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Michaela Light 0:01
Hey, welcome back to the podcast. I'm here with John Farrar. And we're gonna be talking about cold fusion and open source learning, and an amazing new project he's working on that we're gonna dig into and the technologies using to create that. And also, coming up, we'll talk a bit about using open source in the corporate environment, which I know that's frightening for some people, but we're going to dig into there anyway, cuz we have to brave ColdFusion developers. So welcome, john.
John Farrar 0:30
Michaela Light 0:32
And for those of you don't know, John, he has been doing technology for decades now, I believe. And not only that, he isn't how he copes. He even has, he's going to prove to us the decades we'll see disappear from his virtual background. Now. Here's the proof of the decades.
John Farrar 0:53
That's that was.
Michaela Light 0:56
Oh, okay. I thought you were going to get a certificate saying you've been doing ColdFusion since 1907. Yeah.
John Farrar 1:02
Well, I started in 1990s.
Michaela Light 1:04
Yes, along with the rest 7777. When you were came out of the Navy doing flight simulation technicians.
John Farrar 1:15
Were the Navy programming. I worked on the Commodore PET. The first computer I Wow,
Michaela Light 1:24
I remember those all in one thing. vdu at the top and the keyboard all molded together.
John Farrar 1:32
It had 32 K.
That was the total system memory.
Michaela Light 1:38
k not not gigs. numbers. I know. So. k Yeah, I know. It's incredible. How do we do things that back then? I can't believe it. So open source learning server that sounds like another learning solution. Why does the world need another one? If you don't mind me asking.
John Farrar 2:01
Well, part of how I approach things my outlook in life is a lot of times people will start opposing each other. And it's the whole best practices philosophy. I was talking with my wife about this earlier. And you think a new improvement made anything that came before it bad. And that's absolutely ridiculous. I mean, I like camping. And you know what, I can go camping with a tent, all the old equipment, it still works, it's still a good experience. If I don't get to bring my watch. Because I don't get to charge it because I'm way too long. And I didn't want to bring solar power. It's still a good experience. Well, the same thing, a lot of what's out there right now for education is a good experience. It's not a bad experience. But there's opportunities to do better. And that's what I'm looking at what are the new opportunities. So that's why we're calling it the Open Learning server. The first opportunity that triggered this in my mind, because I've had courses online before. And I thought, Well, okay, what if I want to take that course and move it? Because it was that learnable? And what if I wanted to move it to you to me?
Michaela Light 3:28
Well, what happens right now is not possible.
John Farrar 3:34
Yeah, it is you keep all your original resources, and you go to the new interface, and you upload the video, you uploaded your text you? You cannot.
Michaela Light 3:45
So basically, it is it isn't possible. There's no porting.
John Farrar 3:49
It's not pragmatic, I will say that, and that's the problem. I would say at this point, it is a profound challenge to move a course from one platform to another.
Unknown Speaker 4:00
Michaela Light 4:02
So Well, before we delve more into open learning server, perhaps we should ask why you're coding in ColdFusion? Because you've got thousands of listeners who are ColdFusion developers or managers. And they're probably curious, you know, you're doing a fresh new project, why do it in cold fusion, and what any other technologies you're using?
John Farrar 4:25
Unknown Speaker 4:59
John Farrar 5:01
at this point, I don't have any courses, they changed how they were paying out, etc. So which was there, right? I'm not upset about that, but it did motivate me creating an update. So, but with that, and the fact that I have done a number of books through pact, I am used to creating learning resources. And cold fusion as I looked at that, what do I want to do? Do I want to jump ship or do something different? And I ended up writing my own framework, which was back during the jQuery days, but then we started going to these
the new Angular react
Michaela Light 5:48
and Vue. js, all those front end things, right. Let's use
John Farrar 5:55
the pw A's SPS, and would you
Michaela Light 5:59
like to feel okay, you better decode those acronyms p p, W, a progressive web app, what was the PSA was
John Farrar 6:08
a as pa is came before pw A's, they call it a single page application. Ah, you've hit a website and cold fusion or whatever your server is returns a page, then you enter a form or click on a link. And when you click or enter that form, goes back to the server kick to a new page. And everything's a new page. So with that, here's what changed. You go to the server with these new single page apps, which could be any of those three platforms and a few others, it brings back one page, but when you fill out a form, it sends the data, the server comes back. And it updates the page using templates. jQuery when we were using jQuery was nice. But you had to write these long manual scripts telling the page how to update and it was usually one page, you wouldn't do multiple pages that way. So that's where the single page app comes at runs like a multi page. But it's actually only one,
Unknown Speaker 7:17
Michaela Light 7:18
So and it's more more responsive for the user.
John Farrar 7:23
Yeah, the way I put it is jQuery brought us closer to a desktop experience for a single page. But we lost the ability to think in the nice clean simplicity of a template. Hmm. With the new technology, we're back to that friendly template plus, now we're thinking like an application instead of just a page within an application, that page application is massive web app is a generation beyond that. Progressive Web Apps add the ability to store the data in your browser cache, you can go online offline, which means it'll run like an actual app. In fact, if you store something on your device, you can go to the desktop, click on a progressive web app, that you downloaded the website, interface to your system, your device, including your computer, and it runs chromeless, it doesn't even run inside the browser, it looks and acts like a regular app. And if it's programmed that way, it can work offline. When you go back to online, it'll synchronize and a whole bunch of other features. So we're getting we're, it's kind of neat, because you can actually build a whole app if you don't need the full 3d Gaming or stuff as a progressive web app delivered to a user so they can stick it on their desktop and run it. Which when people do that, I think there's like a 60% increase in engagement. So it's worth it now.
Michaela Light 9:08
And that sounds impressive to have.
