Interview for LeveragingJava Open Source Tools for ColdFusion Development
"Leveraging Java Open Source Tools for CF Development" interview with John Paul Ashenfelter
Michael Smith: This time we are talking with John Paul Ashenfelter about his
CFUNITED-05 talk "Leveraging Java Open Source Tools for ColdFusion Development".
So why should a developer come to your session John Paul ?
John Paul Ashenfelter: Many ColdFusion developers are familiar with ColdFusion-
based open source tools, ranging from classics like Hal Helm's QuerySim custom
tag to the hundreds of user-defined functions at Ray Camden's cflib.org website
to full-blown applications like the FarCry CMS platform. These tools are
certainly part of any good ColdFusion developer's toolbox, but the Java
foundation underneath CFMX allows developers to integrate many tools that have
become a standard part of the Java world into ColdFusion projects. This lets
ColdFusion developers choose from a much wider range of open source projects to
jumpstart new and existing projects.
MS: Is it easy to find these tools?
JPA: Of course if you're not familiar with the open source world world in general (or
the Java world in specific), it can be hard to know where to even start to look
for tools that can be useful. I'm going to briefly cover the basics of finding,
evaluating, and using open source Java software before digging into some specfic
examples of tools that can be useful to ColdFusion developers.
MS: So what kind of tools will you cover?
JPA: I'm going to cover two broad categories of open source Java tools: tools
that are usable out of the box that are *built* on Java; and Java tools that can
be *integrated into* your ColdFusion development projects. For example, many
developers in the Java world use Eclipse as their integrated development
environment -- that is an open source Java tool that is *built* on Java, but can
be used as an alternative for traditional ColdFusion development tools such as
HomeSite or Dreamweaver. An example of a Java tool that can be *integrated* into
a ColdFusion project is the log4j library.
MS: Are these tools used by any big companies?
JPA: Yes! Macromedia is using both kinds of open source tools themselves. For example, the
CFMX Updaters have used Ant build scripts under the hood to do a lot of the work
of the actual update. And of course, many standard Java libraries are used by
CFMX, log4j as an example. Macromedia even contributed a fair bit to the
development of the Apache Axis webservices project, which is used to implement
MS: What tools are you going to cover?
JPA: I'm going to cover several tools for the programming lifecycle,
specifically Subversion for source control and Ant for build scripts. And of
course we'll talk about using Tomcat as the J2EE container for CFMX and about
using the CFEclipse plugin to develop CFMX applications.
MS: What about libraries?
JPA: As far as pure development goes, we'll talk about JDBC libraries that can be
used as alternatives to the drivers built-into ColdFusion (particularly drivers
for MS-SQL and MySQL). We'll also take a look at rolling your own logging tools
that are much more flexible than native ColdFusion methods.
We may even talk about a few non-Java open source tools, things like open source
I'm even thinking of covering things that are a little "out there"!
MS: What kind of things?...
JPA: Things like continuous integration and testing tools. Lazlo and other ways
to integrate Flash into your development without using Flex. About how to use
Aspect-Oriented Programming (AOP) with CFMX. And whatever else is interesting
between now and the day I'm doing the talk...
MS: Whooo Hooo! This sounds like a great talk - see you at CFUNITED.