An Architect's View

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An Architect's View

Entries Tagged as microsoft

Is Choice A Good Thing?

April 06, 2009 ·

The last week has seen some big announcements in the CF world! On March 31st, Gert announced the open source release of Railo, the next day Mark Drew announced he has joined Railo as CEO of the new Railo UK and then this week Peter Bell announced that he has also joined Railo and will be heading up the new Railo US operation. I've been using ColdFusion since 2001, back when I worked at Macromedia and my team of Java and C++ developers first encountered CFML in the form of very early builds of what went on to become CFMX (6.0). We were pretty skeptical at first.

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Tags: adobe · bluedragon · broadchoice · cfml-advisory · coldfusion · fusebox · grails · machii · microsoft · openbd · oss · railo

Railo for Dummies Part II

March 24, 2009 ·

I said I'd look at Railo on Tomcat next but I figured I'd just sneak in a quick Express for Windows post before that so folks don't think I'm forgetting all those PC users.

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Tags: coldbox · coldfusion · microsoft · railo

Adobe (Scott Fegette) responds to Microsoft SuperPreview

March 20, 2009 ·

I was at MAX and I saw the Meer Meer cross-browser preview technology that Adobe is developing. Given the current buzz about Microsoft's forthcoming SuperPreview technology (announced at their MIX conference), I was pleased to see this response from Scott Fegette, Dreamweaver Product Manager, about Meer Meer and how it stacks up against Microsoft's future offering. It's particularly interesting to note that whilst Microsoft is initially focused on Windows-only, Internet Explorer previews, Adobe's service will be cross-platform, cross-browser from the get-go - and what was shown at MAX five months ago was a real demo of a real service, based on early working builds. In other words, Adobe is a long way ahead of Microsoft on this and is very committed to the workflows and technologies needed to address this complex problem. It'll be very interesting to see how this pans out and whether Microsoft will ever address this in a cross-browser, cross-platform manner.

Tags: adobe · adobemax08 · microsoft

Windows 7

January 10, 2009 ·

Lemming-like, I downloaded the Windows 7 Beta this afternoon and installed it under VMWare Fusion to see how it compares to XP and Vista. I chose the 64-bit version since folks had said part of my problem with Vista was that I'd (foolishly) used the 32-bit version. My first impression is "Meh! It's Vista with a paint job and a tune-up!". I'd forgotten that Adobe Flash Player doesn't support 64-bit but, interestingly, whilst Windows 7 has 64-bit IE8, it won't let you set it as the default browser so you have to specifically choose the 64-bit version (which definitely seems to run faster than the 32-bit version of IE8). The first thing I tried to install was Google Chrome. "Aw snap!" says Chrome - it doesn't work on 64-bit Windows 7. [Update: see my comment below about --in-process-plugins] So I installed Adobe Flash Player in IE8 32-bit and then hit the Broadchoice web site and installed Workspace for Salesforce. With the Flash Player installed, the AIR + Workspace installation was smooth as expected and it runs well. I'll probably try installing Safari and Firefox next and see how those behave.
Safari behaves well. QuickTime is a bit choppy on the audio but that's probably to be expected in a VM. I should have mentioned that whilst I tried to run Vista with 768MB, I only gave Windows 7 512MB like my XP VM and it's still running "acceptably" which might be due to using the 64-bit version or the performance improvements Microsoft claim to have made.

Tags: microsoft

Microsoft force-feeding you Silverlight via the Olympics?

August 10, 2008 ·

In an effort to get some adoption of its Silverlight player, Microsoft signed a deal with NBC to make Silverlight the exclusive delivery channel for online video of the Olympics. I'm not much of a sports fan so it doesn't give me any incentive to download Silverlight but my wife wrestled with the installer yesterday and spent fifteen minutes cussing Microsoft over the installation process (she's no fan of Microsoft these days after several years on a Mac where the only software that crashes regularly is MS Office). Has the MSNBC Olympics coverage caused you to install Silverlight? What did you think? Go on over to Mashable where they are running a poll about Silverlight and the Olympics to see whether people like the Silverlight experience or whether they prefer the Adobe Flash Player experience!

Tags: adobe · microsoft

Vista Upgraded

January 30, 2008 ·

As folks know, I bought Vista to run on VMware Fusion on my MacBook Pro. I'd felt it was slow and bloated but I figured I'd give it a good run to really make up my mind. What I like about Vista:

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Tags: bluedragon · coldfusion · microsoft

Windows Productivity

November 19, 2007 ·

As regular readers know, I've been running Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate for quite a while now so I can have a full local Windows development environment (ColdFusion 8, BlueDragon.NET 7 and MS SQL Server Express). Despite my general grumbles about Windows, it has been working out pretty well (but I really try to do all of my development on the Mac side whenever possible). I hadn't been running Vista for a few days so, Monday morning, needing to do client work that involves SQL Server, I fire up the virtual machine and VMware tells me an update is available. Cool! I've been waiting for the 1.1 fixes! I download the new image and shutdown Vista (wondering "how can an operating system take so long to boot up and shut down?") and then shutdown VMware and run the installer. It says VMware is still running. Hmm. The installation guide says if you hit this problem, look in the VMware Help (why can't you put the hint in the installation guide?). So I fire up VMware, fire up Help and it says sometimes a vmware-vmx process doesn't quit and you should use the Mac Activity Monitor to kill it. OK. Shutdown VMware. Open Mac Activity Monitor, find the vmware process and kill it. Run the installer. Success. I get to upgrade VMware. Fire up VMware, boot Vista (wait...). Upgrade the VMware tools. Reboot (more waiting...). Up comes Vista and now it wants to update Windows with some important updates. OK. Wait for a bit. Reboot (more waiting...). Up comes Vista and now... Argh! Apple wants to update Safari, iTunes and QuickTime. OK. Safari updates fast enough but iTunes / QuickTime takes forever. Guess what? Yup, reboot time. Sigh... Up comes Vista again and now I can get on with some work. It only took about 90 minutes from start to finish. Who'd have known that between VMware, Microsoft and Apple (to be fair: mostly Microsoft), I'd lose the first hour and a half of my week? Vista had been up and running happily for about two weeks since I last rebooted it (so, to be fair, this makes Vista the most stable version of Windows I've ever used!). I work through the rest of the morning and on into the afternoon until about 3pm my machine pretty much grinds to a halt. WTF? Oh, Microsoft wants to update Vista again! This time the updates are so important that Microsoft goes ahead and reboots my machine for me. Thanx Bill! Yeah, it sat there with a little count down warning that it was going to reboot but, hey, I normally keep Windows minimized and work on the Mac, right? So Vista has now been up for 17 minutes. Do you think Bill would pay if I sent him an invoice for my lost time?

