Issues with CFML Syntax when Switching from Adobe ColdFusion to Railo

Railo is an open source CFML server that can replace Adobe (or Macromedia) ColdFusion. I ported several CFML-based apps from an old instance of Macromedia ColdFusion MX 6 to Railo 3.2.1 about two years ago, and it’s been relatively trouble-free since the change.

However, the change itself was fraught with difficulties. That was due, not to problems with Railo, but to the forgiving nature of ColdFusion (CF). If the CFML wasn’t written exactly right, CF would parse it fine, but Railo wouldn’t take it. An example of this is the following code:

Before:

	<OPTION value="A"< cfif #Sec_Level# eq 'A'>selected
		</CFIF>>Administrator
		<OPTION value="D"< cfif #Sec_Level# eq 'D'>selected
		</CFIF>>Data Entry/General User

After:

	<OPTION value="A"<cfif #Sec_Level# eq 'A'>selected="selected"</cfif>>Administrator</OPTION>
	<OPTION value="D"<cfif #Sec_Level# eq 'D'>selected="selected"</cfif>>Data Entry/General User</OPTION>

The “Before” code gave the error: “no matching start tag for end tag [cfif]”.

The key change that was required wasn’t the closing option tag or the change to the selected attribute; that was just good form. It was the space between the “<" and the "cfif" in the opening cfif statements that caused the error. Simply removing that space fixed the problem. Seemingly small problems like this will cause Railo (at least version 3.2.1) to throw errors. If the code is written properly to begin with, this will likely not happen.

Women Who Code – In Honor of Ada Lovelace’s Birthday

I was reminded today by Google that it is the 197th birthday of Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer, who assisted Charles Babbage in the development of his Analytical Engine.

Ada Lovelace Google Doodle on December 10, 2012
Ada Lovelace Google Doodle on December 10, 2012

I’ve put together a list of women coders / developers / hackers / techies on Twitter who are worth following:

Developer/Hacker Women

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