Coming Back to Coldfusion

Over the last month, I had to reach back into the deep recesses of my brain and pull out some old and dusty knowledge about CF. There are a lot of things that changed since I used it 12 years ago, but in many ways, it still works pretty much the same.

This time around, I am not just interacting with the database, but I am doing some on the fly data analysis, and that took a while to figure out, but thanks to the wonderful IT people at school who helped me get unstuck, I have now a semi-functioning application.

Where I am not liking CF is with its charting customization. Sure there are different types of charts one can add, but the customization is very limited, and the documentation on the customization is even worse.

So I am on the search for some charting engines that will allow me to visualize my data. I tried a number of them this afternoon, but either they were undocumented, or the documentation was terribly written, or just really quirky and did not work. Overall, I think I tried seven different engines, to no avail.

Even though my CF skills are slowly coming back, my Javascript is incredibly rusty, and I don’t feel comfortable enough to tackle that yet.

Yet, I have to admit, despite the frustration of having to kick my brain back into programming gear, I am actually enjoying all this work, and discovering this level of programming all over again. Sure it’s a time sucker, but it’s a fun time sucker.

Getting back Coldfusion “Save As” options in Dreamweaver CC

I still have mixed feelings about Adobe’s move to the Cloud with CC. I have been using DW at least for ten years now. While the discounted price for academics is an excellent deal, there is a high overhead price to be paid for the move. While some applications have improved dramatically, many have become more of memory hogs and my poor 4Gig laptop is being pushed to its limits to just keep up.

One of the more annoying/frustrating changes to my work that Adobe made in this move is in Dreamweaver by discontinuing support for Coldfusion. While I have never used all the CF features that DW had, it was still convenient for me to create .cfm and .cfc files as I needed them, and then switch over to “Code” mode and code away with syntax highlighting. And, DW decided to stop associating the application with my files, so that every time I wanted to open my files, I had to choose the application all over again.

After many hours spent digging on the internet, I found at least one way to get some of this functionality back. Here they are:

Getting back the “Save As” .cfm and .cfc option for CF Files

  1. Go to your C:\Users\[USERNAME]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Dreamweaver CC\en_US\Configuration
  2. Create a copy of Extensions.txt (Yup! a .txt file)
  3. Open Extensions.txt with your favorite text editor like Notepad and add the following line at the bottom: CFM,CFC:Coldfusion Files
  4. Save and restart Dreamweaver

Instructing Dreamweaver to open .cfc and .cfm files

  1. From Dreamweaver, go to Edit > Preferences > File Types/Editors
  2. Under “Please choose external applications to associate with Dreamweaver” click on + on the left side panel
  3. Enter .cfm .cfc under “Extensions”
  4. In the right panel under “Editors” click on the + sign
  5. Locate your Dreamweaver from the pop-up window. Mine is located here: C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Adobe Dreamweaver CC\Dreamweaver.exe
  6. Where it says “Open in Code view” add .cfc and .cfm to open the files directly in Code view rather than Design view.
  7. Click Apply and return to DW

As I said, I rarely used DW to connect to my DSN, so I am not sure what to do for that. I was mainly concerned about the editor.

Alternatively, you can download another HTML editor that might have similar capabilities and bypass Dreamweaver altogether. Oneextrapixel has a really nice list of alternatives to Dreamweaver.