John Farrar 9:12
Yes. So there's all those benefits. And when the user wants to update it, you don't have to have any app store approval. But cuz you update it through your site through the pw a technology.
Michaela Light 9:29
Oh, so the next time they connect to the internet, it just gets the latest version
John Farrar 9:34
of the that's fundamentally at
Michaela Light 9:36
when we say when we say app, it's not like you have to code a special version for the phone or tablet. You're just coding a website using progressive web app technology, whether that's you or whatever.
John Farrar 9:51
It's not Xavier. Sounds cool.
Michaela Light 10:11
Microsoft, Microsoft hard to use? No, I'm just joking. Yes, but you're done.
John Farrar 10:17
Michaela Light 10:43
If you're early, it's called Microsoft pw a very imaginative name there.
Unknown Speaker 10:50
Unknown Speaker 10:53
Michaela Light 10:54
Project web app. So but you know, you're not using that you're using the you view j s, in order to achieve that, is that true?
John Farrar 11:12
I'm using Vue JS with other stuff. And I build a pw a correct?
Unknown Speaker 11:17
Michaela Light 11:18
And I just mentioned, listeners, if you're into progressive web apps, I did a whole episode on that with Ray Camden, Episode 73. And I'll put a link to that in the show notes. So let's talk a bit more you mentioned, you're using cfml. So does that mean Luci or Adobe ColdFusion. Or
John Farrar 11:40
we have not settled on that, in fact, my goal is to make it run on both. And I want to run on both because it is a open source project. And I would like and the goal is to make this free along the same idea how I'm going to say bad words in the ColdFusion community the same way WordPress is free.
I have to go get the developer soap and wash my mouth.
Michaela Light 12:11
It's just another framework. I mean, what's the big deal, guys?
Unknown Speaker 12:15
John Farrar 12:16
WordPress right now is literally over a third of the internet's running on it. And it's part of the reason for that is that platform is just totally free for anybody to use. You can put it you can put hosting on it. And I want to do the same thing with open learning server. And I want to make it just available. Now, historically, if we had tried to do this 10 years ago, doing Open Learning server with ColdFusion would have one major roadblock.
What percentage of servers offered ColdFusion?
Michaela Light 12:54
John Farrar 12:57
But there's this new technology. Something about shipping containers. Docker?
Michaela Light 13:04
Yes, that lets you run ColdFusion on any cloud server,
John Farrar 13:09
right? And you can go now to Google, run it there, when there's hosting, you can go to a shore, run it there, you can go to Amazon, run it there, including a artist now has a Amazon AWS image. I don't know how to use that. I can't learn everything. But I think it is awesome that they do because I can build containers, that or they can be stuck on that type of an image and run over there. Yeah, so fundamentally, my point is now ColdFusion can be run anywhere. So this is a viable service. Because one of the themes to containerization is what we call micro services. And then little container is a small piece. And if someone wants to build it and run a version of it on Lucy, or on Adobe ColdFusion, then they can do that. And I don't see any reason to fight that.
Michaela Light 14:21
Are you planning to use a microservice architecture for this or? Yes, absolutely. Um, so tell us what are microservices for those who haven't come across that because that's quite a new architecture. Not everyone's coding. I would say less than 1% of ColdFusion. Developers are coding using micro services.
John Farrar 14:40
Okay, let's say you have a front end belt with view. And you have people hitting it so they hit it and they get the stuff and it loads it. So your front end gets loaded to their browser, they can run it that's where your pw a is whatever. So once it's loaded, it doesn't get hit a lot.
let's say you have a very popular site. And there's so much traffic going back and forth for your API, your back end written in ColdFusion, that you have 10 servers running on that side. Well, you may only want for redundancy, two or three of your front end. And then you can scale as many as you need on the back end. Or historically, what we did is we put them both together. And those are different services, they don't have the same needs the same load. So there's no purpose to sticking together. So the micro service architecture, you scale the pieces that need to be scaled, and you keep that thing packaged. So it's funny we did this thing years ago in development, when we started doing object oriented code is called encapsulation. So you can think of if you're a developer, and you understand encapsulation, microservice architecture, is doing server encapsulation. The server that does this job should stand on its own, and it doesn't need to know about everyone else, it just needs to interface with them.
Michaela Light 16:20
I mean, that makes a lot of sense. Instead of having a monolithic server architecture, where, you know, like, you're saying that, that, that memory instance, and CPU instance has to deal with everything, right, um, you know, you split it up into different pieces. And if some part of your app needs, you know, 10 times as much resources, 10 months, much CPU or 10 times as much memory or whatever, the little micro service for that piece of the app, get those extra resources can have a whole cluster of copies of itself, so that it can provide what's needed. And then the, the bits of the app, they only get run occasionally or don't or aren't resource hogs, they don't need a lot of containers.
John Farrar 17:03
Well, a big monolithic app is like trying to end the Star Wars series. And you end up it's sort of like the Dark Lord that has all the power and everything. And when you try and migrate from that to something else, you have a lot of unhappy fans. So it really is like trying to end the Star Wars series.
Michaela Light 17:28
Last never gonna happen, I don't think
John Farrar 17:31
No, but that but the George Lucas series, the actual movies, they did get the last one with that. And the last series without giving spoilers, not everyone was happy with how it ended?
Michaela Light 17:44
Oh, well, then there's an opportunity there to have yet another sequel.
John Farrar 17:50
So well, they have to make a prequel
Michaela Light 17:52
or parallel quill or whatever you call it, where they go and do some story that happened at the same time as something else.
