Monthly Archives: January 2008

Basecamp CFC

I’ve been using Basecamp for freelance consulting and I absolutely love it. I have one problem with it, once you shut down a project the client can’t get any of their materials. It would be nice if you could export the entire contents of a project, compile it into a .pdf, and ship it off to a client as part of a project closeout.

They have a pretty thorough API, and I happen to know a language that can make pdf’s pretty easy. So I figured I could make my own solution, and I did. In doing so, I had to create a service CFC for the Basecamp API. Since there wasn’t one when I looked around for it, but there were a few questions about one, I figured I would share it on RIAForge, and I have. You can download Basecamp CFC from there now.

A few things to note:

  • I implemented all of the data retrieval methods
  • I implemented create, update, and delete methods for comments and messages
  • I have not implemented create, update, and delete methods for categories, todos, or milestones
  • There are not API methods for create, update, and delete of companies and people.

I haven’t implemented everything, because, frankly I didn’t need it all. But, if anyone uses the thing and really wants them, I will be happy to implement more.

If anybody uses it, let me know.

Yet Another Community Expert

Adobe Community Expert

I’m a little late to the party but I got word yesterday that I was selected as an Adobe Community Expert for ColdFusion. I’m a little humbled by the company in just this last round of Community Experts, let alone the whole group.

I’m sure it will be a bit before my information is up on the site, but I just couldn’t contain my excitement.

Once I get the hang of this whole “being a dad thing” I’ll be posting ColdFusion content regularly again.

Thanks for letting me in, Adobe.

Simple IT Success

Avish Parashar, a friend of mine, is starting a new business venture. It’s a consulting and training company which is directed at teaching technical people non-technical skills. You know, those elusive “soft skills” you hear about from time to time.

I recommend Avish and his training in the strongest terms possible. I’ve worked with him in this capacity for eight years getting guidance on courage, creativity, communication, and influence along the way. I have definitely enjoyed the fruits of applying his philosophy and techniques to my regular working life.

Anyway, check out his site, simpleITSuccess.com, and if you are even considering it, drop him a line. You won’t regret it.

cf.Objective Progress

Less than a year ago, I went to cf.Objective for the first time, and came back with a list of items that I wanted to see myself do, because I was introduced to them at the conference. I thought I would do a quick public coming clean about my progress.

To recap, my list was:

  • Start using Coldspring
  • Start using an ORM
  • Start using a real (UI) framework
  • Stop thinking about objects in terms of data
  • Start doing development on my local machine
  • Stop spreading rumors that the man saying he is Sean Corfield having the real Sean Corfield tied up in his hotel room.

My progress:

I started using ColdSpring for dependency injection in a few of my projects. I haven’t reached by goal of using it for Aspect Oriented Programming yet. So that will go back on the list.

I refined Squidhead to work against multiple DBMS’s and to understand foreign keys; making is a real solution for at least me.

I failed to start using a real UI framework. I would still like to, but I’ve been lazy. I need to be more disciplined. I really want to start using either Fusebox or ModelGlue.

I think I’ve switching from thinking about objects as objects first, and then going into the database to represent them, not the other way around. Could I do better? Sure. But I am much further ahead of myself a year ago.

I switched to local development solely. No more remote servers. Feels great, I never want to go back. Thank you, Mark Drew, your “car with a spike on the steering wheel” analogy changed my professional life.

I don’t spread rumors about Sean’s identity anymore. In part, Sean finally updated his picture. In part because I heard if you make any sort of fun of him, he will track you down, and shave a half dollar sized bald spot onto your head. That man is dedicated! And a Philadelphia winter is much, much colder with a mini-tonsure. Trust me.

So that’s it. I’ll hold off on making a new list until after cf.Objective 2008.

And if you aren’t going, don’t worry, every ColdFusion blog will be full of stories of how awesome it is. So, you know, that will be just like being there.

ColdFusion – Market Share vs. Profitability

There is a very interesting article over at Knowledge@Wharton about Market Share vs Profitability.

I skimmed it a few months back when it came out but never thought about it in terms of the ColdFusion community until I saw this link at Daring Fireball applying this phenomenon to Apple.

Basically the gist I get from it is that profitability is more conducive to long term health of a company than market share. It’s not proven, but if it is true it puts the ColdFusion market into a particular light. If what is true for companies is true for products, it might not matter to ColdFusion’s long term health if it steals market share from ASP.NET or PHP. ColdFusion’s long term health might be in its profitability, which according to Adobe has been very good.

Market share is still important to us, as it helps determines availability of work. But this phenomenon might a good explanation for why what we see Adobe doing with ColdFusion doesn’t always match up with what the community wishes it would do.