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CFDJ: Article

Constantly Improving

Constantly Improving

Welcome to a visually new and improved ColdFusion Developer's Journal. You'll notice subtle changes in certain aspects of the design and layout of the magazine. We've also made a few behind-the-scenes changes to the roster of in-house sous-chefs, those who help cook the magazine each month and deliver an even better CFDJ.

We're working on giving the magazine a somewhat cleaner look, and I trust you'll agree that what you hold here in your hand this month is a step in the right direction. If we've succeeded, you should find that you've been served up the same great meat - or tofu if you're a vegetarian - only on an even nicer set of china. (Don't you just love analogies?)

Here at CFDJ, the design of the magazine isn't the only thing we're working to improve. A significant project has also begun that involves the Web site. I'll talk more about that in an upcoming issue, but in the meantime, we're hard at work planning the magazine's 2003 "editorial calendar."

For the benefit of those of you unfamiliar with the term editorial calendar, this is the calendar of topics we plan to cover each month in the course of the coming year. It's not something that we stick to 100% by any means - that would be nigh-on impossible in an industry like ours. But it does help provide a framework for our writers, for the marketing plans of our advertisers, and for us, to help define the magazine's vision as a whole.

That vision is ever-evolving, with one constant goal: that of improvement. That goal starts with CFDJ as a magazine, here to serve you, the reader. If we're doing our job right, it also extends to helping you - through the "tech meat" we bring you each month - to improve and expand your skillset as a developer. It's a win-win approach and not a bad mantra to live by, especially in the current economic climate.

We are currently analyzing reader feedback and working with our editorial board to plan another year's worth of quality content. There are several themes resounding through the next few months, and I'd like to give you a sneak preview. The first is an increased focus on making your code better, both for beginners and advanced developers. This issue becomes even more relevant nowadays with ColdFusion MX, because many of the tricks and techniques we've all been using up through CF 5 to tweak the performance of CF are no longer needed.

For starters, MX brings us a whole new way of caching, and there are further areas to explore on how to do things better. This goes hand-in-hand with more general MX coverage, because MX, on its own, brings a specific range of topics like UDFs and CFCs - that almost every developer I've spoken to is finding new reasons to love.

Another hot topic will be Flash, which has been getting hotter throughout the early stages of the MX cycle, with real smoke starting to come from the fire with its remoting capabilities. XML, Web services, and Java will continue to be roads that many of us will be going down in the year ahead, and we're planning content to help guide you too, and to keep you from getting lost.

These are just some of the many topics we'll be covering over the next several months in CFDJ. The rest of the content we're leaving up to you - so please, stay in touch, don't be a stranger, and feel free to e-mail us at anytime. Tell us what we're doing right, what we're doing wrong, and what you'd like to see us cover.

Stay tuned in the more immediate future for next month's issue. We'll have full coverage of Macromedia DevCon, with all the latest news, some exciting Macromedia announcements, and some more good news concerning ColdFusion Developer's Journal itself.

In my own personal coding world, I just completed the leap to MX and have officially uninstalled ColdFusion Studio 5 from my primary machine, finding that Dreamweaver MX is where my current best development performance will come from. It was a bit of a learning curve that went in both directions - having to unlearn some things that I've been doing for ages, and having to learn some new ways of doing things that I've finally become comfortable with. The various changes have definitely made me more productive than I was before.

So here's to self-improvement and to magazine improvement. In keeping with this relentless spirit of all-around betterment, I've even arranged for a new headshot this month!

More Stories By Robert Diamond

Robert Diamond is the founder and editor-in-chief of BroadwayWorld.com, the premiere theater site on the net now receiving over 100,000 unique visitors a day. He is also the owner of Wisdom Digital Media - a leading designer of entertainment and technology web sites. He is also the lead producer on BroadwayWorld.com's consistently sold-out Joe's Pub concert series, and Standing Ovations benefit concerts. Diamond was also named one of the "Top thirty magazine industry executives under the age of 30" by Folio magazine. Robert holds a BS degree in information management and technology from the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University. Visit his blog at www.robertdiamond.com.

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