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This is a checklist of items you need for an all-encompassing personal branding strategy. Personal branding is the process of marketing and selling yourself as a brand in order to gain success in business. Personal branding is a continual process just as knowing yourself is a continual process. As you grow, so does your brand. The need for personal branding arises from the fact that globalization has increased competition in the workplace. As the wheat is separated from the chaff, if you are left standing, you are left standing with others of good caliber. The playing field is now that much more challenging since your competition is as good as, or better, than you. To paraphrase David Samuel, the bloke who got me into personal branding after I saw him speak a few years ago; he spoke about of why you need personal branding. His audience was a group from a large teleco... (more)

The Next Programming Models, RIAs and Composite Applications

I’ve been around software for 20 years now. Looking back, I have mixed feelings about the progress we’ve made. The end results have been amazing but the process of building software hasn’t fundamentally changed since the 80s. In fact, I see us make some of the same mistakes over and over again. One of the common anti-patterns is over-relying on tools and frameworks instead of inventing new programming models. Layers of abstraction are fundamental to software. Some layers are defined through programming models, e.g., machine language, assembly language, 3GLs, JSP. Others are defined through a combination of tools and frameworks, e.g., MFC and Visual Studio on top of C++. There is a limit to how high we can raise a level of abstraction through tools and frameworks alone. At some point, a new programming model is the best way forward. Here are some examples: CASE tools ... (more)

Adobe Fiddles with its Web Apps

Flex Session at Cloud Expo Cloud Computing Expo - Adobe put out this press release - well, kinda, it was released at 6am Saturday morning and the company didn't bother to tell its staff about it, least of all its sales people. Anyway, it's about how Acrobat.com, Adobe's contribution to the flock of Office-challenging web apps, has hit its first upgrade, adding a bunch of reportedly user-requested features - like a prettier interface - as well as smartphone integration. Since Acrobat.com is based on Flash, guess that's a way to get a hint of Flash on the forbidden iPhone. Maybe Adobe hopes Steve Jobs won't notice. Anyway, an outfit called scanR has an app that will let Acrobat.com users upload document images from the iPhone 3GS and some of the Blackberries et al and automatically store them as searchable PDF files in Acrobat.com on Adobe's servers. They can also r... (more)

An Introduction to Ant

Writing shell scripts to automate the build and deploy process for ColdFusion applications is not very much fun. The Jakarta Ant project is an open-source, cross-platform alternative that makes it easy to automate the build and deploy process. But My Build and Deploy Process is Fine.... Maybe your build and deploy process for your latest application is fine - you type a single command and your build process automatically retrieves your application from the source control system, configures the application appropriately for the target environment, and copies all the necessary files to the production servers while you head to the coffee shop for your morning cup of caffeine and the newspaper. But I know that the reality for the vast majority of projects I've seen (including many of my own applications!) are built and deployed using a written multistep checklist - some ... (more)

Macromedia Studio 8 From The Inside: Exclusive Q&As With The Studio 8 Team

Why is FreeHand not part of Studio 8? What do productivity tools Contribute 3 and FlashPaper 2 add? What about Flex? Why has the product name changed from Studio MX 2004? What are the new video features in Studio 8? How about the role of Flash Player 8? These, and sundry other questions on every imaginable aspect of the new Studio 8 release, are addressed here by four executives at Macromedia speaking exclusively to MX Developer's Journal. Jim Guerard, Vice President of Product Management and Product Marketing MXDJ: How do you feel about the new Studio 8? Jim Guerard: The groundbreaking nature of Studio 8 makes it the most significant release in the history of Macromedia. Since the release of Studio MX 2004 just under two years ago, we have focused our efforts on delivering a powerful, quality product based on extensive customer feedback. Studio 8 is by far the most ... (more)

What Is AJAX?

