First BIG Mach-II site up

We’ve launched our first major Mach-II based site for the National Measurement Institute. The DNS propagation may take a while to override the present settings, but it’s definitely up and happening. If you’re on the Mach-II site, it’ll be obvious by the URIs.

Here’s a few Mach-II stats:

  • 5 listeners
  • 4 filters
  • 35 events
  • 1 plugin
  • 18 custom views, 23 shared views

Other features:

  • automated caching via Mach-II, with updates for "live" (i.e. published and non-expired) content every 15 minutes
  • automated indexing and index updating via Mach-II as content goes live
  • linked to a large Spectra-based Content Management system
  • large shared code library (components and includes) for use by several Mach-II sites (four more going live in the next month)
  • entire Mach-II code base for five sites is ~45000 lines/690 files
  • rendered code is compliant with XHTML 1.0 Transitional, CSS2 and minimally meets the W3C/WAI Priority 1 Accessibility Guidelines (and in many cases, Priroty 2 or 3)

Watch this space for more of the "Bastard Child…" series for how we’ve built this Spectra/Mach-II hybrid monster!

Gee, that was quick

Thanks to Greg Burch I’ve now scored a Gmail invite. Nice one, dude! I’ll give Gmail a big examination over the next week or so and post a review here (to go with the eighty-gazillion already out there).

&*%#$%^ Blog Spammers, Gmail, etc.

Well, the first wave of blog spam hit, so I now have comment approval turned on. Grrr…

So, what’s with this Gmail brouhaha? Everyone I’ve read (Kay, DMM, BIT_101) who has snagged an invite seems to think it rates very highly as a webmail interface. Sadly, most of my friends aren’t geeks, so would have no idea what it is. Thus, no invite for me (suck, suck, suck).

For those who care, I WILL get back to the "Bastard Child…" series next week. We have two major Mach-II site rollouts this week, so we’ve been a touch busy.


You’ve all seen those kinda dorky 80×15 buttons, right? Well, I’ve made one for those of us wanting to link to, or being aggregated by the 'goog. My wife already thinks I’m a dork of the worst kind (despite her wearing this all the time). This won’t help.

Here it is:

fullasagoog link button sample

And here’s some code you can use to display it in your site:

<a href=""><img src="/images/fullasagoog.png" title="aggregated by fullasagoog" alt="aggregated by fullasagoog" /></a>

Please don’t link to the image here, copy it to your own site.

Which Linux?

I’m in the process of dipping my toes into "try a different distro"-land, as I have some doubts about the finishedness of Fedora Core 2 (having used RH/Fedora distros since 7.2). Some of the changes to the way Fedora behaves, particularly under Gnome 2.6 bug me.

Despite its presumably small Australian user base, I’d like to give SUSE a go as it looks pretty polished. With the release of 9.1 over the weekend, that looks like a good place to begin. However, the whole FTP install seems kind of painful, even over fast ADSL. Does anyone know somewhere the ISOs can be obtained?

Equally, I am open to suggestions of distros worth trying (and why). I’m not doing a huge amount of non-web programming (mostly Coldfusion, some PHP and trying to learn Java). I’m happy to work with "difficult" distros – the experience can only make me a better user ;)

Suggestions to the comments…

Web Standards – Why do so many smart people just not get it?

John Dowdell of Macromedia has discussed this post at si-blog on use of web standards. JD doesn’t seem to get it. JD, what’s not to understand? Simon’s talking about adopting a process whereby rendered HTML:

  • meets W3C standards for markup (preferably a flavor of XHTML)
  • uses CSS to separate content from appearance
  • meets WAI standards for accessibility
  • meets accepted levels of usability

Continue reading “Web Standards – Why do so many smart people just not get it?”

CFML as XML… Nice!

The guys at have raised the concept of an XML-compliant standard for CF. Frankly, I think this is an awesome idea – a guaranteed Good Thing.

As they point out, of course there are the issues of non-compliant existing code, etc. But really, if you can do standards-compliant HTML (XHTML), why not CF? Surely doing so means you’re taking better care of what you’re doing.

Within the known limitations, me and my crew already do this at ITR. I push them pretty hard on it, as I’m very pro standards compliance.

Ben Forta’s blog entry stating Blackstone won’t be XML-based is a little disappointing. Hopefully, they’ll push it for whatever CF 8 is to be.

Bastard child of a bastard child… Part 2, Application Management

You might like to read Part 1 of this series first.

Anyone familiar with Spectra will be abundantly aware that it doesn’t handle itself anything like any other Coldfusion application you’ve ever dealt with. For a start, there’s the enormous variable scope where all the info about the Spectra app and what’s going on in it are held. Dealing with this was our first step in moving from Spectra to Mach-II.

Continue reading “Bastard child of a bastard child… Part 2, Application Management”

Bastard child of a bastard child… Part 1

Four or five years ago, my then employer jumped on the Spectra bandwagon. We rolled out several Spectra "firsts" in Australia. I’m now working as a Tech Lead/Project Manager for a former client, the Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources who made a big investment in CF and Spectra. Big enough that their platform is now CFMX 6.1 and Spectra OpenSource. Well, almost…

You see, back in February, my crew and I attended MXDU where our growing suspicions about the Good Thing that is Mach-II were confirmed by attending Sean Corfield‘s talk.

Continue reading “Bastard child of a bastard child… Part 1”

Welcome to my trip!


Self-interest takes over here as I launch my new blog, Acid.

Acid will be about a lot of stuff, but primarily, it’ll be about stuff close to my heart:

And all that with a little of my own life and social commentary thrown in. Hope you can find the time to enjoy a little of what I have to offer.