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I was going to diss client variables...

posted under category: General on April 26, 2011 at 1:00 am by Nathan

A couple months ago, an edict from on high (AKA my company's enterprise IT infrastructure middleware hosting support department -- it's a big company) came down that said in order to host our applications on the new ColdFusion 9 server cluster, we have to stop using session variables and switch to client variables.

I have a rage-induced past with client variables (and here). To say I am not a fan does not do it justice. Forcing me to consider them does not make me happy.

They sent us all a document detailing how to do it. It's easy, (1) you just do a find-and-replace to turn session.* into client.*, then (2) watch Nathan's blood boil with pure hatred.

The reasoning behind it was simple (meaning both obvious and dull-witted). The new server environment is clustered, if one server crashes, we'll lose our session, but client variables will live on in a shared client variables database. <red flags>! I could rant for a few days about the policy. There are a number of other factors that increase the fallability of the recommendation, including the use of our single sign-on service, use of sticky sessions, the fact that I tend to put components into the session scope, and on and on.

So I wrote.

First, I wrote some code to get around the entire fiasco without using a single stupid client variable.

Then, I started writing in Evernote. I have about 5 printed pages worth of blog material. I was going to blog it all, it was going to be epic. Then, I saw there were lightning talks at CF.Objective() 2011, and they needed volunteers for speeches. I pitched the Client Variable Ultimate Smackdown and was accepted! Now, I'm saving the blog-rage for sometime after May 12th-14th, and instead you should come see my lightning talk on client variables on Thursday May 12th at CF.Objective()! LTs are a lot more informal, but it's going to be a lot of work for me. I'm really excited to be speaking twice now!

I'm trying to treat my Lightning Talk a little like a melodrama, a little like a speech to anger everyone, a little like just sharing something that interests me, and a lot like revealing the shocking evidence on why client variables are probably the worst aspect of the ColdFusion Markup Language.

See you there!

Update 4/29, They officially announced the lightning talk speakers!