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Livedocs for CF8: They're here, they're faster, with commenting working, and more

I want to share some news with those who may have noticed recent challenges with the Adobe LiveDocs, especially for CF8, and a challenge in commenting in them. All is resolved now. I've been working in the background with the Adobe gent in charge of this (who may prefer I don't share his name) and he's been great about attending to and resolving these. There's also good news: they seem faster (to me) than the CF7 livedocs.

First, you CAN now get to the livedocs...

As some noticed, there was a brief time in recent days when you couldn't get to the livedocs at all (for CF8 or otherwise). You'd get stuck in a loop on a main docs page. That's since been fixed.

But note that you may need to take a (good) detour...

But about that "main docs page", yep, it's worth noting that trying to go livedocs.adobe.com will no longer send you to the livedocs front page but rather will go instead to a new page I'll call the main Adobe docs page.

There, you have to pick which doc you want to see from a select control, and further the page you're taken to offers both a link to the livedocs and to the PDF docs. (It was the link from there to the livedocs that was broken last week, sending you right back to this page.)

Now, some may be annoyed that they get sent here. I just want to get to the livedocs. Well, if you know the URL for your product, you can, such as for CF8 or CF7.

There's more than the livedocs: PDF; and the print versions you can buy

But I do myself like that they've sent people to the main docs page first, if they don't know a short-cut. So many people never knew of the PDFs. They're nice to have sometimes.

Also, that page offers a link to the printed docs (for now, only the CF7 docs are for sale, as the CF8 docs may not be available until late August).

I've blogged about buying the printed docs before. I think for many it's the best $50 bucks they'll spend for 2500 pages of content.

New look for the CF8 docs...and faster

If you do go to the CF8 livedocs, you'll find that they have a new look compared to the CF7 docs. Also, at least it seems to me, they're much faster.

Yes, they're still a framed interface, but that's not the end of the world--and if you need them all as one, remember the PDFs, and the HTML form available on your machine where CF is installed (C:\ColdFusion8\wwwroot\cfdocs\htmldocs on my machine).

Some docs retired...

I will point out that sadly, one book from the CF7 livedocs doesn't seem to have been updated for CF8, the "Getting Started Building ColdFusion MX Applications". Again, this was a hidden gem that I think many missed and would get great value from. If you're moving from 5 or 6 to 8, please do take time to read this 150 page guide. It's really quite good.

Also, two that were available in HTML/PDF form (not on livedocs) that also seem to have been retired are the "CFML Quick Reference" and the awesome 60-page "Migrating Applications to ColdFusion MX 7". Again, if you're skipping 7 (or used it but never really took full advantage of it), check out those docs.

And yes, Virginia, you can now make comments...

Finally, and perhaps best of all, some may have noticed if they DID get to the CF8 livedocs that for some reason, the ability to comment was gone. That, too, is finally fixed. Thanks, Randy! :-) (Doh! Ok, I'll use his first name. He knows who he is, and some of you. If he wants to speak up and identify himself, I'd welcome it.)

So get out there and start commenting away. Let's share what we learn as we pour through the CF8 docs, whether online, in print, in PDF, or in HTML.

I'll have a little more to share about the commenting system and some related features in an upcoming note.

Comments
It seems not working well on Eclipse. When I tried to click on "Using Spry with ColdFusion" under "Using Ajax Data and Development Features", I get the error messages.
# Posted By thomas | 8/3/07 8:12 PM
Thomas, are you using the latest CF8 help extensions for Eclipse, as offered on the main CF downloads page?

When I use those, and visit help>help contents>coldfusion 8 documentation and choose some topic, when I choose the "this page on the web" link at the bottom of the page, it goes indeed go to the corresponding page in the livedocs, including the ability to add a comment.

What are you seeing? You say you get "the error messages". I went to the very page you mentioned, and it, too went to the livedocs page.
# Posted By Charlie Arehart | 8/4/07 10:42 PM
Charlie, Yes, I am using the latest CF8 help extensions for Eclipse. I don't know why I am not getting the docus. When I installed the Eclipse, Jre folder is not created so I copy it from Java directory folders and paste it into Eclipse. That may be the cause for displaying the error messages?

