Web Software Architecture and Engineering – Life on the Bleeding Edge

Archive for January, 2009

Subtly Encourage Users to Upgrade their Browser

When you have a user base like ours, its very easy to get frustrated. We’ve built a SaaS web application local governments, state governments, non-profits, and community based organizations. These are all people strapped for cash, and while we help them find that $$$, they have and maintain and infrastructure straighout out of 1995. Oh the stories I could tell…
Anyways, I’ve always been looking for a subtle way to tell the end user to upgrade their browser, without being overt, and without pissing off “IT Administrators”. While we support IE 6 (uhhh), we always like when our users upgrade to IE7 or Firefox.
Now, I think I’ve found a nice way to do that. See: Push Up The Web (http://www.pushuptheweb.com/). Its a small JS library, ported to JQuery, Dojo and others that display a little reminder to upgrade in the upper right corner of the screen if you are using an outdated browser. Click on any of the browser icons if you’re browser is up to date to force a reminder. Its simple and effective.


SQLQueryStress: Stress Test T-SQL Statements (FREE!)

“SQLQueryStress is a free tool for SQL Server programmers. It is
designed to assist with performance stress testing of T-SQL queries and
routines. The tool automatically collects metrics to help you determine
whether your queries will perform under load, and what kind of resource
strain they put on your server.”
Seems like an older tool worth trying out!


Just read an article on SQL Server 2005, which answers the question: for generating GUIDs, should one use the NEWID() function or the NEWSEQUENTIALID() function?
Worth reading! Really clarified some stuff for me.

Adobe vs. Microsoft: Head-on Debate called "The Battle for Control of the Future of Computing"

I just received word that instead of the next IECFUG meeting, members are being encourage to attend a one of a kind event. Adobe and Microsoft Evangelists will be debating head-on!
The location is my former Alma Mater, California State Polytechnic University at Pomona, and is sponsored by the Interactive Web Development Student Association (of whom I was a co-founder oh so long ago). Sweet! Details below.
Event Title: “The Battle for Control of the Future of Computing”

Date/Time: 7 PM (PST/GMT +8) on Thursday, February 12
Who: Sam Stokes, academic developer/evangelist at Microsoft Corporation and Kevin Hoyt, platform evangelist at Adobe.
Full detail below:
Hi gang. In place of a regular meeting next month, we have a special
event scheduled:

Come join us for “The battle for control of the future of computing”
debate at  7 PM (PST/GMT +8) on Thursday, February 12 in the Bronco
Student Center (Ursa Minor) at California State Polytechnic University
in Pomona. Microsoft Corp. and Adobe Systems Inc. will present their
contenders for whose technologies will dominate. Adobe (maker of
Photoshop, Flash and Dreamweaver) is encouraging developers to create
media-rich desktop computer applications that operate independently of
the Internet through its Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR). Microsoft
wants developers to create media-rich applications that can be used
online through its Silverlight technology.

Sam Stokes, academic developer/evangelist at Microsoft Corporation and
Kevin Hoyt, platform evangelist at Adobe will represent the two sides.
The free event is sponsored by the Interactive Web Development Student
Association, the Computer Information Systems department in the
College of Business Administration and the Inland Empire ColdFusion
User Group and will be streamed live over the Internet. Pizza,
refreshments and a free drawing for multimedia software will be

If you can’t make it in person, you can watch it live or afterwards at

RSVPs to Dr. Westfall, rdwestfall <at> csupomona.edu are encouraged.

Parking for visitors at Cal Poly is $5.00.

ColdFusion Developer's Journal 2.0?

I noticed a new site picked up my name and showed some of my previous articles. I was caught scratching my head.
When I went to the link, it went here:
I have no idea who “Ulitzer” is. But wait a second, Sys-Con…?! So I went to the old ColdFusion Developer’s Journal home page, and found a completely re-worked homepage. No more Instant-On Video!
I have no idea what these guys are doing… Is Sys-Con reviving the journal? Who is Ulitzer?

Tools of the Trade #4: Mailer.cfc 1.8

Steve Bryant released Mailer.cfc Version 1.8 a couple days ago.
We use this CFC extensively (w/ ColdSpring) to provide a single point for sending mails. No more CFMAILs strewn throughout the app.
If that isn’t enough of a benefit, its chock loaded with features, include the new “sender” header I asked for, which allows you to send email “On Behalf Of” other people. In other words, if you pass the CFC:

  • From: a@xyz.com
  • To: b@xyz.com
  • Sender: c@xyz.com

It will send the mail from “c@xyz.com On Behalf Of a@xyz.com”. All replies go to “a@xyz.com”. This functionality comes in handy when you must send mail on behalf of a user, but from your mail servers which may mark the email as spam. Our government clients are very particular about email, SPF settings, and resist whitelisting, etc.

Inherent Risks in Object-Oriented Development

Here is another doc from 2005, which gives a good perspective to the OO fervor.
View @ http://www.stsc.hill.af.mil/crosstalk/2005/02/0502Hantos.html.