CFML Code Challenge

I was having a really great discussion with Brian Meloche, John Farrar and Isaac Dealey Friday night on Skype and I tossed an idea that I have been having out to them for their opinions. Since then, this idea has really been nagging at me to the point that I finally decided to do something about it.
So, Im putting the details together for a CFML development contest. I have the rules about 80% finalized. Im not sure of the start date yet but I will say that I hope to kick this off in November sometime. Here are a few of the thoughts that Im putting into the rules.

  1. Contest is open to any CFML developers
  2. You may enter as an individual or a team of up to 4 people
  3. Application must run on one of the available CFML engines (bonus points for apps that are compatible with all 3 engines)
  4. Development CANNOT start until the specified start date!
  5. Non digital planning of your application can be started prior to the start date but no code or digital assets can be created.
  6. Entries must be an “application”, not open to custom tags, etc at this point
  7. You may utilize any open-source code in your application that you like providing it doesnt violate that codes license.
  8. You can choose to keep your application closed or you can open-source the app (preferred).
  9. Judging to be done by the community at large, no judging panel.
I will post some more details later this week as I finish hashing things out. I will go ahead and say that my company, Mad Piranha Inc., is donating brand new iPod nanos as pr

izes. And I dont mean just one! I’m donating one for each member of the winning team!
If you are interested in helping out or perhaps sponsoring some prizes for the contest, please contact me at russ@madpiranha.com.
I’m working on coming up with a way to host SVN accounts for each team to be used during the contest. Ideally, temporary hosting would be great for the judging process as well but that might not be doable.
More to come.

 
 

See if your Twitter friends follow you back

My buddies over at Less Everything have struck yet again! I seriously dont know where these guys find the time to build these apps and do client work. They must have an attic full of little Rails coding squirrels cranking this stuff out for them for the small price of a few acorns a day.

This time they have released LessFriends. A neat little app that allows you to see the following status of you and your friends on Twitter. It shows all of your friends and tells you if they follow you back or not. Pretty neat.
I was amazed at how many people do follow me back when I ran it the first time.
Im still not sure if there is a real benefit to the app other than just using it to help you do a little house cleaning on your friends list but that in itself could prove useful.
Another nicely designed app, go take a look if you use Twitter.

JaxFusion Getting Organized

The Jacksonville ColdFusion Users Group (JaxFusion) is starting to get re-organized after some time off. One of the big changes is that the group will expand to not only cover ColdFusion related topics, but also Flex and AIR as well.
Another change will be the meeting location, we are looking for a new location near the Southside somewhere as Downtown was just out of reach for most people in the area after a long day of work. One of the requirements for a meeting location is a projector and preferably a decent internet connection. Since there are quite a few folks in the community now willing to present over Adobe Connect this will ensure some great presentations in the future.
So if you have a suggestion for a location or if you are a Jacksonville business willing to donate some meeting space once a month, please contact David Fekke at david@fekke.com.

April 3rd, 2008 is Good People Day

Just catching up on my tweets and Gary Vaynerchuk is declaring April 3rd, 2008 as “Good People Day”.
Now if you dont know who Gary is, you absolutely must check this out. I have recently been turned on to his blog by one of the guys at LessEverything. If this guy cant motivate and inspire you, then you are not drawing breath!
So, since technically it is April 3rd, Im going to take a few minutes and thank a few of the “Good People” that I know on these here Internets. Since there are so many that I have met over my 10 year career as a developer, I obviously couldnt mention them all here in one post. So here are several that have had a positive impact on not only my development career, but my personal life as well. Keep in mind these are in no particular order as they are just flowing out of my head.
Luis Majano – Developer of the ColdBox framework for ColdFusion. Since joining the ColdBox team, I have gained a new perspective on these guys who develop frameworks. You cant begin to imagine the amount of time that Luis dedicates to ColdBox and to making it better for YOU. And to make YOUR job easier. Not only that, Luis is just a great guy. ALWAYS willing to help and answer questions. A very good person indeed.
Steven Bristol and Allan Branch – Co-founders of LessEverything. One of the best mixes of passionate developers and family oriented guys that you will ever meet. Its so refreshing to see developers who are truly passionate about their work yet dedicate so much time to family and also help to share their experiences with others. When it comes to just cool ass developers that have their priorities straight, you will not find anyone to top these guys!
Brian Rinaldi – Doing as much for the ColdFusion community as anyone! Especially when it comes to opensource! A great guy and super helpful.
The folks at Adobe for doing so much to help the ColdFusion community out! Especially Mike Potter and his team.
All the guys at RubyJax for being so helpful to us Ruby noobs in IRC and to promoting Ruby and Rails in Jacksonville!!
And even though they dont spend much time online, my wife and 3 boys. For being the absolute best family a guy could ask for and more! Thanks for your understanding and patience with me.
Its getting late and thats all I can think of for now, luckily its not quite 1am so I have all day to post about some more “Good People” as they come to mind. You should do the same. Tell us who you think are “Good People” and be sure to tag your post with “GPD08”.