Tags: microsoft · personal

Click to Activate will be Deactivated

November 19, 2007 ·

Adobe updated its Active Content Developer Center a week or so back to reflect Microsoft's recent announcement that it "plans to remove the activation behavior from Internet Explorer in April 2008". April 2008 will be the second anniversary of the introduction of the behavior - two years that should live in infamy as far as stupid software patents are concerned!

Tags: adobe · microsoft

Seeing double with Vista - scary!

August 09, 2007 ·

Yes Virginia, you can run multiple copies of Vista on a Mac at the same time! I've been happily running VMware Fusion for the last few days with Vista up pretty much continuously (14 hours, 21 minutes uptime currently) and I'm pleasantly surprised to report that I'm not hating Vista (I'm not loving it either but I'm definitely not hating it - even with UAC enabled!). However, I still have Parallels installed (with my heavily tweaked install of Vista to try to eke some performance out of it) and that means that SmartSelect is active where you right-click on a Mac file and you can Open With... a Windows application fairly transparently. I just accidentally opened a PDF with Adobe Reader 8.1 - on Vista under Parallels! It took several minutes to stabilize but, sure enough, I now had two copies of Vista running side-by-side as well as all my Mac apps. Yikes! I must get around to switching SmartSelect off or I'm going to do that again by accident. I'll probably keep Parallels around to see if they improve enough that I'll want to switch back to it but, right now, VMware Fusion is definitely my first choice for running Vista. Now, if they can just implement support for DirectX 9...

Tags: microsoft · osx · personal

Vista, IIS7 and BlueDragon

August 08, 2007 ·

As you might have gathered from my recent posts, I'm trying to set up a full-blown development environment on Vista, just to see how I get on and to compare it with my regular development environment on OS X. Having beaten SQL Server Express into submission after much pain, I figured I'd talk about my experiences getting BlueDragon 7 .NET installed and running. First off, I knew that IIS was not enabled by default but poking around in what I thought were the obvious places didn't give me any clues about how to enable it. Google quickly directed me to a tech note (on MSDN or Microsoft's support site) that showed me the way. The more I work with Vista, the less I like the new Control Panel layout compared to XP. Anyway, I enabled IIS per the instructions and verified that I could access it locally. A quick tweak to the firewall allowed me to access it from OS X as well. All good so far and not too painful. Now that IIS 7 was running, I figured BD7.NET would be a simple install. The install went fairly smoothly but IIS7 refused to serve any pages up afterward. The friendly error message pointed at a problem with applicationHost.config so I tracked that file down (another Google search) but couldn't figure out how to open it (because of security restrictions). Another Google search revealed that I needed to locate Notepad in the Start Menu and right-click Run As Administrator and then Open... and navigate back to the configuration file. By pure guesswork, I changed:
<location path="" overrideMode="Allow">
which wraps the BD-installed handlers to:
<location path="Default Web Site" overrideMode="Allow">
and IIS7 came back to life. Yay me! Unfortunately, when I tried to run the BlueDragon Admin, I got a 500 error and something about a bad "ManagedPipelineHandler" in the BlueDragon configuration (and, of course, that text was nowhere to be found in the config file!). Google turned up one reference to this, on New Atlanta's self-help mailing list. Someone called Brian had hit the exact same error back in July but no one had replied. Darn! So I emailed New Atlanta's support and today I got a response from Lori who confirmed that the applicationHost.config settings were correct (with path="") but asked me to check a couple of things... Number one was whether I had installed ASP.NET. Hmm, I thought that was built into IIS7 so it hadn't occurred to me I'd need to set that up independently. It also hadn't occurred to me that BD7.NET would require ASP.NET but that's another story. Lori had attached a screen shot of the same Windows program features dialog that I'd used to enable IIS7 but she showed the options I needed to check to enable ASP.NET. Things still didn't work right but now I could figure out the solution on my own: since I'd installed BD7.NET before ASP.NET, applicationHost.config wasn't what BD expected so all I had to do was merge the BlueDragon handlers into the ASP.NET handlers. Yes, that worked as expected! IIS7 works. BlueDragon works. I can access both from Vista and from OS X. I configured a MS SQL Server data source (to connect to the SQL Server Express instance) and that worked too! Yay! Then I tried to configure a MySQL data source and got "Could not load file or assembly 'MySql.Data' or one of its dependencies." *sigh* So I downloaded the Connect/NET 5.0 ADO-based driver and installed that and rebooted. Still the same error message. Back to Google I guess...

Tags: bluedragon · coldfusion · microsoft