Bruce Van Horn

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Top Stories by Bruce Van Horn

This month we have three questions to consider. I like them all because they're very practical and applicable to many kinds of applications. I particularly like the third question about encryption methods because it gives me an opportunity to cover two undocumented ColdFusion functions. I hope you find my answers helpful. Keep those questions coming! Q: My question has to do with forcing session variables to time out after a specified period of time - not a period of inactivity. I am writing an online testing application that should allow a user only 10 minutes to take a test. How can I force their sessions to expire after 10 minutes? A: This is easily accomplished by setting a session variable, let's say "Session.-StartTime", equal to the current time using the Now() function (see Listing 1). Your exam pages need to test for the existence of this variable. If it does... (more)

Ask The Training Staff

I hope that all of you are enjoying your summer and getting in plenty of R&R. If you aren't, I hope you have at least upgraded to the new CF Server 5.0. Not that this is better than a week at the beach, but it should certainly bring a little joy into your life because of some of the new features! Anyway, upgrade if you haven't already, start playing with the new features, and keep those questions coming. Here are some I've answered recently. Q: How can I use CF to dynamically generate (out- put) special ASCII characters, such as the tab or line break characters? A: The easiest way ... (more)

Ask the Training Staff

Greetings. I hope all of you who attended the DevCon last month enjoyed it, and came away with some great tips and tricks. This month's column is short, but hopefully addresses some problems that you've encountered recently. Keep those questions coming! Q: I have an application that allows users to upload newsletter articles into a database memo field (I'm using MS Access for my database). My problem is this: when I query the articles from the database and output them using CFOUTPUT, some of the really long articles are getting truncated. I've double-checked, and all of the text ... (more)

Ask the Training Staff

I don't know about you, but February is going to be a very busy month for me. Not only is there plenty of CF work to keep me busy, but my wife, my son, and I are eagerly awaiting the birth of baby boy number two! Nevertheless, I have questions to answer and one revision to make on a previous answer. I hope you find it all worthwhile. First let's deal with the revision of my answer back in December (Vol. 4, issue 12) regarding the use of a placeholder in a query. The question was really centered around writing dynamic queries and how to handle the question of what should go immed... (more)

In Defense of MS Access

I often hear ColdFusion developers and some of my colleagues who do training for Allaire say things like, "Don't just walk away from MS Access_run!" While I think I know much of the rationale for a statement like that, I still feel I have to come to its defense. The Bad News First! Let me start by saying that I agree, to some extent, with the above derogatory comment about Access. Much of the criticism of ColdFusion comes in the form of "CF is too slow." When asked to explain, people will say, "It seems like most of the ColdFusion sites I visit are slow" or some similar remark a... (more)