John Farrar 18:01
But to that point, there's too much power in one place. And the story just doesn't flow the same, something more like that other people want. But when you try and migrate out of that, it's very difficult. And that's the problem with a large monolithic server is how do you if you want to update a piece of it? How do you do that? You can't modernize small pieces simply. And I think that's one of the biggest challenges we have with software development for servers these days, is nearly everything in the past, we built monolithic, and migrating to small pieces as a skill in itself.
Michaela Light 18:44
Yes, you kind of have to totally refactor it really, there
John Farrar 18:49
are techniques to doing that, where we're doing that in my day job. And we're learning to migrate packages, have it with Vue JS to build front ends for those pieces and collections. So we're keeping it and then we can shift the back end after the fact. But we've got the whole front end for that segment to the monolithic app. So we're building a piece here and a piece here. And the model originally was you need to redo the whole front end the back end for these pieces. But with these FPGAs you're actually able to build a collection of the front end, just for those pieces. And you can keep using the back end and migrate that over to a separate API upgrade later. Let you first Yep. You know the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady. That is continual progress. And that's exactly what doesn't typically happen with a monolithic app. With with a monolithic app, Trying to get, you know, 100 hairs to beat the tortoise at the same time. There's a whole bunch of problems, they all the rabbits not only need to take naps at that point, they're necessity from dealing with Project Management.
Michaela Light 20:20
It is a problem. Let's turn to a somewhat controversial topic in cold fusion land, which is are you using a framework for the cold fusion part of this code? And if so, which one?
John Farrar 20:33
were choosing cold box, because it is the most actively supported framework out there. And there is aggressive updating in this framework. That last week, we just attended the annual into the box conference. I was teasing them during the podcast yesterday. I tell them next year, you need to do three tracks because I did two tracks. Do you two box tracks. But people keep saying they would like a track that's not box technologies. And call your third track out of the box.
Michaela Light 21:10
And you go well, I think a fair amount of their topics were not boxed, I'd say at least 30%. Last year was 50% of the stuff was just general ColdFusion.
John Farrar 21:20
It actually is but but that would signal to people that technologies will run outside of coldbox. But they don't realize that.
Michaela Light 21:30
Yes, well on here. And the other misconception both about the conference into the box and the whole line of box products is a lot of people think that you have to use code box to use Command box or test box and they're totally independent. In fact, although I understand why ot is named the wall box, this box the other M is confusing.
John Farrar 21:57
They got in the box when they were naming them.
Michaela Light 22:00
Yes, they got in. Terrible, terrible joke. So now they're forever having to educate people that you know at least half the box products, if not all of them. I I am a little confused if any of them actually depend any of the box products depend on call box. I sort of want to say none of them do. You know rule box lock box. I think they're independent as well. I asked Brad
John Farrar 22:29
swagger does but some of their libraries might but other than
Michaela Light 22:34
like the C CB promises or futures or whatever it was they just
John Farrar 22:39
actually I think that
might be independent also, but I'm not sure yet.
Michaela Light 22:44
I think the ones that start with CB are dependent on coldbox like CB, Elasticsearch and CB promises.
John Farrar 22:55
Right, you brought up the CB future, which is some of what's coming with cold launch six the next upgrade, which is what I'm targeting. One of the reason I'm using the bots technologies is I like Lucy, I don't not I Love Lucy and I like Lucy. For those of us who I'm not old enough to remember, but I have seen the reruns. But I like Lucy and I like Adobe ColdFusion. But their updates are not. They're not following the sprint model for updates, although Lucy has started to head that direction. so that it's not every two weeks or every four weeks, we get the next version, the next version, the next version. That's like they're doing that with Adobe Creative Cloud, for instance. But that's not the way we're getting it for ColdFusion. So we've got all these new features that are coming out in modern Java. Now we don't have the features because they're not built into Lucy or Adobe ColdFusion yet. So artists realized is those features are still completely accessible. And CB futures, CV streams, a lot of these technologies that they're building actually give us access to modern Java before they actually arrive from the core framework, you know, Lucy or Adobe ColdFusion. So why am I looking about using cold box? It's because I get to use more modern development techniques. And that is the theme of their podcasts, moderniser die. So what it looks like is they're actually eating their own dog food. They're achieving the non hypocrite status.
Michaela Light 24:57
Yes, they've always been good at that. I think maybe Make the dog food and the dog food.
John Farrar 25:02
But those technologies are generally available to the whole community, not just for box users. So
Michaela Light 25:10
yeah, I am pretty sure that those CB promises CB streams and CB Elasticsearch all require coldbox. I might be wrong on that. But I'm really had a chance to look look at CB promises in detail. And I'm not finding much in Google searches. So either but maybe I'll ping Brad and ask him and see if I can add something into the show notes on it, or at least a link, or so. So yeah, using a version six code box that just came out so you can leverage all these modern development techniques that are being released is great. And it works on either Lucy or Adobe CF. So right good. Either way, though, I will add the cobalt six. I forget what versions of leucine that Adobe CF is supports. But I want to say kind of the latest version or maybe one older version.
John Farrar 26:07
Yeah, there shake out the bugs. It's a it's not a full release. It's an RC candidate right now. Huh. So that like said they are shaking that off. I did a after the conference on Saturday, I did a doc update because I couldn't spin up these six beta. And I found out that you have to add special code to use the when you create an app with command box, you have to target the templates that are already aligned for the 6.0 version. Wow, the call marks dots and you say how to do it. That was my minor contribution, sir.
Michaela Light 26:48
All right. Well, I think I saw that on the box slack group. So thanks for helping on that and try it out. Hopefully, it'll get fully released. In the future.
John Farrar 27:01
All those dots are completely available. So if you have a GitHub account, they went out there who's listening and you cross something that should be updated in the docs, do a pull request, you will be very surprised how Louis originally was very open a pull request. And now he's like, Oh, my word. I'm getting way too many pull requests.
