The Blog of Maxim Porges

Archive for October, 2005

  • Oracle Wastes Their Time On A Free Version

    I’m sure the techies among you saw/heard about this already.

    Oracle To Offer A Free Database
    “By introducing a free entry-level product, Oracle intends to get more developers and students familiar with its namesake database, Mendelsohn said. Those customers, Oracle hopes, will eventually upgrade to a higher-end version.”

    Look… I’m all for free versions for learning technologies (Macromedia is excellent at slinging digital crack in this fashion), but Oracle? I can already see the conversation now:

    Young Programmer:“I’ve learned to use Oracle on the free version in school and at home. Now I’d like to launch my small software business using the paid-for version.”

    Oracle: “That’ll be $10,000,000,000,000, please.”

    Young Programmer: “Oh look! MySQL For Dummies is on sale!”

    2005.10.31 / 1 response / Category: Uncategorized

  • New iMacs

    I just got done watching the streaming video of Apple’s new product offerings, and I must say that new iMac looks pretty bad ass.

    I’m not sure that I absolutely have to have one yet, but you’ve got to admit it’s a pretty impressive line up. You get built-in iSight, all-in-one flat panel enclosure, and that cool Front Row feature, plus of course the iPod Shuffle-esque Apple Remote. Oh, and a Mighty Mouse! Can’t forget the Mighty Mouse…

    But I’m holding out. Why, you ask? I’ll tell you why.

    I waited three damn years for the video iPod. I knew it was coming – ’twas only a matter of time. And now, I will make a similar prediction about Apple’s future direction.

    I think Apple is about two hairs away from putting together a large format, wide screen iMac that goes in the same place in your living room that a plasma TV would now. Think about it: you set it up with wireless keyboard and Internet, throw in an Apple Remote, put a slot-load DVD drive and a massive hard drive in it, and you’ve got an all-in-one multimedia repository. If they can partner this up with some kind of wireless USB and FireWire hub to load your digital media with, I think they’d have a real winner.

    I’ve stated in the past that Steve doesn’t like the idea of the computer in the living room, but that’s all balnoey now that the Mac has become the Digital Hub. The fact that your digital media all goes through a computer is really irrelevant, since most people don’t really do much computing at all in this environment – the computer has really just become a big encoder/decoder with email. Of course, the addition of the ability to read email also satisfies Zawinski’s Law in one fell swoop, signifying the state of near-nirvana that this product would bring to Apple’s line.

    Bring on the iTV, Steve. I’m ready for it. I’ll even let you use the name royalty free.

    2005.10.12 / 2 responses / Category: Uncategorized

  • Video iPods

    So, my buddy Steve hits me up on iChat last night.

    Steve: “Hey Max, you’ve had an iPod since before they were cool, and to tell you the truth I’m sick of it. It’s all dirty and covered in crap. You paid $399 for it at CompUSA way before we even put an Apple Store in Orlando, and it’s only got 10 GB of space.”

    Max: “Yeah, you’re right. Well, you know my rule…”

    Steve: “Yeah, yeah, I know your stupid rule alright. You always said that you’re not buying another iPod until it plays video, right?”

    Max: “Yeah, that’s true.”

    Steve: “Well Max, I’ve got something Insanely Great™ for you to hear. Do you want to hear it?”

    Max: “Can’t… resist… reality… distortion… field…”

    Steve: “Here it is: how do you like DEM APPLE™S?!?!?!?”

    Max: “Me likey.”

    2005.10.12 / 2 responses / Category: Uncategorized

  • Macromedia Flex 2.0

    Macromedia has announced Flex 2.0. Read all about it.

    It’s great to see active development taking place on Flex, especially since we just bought it! Plus, I think Macromedia will have their work cut out for them in keeping the Flash platform’s ubiquitous status as Sparkle rolls out. That being said, I’ve seen Microsoft fumble the ball so many times in the past that I probably shouldn’t be concerned about the outcome of their new technology propositions. When’s Longhorn Vista coming out again? 2018?

    I’m particularly looking forward to the Zorn Eclipse-integrated IDE for OS X (even if it is slightly delayed). Macromedia continues to support OS X as a development platform, and I am always grateful to them for doing so.

    2005.10.07 / 2 responses / Category: Uncategorized

  • New Horizons

    Paul Scusa, our Director of Software Development (my boss) announced some pretty significant news to our entire software team today: we’re going to J2EE and Flex, and will be implementing the Rational Unified Process.

    Of course, I’m thrilled. If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that I’ve been burning the midnight oil for some time now, evaluating Macromedia Flex and the Rational Unified Process in preparation for a J2EE push. It’s always great to see hard work pay off.

    I certainly was not the only person involved in the decision making. My counterparts Earle and Jesus at Westgate have put in a lot of time and effort looking at options and evaluating tools and technology, and without the feedback of the team as a whole it would have been a much harder decision for senior management to make. Of course, it also took a huge leap of faith from Paul and our CIO (Stacey Jackson) to sign off on this initiative and feel confident about the ability of our teams to adapt to the new technologies and put them to use.

    Change is always a little scary (no matter how good the change may be), but the overall attitude of the development teams appeared to be positive and optimistic. We’ve got a long road ahead of us, but the expectations Paul and Stacey set for the gradual roll out are realistic enough that we can meet them without too much strain.

    I’m certainly excited to be a part of this process, and I can’t wait to see the look on the faces of our users as we deliver our first applications on the shiny new technology platforms.

    2005.10.07 / no responses / Category: Uncategorized

  • 2005 Fusebox and Frameworks Conference: Pictures

    Myself and John Ashenfelter.

    Simeon Bateman (of CFEclipse fame), John Ashenfelter, and Matt Woodward.

