Showing posts with label CFSummit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CFSummit. Show all posts

Monday, 16 November 2015

CFSummit (Tuesday): better frame of mind

Well I was in a better frame of mind, until BlogSpot just wiped my entire article when I pressed CTRL-Z. And then it saved the blankness. FFS.

Anyhow, I'll be quick here as this is old news now, but I'll go over what I went to see on Tuesday last week anyhow.

Firstly - and I've said this before and I'll say it again - one of the best things about conferences is the between-presentation hallway chatter: there's a lot to be learned there too. Breakfast is no different, and is a good opportunity to be parked next to new people and chat for a bit about what they do and what they know. What I learned on Tuesday breakfast is that Gavin can talk non-stop for about 15min without drawing a breath or pausing to let anyone else participate in the conversation ;-). Still: it gave me a good chance to eat my breakfast whilst only nodding and going "and... [hmmm, OK he's not done yet]... but... [nope, still not my turn apparently]... aah... [hmmmm]...". Bloody hell Gav, you like to talk, don't you? ;-) That said, he was expounding on some good ideas that came out of the panel discussion and Adobe's and the community's general attitude to ColdFusion, so it was worth listening to. I pointed everyone to this before on Twitter, but here it is again: "Building a Bigger Better CFML Community". Read it and act on it.

The first presentation of the day was Roy Fielding talking on "REST and ColdFusion". He pretty much wrote the book on REST, so was worth listening to. Although perhaps also read Adam Tuttle's more accessible version: "REST Assured: A Pragmatic Approach to API Design". The bottom line I took from Roy's presentation is re-affirmation that REST isn't anything tricky, it's just using HTTP to deliver data. Like how web pages already does this. He also made the bold observation that whilst JSON might be the serialisation mechanism du jour, this doesn't mean it's the only way to ship data around the place. Nor will it necessarily be the way things are done in a few years time. Remember how we all used to like XML, but now it's just crap? Well yeah. I await for the other shoe to drop with JSON, TBH.

Nolan was on next with "MVC With and Without a Framework". I decided to go to this one over Kev's on on continuous delivery (etc) because I was intrigued by some of the chatter I was part of - or overheard -  on Monday. There are really a lot of CFMLers who seem blissfully unaware of things like "design patterns" and "frameworks" and stuff like that, and I thought this presentation might be reaching out to them. It's a demographic I've largely ignored on this blog, but perhaps I should be doing some more grass-roots stuff. Nolan always presents well, and I found this interesting even though there was nothing new in it for me. One interesting thing he observed is that in the process of taking a MVCless / frameworkless site and putting it into FW/1... really a lot of the code stays mostly as-is, with just hope it's called changing, and a bit of ceremonial stuff around the edges. I was surprised at the site-by-side diffs he was doing.

I had to skip the next slot as I needed to go Skype my wee son. Although his mum didn't put him on, so that was a waste of an hour. Then it was lunchtime, and more random chatter with random people.

After lunch was Anit taking the throng through what's involved in upgrading previous versions of ColdFusion to CF11. I basically wanted to see if there was anything I didn't know about (no), and also to check out what Anit was like as a presenter. He's definitely the best of the Bangalore-based bods (the BBBs!): speaking very clearly and engagingly, and - if I can be a bit bold - with a less thick accent than most of the other bods from the ColdFusion Team. I know the USAn audience struggles with this at times. And indeed even I could only understand about 10% of what Tridib was saying on the panel discussion the previous day, and I was sitting 2m away from him!

Mr Blinky Hat was up next to go commando (he refused to confirm this one way or the other): "Go Commando, with CommandBox! CLI + REPL + Package Manager for CFML". CommandBox continues to impress, I gotta say.

Lastly I went to Charlie's presentation on "10 Common CF Server Challenges and How to Find/Solve Them". This was typically thorough: Charlie knows his stuff. But I do have to say that by this time I was conferenced-out, and wanted to get away from the concept of ColdFusion.

Elishia wrapped things up in the main room, and we were done.

I never understood this. Organising developers to go have a drink is like herding cats using nothing but a bucket of water, so it seemed to take about an hour to get from the conference to the bar 200m, but that's what I did (once again it was the Todd English PUB). Having learned my lesson about excesses the previous day, I kept things "under control" this evening. I was in bed by 3am (after diversions to one of the bars in the casino itself, and Tim Cunningham's suite for even more beer, after the point at which I should have known better). Dear god. And on Wednesday I had to fly back to the UK...

