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ColdFusion Authors: Yakov Fain, Jeremy Geelan, Maureen O'Gara, Nancy Y. Nee, Tad Anderson

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ColdFusion Developer's Journal Special Focus Issue: Frameworks

CFDJ Editor-in Chief Simon Horwith Declares: "Talk Is Cheap...Let's See Some Code!"

I've been a certified ColdFusion instructor for six years and speak regularly at user groups and conferences. One thing I've learned without a shadow of a doubt is that talk is cheap. Anyone can talk a good talk, but the proof is always in the pudding. Okay, enough clichés.

 My point is that developers learn best from doing things themselves and from seeing other developers write the code. To get the most from the articles featured in ColdFusion Developer's Journal, you have to try the techniques or download the code and really gain an understanding of how it works. This issue is definitely no exception to that rule.

This month we take a look at frameworks. There has been a lot of talk in the community about frameworks, and new ones are springing up seemingly every day. How is a developer to keep up? Surely, what the community needs are resources that allow them to effectively compare and contrast the various frameworks on an even playing field. So this month I decided to try something new: I asked a select group of pioneers and experts with the popular frameworks to build an application with their framework and write an article about it. To even the playing field, I've asked all of the developers to develop the exact same application. Each of our articles this month is a case study on how the Macromedia CF Pet Market application would be implemented using a specific framework. The original application was developed by Mike Nimer at Macromedia shortly after ColdFusion MX was released. I suggest you take a look at the original application using the following URLs:

As I said, new framework and new versions of existing frameworks are being released at, dare I say it, an alarming rate. If it's difficult for developers to keep up, it's even more difficult for a magazine. This issue is just the beginning. In addition, along with the folks at AboutWeb, I am making another new resource available: www.cfpetmarket.com . Cfpetmarket.com is a site that allows developers to search for and download different versions of the CF Pet Market application. It also allows developers to upload their own version of CF Pet Market. As new frameworks are released, and new versions of frameworks released, it is my hope that developers will continue to upload more versions of CF Pet Market to the site to serve as examples to the community. The site is not limited to frameworks; anyone who wants to upload a version of CF Pet Market is welcome to upload their idea of the ideal way to develop this application. All of the sample applications from the articles in this issue are available for download now at www.cfpetmarket.com. You can search for them by framework, methodology, and/or author name.

All of this month's authors were given the following restrictions: each application must have the exact same look and feel of the original and the code must run off of the original database structure. The goal is not to change the original business requirements or user interface but to offer a new version of the code. These same requirements apply to new submissions to the cfpetmarket.com site as well.

The frameworks/methodologies and authors featured in this issue are:

  • Fusebox: Jeff Peters
  • MACH II: Hal Helms and Ben Edwards
  • onTap: Isaac Dealey
  • TheHUB: Neil Ross
  • Model Glue: Nicholas Tunney
  • ColdSpring: David Ross and Chris Scott
  • SAM: Simon Horwith
Hopefully, you see some frameworks or methodologies on that list that you've either never heard of or have been meaning to learn more about. That's what the cfpetmarket.com project and this issue are all about: learning alternative, even better, methods for developing applications.

It's been a year now since I began running "deep focus" issues of CFDJ and the response from our readers has been overwhelmingly positive. Unfortunately, filling an issue with articles about a single topic is a lot more difficult than you might think. The editorial calendar for 2006 is now available online at http://gemsres.com/section/5/CFDJEdCal2006.pdf. I encourage any of you who are interested in contributing to making CFDJ the best resource on the planet for ColdFusion developers to take a look at the calendar and e-mail me at [email protected] if any of the topics strike your fancy. If you think that filling an issue with articles about one topic is difficult, then you can only imagine how much work it was to fill an issue with articles and authors as specifically focused as we have this month. Several months ago I set out to produce the best (or most useful, at least) issue in ColdFusion Developer's Journal history and to kick off the new year by offering it and the cfpetmarket.com site to the community. This one has been a labor of love for me. I hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I've enjoyed putting it together.

More Stories By Simon Horwith

Simon Horwith is the CIO at AboutWeb, LLC, a Washington, DC based company specializing in staff augmentation, consulting, and training. Simon is a Macromedia Certified Master Instructor and is a member of Team Macromedia. He has been using ColdFusion since version 1.5 and specializes in ColdFusion application architecture, including architecting applications that integrate with Java, Flash, Flex, and a myriad of other technologies. In addition to presenting at CFUGs and conferences around the world, he has also been a contributing author of several books and technical papers.

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