. Hooking Apache and ColdFusion together
  11. Getting the Apache Connector running with selinux
  12. Locking down Apache
  13. Configuring ColdFusion to start on system boot

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Jan
24

As I was finishing this guide on installing ColdFusion 9 on Ubuntu Linux I tweeted how many words made up the text (over 6,000). Several people commented on Twitter and Facebook saying things like: "[the length] seems a bit excessive," and "is it that complicated?" The thing is, I'm covering much more than simply installing ColdFusion. Overall, just installing ColdFusion isn't that big of a deal. But I've yet to see a guide or blog post that outlines all the other topics related to getting a decent ColdFusion server on Ubuntu up and running. That's why I wrote this super guide, to outline what I believe is important to know about installing ColdFusion. Of course, I'm not covering every single possible detail, but I believe I've hit on all the major topics. Along the way I sprinkle in my own ideas, thoughts, and what I believe are best practices. After you read this post and walk through all the instructions you should have a very solid ColdFusion / Apache set up on Ubuntu Linux.

There are two important things to note, so please read on.

First, this post is all about Ubuntu. Everything you will read, all paths, and every setup aspect is written specifically for Ubuntu. I've tested these instructions on Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx), but they should be accurate from 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) on. If you're disappointed this was written for Ubuntu, don't be. I have a CentOS post right here that covers all the same topics.

Secondly, and this is extremely important, all commands throughout this post are assumed to be run as root. Some of the commands can be run without root, but most of them cannot. So please, log into your Ubuntu server using the root account, put sudo in front of every command, or run the su - root command (under a non-root account) before walking through the instructions.

Before we get going, here's a list of what I'll be covering:

  1. Creating a Linux user for ColdFusion
  2. Disabling SSH and FTP login for the coldfusion user account
  3. Installing the required libstdc++.so.5 C++ Library
  4. Running the ColdFusion installer
  5. Starting ColdFusion for the first time
  6. Installing the ColdFusion 9.0.1 updater
  7. Verifying the installation of 9.0.1
  8. Creating a new ColdFusion instance for general use
  9. Tweaking the JVM memory settings
  10. Hooking Apache and ColdFusion together
  11. Locking down Apache
  12. Configuring ColdFusion to start on system boot

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Oct
8

Solving problems is a fact of life. But those of us who serve in a technical role such as a programmer or database administrator face problems more than others. In my 10 years working in technical roles at different companies I've seen a lot of weird issues. Just today we had a situation where a customer was unable to fill out a form on our Web site. When asked what they meant they said they simply couldn't type into the form fields. It all sounded pretty bizarre to me. We eventually discovered a div layer was taking up more space than intended but only in Internet Explorer 7. The div took up so much space it trapped user clicks and wouldn't let customers interact with the form.

Tonight I was confronted with an entirely different kind of problem. My wife had a meeting to attend so I had our son all to myself. For dinner I made him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, one of his favorites. He usually plays while I make dinner but tonight he decided to watch me spread the peanut butter and jelly on his bread. After finishing he said I wasn't supposed to spread the jelly on top of the peanut butter. I brushed off his comment and finished preparing our meal.

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Oct
4

Web application security is a difficult topic and can't be covered completely in a single blog post. After the break I discuss one quick way to block ColdFusion Administrator requests in Apache. I also list other resources that will help you understand ColdFusion security and how to apply practical security constructs on your ColdFusion servers.

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Sep
12

During session breaks at BFlex yesterday I put together an OS X Automator workflow that works with the bit.ly URL shortener. I use bit.ly all the time and I wanted an easier way to create bit.ly shortened URLs in any application on OS X. Sure there are bit.ly tools available but none of them span the entirety of applications on my computer.

After whipping up my Automator workflow I can now shorten URLs by copying them to my clipboard, activating the workflow from the menu bar, and then pasting the contents of my clipboard into e-mail, Tweetie or any other app. The Automator workflow simply uses the contents of my clipboard to send a curl-based HTTP call to the bit.ly REST API, and replaces my clipboard contents with the returned API result.

Click the image below for a quick demo. It's pretty basic so far and some long URLs with unencoded URL parameters fail to create shortened results. I'd love your feedback and suggestions on the workflow, so feel free to download it and submit a comment on this post. You can be using it in less than a minute. NOTE: This requires a free bit.ly account.

In case you missed the download link above, click here to grab the script.

Sep
6

There's been a lot of talk about Git in the ColdFusion community recently. And rightly so, it's a really nice source control management system. But there's more to Git than source control. To find out other uses for Git I recommend folks read or listen to the interview with ProGit author and Git evangelist, Scott Chacon. Scott discusses how GitHub uses Git and describes a few other uses you probably haven't thought of. It's all right here. If you want to know what I think about Git, I wrote up my thoughts back in March.

Aug
19

BFlex and BFusion Registration Open

Posted by Aaron West at 9:00 AM in ColdFusion, Flex

Hey folks, this is just a quick post to let everyone know registration for BFlex and BFusion 2010 is now open. Having spoken at both of these events for the past two years I know what high value these two days of hands on training offer participants. And you will participate as BFlex/BFusion is not you run of the mill event. You experience hands on training from seasoned ColdFusion and Flex developers.

I'll be there helping out the crew again this year. If you are anywhere near Bloomington, Indiana I hope to see you there. But don't forget to register here: http://bflex.info.

Aug
10

If you weren't fortunate enough to attend CFUnited this year you've been given a second chance so-to-speak. Tim Cunningham has posted videos of many of the sessions he attended. You can check out all the videos here, or go straight to my caching talk here.

Jul
29

My CFUnited 2010 presentation materials (slides and code) have been uploaded and are ready for download. If you are interested in learning about new caching features in ColdFusion 9 feel free to hit the download link and view the slides after the break.

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Jul
23

ColdFusion Page Added to Ehcache Site

Posted by Aaron West at 11:01 AM in ColdFusion

I just received an e-mail from the founder of Ehcache, Greg Luck, letting me know they have added a new page to their Web site that includes information on how ColdFusion uses Ehcache. Included on the page is information about which versions of Ehcache ColdFusion supports, how to enable and use distributed caches, and a short list of community resources on using ColdFusion and Ehcache together.

If you want to learn more about Ehcache and ColdFusion I recommend you check out their new page and the ehcache.org site in general.