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March 24, 2010

ColdFusion Builder Tour Notes (Part 2)

Although I've tried CFEclipse and ColdFusion Builder BETA, I always ended up reverting back to the old, outdated copy of ColdFusion Studio for 2 reasons. Neither of these advanced programs had a good batch search/replace and neither had keyboard shortcuts for commonly used HTML tags. Both of these issue were addressed last night:

RegEx Replace
Ben Nadel, one of pioneers in the language was also a CF Studio/Homesite user for the same reason. So fortunately, he wrote the RegEx Replace extension that does a better search/replace than CF Studio. There's a preview & commit since any batch processing can be dangerous. It also visually highlights the changes made so there are no surprised at the end. The only con is that it doesn't process multiple files or directories. But just having this extension available was a major factor for me in purchasing ColdFusion Builder. There's always potential for a future release to cover multiple files.

Keyboard Shortcuts
I can't live without keyboard shortcuts. I'm used to developing with the mouse and keyboard at the same time, so shortcuts are essential to productivity. Since ColdFusion Builder evolved from Eclipse and not the CF Studio/Homesite family, it lost the common shortcuts for HTML code. It's already second nature for me to hit CTRL+B for STRONG, CTRL+I for EM, CTRL+SHIFT+A for links, etcs. So I felt CF Builder was inefficient when all of these went missing. There are shortcuts for common CF tags, which balances things out. At the meeting, Adam Lehman also mentioned that an XML-based config file could be hacked for custom shortcuts. So I think I can add these back in... more updates when my copy arrives.

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