Anyway, it was a good gig, and I'm glad I made it. Mostly for the people I hung out with, I have to say, more than the presentations. This is not an indictment of the presentation quality at all, but as time goes on, ColdFusion stuff is less and less relevant to me. But I had a good time. Hey I can't remember all the people I caught up with... I'm both shocking with names/faces, plus when it happens at the bar, my brain doesn't record events anyhow. It was excellent hanging out with y'all anyhow.

And that's all the lunchtime I have available for writing, so that's that.



Wednesday, 11 November 2015

CFSummit: Yeah yeah yeah, all right Rakshith...

So yesterday I said this:

To which Rakshith said this:

Them be fighting words, so we had a bet, and... having checked his presentation... I lost the bet.

So here's my penalty: you're right, I'm wrong. Sorry mate.

Now shouldn't you be here in the PUB having a pint???



Tuesday, 10 November 2015

CFSummit (Monday): I never learn

Oh for the love of god: what did I do to myself? As I touched on yesterday - "CFSummit (Sunday): conference tips from a veteran" -  I had a bit of a late "night" on Sunday, so Monday morning was a bit "emotionally fraught" (read: I had a hellish hangover).

So I missed the keynote completely, as I was still trying to remember how to dress myself, and locating coffee (fortunately I managed to work out the first on that list before heading out for the second). I have subsequently learned that I was "announced" (whatever that means) at this keynote... so I'm in a bit of trouble for not being here. Yikes.

Once I actually arrived, Rakshith was giving us the once over ColdFusion 12, which was much the same as the presentation given at CFCamp. I've already written up what I am able to about that, in other articles:

I was hoping for some new code-centric stuff, but there wasn't really.

I had a chuckle when I thought I saw a reference to "Cold Fusion" on one of his slides, but he assured me I was seeing things (or "I was drunk", as he put it ;-).

Next up was Kevin Schmidt going through doing REST with CFML ("Building APIs with ColdFusion") - this was the code-centric side of things: how to configure one's CFCs etc. It was a good presentation and Kevin is an engaging speaker, but I was really let down to see all the code being written in tags. I know I keep harping on about this, but the community (and Adobe!) need to lead the way here in downplaying CFML being about tags. Tags have their place, but not in heavy lifting code. We need to start directing eyes away from tags for everything.

I was feeling dire so I went back to my room to try to smother myself with a pillow. And kipped for a coupla hours. I'm annoyed I missed Elishia's ColdFusion 12 API Manager presentation. And lunch. But so be it.

At 2pm I decided to check out Dan Fredericks' "CFML Features for More Modern Coding" presentation. I loved this... it was a true, sleeves-rolled-up code-centric presentation, and I think Dan's picked a topic that represents the cutting edge of complexity in CFML: closures and member functions (well: member functions aren't complex, but it's a mind shift fro CFMLers maybe). Hopefully his slide deck goes public at some point, and I'll try to link to it. I hope people enjoyed it, and got something out of it.

I still felt pretty sick.

3:30pm rolled around, and I had to get up on stage. And smile and stuff. It was the "Adobe Panel Discussion Q&A Session". This was interesting, and - again - I hope the audience took something away from it - but I think I was out of place being on the panel. The questions were mostly directed at Adobe, and I could not really participate too much in answering them. I think the panel should have just been Adobe people. I was there to field questions on code and dev practices and that sort of thing, but this is not the direction the Q&A took. It was more one of these marketing-speak things that I have indicated disillusionment with in the past: I don't want to be marketed at at a dev conference.

There were a number of things I wanted to talk about, but wasn't given the opportunity to. Oh well.

I think next time there should be maybe a dual (or do I mean "duel"?) panel thing: Adobe vs Community, or something. Or just get Adobe bods up there representing business, marketing, and tech, and let us community members ask them questions. Dunno. And it would have been better if I was in the audience, not on the panel, I think. Still: it was fun, and I really appreciate Elishia & the rest of the Adobe people giving me this opportunity. It must have seemed like a bit of a risk getting someone like me up on stage. I think I acquitted myself adequately, and I only accidentally swore once. That I can recall.

After that I surrendered, eschewed the chance for free beer and talking to people, and went back to bed. At 5pm. I woke up briefly at 2:30am and considered going downstairs, but my next thought occurred at 5am when I awoke properly.

