Andrew Powell

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Andrew Powell's Blog OK, so we know ColdFusion, to quote Joe Rinehart, makes it "stupid-easy" to render HTML off of dynamic data. We (CFML developers) have been using it to do this for years. Only recently, with the fast emergence of RIAs in the last 5 years, has the game changed.  My personal approach has become to to let ColdFusion do what it does best, and no more. No AJAX generation or any of that silly UI stuff. Leave that to the AJAX frameworks, or Flex, or whatever your UI is going to be on the front-end. That's what the UI tool was designed for, CF wasn't.  Let CF focus on three things: getting data into and out of RIA front-ends, rendering HTML with dynamic data, and providing services that Java and .NET cannot provide (more on that in a bit). Beyond that, let Java, .NET, or whatever do the work at the model layer. Keep your CFML to a minimum and give ColdFus... (more)

The RIA Team Concept

One thing that constantly bugs me on projects is when I am asked to work on the user interface. I can do CSS, but it is, admittedly, not my strongest suit. I can do some graphics work, but not my strongest suit. My time, and the client's money, is best spent on me maximizing ColdFusion's potential. I am not the greatest at Flash. I can create AS classes to do things like Flash Remoting, etc., but I am not so good at the interface part of Flash. I am aware of my client-side shortcomings and am perfectly comfortable with this. There are some client-side developers, such as my Flash... (more)

RIA News - Flex vs. AJAX: Stop The Madness!

Andy Powell's ColdFusion, Mach-II, Flex, and Spry Blog Flex or AJAX? Which one is better? Which one will "win" in the RIA space? I am tired of this argument. I'm tired of seeing blog posts keeping this debate alive. It's a non-issue, really. I think that people make it an issue when they try, or investigate, each technology and find one easier than the other then run with that technology's banner.I am tired of this argument. I'm tired of seeing posts on MXNA keeping this debate alive. It's a non-issue, really. I think that people make it an issue when they try, or investigate, each... (more)

Leveraging WebDAV-Accessible Directories with Mac OS X Server & ColdFusion MX 7.0.1

Recently, with the introduction of ColdFusion MX 7.0.1, Macromedia began fully supporting a Mac OS X Server installation of ColdFusion. OS X Server used to be supported only in a development environment installed on top of JRun, Tomcat, or some other J2EE application server. Opening this platform has opened ColdFusion to a whole new audience and platform. Mac OS X Server is regarded by many as an enterprise-class operating system overshadowed for years by Windows servers and Linux. The introduction of Mac OS X Server 10.4 (code named Tiger) brought Apple's enterprise entry to the ... (more)

In Today's World of AJAX and Flex, Is XML Past Its Prime?

Is XML overrated? This is a question not asked lightly. It is a heavy and bloated question, much like XML itself. XML has been around since 1997. It is document based and it is extremely verbose.  It requires a higher payload across the network and cannot be natively used once it arrives. The XML payload must be consumed in some fashion.  None of these activities attribute to the speed of an application. In today's world of AJAX and Flex, is XML past its prime? Does XML need to be regarded as a good idea whose time has come and gone? There are plenty of capable replacements avail... (more)