The amazing adventures of Doug Hughes

Archive for December, 2005

Needed: A Contractor or Two

I need a contractor or two help a client of mine with a large and potentially ongoing project. The client is a large online retailer of computer hardware and supplies. Based on limited conversations with the client it seems as if they have an older ColdFusion 5 codebase and several databases. They need help cleaning up their code and migrating to ColdFusion MX 7. It sounds like their systems are currently very procedural and somewhat complicated.

Because the client has several databases and a procedural codebase, they’re running into problems as they begin this process. One challenge for them has been their effectiveness in testing changes.

For this reason, their current staff wants to move to a more object oriented approach. I’m not sure if this means using a framework or a roll-your-own architecture. There will obviously be challenges involved in this.

I am looking for someone who has experience migrating applications from ColdFusion 5 to MX 7. Because of where the client looks to be moving in the future, the contractor should also have experience building object oriented applications in ColdFusion.

Contractors who have worked on large, high profile, ecommerce sites will be preferred over those who haven’t.

This is a work-from-home contract. No onsite presence will be required. I suspect that there is a preference to contractors in the US, but I honestly don’t know.

Also, based on my conversations with the client, this project may roll into a full time position. The client has very big ideas which can’t be implemented overnight. So, if nothing else, there should be a good deal of work from this client for some time to come.

This contract will not be though me or Alagad. This will be a direct contract with my client.

If you’re interested, please send me an email and resume at Tell me, in intimate detail, why I should pick you for this project. Let me know if you’ve ever worked on a high profile ecommerce site. Don’t forget to include your hourly rate or if you bill on a per project basis.

Reactor Quickies: MySql Support, a Wiki, a Mailing List, and (at last) a New Zip

Today I released Reactor 0.6 which adds support for MySQL. I know this works with MySQL 5.1, I presume it works with older version it this has not yet been tested.Knowing that Reactor has MySQL support doesn’t do you one bit of good if you don’t know how to use Reactor. Unfortunately there’s still no documentation. Sorry! However, tomorrow I’m going to write a crash course on getting started with Reactor. In the meantime you can get the latest code from the bleeding edge repository. This version includes a configuration file and some test code which should make using Reactor rather self-explanatory to many of you.

I promise to fix this shortcoming very soon.

This leads me to my next announcement, there’s a new Wiki for Reactor (this was smapped badly and removed). This is linked from the left navigation menu on This is just really a starting point for easily creating useful material to help Reactor users get started. Over time this will probably become a section of a larger Reactor-focused site. Please feel free to edit the Reactor site and add your wisdom to it.

Lastly, I’ve created a mailing list for Reactor: To subscribe send a message to with “subscribe” as its subject. I’m on there and I’m sure others will be too before long. Hopefully this will become a resource to Reactor users.

ColdFusion Consultant Needed

I have a need for an experienced and highly qualified ColdFusion Consultant. I need to put this contact into a direct relationship (IE: not though myself or Alagad) with another consulting company. This other company is providing consulting services to a large third party organization.

What I need is to find a consultant who can go onsite with the third party and take a look at their servers and applications. They need to performance tune their servers and provide answers as to why the client is having issues. Presumably these issues relate to ColdFusion server stability and/or performance problems. (I should know more details on this tomorrow.)

Here’s a little background on the situation you would be going into. The third party has about 30 in-house developers. They’re not small by most measures. I understand that most of their development is in ColdFusion and SQL (presumably Microsoft SQL). Also, it’s assumed that their software is primarily for internal use and not for public consumption.

The criteria you need to match are as follows:

  • You have done this type of work in the past
  • You could hop on a plane next week and could spend up to a week onsite with the third party
  • Can make meaningful suggestions to improve the third party’s systems and application stability and reliability
  • You are charging a reasonable rate. Please keep in mind that this is a subcontracting opportunity and your rate can not be so high that no one else can make any money
  • You are honest and trust worthy

If you’re a match send me an email and a resume at and let me know why I should pick you.

Quick Reactor Update

I pushed a small update of Reactor up to Subversion last night. This new version fixes some oddities related to queries of linked tables from Record objects. Also, I finally got around to minimally testing Reactor with a SQL 2005 database. No problems to report. I suppose that means that means that next I will be adding support for MySQL and other databases systems which should be a relative piece of cake.

After that, it’s documentation. This’ll take forever. I don’t mind writing the documentation; it’s just that this is the most extensive system I’ve ever attempted to document. There’s just so many subtleties to catch. The cool thing is that all the examples I write from the docs will be turned into unit tests!

The last thing I need to do is write unit tests. I really need to do this so that I can learn some of the subtleties myself. Like, for instance, with the new configuration file you can define relationships to other objects. If you assign an alias to that relationship I need to document just exactly how that behaves. Right now, I just try things in code till they work which means there are probably subtle bugs in there somewhere.

The SVN bleeding edge repository is here: svn://

Anyone care to help write some tests or add support for their favorite DBMS?

Announcing the Alagad Zip Component

I’m happy to announce that at long last the Alagad Zip Component has been released. The Zip Component is a powerful ColdFusion Component used to create and manipulate zip files. The Zip Component is written in pure CFML and does not require installation of any additional software.

Here’s what the Alagad website has to say about the zip component:

The Alagad Zip Component is a ColdFusion Component (CFC) used to create and manipulate zip files. Written entirely in ColdFusion CFML, the Zip Component does not require installation of any additional software. The Zip Component is not a CFX tag and is not Platform dependant.

Because the Zip Component is written in pure ColdFusion and instantiates only native Java objects, it compiles with the rest of your CFML files to Java bytecode and is extremely portable.

Using the Zip Component you can perform a wide range of actions on zip files, including:

  • List all files in zip files
  • Add files and directories to zip files
  • Extract files and directories from zip files
  • Delete files and directories from zip files
  • Read data directly from zip files into variables
  • Write data directly into zip files from variables
  • Control zip file compression

The Alagad Zip Component requires almost no effort to install and use. Simply place the component into your custom tags directory or any directory in your site and then instantiate it using the ColdFusion CreateObject method. Once you have the Zip Component instantiated you can use its methods to begin creating and manipulating zip files.

For more information visit

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