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Showing posts from August, 2010

2010 Packt Publishing Open Source Awards

Packt Publishing has announced their 2010 Open Source Awards. This is the fifth year for the awards, which started life as the Open Source CMS Awards, so I strongly encourage everyone to participate by voting for your favorite open source applications.

The current phase of the awards is the nominations phase, and you can see all the categories and make your nominations here. Nominations are open until September 17, then voting runs September 27 - November 5, and the winners are announced on November 15.

Particularly in the CMS category CFML can make a really strong showing if as many people as possible nominate Mura as best Open Source CMS. I've used a lot of CMSes in my time and in my opinion Mura stands right up there with better-known solutions such as Drupal or Joomla, so let's get Mura on everyone's radar!

For more information about the 2010 Open Source Awards you can visit the web site or read the full press release here.

Accessing a Network Drive from Apache and Tomcat on Windows Server

A few quick tips if you find yourself having to access a network drive from Apache and Tomcat on a Windows Server. This is all pretty much old hat but since I still get questions about this fairly regularly and was just setting up some things on some servers this weekend, I figured I'd write this up.
In my situation we're running an application on three VMs behind a load balancer, and users can upload files from the application. Since I didn't want to set up a process behind the scenes that copied uploaded files between all three servers (though it would have given me a chance to take another run at using Unison), we have an uploads directory living on a SAN. This way no matter which VM the user is on, the uploads all go to and are served from a single file system.
On Windows Server, by default services run under the Local System Account, which doesn't have access to network resources. So if you install Apache and Tomcat as services and expect to be able to point them to…

Quick Apache/Tomcat Proxying Tip

I'm setting up some new servers with some semi-complex URL rewriting and proxying going on of both the HTTP and AJP varieties. For this particular application the home page is actually a completely separate application that's running as its own webapp on Tomcat, and everything else runs from within the webapp itself. (I'll spare you the details; just assume I'm not insane and this was the best way to handle this situation.)

So for all this to work properly I have the following rewrite rule:

RewriteRule ^/$ http://otherapp/ [NC,P]
ProxyPassReverse / http://otherapp/

Then below that I have a bunch of AJP rewrites for the webapp itself. What was throwing me fits was that everything was working great except for this one rewrite rule, which would attempt to load indefinitely until I killed the request.

I stared at my virtual host config file for quite a while and finally paused on this line:

ProxyPreserveHost On

Given that the ^/$ rewrite rule is proxying out to a different ho…

Get Your Hands Dirty at BFusion/BFlex

BFusion/BFlex is coming up on September 11 and 12, 2010 in lovely Bloomington, IN. You need to be there, and here's why.
$30 for one day or $45 for both days is one of the best deals you'll find in the conference world. (No, I'm not missing a zero at the end of those prices!)BFusion/BFlex is all hands on, all the time. This isn't a passive event by any stretch. You come armed with your laptop and you get to learn from the best people in the business.Multiple all-day classes in both CFML and Flex are available. On the CFML side you can learn Mach-II from the great minds behind it (namely Peter Farrell and Kurt Wiersma), you can learn CFML from scratch from the great Adobe instructor Matt Boles, if you're a programmer already but want to learn CFML you have none other than Simon Free at your disposal, and if you're an open source junkie like me or just want to learn more about the free CFML engines, I'm giving an all-day in-depth class on that.Great for all sk…

Senior CF Job in Washington, DC

Job details below--contact for additional information.----------------------------------------------------Computer Programmer IV Systems Integration & Development Inc., an IT solutions provider located in Rockville, Maryland is currently seeking a Computer Programmer IV to perform programming services. The successful candidate will have experience with developing web-based applications using ColdFusion, Javascript, and SQL, and Oracle databases. This is a full-time position located in Washington DC. US CITIZENSHIP IS REQUIRED. Roles and responsibilities include: Performs programming services, converts specifications (precise descriptions) about business or scientific problems into a sequence of detailed instructions to solve problems by electronic data processing (EDP) equipment, i.e. digital computers; draws program flow charts to describe the processing of data, and develops the precise steps and processing logic which, when entered into the computer in c…

Eliminating index.cfm From Mura URLs With Apache and mod_rewrite

This may seem like it's a topic that's been beaten to death since there are several examples of how to dothis, but none of the examples I found quite fit my exact situation. And since URL rewrite rules are all about getting the exact right characters in the exact right order (pesky computers), I thought I'd share my situation in the hopes of saving someone else some time.

First, in case some of you aren't using Mura but are reading out of general interest in URL rewriting (get a life! ;-), let's take a look at Mura URLs. Mura URLs are in the format http://server/siteid, where 'siteid' is an actual physical directory on disk. Since Mura is built on CFML it uses a directory index file of index.cfm, so when you hit http://server/siteid it's the equivalent of hitting http://server/siteid/index.cfm. The presence of a .cfm file is what triggers Apache to hand off the processing of that file to the CFML engine. This is rudimentary stuff I realize, but that ind…

Nicholas Negroponte: The Physical Book Is Dead In 5 Years

Today at the Techonomy conference in Lake Tahoe, CA, CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo sat down with a panel including Bill Joy, Kevin Kelly, Nicholas Negroponte, and 
Willie Smits. The topic was basically the future of technology. And Negroponte had the most interesting (or at least the most controversial) thing to say.

The physical book is dead, according to Negroponte. He said he realizes that’s going to be hard for a lot of people to accept. But you just have to think about film and music. In the 1980s, the writing was on the wall that physical film was going to die, even though companies like Kodak were in denial. He then asked people to think about their youth with music. It was all physical then. Now everything has changed. via
The biggest issue with this, and not that I dispute it's happening, is the tremendous potential for abuse of control of access to books. We all should have seen this coming, but when makes a deal with a large publisher that their book…

My CFFree Presentation from Dallas TechFest

Dallas TechFest was last Friday and although I was sad to be missing the final CFUnited, TechFest was a blast. It was incredibly refreshing to see 400+ CFML, PHP, .NET, Java, and Flex people all in the same place at the same time for some geek cross-pollination. This doesn't happen nearly enough so thanks to all the organizers of the event, all the great speakers, and to Dave Shuck for inviting me to speak.

The talk I gave was entitled "CFFree: Building and Deploying CFML Applications on a Free Software Stack." This was a 90-minute introduction to developing, deploying, testing, and monitoring CFML applications using Tomcat, Open BlueDragon, Railo, and a plethora of other free software applications and tools.

If you didn't make Dallas TechFest this year and are interested in this topic you're in luck! I gave everyone who attended my session a VirtualBox VM that has all the free CFML goodness installed on Ubuntu 10.04, and you can download the VM from my Dropbox (…