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Showing posts from March, 2005

When UIs and Workflows Go Terribly Wrong

I heard about this story on NPR today and followed up on the source's web site, which is the Journal of the American Medical Association. To summarize very briefly, many hospitals now use a system called the "Computerized Physician Order Entry System" (CPOE) for patient prescription input. After a study they found the system's workflows and UI were so poorly designed that at best they're inefficient, and at worst they can cause serious problems. In one of the interviews on NPR today the gentleman being interviewed said that if, for example, you wanted to take a patient from an 8-per-day dosage of something down to 4-per-day, you had to enter the new dosage first, and then cancel the old dosage. If you just enter the new dosage and something happens or you get pulled away, then suddenly that patient's getting a 12-per-day dosage. Yikes!
I just thought it was interesting because while we all of course strive to build systems that are user-friendly on…

How Much Should Objects Know About Themselves?

This question came up in our CFUG meeting last month when I gave a CFC-101 presentation, but I was reminded of it again today while reading this article about Service-Oriented Architecture. Here's the pertinent quote that caught my attention:
"The idea of SOA departs significantly from that of object oriented programming, which strongly suggests that you should bind data and its processing together. So, in object oriented programming style, every CD would come with its own player and they are not supposed to be separated. This sounds odd, but it's the way we have built many software systems."
In the context of the discussions we had at our CFUG meeting, this specifically came up when I was discussing the bean objects in the sample application I built. Several people thought they seemed too simple, and that I was leaving a bunch of methods out of the beans for the purposes of illustration. The beans actually were relatively "real-world" examples a…

Loving CFMX 7 Forms

After working heavily with the new forms capabilities in CFMX 7 for the past week or so, I want to personally thank the ColdFusion product engineers for the hard work in this area. This is by far the biggest productivity gain to ColdFusion in quite a while, and when a huge productivity gain like this is added to a tool that already beats the pants of its competitors for productivity, then the competitors better look out!
Since most of what I've been working on lately involves file uploads I've been focusing on the XML forms (XForms) and this is seriously cool stuff. I can finally just worry about the form elements themselves and not spend all my time doing formatting of the display. Not having to create HTML tables for the layout of my forms is a huge time saver, and the flexibility of being able to apply a different skin to my forms makes them extremely reusable. I can definitely see grabbing forms from one app and sticking them into another and just applying a n…