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ColdFusion 8: UI Adventures

Well, this week I finally got a chance to play with my CF8 beta server, and I'm liking the new user interface tags. It's not that they do anything revolutionary, but they do the things that we developers need to do regularly with ease and consistency.

For example, the cflayout tags will help make websites with cleaner layouts. I heard someone remark that the same thing could be done with 3 lines of CSS, but I've probably seen around a dozen different ways to create what looks like the same layout using CSS. Cflayout will allow teams of developers to more easily get on the same page and do things more consistently.

The cfpod tags seem a little goofy, but allow for small contained parts of pages that can be refreshed.

Probably my favorite part so far is the cfwindow tag, which allows for the creation of a floating window over the page. The reason I like them is because we use a lot of modal windows where I work, and we've got a series of large javascript files to manage them (which have gotten a little unwieldly over the years). With the cfwindow tag, we can eventually replace this design with just a few lines of ColdFusion code.

The only part I'm getting used to is the ColdFusion-ized javascript calls for refreshing parts of a layout, a pod or a window. It just seems less straight-forward than most ColdFusion code, but I guess we're a bit spoiled in that aspect. I'm sure once I'm used to it, it will become second-nature like most of the rest of the code is.

All in all, I'm seeing some very positive changes being made to ColdFusion so far, and I'm looking forward to exploring it further and start building full apps in it.

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