Sorcerer's Tower

Welcome to the Tower, my programming and web development blog. Here you will find articles relating primarily to CFML and regex, plus assorted other technologies, techniques, and ideas.

If you are interested in more than just programming, you can visit my aggregated blog, where you will also find entries on my photography and other interests.

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Creating my very first Eclipse Plugin

I recently* completed my very first Eclipse Plugin, and I found the whole experience to be very interesting.
*(well about a month ago; took me longer to get writing this than intended)

This blog entry will focus on two main areas - my experience with Eclipse (as opposed to CFEclipse and similar), and the issues I encountered from a development perspective

Read on to find out about it.

Railo 3.0 released!

The long awaited Railo 3.0 is out of Beta and available to all.

There are a lot of exciting new features with Railo 3.0: multimedia video conversion and manipulation, video player with playlisting, task manager, cluster scope, CF8 compatibility, and more.

Also, with Railo 3.0, the Community and Professional versions have been combined - keeping the price of the Community edition (i.e free), but without the previous restrictions this had. (With Railo 3.1 due later this year, Railo will fully become Free Software, under the LGPL2 license.)

For more details, the best place to head is the rebrushed Railo website, which has been updated to provide information on what is new with Railo 3.0.

There will also be a three part series on the Railo blog covering the new features. The first entry in the series is already available.

Beyond Tables, Beyond Divs - Simple JavaScript Calculator III

As we (hopefully) all know, using HTML tables for layout is Bad and Wrong.

Unfortunately, the most common way people avoid using tables is to just replace their table, tr and td tags with divs, divs and more divs.

The div tag is a generic container that should be used as a last resort, if there are no other more suitable options.

Whilst the problem of excess divs is not limited to the conversion of table layouts, it is perhaps most obvious here, as it shows the developer is still stuck in the column+row frame of mind, rather than thinking about what they are actually displaying.

In this blog entry, I show an example of how avoiding this mindset can result in much simpler and cleaner code.

QueryParam Scanner - Eclipse Plugin

The first pre-release version of the qpScanner Eclipse Plugin is now available.

This is the very first Eclipse plugin I have created. It was an interesting experience, and something that I will be writing up in a separate entry as soon as I can collect my thoughts.

It order to use the plugin, you must be using v0.7 or higher of qpScanner - if you do not yet have this, you can download the latest development version of qpScanner, which contains details of the Update Site to use. If for any reason you cannot use the regular Eclipse Update method, you can directly download the qpScanner Eclipse Plugin instead.

Just to be clear, both v0.7 of QueryParam Scanner and v0.1 of the qpScanner Eclipse Plugin are currently considered development releases, and are being made available so that they can be tested and any bugs that might exist can be found - if you are unwilling to use pre-release software you should wait until the official release.

If you do get the Eclipse Plugin, or even just qpScanner on its own, I welcome any and all feedback you might have - whether to report bugs you have found, request new features you would like, or simply to let me know that works with your local setup.

Please send feedback via the GitHub Issue system.

Related websites:

QueryParam Scanner v0.7-dev

The latest development version of qpScanner is now in SVN at RIAForge.

It would be great if people could test it out and let me know of any issues they encounter.

As before, it is all self-contained, so it can be installed and run with minimal effort.

Note: As this is still the development version, you need to use the zip option at the bottom of the RIAForge page, not the "Download Project" link - the button will only give the old version.

When released, v0.7 will be a significant new version, so I want to give a quick discussion of the new features...