Michael Smith from TeraTech delivered the first keynote of the morning - addressing what he called current crisis of the day - the recession, global warming, and Web Application Healthcare.

He went over a number of "healthcare" options available for Web Apps. He discussed Load Testing and Usability testing as well as compartmentalized function testing as a staring point. Other points from the audience included Accessibility (508 comopliance) Unit and Integration testing, and even code reviews as methods of preventing web application failure in pre-launch scenarios.

The "ugly" term of Documentation was mentioned (and I am a FIRM believer in good code documentation) and discussed as a method of preventing application failure due to programmers not understanding what had been done by their predecessors. Use of Frameworks as stable foundations and Source/Version control systems to prevent code corruption and as debugging tools (ex. what worked yesterday does not work today).

Charlie Arehart suggested Server Monitoring as another option of "preventative medicine" to help diagnose problems from the server side. Analytics and work flow testing were discussed as methods of preventing web app dis-use that can be caused by end user frustration with our interfaces. Test/Code planning, as well as good requirements gathering, can also help mitigate these issues.

Enforcement of coding standards and code re-use were discussed as methods of standardizing all the programmers in a team on one core set of values that would allow them to work interchangeably as well as in tandem.

Ben Forta and Adam Lehman then took over the Keynote stage with "News from the Adobe front" - staring with an announcement about a FREE version of ColdFusion Enterprise that will be released under an Academic license to Schools, Teachers, and students for use in Academic scenarios. This is the spearhead of Adobe's first real outreach to the Academic Community as far as ColdFusion is concerned.

The next announcement was made in reference to a statement that many of us were already aware of - the fragmentation and inconsistencies in CFML as a language. A new CFML Language Advisory Committee has been formed by prominent community members:

  • Sean Corfield
  • Ben Forta
  • Sanjeev Kumar
  • Gert Franz
  • Raymond Camden
  • Rob Brooks-Bilson

The discussion then shifted to the inevitable "sneak peeks" at "Centaur" - the new ColdFusion 9 project. Adam related a number of new "features that may or may not be included" in the new release:

  • UDF and CFC method inclusion in CFSCRIPT
  • A new explicit LOCAL variable scope
  • -- including default scoping for your existing code
  • CFFINALLY and CFCONTINUE for use with Try/catch and Loops
  • Addition of "new" and "import" keywords for creating CFC instances
  • Server.cfc - to give us "OnServerStart" and "OnServerEnd" methods
  • Integration of ORM (via Hibernate under the hood)

Finally and throughout were the reminders of the upcoming MAX 2008!

Also check out Raymond Camden's blog for a blow by blow description of the morning keynotes.