August 2007

Access queries as structs in ColdFusion

Did you know that in ColdFusion you don't have to loop through a query to access specific elements of the query?... Instead of having to go through the hassle of looping an array just to find one field, if you know the field and row number you can just do this: <cfset variable = query[column_name][row_number] /> e.g.: <cfset variables.product_name = variables.q_products[name][5] /> Thanks to Ben Nadel for that.

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Vista sucks, let me count the ways

Microsoft's Windows Vista has become the most hated release of Windows yet - missing features (hardware accelerated GUI, database-based filing system, smart search engine, etc), irritating features (the security requesters), confusing number of editions ( seven available in the USA, two more in Europe), confusing graphics system (DirectX 10.0, incompatible with the upcoming DX10.1, slower than DX9), and more.

...So, to set the record straight, Linux kernel hacker Robert Love responded with a wonderful reply that cut Mr Russinovich's reply to shreds, simply saying that Vista is poorly designed and that Linux doesn't suffer from the same stupid bugs.

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Xenu's Link Sleuth - still the best link checker

There are tonnes of different ones on the market, some that promise to make your whites whiter and floss your cat, but in the end you just want a simple program that will check your site for broken links, maybe broken code too if you're so interested.

...Xenu's doesn't confuse you with a list of unimportant non-broken URLs, and it doesn't take a ten-page wizard interface to set up each project, instead you can simply paste in the starting point and let it go to town, selecting extra options if you specifically need to.

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Redmine has a fully-working MantisBT importer

A recent developed in Redmine -land is an importer for MantisBT, a leading PHP-based project management tool. While the first release of the importer I tried had some problems and ultimately only released a tiny amount of the tasks, the current release (code revision 669) worked just great and converted everything.

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The world wisens up about OOXML

The world is finally realizing that Microsoft’s OOXML “format” is the old dog’s usual tricks - incomplete, relies heavily on undocumented tricks to work, which puts full control back in their hands. This week both Brazil and India have decided to vote “no” at the upcoming ISO meeting where OOXML’ s fate will be decided.

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Radiant is a great CMS

I just wanted to pass on the meme on a great RoR-based CMS - Radiant. It is OSS, very stable, fairly actively developed and has a really good plugin system.

While searching for a RoR-based CMS I looked at it a few others:
Mephisto

  • Development has dried up due to the developers not having the time to continue it.
  • No support for snippets (see below).

RailFrog

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JRun going into hibernation

Anyone who has used ColdFusion will have heard of JRun, the out-of-the-box Java server that ColdFusion runs on top of. For many years people wondered whether JRun was going to be continued as a separate product or ditched entirely, especially seeing competing products go through multiple major releases while it sat by the way-side. Well, it seems the final decision is somewhere in the middle.

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IE6 and the min-height CSS attribute

There's a really useful attribute in CSS called min-height that lets you set the minimum height an element should be displayed as; this is often used to make two boxes appear the same height even if one has less content than the other. Well, Firefox, Opera and Safari support it but Internet Explorer 6 and older don't. Luckily there's a really simple work-around for it, you simply add a defintion to your CSS that browsers other than IE will ignore and set the height to the same as the min-height, e.g.:
[source:css]

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Boost productivity with Isolator

It doesn't launch as another app in your dock, instead it sits in your (albeit overcrowded) menu bar, and provides only a few sparse settings - the background color to use, whether to make the backdrop opaque (so you can see the desktop underneath it), whether it should start when you log in or activate automatically, and what key shortcut should activate/deactivate it.

...Having only used it for a short while I can't proclaim how it has saved me x hours per week or saved the lives of thirty-three cats, but even after my limited use it looks to be an app well worth using.

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