So it was a bit of a waste of a day for me. There were a bunch of people I really wanted to catch up with and chat with, especially to see if we could get a conversation going around Dan's talk, and possibly try to corner Rakshith, hand him a beer, and have a chat.

The best thing was that I did get to meet Anit! I hardly spoke to him, but at least I've pressed the flesh with Adobe's resident CFML super hero. And I got a photo with him (it's been posted on the Slack channel, but I don't have it myself)! Cool. I also met Aaron Neff, who is one of ColdFusion's other superheros... he's by far the best CF tester Adobe have on tap. But his name is not one most of us will be too familiar with.

I reckon from what I saw and heard from other people, it was a really successful first day, and I hope today is just as good. And hopefully I manage to last beyond late afternoon, today. :-S



Monday, 9 November 2015

CFSummit (Sunday): conference tips from a veteran

Yes. Oh yes. The day before one is supposed to be actually participating in a conference... make sure to be out drinking until 05:18. This will ensure clean sailing the "next" day, and everything will go swimmingly.

Or so I'm telling myself.

Judge for yourself tomorrow afternoon. On the bright side: everyone's expecting me to be angry...


Saturday, 7 November 2015

CFSummit (Saturday): if I ever get there

This is going to be content-free, for the most part. Be warned. Indeed currently I don't have the content for this planned, but I'm stuck at Houston airport with beer in hand and... time to kill.

OK, so I started my trek to Las Vegas for CFSummit this morning, with the first hitch being the coffee stand at the Tube station was shut, so I have now endured an entire day without an espresso. This seems... wrong. It was probably a portent, and I did not notice. Dammit.

When choosing my flights I decided to pick one flying a 787, to see if they are any good (I'd not flown on one before). I can't say I was that impressed: it didn't even seem new (either in age or in design), so it was a bit disappointing. I did like the new window blind concept they have: it's not a blind, it's an... electrically-sensitive-gel-based thing (apparently: "How The Magical Windows in Boeing's 787 Dreamliner Work"), which has a button which makes the window get gradually darker. This is cool except for the fact they can be controller centrally too, and the cabin crew decided we were going to be in night-time mode for most of the flight (which was entirely actually daytime). So I missed my favourite part of flying over unfamiliar countries: looking down at what it looks like. All I could see was a dull blue colour. To put in perspective of how much light the gel will block when on "full strength", one can look directly at the sun through it... although it's still very bloody bright and not something to do for a sustained period of time. That aside... I remain very impressed with A380s as far as "modern aircraft" go, but don't see the fuss about 787s. And, yes, I know I am "comparing" different classes of aircraft there.

En flight I had a Goose Island IPA (from a can, no less), and that was bloody good. Actually I had three of those. Then they ran out of those and they gave me a Miller Lite instead. That was awful.

I watched Terminator: Genisys, which I thought was pretty good (going against general opinion, I think), indeed I'd put it second best in the series after the original. I rank those films: Terminator, T:G, T3, T:S / T2. I know I'm an outlier when it comes to ranking T2 so low, but I don't really think it brought anything new to the story: it was a rehash of the original with a bigger budget.

I also watched something called Air, which was "interesting", but... didn't quite get there. it was all right.

Oh and I watched the first three episodes of "Humans", which was really good.

One disappointing thing about this 787 was that whilst it had power outlets on economy seats (two outlets per three seats), it wasn't switched on. But I didn't need my laptop anyhow, so no problem really.

Getting into George Bush International Airport (after 10h in the air), I girded my loins for "The Immigration Experience". True to form, whilst having a cavernous immigration hall, with 40 desks to process people, the US Border Force decided the 1000-odd people in the queue would be best processed via never any more than a dozen desks being opened. It took around an hour to get to the front of the queue-feed-queue to get into an actual queue in front of a desk. And another 20min after that to get through. This was the at Philadelphia for CF.Objective() a coupla years ago. Entering USA is by far the worst border experience I have encountered (and I've been to Russia...).

At this point I had 10min to find my bag, re-check it, and board my LAS flight. Which was pretty much stymied by the queue for customs after picking up my bag. I'd missed my connection by then (my brain was actually going "hooray! I have enough time for a beer now!"), so rebooked on the next flight - no charge, and no batting of eyelids... this is just "normal" for USA domestic air travel apparently.

After that I had another 20min in the security queue, operated by drittereichian TSA staff, who would - I imagine - be gleeful if their jobs involved processing people straight from rail cars, if they had the chance.

