Friday, September 19, 2008

Fusebox Status

The last 2 weeks I have sat down every evening and [re]read through parts of Fusebox's core files, I also had a very energetic discussion with Team Fusebox (more on that some other time). First I have to say Sean put together on hell of a beast in Fusebox 5.5. In some aspects Sean and I have a different coding style so I feel like I would have done a couple of nit picky things differently but overall Fusebox looks to have been very well thought out and put together nicely. My main gripe is the abundant [ab]use of public parameters on the CFCs which sometimes makes it hard for me to track something down, especially since most of the time they are defined for the first time inside one of the methods of an object. Sometimes I get lost in all the parameters that are set but that's just the amount of data Fusebox is dealing with at times. The one thing that I was left without that disappointed me was unit tests. To that point I am working on some unit tests for the core files but I still do not have a good enough handle on all things Fusebox to begin to write good unit tests. The tests I have are mostly checking the skeleton right now (which works ok but I am on my TDD kick right now ;) ). With the small bad I have to say Sean left me with one of the most solid code bases I have ever seen. Some of the stuff he does in Application.cfc are pretty cool and thanks to its nicely done design I've been able to get in and make some additions already. The features I am talking about here are implemented and will be available in the BER I publish this weekend. I want to hear feedback on them, please please please let your voice be heard!

I've not tried to hide my disdain for circuit XML in Fusebox (have no fear it is going no where and will get lovin' when it needs lovin', too many of you people are masochists and like the XML). As a sign of good faith I added a feature to the XML fusebox that had always really bugged me (I'd like feedback on the good/bad side of this change). I've always hated having 15 circuit.xml files open in the editor which lead to the addition to the circuit.xml finding algorithm. Fusebox (in the BER that I plan to push sometime this weekend) will now find alias.xml or alias.xml.cfm in the path specified in Fusebox.xml.

The second feature that I added was something I really wanted to see, and I wanted it at Kroger. Fusebox now supports defining No XML circuits in fusebox.xml. What this means is you do not have to rely on Fusebox's location conventions to leverage No XML circuits. In Kroger our application layout does not match the conventions that Fusebox wanted to impose. I had a long discussion with some friends and colleagues about changing Kroger's application layout vs adding some functionality to Fusebox. In the end I felt it was a feature that would give Fusebox users a nice mesh between configuration and convention.

Like I said I plan to get this stuff into SVN this weekend so anyone interested can start playing with it. I've turned off comments on this entry so as to drive all comments to the Fusebox Group on yahoo, I am doing my best to keep the discussion in one main place.