It's a rough life.
Michaela Light 27:29
It is well, that's why they hired all those developers in El Salvador to help out with all this open source development stuff because they couldn't do all their regular work and all of this open source stuff as well.
John Farrar 27:44
It is a frustration Lewis enjoys. So give him give him some pleasure for pain. Oh,
Michaela Light 27:54
So sounds like you've got a great technology stack there of ColdFusion coldbox. Vue js, letting you create a modern open source app. But let's go back to
John Farrar 28:09
work, by the way for database layer.
Michaela Light 28:13
Oh, I'll add that into the show notes. Quick, quick for those who those who've never come across it?
John Farrar 28:21
started with technologies like hibernate, and Hibernate was what's called an ORM object relation management. Historically, we said the database side. So remember, our former active community leader was in Florida. And he stated accurately for the time that your database is the foundation of your app. And it was back then. But nowadays, we have this thing where we start referring to instead of our data being the foundation, it runs up inside the app. And let's say you have a user, well, you have a user entity is what we call it. And let's say the user has a blog post, or the blog post or entities, the category is all these things will come entities and the database. All it does is it keeps a persistent store of what belongs inside the entities. So you're shifting the thinking to the database is just for persistence. They actual think, and the way stuff codes goes up inside the entities. And you get the same thing when you using view x, there's a view x ORM. And you can hook axios into it. And when you look at actually sending a call from view x using the ORM entity, and say your entities, you're looking for a post you do blog dot API dot get and you pass it to URL, and it will automatically populate the entity object. When the object populates the pages automatically update. And you handle it all with that because you set up the object, the objects have all the logic in them.
Michaela Light 30:16
So it basically it basically is it creates an object orientated database layer on top of your relational database.
John Farrar 30:25
Right is a, if you've done cold fusion ORM, and you've been frustrated with it. Look at Quick, quick is achieving what you were looking for.
Michaela Light 30:41
Now it's quick, the same as QB, I think I've seen it referred to as that as well.
John Farrar 30:45
B is a library quick depends on Oh, okay. Well, very cool, something to play security built Query Builder. And basically, it lets you build elegant queries without having to go to
Again, the benefit to that is if someone's on my sequel, or someone's on Postgres, or someone's on Microsoft SQL or Oracle, it just works and knows the dialect, it will translate for you. And quick, quite often quick will out run off the built in LRM. So maybe they named it quick for a reason. And Eric did not pay me for any of these comments.
Michaela Light 31:37
Yes, he's the whatever the chief quick developer
Unknown Speaker 31:41
is the quick, Lord, quick.
Michaela Light 31:45
Okay. All right. I think we should move now to what you're doing with this open learning server, you know, who's gonna use it.
John Farrar 32:02
And why? The number one, if you're a teacher, you're creating courses and you want portability. Let's say I create a course that ton of open a server just on the internet. And someone comes to me and they're Corporation. They lock down everything coming and going for the company for security. So for anything like this, they want their staff to be able to take my course. But it has to be moved inside their server. Well, using open learning server, I can be creating courses and others can. And they can take that package course and install it inside their server for this, the staff to use, because it's packaged double. So they just set it inside their server. Of course, they still may have to open up depending how we build it for YouTube or Vimeo for the video. But usually that isn't a security issue.
Michaela Light 33:07
So what you're saying is the educational institution can you know, instead of depending on a a, you know, a cloud based, cloud based proprietary learning system, they can put this in the cloud, they can put it on their own servers, right? They can move it around really easily.
John Farrar 33:26
That's one of the four focus areas. Yes, that was the first,
Michaela Light 33:32
oh, well tell us the other three.
John Farrar 33:35
It might not for a good course.
Michaela Light 35:22
Well, it might Yeah, it could take you don't have to do what you're saying, figure out what the sweet spot is. So you can just put all the trick learning in there and training and you can also, I assume the system would know what paths through the learning. Right? Then people have done and tell you that here's where they focused, here's where you need to add more. Here's where they got stuck.
John Farrar 35:47
Let's say someone's coming along, they've learned front end development, but they're not really a database person. And they they hit the database section, or they could pivot for that part of the course to a more detailed track. Hmm. Or if they're reading through it, they're just like, okay, I thought I knew this part that can repeat a more detailed track and then boosts back up to the fast track. That's kind of a cool concept. I wish people wrote books like that. But how do you, but you'd have to write an ebook with multiple that may be in the future. Maybe I'll Inspire to that. But I'm trying to do it with the courses at least.
Michaela Light 36:30
So I think that has been done. I've seen novels where you it was bit primitive. But basically, you got to decide what the, you know, what you where the characters would go, you know, is this character going to get promoted or killed off or whatever. And then the novel has an alternative version based on that. So I forget what they call those things. And let's face it, a lot of role playing video games work that way. Right.
John Farrar 36:58
I remember an old flipbook that to move from page to page it was like a dog fighter game, that was the first one of those I ever saw.
Michaela Light 37:06
I think I think in
John Farrar 37:09
turn the plane during a dogfight whether you would fire and your page and your that's how you knew whether you beat the opponent or not. Oh,
Unknown Speaker 37:19
there you go.
John Farrar 37:20
It was fun back when, before we had all this technology.
Michaela Light 37:27
But I think I I think there is a convergence between video games and education in that a lot of education gets gamified they give you scores, and points make it more fun, and, and a fair chunk of games have some educational component to them.
