Leveling-Up at Javascript: Understanding the Confusing Bits

This week I presented at cf.Objective() 2014 in Bloomington, MN. As always, the conference was wonderful, the people were great, and the fun was plentiful. I met some new people, and saw lots of old friends.

I presented on Thursday afternoon and had a full room. It felt wonderful to have such a popular session, but I apologize to those who had to stand in the back.

Anyway, here is my slide deck. Please feel free to offer your feedback, positive or negative. If you attended the conference, please do so (for my session and others that yo attended) in the conference mobile app. Otherwise, feel free to leave a comment or send me a message through my contact form.

Leveling-Up at Javascript: Understanding the Confusing Bits (PDF)

Thank you speakers and attendees for making this cf.Objective() another wonderful event. As a member of the Steering Committee and Content Advisory Board (CAB) I cannot thank you enough for your work, attendance, and your delightful personalities. I look forward to seeing you all again next year at the 10th cf.Objective() conference, May 12-15, 2015 at the Radisson Blu - Mall of America, Bloomington, MN.

See you then!


My first DSLR

Well, I did it. I ordered a new camera. This will be my first DSLR, though I have been wanting one for close to 20 years. Even though it is my first, I am no stranger to using and understanding SLR cameras. I started using SLRs in college some 20 years ago and spent A LOT of time in the dark room and understanding the use of a manual camera. I still admit to being a pure amateur, but I am a competent amateur.

My Choice

I went with the Nikon D5300. I did a fair amount of research on this. I tried to find a Canon that would work for me, but at under $2000 I could not find a Canon with acceptable low-light performance, which was one of my deciding factors.

In Canon's I looked at the T5i, the EOS 60D, and even the 7D (which was out of my price range).


Using Custom Objects and Custom Display Objects for Data Sources in Mura Form Builder

That title is a mouthful. And many might not be familiar with what it means. Check out this video to learn more about Mura's Form Builder, or you can go to this link which goes directly to the section of the video that I had an issue with.

In the video, Sean demonstrates the basics of creating a dropdown where you can manually enter the options for the dropdown. He does gloss over the fact that you can also get the data for the dropdown from other sources. Unfortunately, this is the extent of the currently existing documentation for this feature. So when I wanted to use this feature of the form builder to feed in data from another part of the site, I had to figure it out on my own. Here is what I came up with. Hopefully it is right(ish). Oh, you can also use this stuff to populate checkbox and radio button sets.


PC Gaming is superior in every way

Except when it's not

I saw some comments today on Facebook that troubled me and got me thinking about gaming and gaming experiences. This post is not a PC vs Console fire-starter post. This is supposed to be an eye-opening, never-thought-about-it-that-way post. PC gamers, I apologize in advance if I offend you or your principles in anyway, because I probably will.

The comments started when my close friend, whom I have never met, TJ posted this article on Facebook. The article's title is The End of Gaming Consoles and the Rise of Mobile and PC Gaming


CFSummit 2013

CFSummit happened this past week at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Overall, I thought the event went fantastically. The venue, food, hotel, sessions, attendees, and pretty much everything else were fantastic. I really had a great time and would like to thank Adobe, The Crawford Group, my fellow speakers, and the amazing group of attendees for being there and making the event the best it could be.

I presented twice at CFSummit. For those that asked, here are links to my presentations and to those of the other speakers who have uploaded theirs to the public DropBox.

Application Security Best Practices - Part 1 Application Security Best Practices - Part 2 CFSummit Presentations Public DropBox

Now, to get ready for cf.Objective() 2014.

Making JEE Session Tokens "Domain Cookies" in Tomcat

This post is not ColdFusion specific, but this came about while using ColdFusion 10 with the Tomcat servlet container that comes with it.

Ray was asking today about making Domain cookies with Tomcat and CF10 while using JEE Session Tokens (JSESSIONID). When using ColdFusion Session Tokens (CFID/CFToken) this is a trivial matter, because we have complete control over the cookies which are set.


Social Anxiety and me at conventions and conferences

I have suffered from social anxiety for years. Many years. For most of that time, I had no idea that what I was feeling had a name. I had heard the term "social anxiety" before, but never realized what is was or that it described much of what I feel.

This past weekend I went to a local Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention called CONvergence. When people asked me afterward if I had fun, I say "Yeah! I had a blast". That is a lie. I did not have fun, I was miserable through much of it, but not all of it, I will explain that in a bit.

There were times at CONvergence this weekend where I felt like I could not breathe. Like there was no escape. I felt helpless and afraid, like I could never be happy again. Even now, four days after it has ended, I am still reeling from the anxiety and feeling loneliness and despair. I could not explain it at the time.