The error messages I get are:
org.xml.sax.SAXParseException: The element type "p" must be terminated by the matching end-tag "</p>".
at com.sun.org.apache.xerces.internal.parsers.DOMParser.parse(Unknown Source)
at com.sun.org.apache.xerces.internal.jaxp.DocumentBuilderImpl.parse(Unknown Source)
at org.eclipse.help.internal.dynamic.DocumentReader.read(DocumentReader.java:56)
at org.eclipse.help.internal.dynamic.XMLProcessor.process(XMLProcessor.java:49)
at org.eclipse.help.internal.xhtml.DynamicXHTMLProcessor.process(DynamicXHTMLProcessor.java:66)
at org.eclipse.help.internal.webapp.servlet.DynamicXHTMLFilter$1.close(DynamicXHTMLFilter.java:79)
at java.io.FilterOutputStream.close(Unknown Source)
at org.eclipse.help.internal.webapp.servlet.FilterHTMLHeadAndBodyOutputStream.close(FilterHTMLHeadAndBodyOutputStream.java:290)
at org.eclipse.help.internal.webapp.servlet.EclipseConnector.transfer(EclipseConnector.java:150)
at org.eclipse.help.internal.webapp.servlet.ContentServlet.doGet(ContentServlet.java:42)
at javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet.service(HttpServlet.java:596)
at javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet.service(HttpServlet.java:689)
at org.eclipse.equinox.http.registry.internal.ServletManager$ServletWrapper.service(ServletManager.java:180)
at org.eclipse.equinox.http.servlet.internal.ServletRegistration.handleRequest(ServletRegistration.java:90)
at org.eclipse.equinox.http.servlet.internal.ProxyServlet.processAlias(ProxyServlet.java:109)
at org.eclipse.equinox.http.servlet.internal.ProxyServlet.service(ProxyServlet.java:67)
at javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet.service(HttpServlet.java:689)
at org.eclipse.equinox.http.jetty.internal.HttpServerManager$InternalHttpServiceServlet.service(HttpServerManager.java:280)
at org.mortbay.jetty.servlet.ServletHolder.handle(ServletHolder.java:428)
at org.mortbay.jetty.servlet.ServletHandler.dispatch(ServletHandler.java:677)
at org.mortbay.jetty.servlet.ServletHandler.handle(ServletHandler.java:568)
at org.mortbay.http.HttpContext.handle(HttpContext.java:1530)
at org.mortbay.http.HttpContext.handle(HttpContext.java:1482)
at org.mortbay.http.HttpServer.service(HttpServer.java:909)
at org.mortbay.http.HttpConnection.service(HttpConnection.java:820)
at org.mortbay.http.HttpConnection.handleNext(HttpConnection.java:986)
at org.mortbay.http.HttpConnection.handle(HttpConnection.java:837)
at org.mortbay.http.SocketListener.handleConnection(SocketListener.java:245)
at org.mortbay.util.ThreadedServer.handle(ThreadedServer.java:357)
at org.mortbay.util.ThreadPool$PoolThread.run(ThreadPool.java:534)
# Posted By thomas | 8/5/07 5:04 PM
Thomas, I don't know enough about things to say whether copying that JAR file would help or hurt.

Honestly, it seems often that the easiest way to resolve curious problems with Eclipse-related tools is simply to create a new instance of it. You can create a new one while still keeping your old one (I have them at c:\eclipse and c:\eclipse-old (which I just renamed, and had no problems with any internal self-references breaking within it). Then you could update the new one with whatever extensions you want.

If that doesn't appeal, then really I'd recommend you take this problem to the Adobe forums (if you're feeling is that it's just these docs that are failing). Hope that helps.
# Posted By Charlie Arehart | 8/5/07 6:07 PM
The docs are failing because they are full of xml errors. Lots of unterminated tags and such. When the sax parser runs into one of those, the entire page is replaced by the error message. I've reported this as a bug to adobe months ago, but I haven't heard anything yet.
# Posted By Mike Rankin | 11/12/07 1:36 PM
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