Charlie Arehart

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Top Stories by Charlie Arehart

Have you ever wanted to test if a given array element exists? Or when dealing with arrays of structures, if a given key exists? Both are challenging if you try to use IsDefined(). This article addresses why IsDefined() fails in both cases when working with arrays. Part 1: Testing for Existence with an Array The first problem arises in the following example: you have an array with four items, but the two in the middle don't have any value (not an empty string, but no array elements at two of the array positions). Consider the following code: Item: #ACart[i]#
Notice there are only two elements in the array at positions 1 and 4. (Let's not get hung up on why someone would do this. I've hard-... (more)

Exploring Amazon Web Services with ColdFusion MX

Amazon.com, the "earth's biggest selection," has exposed their entire catalog of products, product reviews and ratings, user-created book lists, and more via Web services. Whether you're new to Web services or not, and even if you don't care so much about accessing Amazon's data, it presents an interesting case study of doing Web services in CFMX. You might even be able to turn the opportunity into profit! In this month's Journeyman column, I'll walk you through using Amazon Web Services (AWS), and along the way will point out some of the key points you need to know about CF (an... (more)

Getting into HomeSite+

Fans of ColdFusion Studio may lament that Macromedia no longer sells the product, but take heart. It really does continue to exist in the guise of HomeSite+, which is basically the same thing and then some. What's more - if you own Dreamweaver MX, you can install HomeSite+ free. Have you checked it out? Whether you're a current Studio user who's happy where you are or wish you could simply add CFMX tag support to Studio 4.5 or 5 (you can), or someone who looked into HomeSite+ and found it disappointing (which may no longer be the case), this article is for you. And if you or yo... (more)

Validating Input with Regular Expressions

Have you ever wished CFINPUT provided a way to validate an e-mail address? Or were you frustrated that its telephone validation didn't allow parentheses around an area code among other such limitations? Well, your wish has been granted in a new, little-known feature of CF5. While many will know of the top 10 or so new features in CF5, few will know about the dozens (yes, dozens) of less-promoted enhancements. One of these is the ability to validate user input by way of regular expressions. (If you're new to regular expressions, we'll show you some examples and point you to the CF... (more)

Unlocking Restricted Use of CFFILE,CFCONTENT,and More

Many developers know that the CF administrator can restrict your ability to use several tags that not only provide very useful capabilities, but can also be used to provide unauthorized access to server resources. What many don't know is that they can arrange to use those restricted tags on a case-by-case basis with the administrator's permission. In this article, I introduce the Unsecured Tags Directory feature, which most developers don't know about and many administrators don't understand. This feature can be the key to unlocking tags that might otherwise render a developer's... (more)