Another Social Network? Yeah, But This is Lovd By Less!

The guys over at LessEverything have recently released a new social networking application with all the features you would expect in such a beast. However, this isnt like MySpace or Facebook, Lovd is open-source. And its written in Ruby on Rails to boot.
Even if you have no interest in running your own social networking app, you should download the source and use it like I did, as a great learning tool. Its nice to be able to download software thats written by some of the top RoR programmers and be able to learn from it!

Pair Programming – Great Idea For User Group Meetings

With the Jacksonville ColdFusion Group on somewhat of a hiatus (no meeting since August 2007) I decided to head over to the local Ruby on Rails User Group Meeting to see what was the haps in the Jacksonville Ruby community.
First off, let me say that I had no idea there was such an interest in Ruby on Rails right here in Jacksonville. To say the least I was shocked to find out that Obie Fernandez lives here and runs his RoR based consulting business HashRocket from Jacksonville Beach. For those of you not in the know, Obie is to the RoR community what Ben Forta and Ray Camden are to the ColdFusion community.
The meeting had a good turn out, Im not sure of the exact numbers but I would estimate around 20 people showed up. Since they had no formal presentation lined up, they decided to do some pair programming. Basically, taking one or two of the noobs like myself and pairing you up with one of the more experienced guys. For about an hour and 45 minutes I got to sit with an experienced RoR programmer who answered pretty much every stupid question I came up with and even helped me solve several problems in the RoR application Im working on as a learning aide.
Back 7 years or so ago when I was running the Jacksonville ColdFusion Group (Allaire days), we always struggled to get presenters so I ended up doing about 90% of the presentations. I sure wish I would have thought of pair programming back then. Its a great way to get some of the newer folks some personalized attention to help them out.
I suspect that getting presenters nowadays isn’t quite as difficult with the introduction of Adobe Connect, but, if for some reason you find your next meeting without a speaker, consider pair programming, I bet you get a great turn-out!

Thanks To Mike Potter of Adobe!!

A few weeks ago I posted about a mixup with my Amazon wishlist shipping address. Not long after posting that, Mike Potter of Adobe responded saying that he was the one that sent me the copy of the Flex book and that he would get it taken care of for me. Well, I wanted to publicly thank Mike for getting that straightened out for me!
Just having Adobe send me the copy of the Flex 2: Training from the Source book would have been great. However, Mike not only sent a Flex book, but the Essential ActionScript 3 book from Oreilly and a copy of the Total Training Flex 2 DVD!
All of this stuff is really good material! I am tearing through it right now and loving it! So thanks again Mike, hopefully we can catch up at a conference or something and I can buy you a beer!
Also, thanks to those at Adobe who take the time to support the developer community! Makes me proud to be a ColdFusion programmer!

Adobe Surveys – Are you guys really in touch with the community?

First let me start off by saying that this is purely a rant post. Ranting is not something I usually do on my blog but I feel that this is warranted.
I just took the time to fill out the Adobe ColdFusion surveys that are listed on blogs all over the place today, I got there from here.
Now I may be taking this a bit personally but in the Platform and Vendor Support survey, there is a question about what framework you use. Now, why would you not list all of the major frameworks there? Yes thats right, Im talking about ColdBox. Instead you have an entry for a framework called cfango? What the hell is that? I did a google for cfango and found an actual project page on riaforge for the project but absolutely no info. No wiki, no blog entries, no code.
This really makes me question how in-tune with the community the people who put these surveys together really are. Im not just upset that ColdBox wasnt in the list and this vaporware framework was, I would be just as upset if FuseBox or ModelGlue or Mach-II wasnt listed. Mainly because it just seems like a half-assed question to me if you are going to provide answers that dont even exist.
Normally Im an Adobe fan boy, this just really tweaked me when I saw it. Surely whoever put those surveys together could have done a better job than that!