Damn Good Developer Available

I was informed on Friday that PongoResume is laying off all its developers. This puts a lot of great developers back on the market.

One such developer is my good friend Glenn Gervais aka “RabidGadfly“.  I worked closely with him at both Pongo Resume and before that at Hasbro inc. His primary focus has lately been on Flex 4.5 application development. Before that he built and maintained a very popular games portal for Hasbro written in Flash(AS2). We also worked closely together to build a massive custom content management system written in Coldfusion using the Modelglue (and Coldspring) framework that helped to manage marketing information for Hasbro.com. Beyond that he completed hundreds of smaller projects that each helped save the day in their own way at Hasbro. He was also something of a mentor to me and for that I will always be grateful.

If you could use a Flex/Flash/Coldfusion guru on your team and you are in the Massachusetts or Rhode Island area you should contact him directly at:
Thank you.

Coldfusion Monkeys

I found it incredulous that when I searched for “monkey” in Google, not only is http://www.remotesynthesis.com on the 1st page, but it has two *different* links on the 1st page! I realized I was signed into Google+. I signed out and re-searched. The site is no where in the top 10 pages (though www.codinghorror.com is somehow on page 8?).

I am not sure how Google is deciding this. I have “remember web history” turned off on my Google account. Could it be using the information from my contacts in Google+ circles? Many of the people are Coldfusion people. Its the only thing I can think of, unless Google is breaking the rules and using my web history anyway. Anyone have any ideas on this?

Google you try hard, but personalizing my search for funny monkey photos by filtering on Coldfusion? That just isn’t smart. Some things do go together -like chocolate and peanutbutter- but Coldfusion and monkeys do not. …Prove me wrong people, prove me wrong!

Windows 7: Fixing File Explorer tree to show the folder hierarchy

Since moving to Windows 7 at work this has been driving me nuts. I move between my IDE and explorer all day and by default Win7 doesn’t show you the folder tree, and doesn’t auto expand. (Why are computer UIs always trying to hide the file and folder structures? Its like hiding the books in a library!) Luckily quick Googling found this article on the issue:
Show Folder Tree in Windows 7 Explorer

The Great Underground Adventure

So I’ve been working on building my first game as a way to test everything out now that PointClickPress.com is up and running. I wanted to create something like all the adventure games I played growing up. My game is called “The Great Underground Adventure” and is a Zork-esque story which takes place underneath an abandoned white house. The similarities end there though as my story features a talking cat in need of some help. You must journey to the world below in order to gather ingredients that will lift the curse that has been cast on the poor feline.

I’m a developer, not an artist, but I needed artwork for the game. I decided to go with photos thinking that it would be easier than drawing all the locations myself. I hunted around, snapped some photos, and have begun placing the photos in scenes and connecting the locations together. Choosing this path for the artwork has unforeseen concequences.

Where original artwork could have allowed for simplification of each scene, I now have hundreds and hundreds of photos in order to allow the player to navigate each location in a way that makes sense. The house I took photos of had five upstairs rooms; My plot only called for two, but a player would expect to be able to navigate through all displayed doorways, so I made sure each room was available and began expanding the story to fit the locations. There also accidental things in each photo. Sorry you can’t pick up the bucket that just happened to be in the foreground when the photo was taken. I’ve also had to re-shoot every location in the game as each time no matter how many photos I took I would miss a few images that would be needed to stitch the scenes together.

On one hand, I think the photos look amazing. On the other hand this is way more complicated than original artwork would be. I hope to finish “The Great Underground Adventure” by the end of July so I can show it off to everyone, but first I gotta go take some more pictures…

Timeout can't be negative wsdl error in Coldfusion

I got an error in Coldfusion today that I had never seen before:

timeout can't be negative

The error occurred when making a call to a webservice. The webservice call was working fine yesterday. I did some Googling but didn’t have much luck in determining why this was happening suddenly.

I traced back over the previous day trying to figure out what I had changed. There was a query that kept timing out, so I had experimented with changing the query timeout setting under the advanced datasource options in cfadmin. Its the only timeout setting I knew of, so I changed it back to its default value of 0. Suddenly my webservice call worked again!

I tried to repeat the error by setting the config back to how it was. But was unable to get the call to fail again.

PointClickPress 6 alpha and closed beta

On June 1st I released the alpha 6 build of PointClickPress and at the same time setup a closed beta for the free PCP website. I want to get a few people hacking on the site before I open it up to everyone. If you’re interested in building your own point-and-click browser games shoot me an email: dan at danielgaspar.com

Re: Coldfusion Strong Encryption: 256bit and higher

Original Article

I’ve put together what I believe is the Java equivalent of CF’s GenerateSecretKey, Encrypt, and Decrypt functions. Unfortunately these encrypt and decrypt functions still do not work in CF7 so there must be something else besides the US_export_policy.jar & local_policy.jar files that would need to be upgraded in order to allow for strong encryption to work in CF7.

I’ve posted the code below in hopes that someone will tell me I’ve made a mistake and that we could get this to work in CF7.

The code is based on this article from Sun.




UPDATE: Per Jason Dean’s comment: for this to work in CF7 you need to use a different library. The strong encryption library for CF7 can be downloaded here.