John Farrar 37:44
I am for gamification. Personally, I will probably support it, but I probably won't build the courses that do what I call edutainment. If I have to entertain you, for you to enjoy learning, I probably won't be the person that will build the course you want. Because I try and do my education or entertainment app now making it fun. I'm okay with but sometimes I think people feel too dependent on entertaining their audience. I want someone who wants to learn what I'm teaching. If I'm gonna make a fantasy story, I'll go do that separate.
Michaela Light 38:30
John Farrar 38:31
So why don't we quickly talk about the I think there were two other reasons why the second is what I call adaptive instruction based on your test tags and instructor puts in there or quiz scores a correspond to be able to figure out what you need more what should go slower, what should be repeated. So actually give it the ability to give you assistance and aim at the tracks. And here's a wild concept. As you're going through and you're struggling with those things. Imagine if the course could tell the instructor people are having problems in these areas so the instructor could know to make additional instruction or to create links that it automatically would hand to students that are struggling in those areas. So adaptive instruction I laughed once I realized that that depends on AI and I happen to have picked two letters that match AI so I'm going to keep those so the last the fourth and last was what I call rNr. And we all take courses as we're taking the course and we get done. Over time we lose the course we lose what we did all that learning but it doesn't stay with us. They are at our is repetition for retention. And what I want to do is build a system. When you take a course you have a big chapter, a difficult chapter you read, you go through it, do the exercises, you get the concept, but it's new to you. Well, you need some repetition there. But you don't want to do the whole chapter. Let's be honest, anyone besides me highlight the books, absolutely hard books, I get the marker I highlight. And what percentage of the time do you go back and scour those for the highlights?
Michaela Light 40:32
Yeah, not too much. So I, I do that on my Kindle books. And there's an app now that will take all those highlights, and, you know, quiz you on them on in a spaced repetition, way. So similar to what you're suggesting,
John Farrar 40:45
right. And that's what I'm after. I want to be able to pull that back and even let someone make notes while they're doing and find ways to integrate that. in people's learning styles. People learn different, we have different motivations. One of the books that I really like, I don't know if you've ever heard of this book,
Michaela Light 41:06
what motivates me, it's flickering in and out of the the virtual background you have running there. That very cool background, john.
John Farrar 41:15
So what motivates me years ago, because I do life coaching stuff on the side. And my wife took, like one of the Strength Finders things that I took, and she went, took the course. And we were having a while after that, a one of those relational tension points. And she got think and wonder if I can use my strengths to figure out a way through this debate. So she got thinking about them. And she asked me because one of her top strengths is harmony. So she said, Honey, where is harmony on your list? I went and checked. I said, it's number 34. He said, 34, how many are there? I said, there's 34. She says, okay, so harmony is not always a priority with you. I said no, I, I said my actual core heart and beat is strategic strength. I'm very much about strategy, learning ideation, those are my top strengths. So to that point, A while later, I went took this book, they have an online test. And I walked into the other room, I said, I'm done with the test. So here's what Miss harmony says. I don't know harmony was on vacation that day. So she said, Well, because of the harmony and the bottom score, she says, What's your bottom score and motivation?
I'm like, really?
Now, unfortunately, she's been learning from me about the coaching stuff. So she caught me and I didn't even catch this. She said, You're dodging? Oh, she was right. I was dodging. I said. So I look at my wife. And I said, Well, my bottom motivation is making money. And I nice support full way. being sarcastic, curious, she says, boy, this test is accurate. But it was I really I make money when it has a strategic benefit. Otherwise, I don't care. But my top motivation is impact. So when you mix my string strategy, strategic strengths are my core, and my top motivation is impact, you start to understand why I do stuff. That's why I'm more of a coach than I am a comforter.
Michaela Light 44:01
I'm gonna have to read all these different options in this book. So So I've tried out,
John Farrar 44:06
that is where my kick is in the same way. So you're looking at strengths as far as talents go, you're looking at motivations. Well, when we're building learning systems, do our learning system speak to the individual learner? are we focusing on the learner? Are we making our teaching agile? Or are we making a more a course that lets the student become more agile? I think right now, our courses are getting better and better at helping a student learn to apply themselves with agility that's out there. What I don't see is more and more systems and some of this has already been created in different places, but it's not the top leading courses by the court. Software sights, I want to say more agile instruction. And I want to equip the instructors with more tools and resources to achieve that. And that's why I'm calling this project my Open Learning server I've had about a code name, because I'm in the cold fusion world. No, it's not named after a god. But what I wanted to do is think of a name for the project that expressed that. So what we're calling this is project Solomon. Hmm. And I'm assuming you know, who's that? Do you know who this teacher Solomon would be?
Michaela Light 45:40
No, no, no top of my head?
John Farrar 45:42
You do, but you aren't thinking of it, but just fine. And it's all of them. Helen Keller's teacher. Oh, okay. If there's any buddy who understood agile instruction, I'm gonna give her a top 10
Michaela Light 45:59
because Helen Keller was deaf and blind. And he still was able to learn and achieve a lot in life, thanks to Dan Sullivan.
John Farrar 46:08
Right, that took a lot of creative engagement, a lot of Agile instruction. And if we can take a AI and the tools and stuff we have out there nowadays, I think we can take learning to a new level, not by creating another tool, but using the tools we already have. Let's go ahead and put a lot of this technology to taking the creativity the instructors and the creators, and letting them engaged more productively with the students.
Michaela Light 46:42
Wow, why sounds really cool, john, if listeners want to help, how can they do that?
John Farrar 46:48
I, I think you have a link, they can send a link, there's two types of help we're looking for right now. One is if you want to be a beta learner, as we start creating this, you can list yourself there. And the other is if you want to help create courseware. And I think I need to go ahead and add a third link to that. But if you and that third link that I'll need to add is a link for people who want to help actually create the lls software and resources.
