We all know that showing raw error messages to end users is a bad idea. The easiest way to get around this in ColdFusion is to add a site-wide error handler in the ColdFusion administrator. Another option is to use ColdFusion's cferror tag to display a custom page when an error occurs. One thing you may not think about however is returning a proper HTTP status code from your error pages. This really bit me over the past few weeks so I though I'd share a little about what I've learned.
A while back I sent some updates to the ColdFire ColdFusion debugger over to Ray Camden and today he published those updates. So what's new?
Well, I knew it was going to happen sooner or later. Yesterday I woke up to find about 100 messages in my inbox with links to my blog. Someone decided that using the "send" link on my blog entries would be a good way to get people to click on their low mortgage/cheap prescription drug/free porn links. So after over a year of not having to deal with spam on this blog I'm finally enabling captcha. Right now I think it is using the default, more complicated captcha images, but I'm going to look into setting up the simpler mode when I have the time. (I think this may even be a configuration option in later versions of Blog CFC.)
Under the hood ColdFusion 8 uses the Yahoo! User Interface Library (YUI) for a lot of its cool new AJAX UI elements. That is great news for CF developers because the YUI is very well documented and has lots of excellent examples. Using these examples and documentation we can easily extend the capabilities of ColdFusion's new AJAX components beyond what Adobe has built for us.
Last night I attended the Philadelphia Flash Platform Adobe User Group meeting on Flex/Flash Large Scale Applications, presented by Arpit Mathur, Lead Software Engineer of Comcast Interactive Media. Phil Duba already did an extensive writeup on the meeting so I won't do that here. I will say I left the meeting wanting to do some Flash development!
At one point in my career I was deep into Flash and AS2 development, building a Breeze like presentation application on top of Flash Communication Server. In fact it was my work with ActionScript that really got me interested in OO development. (Robert Penner's Programming Macromedia Flash MX definitely had a big influenced on me at the time.) Hearing all the talk about AS3 got me thinking about how much fun Flash development can be. I'm hoping I get a chance to play with ActionScript again sometime in near future. Who knows, if I ever try to pick up Flex as I've been threatening to do for the past several months, it may happen.