Welcome, Chris Petersen!

My friend and former co-worker, Chris Petersen, is going to be contributing to this blog as well.

Like me, he’s a bit of an accidental developer. However, he also has a master’s degree in information science from the University of Michigan School of Information, so he’ll be able to share his expertise on subjects like prototyping and usability testing. He develops primarily in ColdFusion.

Does releasing code to the public inspire extra effort?

About 2 years ago, I created a javascript image/photo gallery to embed gallery functionality into a web site using only client-side processing. Although I created it for a specific purpose, it was generic enough that I decided to make it available for other people to use on their sites.

Imagine my surprise when people took me up on that offer.

Continue reading Does releasing code to the public inspire extra effort?

Object Overhead in ColdFusion

I have been trying to improve the speed of a ColdFusion application. It was written by a part-timer, a Java developer who was new to ColdFusion. He wrote the code almost entirely in cfscript, and he used CFC objects extensively. In fact, it seems that he overused CFC objects—to the point where the server slows to a crawl.

Continue reading Object Overhead in ColdFusion

Clever ways to save bandwidth

When I worked for MLive.com, one of our practices was to leave out quotes around attribute values (except for alt attributes). This was to save on bandwidth costs. In spite of the fact that the page was no longer valid HTML (technically), all target browsers rendered the pages properly.

That might seem like nitpicking, but with over a million pageviews a day, all that ASCII can add up. Personally, I would prefer valid HTML, but I bet the financial side of that decision was pretty interesting. Continue reading Clever ways to save bandwidth

Version Control

As an alternative to a formal version control system, our development and even our production environments are littered with files like index12112006.html or index12202006.html. This is terrible.

Although we have had a CVS server set up since at least 2005 (it was there when I started), it is used inconsistently at best. Continue reading Version Control