Saturday, February 19, 2005

How far into your own digital navel can you gaze

"How far into your own digital navel can you gaze?"

"Each of us populates a personal tech-bubble of one. Solo-tech-travelers often are unaware that others occupy the same dimensions as them -- that's why they often bump into others, in their cars or on foot."

D. Pravaz from the Seattle Post writes about how personal technology is isolating us from the rest of the world, instead of bringing us closer together like the adverts say they do ... you didn't believe what T-mobile said did you???

The article is both entertaining and thought-provoking. If you are obsessed with your iPod, PDA and camera phone(s) take a look in Pravaz'z mirror.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Testing Post and ReadURL

Testing Post and ReadURL

I needed to test some cfm calls, so I built a little tool

Whilst working with Cold Fusion and Authorware this week I discovered the need of a simple tool to test calls to cfm pages. I also realised that this same tool could be useful for ASP, php and any other TLA server-side-scripting page.

So anyway, I built a simple tool that can be placed on your web server and used to test your calls to the database or whatever without having to build your full Authorware application. I posted the tool on my Downloads page

It's (at the time of writing) the first question:-

Q. How can I easily test my calls to Cold Fusion, ASP, PHP or any other web pages that enable communications between Authorware and a server and/or database over the web?

A. I built this test application that lets you quickly test PostURL and ReadURL code in Authorware (Post and Get in HTML form terms). It displays the pure text of the return from the server, so if the server returns HTML or XML or plain text, you see the exact contents of the return without any formatting.

Use this page to send any comments or feedback you have about the tool. Remember, it's free and as-is, so I make no promises of perfection, but I will make changes based on feedback to fix bugs or make improvements ... time permitting of course!

You could always make changes yourself and send them back to me too :-)

Cold Fusion and Authorware PostURL

Cold Fusion and Authorware PostURL

I discovered today that Cold Fusion pages act strangely with Authorware and PostURL if no parameters are sent

I have been working with a client over the last couple of weeks, setting up a simple tracking system using Cold Fusion pages to handle the communication between the database and Authorware.

We hit an odd situation where one specific call to one specific .cfm page failed to return anything to Authorware, and instead opened a new web page containing the expected return.

After a bit of digging about I discovered that the cause of the problem was that this particular call sent no parameters to the cfm page, yet was still using PostURL. I had set up a function in Authorware that used PostURL for all the database calls, and for security and consistency I did not want to change that.

The ultimate workaround was to send the following parameter when none were actually required


So the final call to the cfm page became something like

result:=PostUrl(NetLocation^"call.cfm", "true=true", 5)

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Scrolling RTF with hyperlinks

Have you ever tried to use scrolling RTF files with hyperinks?

Did you find that the RTF KO did not work as expected?

While teaching an Authorware class recently, one of my students pointed out that she had been unable to get the Insert RTF Object Hot Text Interaction to work correcly with scrolling RTF text. She asked if it were possible to get this to work using RTFObj.u32 functions.

After a little head scratching I came up with some working code that seems to do what she needed. You can try it out by downloading it from my web site

Look for the question Q. How can I use RTFObj.u32 with scrolling rtf pages that contain hyperlinks?