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Preview: Steve Bryant

Steve Bryant

A Web Programmer's Exploration

Published: Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:44:38-0600

Last Build Date: Mon, 09 Nov 2015 16:00:00-0600


Git Branching Strategy for Web Development

Mon, 09 Nov 2015 16:00:00-0600

There is no doubt at this point that Git is a successful version control system. GitHub is, so far as I can tell, the most popular place to host open source code. There are several popular software programs for managing Git and two very popular Git branching strategies. Each of the two most popular branching strategies that have I seen does a great job of solving the problem for which it was created. GitHub Flow is great for open source projects. The basic idea is that work is done via cloning and merge requests. [More]

Better Exception Handling in ColdFusion

Mon, 26 Oct 2015 10:00:00-0600

We have been using basically the same exception handling strategy for several years. It has worked pretty well in all of that time, but we recently decided to switch it up. Our previous exception handling system (the one that we have been using for years) made sure not to display valuable information to users, but did send us an email with the pertinent information. This made for a system that was reasonably secure (in that it didn't share any sensitive data on screen), but still allowed for us to quickly find out about any problems so that we could take care of them. [More]

Changing SVG Colors with ColdFusion

Mon, 12 Oct 2015 12:00:00-0600

I love SVG. I remember when I first heard about it (in 2002) and I just loved the idea. Images made of text! I remember being excited about generating images with dynamic data from my server-side code. I didn't have a problem that I could solve with it yet, but that didn't stop me from immediately buying two books on SVG ("Teach Yourself SVG" and "Designing SVG Web Graphics"). [More]

Easy Media Server

Tue, 06 Jan 2015 09:30:00-0600

I have had my media server running for a few months now, so I thought I would document how I have it set up in case anyone else wanted to follow along.

The What and The Why

I have read several articles on media servers and most of them do a lousy job explaining what one is. Instead of trying to define a media server (and almost certainly failing badly), I will describe some of how I use mine. Before I get to the fancy uses, let me start with the most basic. For anyone who remember VCRs, you will remember how you could stop your movie in the middle and take the tape to another player and start playing from where you left off. With a DVD, you can continue where you left off but only from the same player. With movies on my media server, I can play them on any television in the house (or even an iPad) and start where I left off from any one of them to any other of them - whether I am still at home or not. My media server allows me to have one place for all of my movies and television shows that I have on DVD, all of my music, all of my photos, all of my audio books, all of my home videos. I can then access any of these from any television in my house, any computer, any of my Android devices, my iPad, my iPhone (yes, we actually use all of those). I can access any of this data on my mobile devices (tablets and phones) whether I am in the house or not. I can either use WiFi or mobile data to access them or I can download any media to any device (with minimal effort) before I travel and watch it without data usage. This means that when we travel, we can watch a DVD movie on our iPad from our hotel even if we don't have internet there (so long as we thought to download it before we left) or any movie we have anywhere we do have internet. With two five year old kids, this has proven to be wonderful. We can pull up a movie in the car if we need to (we generally don't, but there have been times that it has been comforting that we could). We can even share any of this media that we choose with anyone we want who has a (free) Plex account and a way to view Plex, whether or not that have a media server themselves (this serves as a Spoiler as to what software we use for our media server). [More]

Tracking Down a Performance Problem

Tue, 23 Sep 2014 15:15:00-0600

The Problem

The answer always seems obvious once you find it. One of our clients had one of their server start going down nearly every day. It quickly escalated to happening about twice a day.

The Process

We looked at recent commits for anything that could have caused a problem and found nothing. We verified that the code on the server that went down matched the code on the other servers in the cluster and that all of the server settings were the same. When we took down the offending server, another server started going down instead. At that point, we knew we were likely facing a code problem. The site in question is one we inherited from the previous vendor, so we had no instinctive sense about where the problem might be. Fortunately, we have a good process for tracking down these sorts of problems. [More]

DataMgr 2.5 is Gold!

