Isaac Dealey

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Top Stories by Isaac Dealey

Using JDBC metadata, it is now possible to analyze databases and automate database tasks with ColdFusion MX in ways that were problematic or at best difficult in the past. Although Java can be rather intimidating, you don't need to be a Java expert (or a database expert) to use these tools. "Metadata" is all the information about how your data is stored (such as table names, column names, data types and sizes) as opposed to the data itself (such as names of people and meeting or appointment dates). All databases must store this information to function and many databases expose metadata (usually via SQL), although with each database making its own decisions about how the data is exposed, writing database-agnostic tools using SQL could be an arduous, frustrating, and often fruitless task. Prior to ColdFusion MX the popular means of connecting to databases involved the... (more)

CFDJ Feature — Strip Tease

I don't like browser-based WYSIWYG editors. There are a reasonably large number of them and several of the recent versions are even cross-browser-compatible with Mozilla and even some less popular browsers (although Safari continues to be problematic). The technical issues surrounding the implementation of WYSIWYG editors aren't the reason I don't like them, in spite of continuing problems with their interfaces such as lack of support for tab indexes. I don't like WYSIWYG editors because users can't be trusted not to put lime green, blinking text on a hot pink background. It's i... (more)

ColdFusion Developer's Journal Special "Frameworks" Focus Issue: onTap

I must admit to having been excited at the prospect of the Pet Market frameworks project when Simon proposed it to us at the Fusebox & Frameworks Conference in September. I once tried to do something similar by creating a small blog application using the three popular frameworks that I was aware of at the time (Fusebox 3-4 and Mach-II) and the onTap framework. Unfortunately I did all the work myself and didn't have a great venue like the ColdFusion Developer's Journal to publish the results. In the end I think my efforts at a useful comparison of frameworks fell short of what I'd ... (more)

Playing With(in) the Rules

In a book entitled Finite and Infinite Games in 1986, James P. Carse wrote "Finite players play within the rules, infinite players play with the rules." We play finite games every day, from checkers and chess to Yatzee and Monopoly. Finite games have a familiar pattern: a beginning, a middle, and an end; a winner and a loser. A finite game is easy to play because it has a limited set of fixed parameters. Carse also wrote "Finite players play to win, infinite players play to keep playing." Custom software development is not a finite game, and the clients who purchase it are not f... (more)

Features Without Fixtures

If you've ever worked on a licensed application you know how prepackaged applications rarely meet enough of the client's needs to be implemented without modification. Whether the application is intended for your own use or someone else's, there's usually a feature or two missing, keeping the tools from being exactly what you need. Most scripted applications can't even be configured without manually editing an existing configuration file. Although intolerable to desktop customers, this has become the de facto standard with Web applications. So you trudge along, laboriously configur... (more)