    Chris Scott, who is working on an AOP framework for CFCs as part of ColdSpring.

    Simeon again, and two guys whose names I can’t remember.

    A bunch of people.

    (On the right) Neil Ross. Not sure who the other guy is.

    Clark Valberg of Epicenter Consulting.

    Isaac Dealey, inventor of the OnTap framework.

    Jeff Peters (FLiP Jedi Master) on the left.

    Simeon again, Sandy Clark, and Gabe Roffman (one of the original Fusebox developers).

    2005.10.06 / 4 responses / Category: Uncategorized

  • 2005 Fusebox and Frameworks Conference

    The Fusebox conference this year was yet another excellent event hosted by Teratech. One thing that was noticeable was the smaller turn out than last year’s event, although this was easily attributable to the massive turnout from CFUNITED 2005 and the close proximity of that event to this one.

    The usual suspects were present, in addition to a few new additions such as Isaac Dealey and Jon Rowny. As for the attendees, the congregation was comprised mainly of developers and CFUG managers (which is to be expected for such a code-centric event).

    Jeff Peters and Hal Helms kicked off the event with an interesting diversion from your everyday keynote. Rather than covering prepared topics lecture style, they staged a performance of a would-be radio drama. The drama revolved around a psychologist specializing in “framework psychology”, and the conversations between the doctor and his patients, who ranged from good ol’ Fusebox, to up-and-comer model-glue, to a surfer-dude-esque individual known only as “NMM”, or the “No Methodology Methodology.” Considering that Jeff has a background in theatre and Hal is more creative than most techies, the keynote was oddly amusing and fitted nicely with the laid-back theme of the conference.

    Following the drama, Hal and Jeff had an interesting discussion regarding the emergence and penetration of the various ColdFusion frameworks, as well as the staunch advocates that still exist (although in much smaller numbers) who are not interested in a standardized framework and prefer the ad-hoc approach. Overall, the consensus seemed to be that (a) CF now has plenty of frameworks, and (b) the ones that are out there are becoming mature and flexible enough to warrant a likely slow down in the appearance of new alternatives. If you ask me, that’s a good thing.

    From my perception, much of the excitement at the conference was centered around model-glue, and rightfully so. Joe Rinehart has done an admirable job striking a firm balance between the somewhat purist OO principles of mach-ii and the procedural simplicity of Fusebox. Joe held two sessions throughout the conference, which allowed everybody to get a chance to check out the framework and ask questions. I attended Joe’s session and saw familiar aspects from both mach-ii and Fusebox, not to mention a number of nice features that Joe had decided to bake in (such as the IoC principles from ChiliBeans, another of Joe’s creations).

    As usual, John Ashenfelter and myself spent most of the conference discussing Java technologies with the masses. John decided to venture even further out of the proverbial box and provide a presentation on Ruby on Rails. It’s nice to see Teratech open to non-CF frameworks and languages, since it can’t hurt to look outside the CF world occasionally and add principles from elsewhere to the mix.

    Throughout the conference, the item that was most prominent in my mind was how rapidly the CF community had adopted OO principles in the last twelve months, and applied those principles to their work. I remember at Fusebox 2004, I was one of a handful of individuals promoting the integration of Fusebox and CFCs (using CFCs as the model layer in an MVC style), and presented a case study on an application we started developing in late 2003 that used this approach. For the most part, the developers at the 2004 conference were mainly the procedural Fusebox type and were widely unfamiliar with a fully independent, pure-OO model (unlike the handful of mach-ii developers present, who were of course much more familiar with this concept).

    In contrast, I found myself surrounded by OO discussions at this year’s conference. I saw large turnouts to all the OO-based sessions, from the mach-ii BoF session, to Joe’s model-glue presentations, and even as far as my own Spring and J2EE/ColdFusion session. When I asked my attendees how many were familiar with patterns such as DAO, and principles like IoC, I found that most of the developers at least understood these patterns, and many had applied them to their work. This was a radical departure from the expectations that I had as I began this conference with my memories of discussions from last year’s event.

    I guess the bottom line is this: the CF community is as alive, strong, and open as ever. The now-widespread adoption of OO principles in what was primarily a procedural developer base just twelve months ago speaks volumes to the openness and spirit of cooperation present in the ColdFusion community. It’s encouraging to see so much support in the conferences from Teratech and the blogs and forums of the CF thought leaders, without whom the adoption of OO would most certainly have been slower and more painful.

    More interesting to me still was the interest in applying technology and practices from the Java and J2EE communities to CF development. Items that cropped up in the conference included AOP, IoC containers, service locator-based frameworks, and discussions on ORM for CF. As I stated earlier, the number of attendees at my J2EE-centric presentation was at least three times my expectations, since I had believed only a handful of developers would be interested in such a demonstration. Not to mention, Merrimack saw the light of day as the conference began, allowing CFCs to claim their rights as first-class Java objects.

    I’m interested to see how this story plays out over time as more CF developers discover and adopt OO, and frameworks such as model-glue, ColdSpring, and Tartan start to take a stronger hold on the community. I believe that many CF developers will find themselves taking the time to look over the fence, and see what the Java side of this J2EE product (known as ColdFusion) has to offer.

    2005.10.06 / no responses / Category: Uncategorized

  • Back In Action

    Many apologies to all three of my fans… as you have probably guessed from my posts prior to my hiatus, the trials and tribulations of gainful employment coupled with preparations for dual presentations at the 2005 Fusebox and Frameworks conference have consumed my time. As usual, my blog assumed the role of red-headed step child, and has been subject to neglect ever since.

    Thankfully, work and the conference have wound down, and I’ll be posting on the exciting events from both as I ramp up my blog once again.

    2005.10.05 / 1 response / Category: Uncategorized