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Pushing HTML5 Video content over ColdFusion WebSockets

I’ve been playing with the WebSocket feature introduced in ColdFusion 10 for some time now. I was trying out pushing images over a ColdFusion WebSocket channel and it worked just fine. But this time I wanted to put WebSockets to test and wanted to push large data at regular intervals. I thought maybe I can push video data over WebSockets and it turned out that there is no direct way to stream video data to many clients. I came across the function - drawImage that can be used to draw an Image or Video on a HTML5 Canvas. Once an image is drawn on the Canvas, it’s base64 encoded data can be obtained by calling the toDataURL function on the Canvas object.  This data can then be transferred over a ColdFusion WebSocket to all subscribers who can then use this  data to draw the image(video frame) on a Canvas.

Anchor elements in jQueryMobile referring to the same page retain the state

This week I started to learn jQueryMobile and was going through the online documentation that explained the basics. While I was trying out the sample examples, I came across an issue that I thought I’ll share with you. I had posted this on the jQueryMobile forum but I didn’t receive any solution to this. The issue here is when you have two anchor elements with its ‘href’ attribute pointing to the same div (#child data-role=”page”) with one marked as a button and the other marked as a popup dialog, then which ever button you choose first its action will be applied to the other button as well. Say if you click the second button that shows the dialog box containing the page it works fine, but now when you click the first button it shows the dialog box instead of showing it as a page. This is how it works the other way too i.e. if you click the first button the page is shown (as expected), but on clicking the second button it shows the page instead of displaying it as a dialog box.

Content flow in CSS3 regions

Today I was reading about CSS3 and I stumbled upon CSS3 regions. I was completely flabbergasted with what I saw and learnt today. Imagine that you’re trying to build a website for a magazine containing multiple columns (say 3). It would be arduous to fix the textual content on a particular column and then move the rest of the text to other columns. Now with Content Flow mechanism, the extra content can be moved to other columns in the layout with ease. There are just a couple of properties that you need to define in the styling sheet and you’re done. But this is not it. When you resize the browser window, the content automatically flows to other regions depending on the browser size.

ColdFusion 10: Using filterCriteria in WebSockets for subscribing and publishing

Yesterday Ben Nadel asked me a question on Twitter, on using filterCriteria when publishing a message on a web socket channel from server side. The method ‘wspublish’ allows you to perform a server side push to a client who has subscribed to a channel. It takes three parameters – channelName, message and filterCriteria. I always assumed that the values present in subscriberInfo and publisherInfo can be compared in Channel Listener functions (canSendMessage, beforePublish etc) before the message can be received by the client. Although this technique is available, what I found after having a discussion with a fellow developer (Awdhesh), is that I can specify simple conditions when subscribing or publishing.

ColdFusion 10: Working with REST Sub-resources

In REST everything is treated as a resource and each resource is associated with a URI from which it can be accessed. As mentioned in my series of posts on REST; in ColdFusion methods defined in a CFC are made RESTful by adding the attributes httpmethod and restpath. The restpath value specified in the method can then be used to access the resource. Although this would serve the given purpose, it would be a good idea to have a root resource resolve a generic URL and then have different methods that resolve other path of the URL.

WebSocket authentication in ColdFusion 10

I was looking into ways in which users can be authenticated before they start to receive or send messages over a WebSocket channel in ColdFusion. I found that there are two ways in which this can be done. The first approach is to call the 'authenticate' method on the socket object. The other way is to use cflogin to authenticate the user. The authentication level can be taken a step further in various channel listener functions. By implementing these listener functions, some sort business logic can be devised wherein the logged in user with certain credentials can be allowed to subscribe or publish to a channel.