Reality ColdFusion MX: Flash MX Integration
Reality ColdFusion MX: Flash MX Integration
: Web Design
: Michael Hurwicz
: Reality ColdFusion MX: Flash MX Integration
A Creative COW "Real World" Book Review
Author/Web developer Michael Hurwicz examines Reality ColdFusion MX:
Flash MX Integration by Ben Forta, Randy Drisgill, Dennis Baldwin, Matt
Tatam, and Derek Lu. This book is published by Macromedia press. The book
discusses goals, logic and development process behind four projects, for
which full source code is available on-line. A great way to get a jump start
on ColdFusion/Flash integration. Recommended for intermediate Flash and
ColdFusion users -- not for beginners.
If you've got the basics of Macromedia Flash and ColdFusion down, and
you want to learn about putting the two together, Reality ColdFusion
MX: Flash MX Integration can ease your learning curve significantly.
The book is organized around four working applications for which source
code is available online (www.forta.com/books/0321125150/).
It explains the requirements for each project, why particular technical
approaches were chosen, how certain key parts of the programs work, and
even what is still lacking or less-than-ideal in the final projects. Technologies
covered include Flash Remoting, ColdFusion components (CFCs), and the
Flash Communication Server.
four applications --a jukebox, an expense reporting application, an e-mail
client and a chat application -- are useful in themselves, and you are
free to take the source code and adapt it to your own needs. This book
will help you bridge the gap between bare-bones tutorials and creating
find I often learn best by example, but just poring over someone else's
code can be like examining the artifacts of an ancient, dead civilization.
You find yourself wanting to know what the people were thinking when they
made these objects, why they made them the way they did. Even if code
is well commented in terms of how it works (and the code accompanying
this book is), you still don't know why the programmers made the choices
they made, and therefore whether those choices are the best ones for you.
It's difficult to get that kind of insight into an application, unless
you're able to talk to the programmers and ask questions. This book gives
you some of that insight.
do have to keep a sharp eye out if you're looking for the warts in Macromedia
technology. In style and tone, the book often feels more like it came
from the marketing department than a technical team. Disadvantages of
new technologies tend to be de-emphasized, while 95% of the discussion
focuses on advantages. They do generally mention any important drawbacks
to the approaches they choose, but don't blink or you might miss it.
addition to architectural/design insights, the book does offer healthy
doses of technical explanation. However, it is not cram-packed
with technical detail. It's written in a rather loose, novellistic style,
often presenting information in the context of fictionalized meetings
and memos among the development team. I found myself speed-reading quite
a lot, looking for the programming "meat."
lot of that meat, however, you have to hunt down yourself, in the downloaded
applications. Pull them apart, slap them around, and take what's useful
for your own purposes. Use the book to get an initial overview of each
project, and to clarify parts you don't understand.
book is not designed to take you from the earth to the moon when it comes
to Flash-ColdFusion integration, or to be your only guide on the journey.
But if you're already in orbit and have some idea where you're going,
it can help give you the extra thrust you need to achieve escape velocity.
All in all, a worthwhile read. Four Cows. ~
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