Board and Card Games at cf.Objective() 2013 - Birds of a Feather

For the third year in a row we'll be having a Birds of a Feather session on board and card games. Board games have had a recent resurgence thanks to shows like TableTop on the Geek and Sundry network and thanks the game designers that are bringing us fantastic new games almost constantly. Kickstarter, I think has also been a huge helper in bringing new table-top games to the market.

I love board games. They are a great way to have fun and make new friends. EVERYONE is welcome at this BoF. I will be bringing games to share, you are welcome to bring your own as well. I love teaching new games, so if there is something you would like to try, let me know. I plan on staying late, so if I am involved in a game when you arrive, please try me again later or feel free to grab a game and sit down to start looking at the rules.

There will be games for everyone. Some simple, some not. I have games that can be taught in 3 minutes and games that can take hours to play and a lifetime to master. I love them all and want to share that with you.

So please, don't be shy. Come join us on. We will be in whatever the biggest session room is. I believe it will be the same room the keynote is in. Stop in and be social, find a group and grab a game.

Here is what I plan to bring:

I encourage others to bring their favorite games. This BoF is scheduled to run pretty much as late as we want to go. This year I believe the room is being reserved until the wee hours of the morning. So even though on the BoF schedule this BoF is only listed for 2 hour, it will actually run for 5+ hours. Awesome.

Since I cannot, obviously, spend the whole session teaching people to play all of these games, I would LOVE to get some volunteers who know these games or are willing to learn them to sign up to "host" a game. One or two hosts per game would be great. Also, feel free to offer to host your own game of whatever you like.

We'll be in the big room so we can have several games going at once and not bump into each other too much.

Please feel free to add a comment to volunteer to host a game and to add the game you want to bring.

Note: I will also be bringing some very simple pick-up games that take a short time to learn and I'll bring a normal decks of cards. So even if you can't stay the whole time or want to play something simple, please stop in.

These will include:

Last year this was so much fun. Please come join us either right away or after the other BoF sessions. Drop in any time, grab a game and have a blast.

BoFs and Lightning Talks at cf.Objective(). Community-building at its best.

Again this year it seems like no one has an interest in suggesting the Birds of a Feather sessions or proposing Lightning Talks at cf.Objective().

These things are two of my favorite parts of cf.O(). Perhaps you guys are just lazy sacks who can't be troubled to spend a few minutes going to the Engage app to submit ideas or even to vote on your favorite ideas. Or perhaps you don't understand what these are and why you might want to do it.

Birds of a Feather Sessions

A BoF session is NOT another presentation. It is a group of people with a common interest that get together to discuss that interest. It might involve demonstration, group discussions, small group breakout sessions, or any number of other things. It can be an opportunity for someone who is new to a subject to sit down with others who are more experienced to ask questions and seek advice. It could also be an opportunity to socialize instead of sitting in your room watching pay-per-view after the conference.

So far this year, very few BoF ideas have been suggested. I have suggested a couple, one technical and one social. And I have voted on those others that I would like to see at the conference (whether or not I think I would be able to attend the BoF). Now it is time for you to do your part. What BoFs would you like to see at cf.O()? Make suggestions or vote for those you would like to see.

Lightning Talks

Lightning Talks are fun. They can be about any subject, and they can give you the opportunity to speak at a conference like cf.Objective() (For about 6 minutes). If you would like to try your hand public speaking and have some fun doing it, submit a proposal.

Lightning Talks are a simple idea. You get 20 slides for 20 seconds each. They auto-advance. So it is important to have your timing down. That's it. They can be on any subject you like. I have seen fantastic presentations on:

  • Relationships
  • Leadership
  • The history of Volkswagen air-cooled engines
  • Technology Projects at the Free Library of Philadelphia
  • International Adoption
  • Software Development
  • And more

You can do your presentation on whatever you like. Be it Technology, hobby, activist, or whatever.

So get on that. Fame and fortune will follow (probably not).

New, unofficial MuraCMS channel (chatroom) on IRC Freenode

Internet Relay Chat (IRC) has been around for a LOOONG time. I have fond memories of logging into IRC (for embarrassing amounts of time) when I first logged onto the internet in 1995. I have been using IRC ever since.

The are many server choices on IRC, but the one I keep finding myself coming back to is Freenode.

"freenode provides discussion facilities for the Free and Open Source Software communities, for not-for-profit organizations and for related communities and organizations."

Seems like a perfect place for a Mura channel.


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