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An Architect's View

Entries Tagged as scotch08

2008 in review

January 04, 2009 ·

As "usual", I start the year with a round-up of the highlights of last year, based on things that I blogged. It's been a strange year for me. After (seven) years with Macromedia / Adobe and most of 2007 spent freelancing, I took a full-time job with a startup and hired some amazing CFers to be part of my team. I (finally) learned Flex (and AIR). I learned a new language (Groovy) and did a lot less CFML programming than I've done in years while at the same time joining first the Open BlueDragon Steering Committee and then the CFML Advisory Committee, as well as attending more ColdFusion-related conferences than usual (cf.Objective(), Scotch on the Rocks, CFUNITED, Wee Dram of Scotch, MAX).

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Tags: adobemax08 · air · bacfug · bluedragon · broadchoice · cfdevcon08 · cfml-advisory · cfobjective · cfunited08 · cfunited09 · coldfusion · coldspring · edmund · flex · fusebox · grails · hosted · iphone · openbd · oss · personal · railo · ria · saas · scotch08 · tdd · weedram08

Scotch on the Rocks summary

June 19, 2008 ·

Working backwards... I already blogged the Adobe keynote at Scotch on the Rocks but wanted to cover some of the sessions and the overall feel of the conference. As I said before, it had a nice, relaxed feel to it and Andy Allan, Big Mad Kev and Stephen Moretti did a great job creating a conference that felt like a bunch of developers simply sharing their experiences and their wisdom. It was a really enjoyable three days with some fascinating sessions in an incredible location. Neil Webb "Cairngorm for Beginners". I like Neil's analogies and presentation style. He was very frank about some of the things people don't like about Cairngorm but showed how code is organized and did a good job of making it approachable. Nicholas Lierman "Web Analytics for Developers". This was a hard hitting presentation (most of what you think you know about analytics is wrong) with a lot of good, real-world advice and some real insight into using tools properly to filter and segment and analyze data to identify behavior. Neil Middleton "jQuery in a Nutshell". An excellent introduction to the power of jQuery. I'm only just starting to get into jQuery so I learned quite a few things from this session. Borre Wessel "Modularizing Flex applications". This was mostly over my head because I'm not doing much Flex but it was interesting to see how much work has been done in this area. Adam Lehman - ColdFusion 8 and PDF (I can't remember the exact title). A good run through of the PDF capabilities in CF8 including the DDX stuff which gives you a lot of control. Toby Tremayne "Becoming an Enterprise Developer". A highly entertaining and insightful talk about how to improve your skills and the key things that distinguish an "enterprise" class developer. Toby is also quite the magician and used several impressive tricks to illustrate some of his points (including nearly setting Adam Lehman on fire - who was sitting just a little too close to one of Toby's tricks!). I covered the Railo keynote (albeit briefly) and will talk more about this in due course. Kai Konig - internationalization. Real world experience on what it takes to create global applications and the various pitfalls you can run into. He covered techniques and tools but made it clear this was not an easy task - it requires effort to do it properly. Neil Middleton - Testing. Neil covered the basics of unit testing with MXUnit, UI testing with Selenium and touched on continuous integration with CruiseControl. Adobe BOF about Centaur. This was much more productive and calm than the session at cf.Objective(). A lot of good ideas came out of the audience (it even inspired me to suggest some new features that I hadn't thought of before). Charlie Arehart / David Stockton - Keeping servers healthy. As always, a good talk from Charlie with lots of hints and tips as well as a demo by David of the forthcoming Fusion Analytics AIR application that analyzes log files and ties events together across multiple log files and server monitoring output. A very impressive tool for diagnosing the cause of bad behavior on your servers! Peter Bell "RAD OO". A pragmatic and interesting look at the slightly different way Peter does object-oriented development when he's building out dozens of projects in very short timelines. He uses a mixture of code generation, metadata, generic reusable base classes and other techniques to achieve very high levels of productivity. It validated some of the techniques I've been considered as well as providing food for thought on some new things I might try. Somewhere in between all of that were my two sessions (event-driven programming and getting dynamic) which were both somewhat experimental and left-field - and were mostly met with bewildered looks and a handful of puzzled questions. Some people said they enjoyed the talks and took useful ideas away so I'll consider them a qualified success. It looks like Scotch will be back in 2009. Maybe even in the same fantastic location. I definitely want to attend next year - it was a wonderful shared experience and it was great to meet new people that don't get out to the US conferences!

Tags: coldfusion · scotch08

Railo on the Rocks Keynote

June 05, 2008 ·

Gert is kicking off the Railo keynote at Scotch on the Rocks. Big announcement: Railo is going open source and joining with the JBoss project! It will be LGPL2. Railo Enterprise will still exist and will contain the non-open source features such as video handling and PDF generation, as well as having support offered.

