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MAGWeb Minutes
March 20, 2003

Please feel free to invite some of your colleagues from your or another city/county if you think it would benefit them to be part of our group!

Orange Alerts/War Messages
I was wondering if any of you had added special features/messages to your web sites related to the newest orange alert or the war in Iraq. Please share them via the listserv if you have.

Thanks to Rich Lovett, KCMO, and Randy Ellis, OPKS, for sharing their expertise on Macromedia's ColdFusion.

ColdFusion refers to both a special web server and to the programming language used to create interactive applications and forms that are database driven. ColdFusion programming language is similar in functionality to ASP or PHP.

ColdFusion queries databases and presents information on the fly. It executes on the server, not on users' PCs like JavaScript. ColdFusion also has validation tools for forms.

Database formats that work well with ColdFusion include Microsoft Access, Oracle, MySQL, Cybase and SQL.

Inside your databases, you don't need to create forms or queries because these can be created with ColdFusion. All you need in the databases is raw data.

You can mix HTML, JavaScript and ColdFusion code all together in one Web page. Tags look similar to HTML, but start with CF, i.e. <Cfoutput>.

CF Code can be edited in any text editor, such as Notepad, and in some HTML authoring programs such as DreamWeaver and HomeSite.

ColdFusion MX Server costs about $1,300 on the Macromedia Web site, an enterprise version with more features and flexibility costs $5,000. Discounts are often given for government agencies and for buying in volume.

Some ISPs provide access to a ColdFusion server. Rich uses readyhosting.com ($99 a year) for a freelance Web site project and can use Cold Fusion programming language for calendars and interactive forms on that site without having to purchase the ColdFusion MX Server product.

ColdFusion also allows you to create listservs, e-mail notifications for forms. Here in OP, we just created a “printer-friendly page” function using ColdFusion.

For more information and instructions on creating Web features with ColdFusion, handouts are posted on the MAGWeb site:

The Cold Fusion book Rich suggested is "Macromedia Cold Fusion 5 Web Application Construction Kit," by Ben Forta and Nate Weiss. There is probably an MX version of the book available by now, but even the Ver. 5 book is excellent. Any Cold Fusion book that people buy should have Ben Forta as one of the authors. He is considered to be the world expert on Cold Fusion.

April meeting
Search Engines, Registering with Portal Sites, Meta Tags
For April, we will share information about all of these topics. Bring information about the search technology your site is currently using and any questions you may have about others. I’ll have a handout about robots and how they work, what they look for.

The meeting will be at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 17, at the MARC offices, 600 Broadway.

Some folks usually do lunch after the meeting. Let the group know if you'd like to join.

If you have any ideas for future topics or guest speakers, please share them with Susan Waters, Overland Park (sjwaters@opkansas.org) or send them via the listserv.


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