Oh... just to wind back a queue or two: here's a question for my USAn readers... why does a desk clerk at an immigration desk need a gun? What's wrong with you lot?  The only way I can see a gun being necessary in that environment is in a "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" kind of way, if the people in the queue give up the will to live before being processed.


Anyway, I missed my connection as I said, but I'm on the next flight to LV, which doesn't leave for a coupla hours (well: an hour or so now...), so I've parked-up at "Rocket and Rye" (they seem to have no website), who have good beer, not bad food, and a coupla people to talk to.

I recommend the Weekend Warrior Pale Ale, Ryed Hard, and the chicken quesadilla, btw.

By the time I get to LV this evening (touch down @ 11pm, apparently), I doubt I'll be in any sort of state or mood to say "g'day" to people, but let's see...


Finally at the hotel, and at 11:58pm... it's bed for me. I'm too old to be starting to go out at midnight.

Up in three hours to Skype with my boy, back in Ireland.


Wednesday, 4 November 2015

CFSummit: they've got who on their discussion panel?

Ha. So this article just went up on the official ColdFusion blog: "Adobe ColdFusion Summit 2015 - Panel Participants Announced". The participant list is:

From Adobe:

Tridib Roy Chowdhury, Sr. Director of Products

Elishia Dvorak, ColdFusion Solution Consultant & Evangelist (moderating)

From the community:

Ray Uyemura – Director of Systems, City of Los Angeles

Leon O’Daniel – Sr. Web Application Developer and Leader of the Boeing ColdFusion Community of Practice, Boeing

Shirak Avakian – Sr. Web Architect, Century National Insurance Company

Adam Cameron – Sr. Software Engineer, Web Reservations International Group

Who's that frickin' turkey at the bottom there?

So... erm... that should be interesting.



Tuesday, 27 October 2015

CFSummit: what am I gonna go see?

Rightio then, I've had a look at the presentations on offer at CFSummit, and have tentatively decided what I'll probably try to go and see. Note that I always make one of these plans, and it always ends up bearing very little resemblance to what I end up doing. Often I just stay put in a room after one presentation, and check the next one out, or I accidentally walk past the bar and go "ooh! A bar! I wonder if they sell... beer" (in my experience: yes they do, but I need to continue this research, I think).

I have another challenge now that I don't do CFML on a daily basis (well: I do it seems, but I don't do it for a job any more), it gets trickier to pick sessions that are a good fit for my interests. So this time I'm kinda looking at the schedule and wondering less what I'm interested in, and more where there are gaps in my ColdFusion knowledge which I might be able to fill, so as to be able to help out in the community over a broader range of topics. Can you see my halo? ;-)


I arrive on Saturday @ 17:45, having flown LHR -> IAH -> LAS, taking 15h30m. That's not so bad... when flying to NZ (around 24-30h) I don't usually start getting stir crazy until we're about 4h from AKL, so I doubt 16h will seems so grim, especially with scope for a quick beer in Houston. My plan is to do something Saturday evening, although this will most likely amount to scouting around the Aria for a low-key bar which sells something at least mildly interesting in the beer dept. I've had a look at what the Aria's website suggests is on offer... and they all look very much like the sort of places one finds in a chain hotel, which is... predictable.

In reality I'll go "I'm too old for this", and collapse in a heap.


I have identified this outfit, down at the Venetian: "Public House". From the look of the website, this place is as much a proper pub as the pyramid at the Luxor is a proper pyramid, and the various other LV-copy-cat edifices are to their inspiration. Still, it has a list of over 200 beers, and some of them look interesting, so how bad can it be. I have absolutely zero interest in gambling (actually my reaction to it is more one of revulsion), and I've already looked at all the excessive gaudiness of The Strip, last time I was there (got married in Las Vegas in 2009), so I have no need to see any of that stuff again. I think I'll find a post card to write on (and a pen to write with, and a stamp to afix to it), write a postcard to my boy and slurp beer whilst being eyes-glued to my laptop. Oh, and perhaps get trinket shopping out of the way.

I s'pose in the evening I should lurk around our digs to see if I spy anyone I know doing likewise.

Friday, 23 October 2015

CFSummit 2015: see you there

Call it a "fortunate turn of events" (or something), but it so transpires that I will be at CFSummit this year. No-one expected that. Including me. Still: there you go.

