Writing code … and your opinion

Writing code … and your opinion

Simon Horwith

I want to take this opportunity to announce a new service to the development community–“blog-n-play.” Blog-n-play is a Web site launched by SYS-CON that allows anyone who’d like, to create his or her own blog–and it’s free. Your blog is associated with one of the SYS-CON publications (anyone reading this editorial is most likely suited to creating a CFDJ blog). A unique subdomain of the CFDJ domain (“coldfusionjournal.com” in the case of CFDJ) is created for your blog. In addition to my personal blog at Horwith.com, you can also visit my CFDJ blog at http:/simon.coldfusionjournal.com.

The blog application is loaded with great features such as a rich text editor for authoring, creating links, skinning your blog, and much more. I recommend it to anyone who has not yet created a blog. It takes two minutes to set up and it’s free, so you have nothing to lose. In addition to writing our opinions in blogs, we developers write code … and that’s what this month’s issue is all about.

ColdFusion developers require some degree of proficiency in many skills. The most basic skill is the ability to write lines of code. A ColdFusion developer’s IDE (integrated development environment) is the most important tool in his or her arsenal. This month, CFDJ features articles relating to IDEs–software designed to help you write code.

Simeon Bateman and Stephen Milligan (a.k.a. “Spike”) have written an excellent article introducing ColdFusion developers to CFEclipse. CFEclipse is a plug-in that adds support for CF development to the free open source Eclipse IDE (very popular with Java developers).

Jeff Fleitz’s article introduces developers to Plum. No, I’m not talking about fruit. Plum is a brand-new ColdFusion IDE created by Productivity Enhancement, Inc.–founded by Team Macromedia member Adam Churvis. Plum is unique in that it’s not just an IDE. Besides the features you’d expect from an IDE, Plum offers developers some of the benefits of an application framework, development methodology, and CMS. It’s definitely something worth looking at, particularly for “newbies” and developers looking to make it easy to standardize applications. Don’t take my word for it, read the article.

Of course, no issue devoted to IDEs would be complete without examining Macromedia’s offerings. Jeffry Houser writes about the features in Dreamweaver MX. Matt Woodward tells about Flex Builder–the IDE Macromedia has given Flex developers.

Isaac Dealey tells how he used XML to create a powerful framework for defining the presentation tier in applications. James Edmunds writes about a ColdFusion Component he created for managing (Verity) searches in his applications.

This month we also have an article from Ben Forta on some of the new features in Blackstone, and a great article from Hal Helms about object-oriented CFML applications. Due to space constraints, we’re not offering a Community Focus column this month, but next month’s issue is chock-full of great content. The CFEverywhere series will continue soon –space constraints pushed it back slightly.

I hope you enjoy this month’s issue. There’s nothing more challenging or more fun than installing and experimenting with a handful of different IDEs.

Simon Horwith is the editor-in-chief of ColdFusion Developer’s Journal and 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. You can read his blog at www.horwith.com.


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