Mon, 04 Mar 2013 10:30:00-0600

One would be forgiven if they mistook DataMgr for abandoned software. After all, I announced work on DataMgr 2.5 back in August of 2009 and come February (now March) of 2013 and still no official release of 2.5 and no word since DataMgr 2.5 Beta 3 was released more than a year ago. Well, that changes here. [More]

ColdFusion Programmer Wanted

Fri, 18 Jan 2013 07:00:00-0600

So, my last blog entry was about my needing a developer to help me out. I found one and he is great. I just have even more work that needs doing. At this point, I am looking for a 1099 contractor, not a W2 employee. I need someone with current U.S. residency, but I don't particularly care where you are located. All work is remote. [More]

Business is Booming and I Need Your Help

Tue, 29 May 2012 09:15:00-0600

In less than 3 months, I will have been working for myself for 10 years. In that time, I have mostly been able to keep up with client demand on my own. This has been by a combination of hiring occasional subcontractors and turning away business. Now, however, I have too few clients to turn away and still too much work to handle on my own. [More]

DataMgr 2.5 Beta 3

Thu, 02 Feb 2012 14:00:00-0600

Happy Ground Hog's Day! It looks like I have completely stopped releasing open source project lately. Hopefully I can get back on track. More than a year after releasing DataMgr 2.5 Beta 2, I am finally releasing DataMgr 2.5 Beta 3. So, what took so long? Neglect, basically. I have just been busy with other things. Even so, I think this is a very good release and should be a close match for the final release of version 2.5. [More]

Testing Rules in a Neptune program.

Tue, 24 Jan 2012 10:45:00-0600

I realize I haven't blogged about Neptune for a while, but I actually have been making progress on it. I have just been finding a hard time making time to blog. Hopefully I will get better about that. What I want to cover today is the process of writing automated tests in Neptune to which you can then write your code. [More]

Getting Around Windows 7 "Destination Path Too Long" Error When Deleting Files

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 10:15:00-0600

Years ago when I started learning VBA for Excel, I was reading a book by John Walkenbach and he compared learning macros in Excel to using a remote control - once you learn it you don't know how you lived without it. I would say that is true of scripting in general. The bad news is that programming is also like using a credit card, inasmuch as you can get yourself into a depth of problem just not possible without it. I got experience with that first hand recently when one small programming mistake caused a bit of a disaster on my computer. [More]

What technologies, other than ColdFusion, should a developer know?

Wed, 21 Dec 2011 10:15:00-0600

Fusion Authority recently ran an article called What's Hot? What's Not? Where Do We Go From Here? subtitled "What technologies, other than ColdFusion, should a developer know?". Mike Henke followed up the theme with a post called "What's Hot & Where do we go from here?". I'm pretty sure I don't have the insight that other people have who have already written on the subject. But it seemed like a fun exercise, so I thought I would toss in my two cents with:

What technologies, other than ColdFusion, am I learning?

I'm not sure what technologies you should learn, but here are the ones that I am learning: [More]

How to find the Perfect ColdFusion Hosting Plan

Wed, 02 Nov 2011 10:30:00-0600

I am a ColdFusion addict. Besides programming in ColdFusion, I also spend time reading about ColdFusion (and not enough - yet - reading about other languages). I check up on CF-Talk at least every couple of days and follow ColdFusion lists on LinkedIn and sometimes on Facebook. I follow several ColdFusion programmers on Twitter and even visit the Adobe ColdFusion Forums sometimes. In all of these forums, one question seems to come up more frequently than any other: "Where should I host my ColdFusion web site?". After reading that question dozens (maybe hundreds) of times, it finally dawned on me that this is a demand that needs to be met. People need a good resource for ColdFusion hosting. For myself, what I always wanted was an easy way to see which ColdFusion hosting plans met my specific criteria (for example, a ColdFusion plan that supported SQL Server and allowed CFEXECUTE). Doing that proved to be quite difficult, actually - especially as the number of criteria increased. So, I built what I wanted to exist. [More]

A Quick Note on Text Shadows

Wed, 26 Oct 2011 11:15:00-0600

I was recently doing some work for a client and they had a menu that would appear over a background image. The background image would be different for each page. Unfortunately, the background image on some pages made the menu text difficult to read. The designer thought it would be a good idea to have a drop shadow behind the text. This sounded good to me, except that I didn't know how to do that. Fortunately, it is really easy. [More]

How We Got Started in ColdFusion

Thu, 01 Sep 2011 11:45:00-0600

On the first day of last month, we had a fun "How I Got Started in ColdFusion" day. The response was much bigger and better than I expected. Including blog entries, "How I got Started" stories in comments on different blog entries, and one Google+ entry, I have found and compiled 110 responses (sortable and filterable page of all stories I have found so far). Where I could determine the answer, I tracked what version of ColdFusion each person was using and which year they started (though I did not attempt to determine one from the other). I also tracked broad categories of how people got started. One interesting thing that came from this was to see that there are really two different ways people get started in ColdFusion. [More]