So who else is going? What presentations are you going to see?

I have a feeling I owe a number of people a beer (or Coke or whatever if you don't drink), and I will be more than happy to see as many people right as possible on that count. And I'm looking forward to it.

I have not looked at the schedule yet, but I'll do my "what I think I might go see (and why)" article over the weekend.



Monday, 15 September 2014

Come on Adobe: bring Anit to CFSummit

OK ColdFusion community: time to voice your will again.

Brad started this conversation off:

And the notion needs support: currently Anit is not attending CFSummit, and that's not really on.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

CFSummit: interesting ColdFusion 2016 stuff

Not that I was at CFSummit, but thanks to Tony Junkes, I saw some interesting slides about ColdFusion "2016" (yeah, the next version, not 11) which can only lead one to speculate...

But first a gripe (hey, this is me, remember). Dazzle? Are you trying to make a mockery of ColdFusion, Adobe? This is like some programming newbie who gives themselves the handle "ProgrammingNinja!" or something. It's not up to you to decide how cool you are; it's up to the audience around you. Rethink that bloody name to something less self-aggrandising. And less like something out of TAoPQotD.

Anyway, the interesting stuff...

Road Map

(yeah, sorry, the links are gonna be links to the photos of the slides that Tony took sorry).

Here we have (time to get my table-based layout skill ready):

Future of the web - verticalAreas
MobileEnterprise Mobility
Responsive Multi Screen Content
Modernized PlatformHigh Performance Runtime
Modular Nimble Engine
Enterprise Class Package Manager
Language Revamp

OK, so I'm going to ignore the mobile stuff as it'll still be as wrong to be doing it in ColdFusion 2016 as it is in ColdFusion 11, so I simply don't care.

Modular nimble engine

But "modular nimble engine" sounds interesting. Well forget "nimble": that's marketing-speak. But very pleased they're modularising things. But I wonder to what extent? This conversation has done the rounds a lot of times, and I've posted my own take on it as well: "Survey Results: ColdFusion Modularisation". It can only be a good thing though. ColdFusion has become such a cruft-filled monster that it's time it shook some stuff out of the core. I'm all for leaving stuff like <cfform> and <cfclient> as deprecated options, but they should not be part of the core install. People can install them if they want them using the...

Enterprise class package manager

Here's Tony's photo of the slide (I'll spare you my design skills this time). Cool! Hopefully this is like Ruby Gems or Node.js's NPM system (not that I've used the later... I've not touched node.js, but I've heard great stuff about NPM). It's high time for this, and something people have been clamouring for. It seems to have all the key points:
  • A portal/registry to list all packages available
  • an organization (excuse my ghastly American spelling... I'm quoting this) - a custom package registry
  • CF Developers - easily contribute to this registry
  • info about package exposed as a REST webservice
  • Configure multiple registry URLs
That sounds... perfect. I guess the "Organization" bit is like a sub-registry. So Adobe will maintain an official one, but people can also maintain their own ones? Say for example Ortus want to have BoxManagerBox or something for all their... boxes. Seems reasonable.

Language revamp

(Tony's first photo; second photo; third photo).This is a monster. Check out all the bullet points:

  • Focus on optimized performance on JVM
  • Breaking backwards compatibility
  • Anything with quotes is a string, scope search
  • Increased support for OOP - retain simplicity
  • Tighten interface implementation
  • Collection datatypes
  • New logging framework
  • Create WAR and deploy anywhere
  • Image manipulation revamp
  • Extending the language
  • Concurrency
    • Existing support - CFTHREAD and CFLOCK
    • Synchronized functions and blocks
    • Concurrent data structures
    • Atomic variables and non blocking IO
    • Inherently concurrent - Actor model
What a mountain of stuff!

Thursday, 24 October 2013


CFSummit 2013 started today - I'm quite jealous of everyone who's there btw - and Adobe opened with a variation on their keynote they used at cf.Objective(), SotR and CFCamp, which covers some of the new stuff in ColdFusion 11. And, naturally, they spent some time on <cfclient>. And then if I'm reading my Twitter feed and the schedule correctly, after the keynote they did another presentation looking more closely at the technical side of new features, including some <cfclient> code. And there was an eruption of Twitter traffic on the topic of <cfclient>. Personally, I think the whole idea of <cfclient> is a blight on CFML, and demonstrates Adobe have learned very little since those "heady" days of <cflayoutarea> and <cfpod>.