Michaela Light 47:21
All right. Well, we'll put that link in there is a business of dot technology is the website. And then there's quite a long URL after that, but we'll put it in the show notes. Don't you love those new domains? I know you can just have any word almost. So let's let's set it thank you for sharing all about how you're doing this and the technology stack you're doing to do create it.
John Farrar 47:49
This my core strengths, the strategic impact and the desire to create Open Learning server and the overlap.
Michaela Light 47:58
There you go.
John Farrar 47:59
So yes, I am highly motivated, to see if I can get I can't do it alone. I'm sure of that. But I think I can do a lot to anchor the project. So
Michaela Light 48:12
great. So let's talk about a question. I've heard among quite a few ColdFusion developers who work in corporate jobs. You know that there's resistance to using open source inside corporations. And I know you have some strong views on that. So
John Farrar 48:35
Well, one of the reasons they don't like to use open source I'm going to go over the reasons that I've been told is when it comes to open source, what are you? You're using code written by someone else? How do we know we can trust it? And here's the question I have. How many people work for, let's say ColdFusion. Or if someone's using PHP and using Zend. Or if you're using Microsoft Windows? How many people actually wrote this new part of the software that you're putting into use Microsoft Teams, or whatever? All these commercial things are written by a limited number of people and tested by a limited number of people?
What's the difference?
I understand now wanting commercial support for something that's fine. But a lot of open source solutions actually offer commercial support. So if you're getting if that's your thought, and that's your reasoning, then resisting open source that didn't have commercial support. That makes some sense. But if you can get commercial support for it, that's another thing plus open source. If the feature is not doing something and you hit a critical snag You could actually hire a third party person to create a fix, and then contribute that back to the open source. But you could get up and running again. If there's a critical bug in Microsoft Teams, you have to wait for Microsoft to fix it.
Michaela Light 50:19
Right? And their release cycle on fixing it, their priority on it, important is it to them? And what's their release cycle.
John Farrar 50:27
Now one of the
flaws and the new book that I'm reading through not done yet, this book on architecture,
Michaela Light 50:34
fundamentals of software architecture, who's that by,
John Farrar 50:38
it's by two gentlemen, Mark Richards, and the old Ford. That's an O'Reilly book. And it is a very new book, it just came out. It doesn't it doesn't no longer it no longer has a new car smell, but it is still pretty new. The one of the things they bring out is, if you find a solution that does everything, and there's no drawbacks to it. All that means is you haven't used the solution very long. Because that's what there are no solutions without trade offs. And that's one of the principles they treat, teach everything as trade offs. There is no best solution, there's only a solution that you're going to choose because it's the mix you're choosing. Mm hmm. And it's good to know that in fact, one of the things they're teaching is the second rule of architecture, is the Why is more important than the how. So now they've got me all messed up. Because I've got all these Doc's I've written over the years, going back saying, Okay, now someone reading this Doc, and telling him how to do something. But as things change, and needs change, and technology changes, they don't have the wise I made the decision. So they don't know if they should flip a switch on something or not. And I'm like, this is a really good book, it's painful. But it's a really good book.
Michaela Light 52:11
But we'll put that down in the show notes for people who want to find it more easily, along with some other books on learning systems that you mentioned to me earlier, folks in that, but I'm coming back to open source in a corporation. So you know, you can get support and the ones you're using for this project, you know, you said you you, you would use Adobe ColdFusion. Or you might use Lucy, I mean, you can get support paid support for Lucy ColdFusion. Right coldbox, you can get paid support for coldbox huge view da s, I'm assuming you can get paid support for that. I'm not sure who provides that.
John Farrar 52:49
If you can't get it from the core group, which you might be able to, there are plenty of third parties that actually have qualified people that do it. And that's the other thing a lot of time, you just need to make sure that it's a platform that can be supported. And view j s that Evan u y o u that is his actual name, who created Vue js, he has been building an organization around him. And they're very open with how they're doing stuff, why they're doing it. They take pull requests, just like Louis's does Louis does with coldbox while the other bots technologies. So it's neat to be able to contribute and see something come back at a really rapid form.
Michaela Light 53:42
And, you know,
as he said to me earlier, it's sort of like companies that were like, they're okay using Microsoft VS code, but they were, you know, because even though that's open source, but it you know, um, but right,
John Farrar 53:57
well, we'll use VS code to create software, we use lots of tools that are open source, but we don't want our stuff written that way. And I was like, okay, a lot of this is just a comfort or Yeah, getting back to this book speaking which books since I have a lot of them.
Michaela Light 54:17
The outward mindset, I'm saying because some of the people are not on video, so they have to hear it right.
John Farrar 54:22
Thank you the outward mindsets written by the arvinder Institute. They wrote a couple of books before that on mindset and understanding and you're going to like this. All the books they teach when you have the bad mindset, you know what they call it? No. It's being in the box. Oh. Okay. So here, I like to go to an annual conference into the box. I must have a bad mindset.
Michaela Light 54:51
Yeah, naturally, you should go to the out of the box conference.
John Farrar 54:54
That's why I need the other track.
Michaela Light 54:56
Yes, there you go.
John Farrar 54:59
But Learning to have an outward mindset, which is the good side of that
Unknown Speaker 55:05
is, and by
John Farrar 55:06
the way, we all get into the box daily, it's learning to spot it, and learning to shift out of it. And learning to do that is what their books are about. And I would say if someone has a corporate mindset, we don't use that. You could be correct, because architectures say that you might be correct. But I would strongly encourage you to consider getting a copy of these books, putting your people through the books, and then finding out if it's a in the box mindset driving that conclusion. Because it could be, we could be doing it for the wrong reasons, but for the right motives.