Tags: coldfusion · oss · railo · scotch08

Scotch Keynote

June 04, 2008 ·

Scotch has a nice, relaxed feel to it (some people might call it disorganized but I rather like it). The keynote was Ben Forta and Adam Lehman tag-teaming the state of the ColdFusion world (CF8 doing very well, working hard on Centaur). Big news for European CFers - there is now a dedicated EMEA ColdFusion specialist, Claude Englebert, so that there is a direct contact for all sales-related issues. This was the hottest issue brought up at MAX Barcelona so it's good to see the U.S. model being rolled out in Europe. Ben emphasized that CFers should be using CFCs to write better structured code and separating presentation code (CFM pages) from business logic (CFCs). He then went on to talk about LiveCycle Data Services and Adam ran thru some simple demos of what is possible with very little MXML code and almost no CFML code. Ben closed by talking a little (very little!) about possible Centaur plans around AIR. It seems all the big information about Centaur is being held back for MAX 2008 (in San Francisco, Milan and Tokyo).

Tags: adobe · coldfusion · scotch08

Getting Ready for Scotch

June 02, 2008 ·

I'm here at The George (and a very nice hotel it is!) getting ready for Scotch on the Rocks. Tomorrow I'll be putting the finishing touches on my presentations (more than finishing touches on the "Getting Dynamic" presentation since I'm still changing it every few days!). Jay & I arrived in England on Friday, spent the night at my mum's lovely new house in the south then drove up to the Lake District and stayed at the wonderful Bridge House Hotel in Grasmere. The food was great - a four course meal is included in the room price (I had smoked mackerel salad with pink grapefruit followed by poached hake in a cranberry cream sauce - plus a soup course plus great desserts!), as is breakfast - and, as you can see, it has a nice space to relax outdoors, right next to the bar! Then we headed up to visit my friend Miles in Kilwinning near Ayr. He's an old university friend and we haven't seen him for a few years so much alcohol was consumed during ten hours of reminiscing! He's also a great cook so more good food was had (including a stunning white chocolate brioche pudding for dessert). Today we headed up Loch Lomond, stopping at the Duck Bay Restaurant for a wonderful lunch (Finnan Haddock Duncryne) followed by a nice drive up to Crianlarich and through the Trossachs then down to Stirling and finally into Edinburgh. The George is a very nice hotel. We settled in, I caught up on email and then we had dinner in the Tempus bar. Jay had the filet in bearnaise sauce and I had the pheasant, both of which were extremely good. Not that I'm at all obsessed with (good) food, of course...

Tags: personal · scotch08

Extending Open BlueDragon

May 28, 2008 ·

Alan Williamson continues his blog series with an article explaining how to write new CFML tags using the Plugin API, which lets you extend the functionality of OpenBD without changing the core code. I'm hoping to get back to working on OpenBD more seriously over the next few weeks and several of the steering committee will be at Scotch on the Rocks next week.

Tags: coldfusion · openbd · scotch08

Scotch on the Rocks and CFUNITED are real

April 08, 2008 ·

Following my tradition that conferences are only real once my flights are booked, both Scotch and CFUNITED just became reality for me. $3,800. Ouch! That's return flights for me and my wife for SFO/LHR and SFO/DCA. With cfDevCon later in the year, plus several more cat show flights to book, at least we'll both be Premier flyers on United next year! See you at cf.Objective() in early May? Or Scotch in early June? Or CFUNITED later in June? By the way, today is the last day for the guaranteed hotel price for cf.Objective() so if you haven't registered and booked your hotel, you might want to get on that tonight!

Tags: cfobjective · cfunited08 · coldfusion · scotch08

Scotch on the Rocks early bird extended to April 30th

March 09, 2008 ·

You can now register for Scotch on the Rocks and get the early bird price up until April 30th. This is because you can now get one-day and two-day tickets as well as the original three-day ticket. The three-day ticket is still just 199 GBP (+vat) but will increase to 299 GBP (+vat) after April. Still a reasonable price for what you're getting but why not save yourself a hundred quid? The topics look great and Edinburgh is a fantastic city for a few days vacation either side of the conference, and of course there's the Taste of Edinburgh festival just before Scotch for the foodies amongst you!

Tags: coldfusion · scotch08

Scotch - make mine a double

February 01, 2008 ·

Scotch on the Rocks has just posted its initial list of sessions and it looks like I'll be giving both of the talks I submitted:
  • Getting Dynamic with ColdFusion
  • Event-Driven Programming in ColdFusion
The second talk is the same one I'll be giving at CFUNITED a few weeks later (so you can read more about it in the CFUNITED Frameworks track). The first talk will take a look at all of the amazing things you can do in ColdFusion - because it is dynamic language - that you cannot do in Java. Hopefully, it'll give you some new ideas about how to solve problems faster and more idiomatically in ColdFusion!

Tags: coldfusion · edmund · scotch08

The coolest conference promotion ever?

October 26, 2007 ·

Scotch on the Rocks 2008...

Tags: coldfusion · scotch08