(October 7, 2005) - AJAX isn't a technology, or a language, and there's no recipe to implement it; it's just a combination of various components to achieve something you otherwise couldn't: asynchronous http requests. However, since early 2005, when Google and Flickr popularized the concept, its use has grown rapidly. The name AJAX is short for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML. It uses the JavaScript XMLHttpRequest function to create a tunnel from the client's browser to the server and transmit information back and forth without having to refresh the page. The data travels in XML format because it transmits complex data types over clear text. AJAX uses XHTML for the data presentation of the view layer, DOM, short for Document Object Model, which dynamically manipulates the presentation, XML for data exchange, and XMLHttpRequest as the exchange engine that ties every... (more)

CFDJ Product Review "CFMX Exam Buster 7"

Macromedia has been offering ColdFusion Developer Certification since version 4.5 was released. Though it's arguable that there is no such thing as an exam that accurately measures a person's ability to develop applications, some employers do value such things and there's no denying that it certainly doesn't hurt to have the certification listed on one's resume. To help developers practice and prepare for the certification exam, CentraSoft offers their CFMX Exam Buster software, recently updated for the ColdFusion MX 7 Certification exam. Before evaluating its value as a test preparation tool, I'll give you some information about the software itself. CFMX Exam Buster is standalone desktop software for Windows - according to the website (www.centrasoft.com/) it supports versions 95,98, ME, NT 4, 2000, and XP (Home and Pro). I installed it on my laptop running Window... (more)

Rob Gonda's Two-Part AJAX Special: Now In One Part

It's become very popular lately, even though it's not exactly new. It's been possible to use the concept behind AJAX since browsers introduced the XMLHttpRequest function in 1999. AJAX isn't a technology, or a language, and there's no recipe to implement it; it's just a combination of various components to achieve something you otherwise couldn't: asynchronous http requests. However, since early 2005, when Google and Flickr popularized the concept, its use has grown rapidly. The name AJAX is short for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML. It uses the JavaScript XMLHttpRequest function to create a tunnel from the client's browser to the server and transmit information back and forth without having to refresh the page. The data travels in XML format because it transmits complex data types over clear text. AJAX uses XHTML for the data presentation of the view layer, DOM, sho... (more)

Sketching a Site Navigation Scheme in Macromedia FreeHand MX

This tutorial illustrates how you can use Macromedia FreeHand MX to create preliminary sketches of your site's navigation scheme. The site navigation scheme is a map that shows how your web pages relate to one another. Specifically, it shows how users will travel through your site as they click links and interact with application interfaces. A site's navigation scheme is normally reflected in the navigation bars that are used on web pages. This tutorial is the first in a series of tutorials that shows you how to build a dynamic website from start to finish with Macromedia Studio MX 2004. The complete set of tutorials is available in the Exploring Studio MX manual (www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/studio). It includes the following tutorials: Sketching a Site Navigation Scheme in FreeHand Creating a Table-based Page Layout in Dreamweaver Creating a Banner ... (more)

SYS-CON Events Lines Up Latest Conference & Expo

Cloud Computing Expo - or "Cloud Expo" for short as he says it will inevitably become known - will potentially be the biggest show yet produced by the team behind AJAXWorld. That was made clear yesterday by Fuat A. Kircaali, owner of the companies behind the highly successful AJAXWorld conference and expo series. The upcoming AJAXWorld Conference & Expo 2007 East, being held 19-21 March at The Roosevelt Hotel in New York City, showed that SYS-CON Events was always first to the mill, Kircaali noted. "Featuring top speakers such as Stowe Boyd, AJAXWorld has gone from strength to strength ever since we first launched it," he said. "We intend that our Cloud Computing -focused series of events will be of the exact same high standard. We will be the first in the world to devote an entire conference to cloud computing - and to Virtualization, a major Cloud-related technol... (more)

Rich Internet Applications - State of the Union

[This prescient article first appeared on SYS-CON.com nearly 12 months ago.] We are entering an era of Rich Internet Applications (RIA),  and many enterprise development managers are facing the dilemma - which way to go - remain with  tried and true Java or .Net technologies or less known yet AJAX, Flex, OpenLaszlo or a number of other vendors.  This article is an attempt to give a brief overview of what's out there on the RIA market. Historically there have been major shifts in the software industry. We moved from mainframes with dumb terminals to client/server. Users gained in convenience and productivity, and mainframe systems were patronizingly labeled as legacy. With the availability of the World Wide Web industry visionaries turned the tables: vendors and corporate IT had been eager to get rid of the complexity of client/server version management and technologist... (more)