Michaela Light 55:58
I think another reason some people in corporations don't like open source is they're afraid that some legal implication, if they utilize some open source in their software, now suddenly their software has to be open source as well. And most modern open source licenses don't require that all
John Farrar 56:18
correct. If I think WordPress
Michaela Light 56:20
actually does have some of those limitations, there's an example of where you would not use WordPress, if right, but but jQuery or Angular or react or view or Lucy or coldbox? None of those have that legal implication there. Right? They are. They basically say, don't rip off this software itself and give it another name and pretend it's yours and sell it for money. You can't do that. But you want to use it to make other things with it fine. But
John Farrar 56:49
if you want to build a product, put it in there as record tech and sell it for money. They're completely happy with that. But you can't sell that library as yours for money.
Michaela Light 57:03
Yeah, that would be deceptive. So so any other false reasons out there are real reasons why people don't use open source.
Unknown Speaker 57:15
John Farrar 57:21
more than likely commercial products that they're using have open source and them but they probably are using open source and don't know it. But that's a that's a humor point of mine that I've debated over the years. But I don't really think that there's that I know of any dominant reason I think the intentions are good. And I think that's a lot of it when someone says I don't want to use open source. They have good reasons for that. We need to look at what their intentions are, what their motivations, yeah, guess what? It's leaking through, they've corrupted me. We need to look at their intentions, we need to engage with them and consider what their concerns are. help them reach their objectives. And we may be able to reach their objectives with open source. They just need to understand that so stop fighting against them, and start competing with them. We're on the same team. And one of the things I will say that book, the outward mindset, I found really interesting. They said, What if you're in a company where nobody else is going to get out of the box. They showed very solidly, that if you do, it will benefit you even if no one else does. So you don't become outward minded to control other people, you become outward minded for your benefit. And if someone has an stigma on stuff like that, look at your options. You may not need to lead a company but you know, that's an option. But I would say before you think that way because you're frustrated because they won't use open source. Read the book. It'll change your outlook. And by the way, you don't have to read it you can get audible
Michaela Light 59:24
Okay, you can
John Farrar 59:25
Michaela Light 59:27
Well we'll put that book with the all the other ones you've shared, and
John Farrar 59:32
in the shownotes that by the way, for someone who's low on harmony,
it's a really good book.
Michaela Light 59:45
So let's let's turn to the questions I ask all my guests which show Firstly, why are you proud to use ColdFusion
John Farrar 59:53
I have used ColdFusion for decades. It has provided me a stable income Cold Fusion has provided my customers and or the companies I work for a profitable, productive solution. So basically, because it's been faithful to me as a creative tool, and it's been faithful to the people that I've created things for, since it's winning on all fronts.
I like using tools that went.
Michaela Light 1:00:29
Very good. So, you know, sometimes people are concerned, the ColdFusion might be dying, or I think that's a bunch of, you know, I can't think of a polite term for it. But bs would be the polite term. I
John Farrar 1:00:45
call that a myth.
Michaela Light 1:00:46
Yeah, it's a myth. And it's a myth that's been floating around. And if it was going to be true, it would have happened by now, which it hasn't. But the question is, what would it take to make ColdFusion even more live this year? In your opinion?
John Farrar 1:01:05
When I look at ColdFusion, what I look at is, well, in my coaching course that I teach, we have a slogan, the core of it is how will you influence your future today? So let's look at cold fusion. If we've had a down year, we've had an up here, if it's still viable if we can still win with it, and it's still something that my customers will win with. That's what I'm looking at, is what is it? How do we win with it today? And that's one of the things I like about vortices offerings, they're looking at here's Java stuff, we're not getting as fast because of the way it's developed. So does that handicap us with ColdFusion? No, it doesn't. And they're showing us how we can pull that stuff in and actually implement it. And they're building libraries for us. And they're open source, so we can look at how they did it and build libraries, too. So bottom line, is cold fusion has by example. And by these processes, we have the past winning, we have the past, influencing our future. And that's what we do is we approach it with a good mindset. And we don't look at
in this is one of the things I tell my family regular. Have you ever heard that someone will bring something up? And they say, well, what's wrong with this?
I don't want to ask What's wrong with it? I want to know what is this what I need to win? Is that a viable path to winning? And what what makes it so I can win with it if it's answering those questions. I don't need to know what's wrong with it because I know it's right.
And that's a lot of that's just attitude and mindset.
Michaela Light 1:03:00
Well, I you know, I part of the CF alive mission is to help shift mindsets in ColdFusion developers to realize is alive and modern, and a secure language. And it's better than you know, most other platforms out there at this point in time with all those box tools and all the other cool stuff you know that Pete found yo puts out and fusion reactor guys and the stuff people are Lucien Adobe, you know, there's amazing new things, and it's really fast developing and runs fast. One of the big trends that
John Farrar 1:03:35
a lot of technology right now is command line utilities. And that's everything from composer, PHP to view ccli, the node package manager tools, etc. What like all those tools, we have command box, and it's one of those newer things. And I've heard people who have left the ColdFusion community and club including one who I feel free to quote, without him feeling insulted. Ray Camden said if command box had been out when he left he wouldn't have. And he didn't leave because he didn't like ColdFusion there was job needs, etc. And he's still by staff with his blog, he's still got stuff that very connected with us. And he's still a very avid friend of the community. So
Michaela Light 1:04:32
he is I've had him at least twice on the podcast so on that progressive web app episode was with with him. So and I just want to say to listeners, you know, what would it take for you to help make cold fusion more alive, maybe there's some small thing people listening can do to just make the whole see cold fusion community more positive or to do a blog post or social media posts. There's something positive about what you've done with ColdFusion, or what you're excited about in ColdFusion 2020, or the latest version of Lucy, or kobach, six, or whatever the thing is. And I think every single person who is listening to this podcast who is in the ColdFusion community as a CF program, I can do at least one small thing every week, that pushes cold fusion to being more alive. And it only has to take a minute if it's a small thing, or it might take an hour if it's a bigger thing, but depends how much time you have to support the revolution. But if all,
John Farrar 1:05:38
huh, the tortoise and the hare it's slow, steady progress, it's not the giant, shiny stuff. It's especially when you have all of us contributing. Yeah, momentum, and momentum. All we win.
