This blog is now running on MySQL instead of Access so there should be a lot less timout errors. There are a few things I still need to tweak to get all the blog entries to show up as the MySQL migration tool did not convert everything from Access perfectly but everything should get back to normal soon.
Anyway, enough of the criticism for now. I really didn’t mean for my first comments on CS3 to be critical but this suites packaging issue has been bothering many people and I wanted to address it.
I’ll soon post more about the new apps in CS3 themselves and explain why I think this is one of the best upgrades ever for many of the applications. As for Fireworks specifically, a lot of groundwork has been done in terms of integration that will pay off in the future, but the Fireworks team has managed to deliver very compelling new functionality as well. More on that later.
Also, you have probably noticed that the look of pixellog has gone back to normal. As I expected, going from the default BlogCFC template to the pixelyzed.com look has been far easier than doing the same with BlogFusion had been. I really have to give kudos to Ray Camden for the incredible work he has done on BlogCFC since the 3.x version. I also updated the software from version 5.6 to 5.7 yesterday and the process was quite easy. I’m very happy I have switched back.
In the next few weeks you may encounter errors when accessing pixellog as I work on moving it from an Access database to MySQL. I’ve struggled quite a bit with this so far but I’m working with my hosting company to resolve what are probably my errors. I’m usually good with the technical side of Web design but this MySQL thing has not been easy for me so far…
So, see you later to discuss Fireworks CS3 and other CS3 apps!
First, both blogging apps are built with ColdFusion and that is an important reason I chose both of them at different times. When i started this blog I was using BlogCFC from Ray Camden. At that time it was a very nice blog app and it was free but its functionality was a bit limited. Administering it was also not so easy because there was no graphical interface to do so. Although my blogging needs were pretty simple I decided to try something else.
I then came across BlogFusion and although it was not free, its developer had special very low pricing for non-commercial blogs. It was extremely sophisticated compared to BlogCFC at the time and had a very extensive admin interface so I decided to switch.
As I started the task of adapting the default look of BlogFusion to my site I quickly realized that the developer had taken a very diffeent approach to programming it than Ray had for BlogCF. It took me a long time to grasp how the countless files that affected the blog’s look worked together and modify them to my needs. It was a real chore and I almost went right back to BlogCFC. I really liked the new functionality BlogFusion was giving me though. so I forged ahead and eventually got the customization done.
BlogFusion has then been picked up by new developers and the new version has been in beta for what seems like forever. The beta versions have looked at did not seem to have much improved the underlying mess of disorganized code that was behing BlogFusion 4.x and the app started giving me trouble. In recent weeks, my hosting provider communicated with me many times to point out several errors that were occuring within the BlogFusion app. Between database connections timeouts to other errors that were impossible for me to pinpoint or fix, the host support people felt that my blog was compromising the stability of the server my Web site is hosted on so I had no choice but to do something.
Now to be fair to BlogFusion, it is entirely possible that I messed up something in it myself as I applied the various updates from 4.0.1 to 4.0.8. I had to rely on a file compare utility (Winmerge) to apply the updates as I had heavily modified several key files to get BlogFusion to look and behave like my site. As is the case with many back end developers, the BlogFusion front end HTML/CSS code was not very standards compliant or semantic and relied on very outdated markup and formatting techniques. I’m not a standards purist by any stretch of the imagination but it was nowhere near the quality I required.
Another problem I’d been having with BlogFusion from the get go is that it made it very hard to control blog comments spam. It completely ignored the blocked IP addresses list and, despite its very sophisticated admin interface, it was very tedious to delete spam comments made to several entries. There were other things as well but the point here is not to bash BlogFusion but to explain why I felt I had to switch again. BlogFusion 5 may end up to be a lot better but it will probably end up being a lot more than I need.
In the meantime, BlogCFC has evolved quite nicely in the last 2 years. It now offers all the functionality I wanted and then some and now has a very nice Web admin interface. The app’s underlying structure is also far better organized and more modular and changing the look of the app will be far easier than it has been for BLogFusion. It feels good to be back to BlogCFC and I can’t wait to see what Ray has planned for it in the future.
It’s been a long time coming but I think it’s particularly timely in these post acquisition days when there’s so much speculation and downright misinformation being spread about Fireworks. As I explain in the article, I realized after reading many blog entries and forum posts that many people didn’t get what Fireworks was at all that misconceptions about its true capabilities were widespread. Many poeple really have no idea where exactly Fireworks stands in the competitive graphic apps market.
Hopefuly this article will shed some light on Fireworks’ real capabilities for people who know little about it and are looking for a Web friendly graphic design appplication. It might even open the eyes of those who have been using it for some time but who for some reason are not really aware of its true power.
Well, it’s been a while since I posted as I have been really busy. For the few people who might have started to visit this site (I haven’t publicized it much yet), please know that I have been busy working on a few things to add to the site.
First, I have been working on some more pictures to add the pixel gallery, mostly sorting and working on the best pics from our trip to Nova Scotia in August. I took well over 400 pictures during the trip and I am pleased with many of them. Look forward to a new section in the gallery soon.
The thing that has taken most of my time is the writing of an article and a few tutorials to add to the still empty pixel forge section of the site. The article called “Why Choose Fireworks” is an in-depth analysis of why I think Fireworks is by far the best Web graphics and site layouts design application out there. It is far more than the glorified slicing and optimization tool many people see it as and this article attempts to set the record straight. I’m also tired of seeing it compare to Photoshop (or worse, to ImageReady) when it is much more than that on many levels. This should be the first bit of content going up in pixel forge soon.
I’m also working on adaptations of two Photoshop tutorials including one about creating a watermark graphic for the new 1.2 version of SlideShowPro which is the Flash component I use for pixel gallery. In addition to that I have 5 more tutorials that are pretty much at the embryonic stage right now, including a series that will be based on the ill-fated Fireworks book I participated in that was supposed to be released by Glasshaus before their demise. I was almost finished with the two chapters I was writing for that book and tech editing was well underway. I don’t want this material to go to waste so I’ll publish it here eventually.
So, despite the lack of activity on the pixellog, I’ve been busy writing and tweaking things on the site behind the scenes. I’m starting to be very happy with it and cannot wait to have more content to offer the community soon.