Michaela Light 1:05:54
And and sometimes I'll just say this is will controversial. Sometimes that contribution could be keeping your mouth shut, and not saying something critical of someone else's trying to do something in the community. But thinking how can I support them? What is it they're doing good that I like? or How could I give them feedback in a supportive way of the things I think they want to improve instead of ripping them a new excretion hole? Okay, I'll come off my soapbox there. But you know, I think I think that's been an issue in the past in our community. And I think that's been changing. And I just want to acknowledge that sometimes not typing a reply that was going to be nasty is the right thing to do.
John Farrar 1:06:43
Right? The there's been a habit in the past for people to say, why are we building another one of these? Yeah, well, that's because over time, let's say, Why build a new taxi service?
Michaela Light 1:06:58
Because maybe the other ones didn't give everything you needed? Or maybe you are. And that's disruption.
John Farrar 1:07:03
There's a new way
of doing things new opportunity. And why build a new style of bookstore? Amazon? Why bow the new style of server, Docker? Because good can come from it. So right instead of saying that, say, you know, I don't have a vision for what you're doing, but I'll watch because you may surprise me good luck.
Michaela Light 1:07:31
There you go. Or if you do resonate with it, maybe help out or promote it and tell other people about it.
John Farrar 1:07:38
Now for construct offer a critical criticism that cynicism,
Michaela Light 1:07:44
there you go. Now, you went to the into the box conference, as did I, which was a virtual conference this year, because of the whole lockdown situation, and had soft waters for pulling that together in just a month or so. You know, when they found out there was a lockdown. And they had to put this together? What did you enjoy it this year's into the box, john?
John Farrar 1:08:06
Well, I enjoyed the it's still had multiple tracks, it was the sessions were still engaging. And technically, in some cases, I may have been closer to a screen, so the screen may have been larger. So that's nice. But the I like the tracks, in particular I am. And some of the stuff I talked about artists, adding them updating and modernizing ColdFusion. I really liked some of those features. And it was the first attempt. So we weren't good at it yet. But there was several times during the thing where we were using this code code interface. And we got together for group chats. And we actually had those sit down chats, we didn't get to sit at a bar or go to a restaurant or something like that. But we had some of that. And we will learn to do that with online conferences. And I I have said this already, of all the online conferences I've attended today, this is the first multi track one I have attended. So that was a big bonus. And number two, because we had some of that actual connecting happening. It's initial, we still have a long way to go more to learn. But we actually were doing some of that social we would have missed
missed because we aren't there in person
and wasn't as good.
But it was there and we're learning so that's a new thing. And I'm expecting because of this whole virus and there's going to be a whole thriving and focus of people being disruptive building online conferences now.
Michaela Light 1:09:51
Absolutely. I've heard a lot about that. So well. Great. Well looking forward to into the box in 2021. I'm sure Lots of amazing things there. For folks who missed into the box, I just want to let you know you, it's possible to buy the recordings of all the sessions, I think they'll be, they'll be out in a couple of weeks. So in other words, they'll be out in June. Because we're recording this in the middle of May, I don't know when this episode we'll release. And, you know, if you, it's not just about box stuff, there was a lot about other cool things you can do in ColdFusion, and database stuff and all kinds of great content in there.
John Farrar 1:10:35
So there was a Kubernetes session. I must be more than for Doctor, but I went to the Kubernetes.
session, it was informative.
Michaela Light 1:10:45
Yeah, they were great speakers, every single Speaker I saw really did a great job. So hats off to all the speakers and artists. And thanks to the sponsors for helping out of it. That includes my you know, terror attack because we one of the sponsors as well, but found do and fusion reactor and artists were also sponsors.
John Farrar 1:11:06
And I would have been more sponsors. But when they only have a month, they haven't done this before. We're all off center. There you go. Well adjust. That's what agility is about.
Michaela Light 1:11:19
Right. So I really appreciate you coming on the podcast and talking to us about open learning server and open source software and cold fusion technology stacks. JOHN, if people want to find you online, what's the best way to do that?
John Farrar 1:11:36
Well, they probably look for me on
Unknown Speaker 1:11:41
there we go.
John Farrar 1:11:44
I gotta think what's the business site? Not Facebook?
Michaela Light 1:11:49
John Farrar 1:11:50
Yes, I had learnable in my brain and couldn't get past it. LinkedIn, if you look for john, for our LinkedIn, I'm there. If you have, if I see ColdFusion or something in there, I will usually follow you back and connect there. If you're trying to market your business resources and whatnot, then I often don't because not because I don't respect that it's actually labor because I try and realize I have limited capacity. So I try to keep my focus, because other words, if someone community has a question, I can't answer it because I'm distracted with the other.
Michaela Light 1:12:34
All right, well, cool. Well, we'll put your LinkedIn URL into the show notes. I think you'll relate it to CF, we'll see you not
John Farrar 1:12:45
I have played around in there. I love their framework. It's a it's a little different than how I'm going to be building my stuff. But I will tell you, there are a lot of times where say if wheels is a front choice solution. And
Michaela Light 1:13:01
don't you have a website that has SOS in it? I used to and I have SOS apps,
John Farrar 1:13:07
but I actually it's offline at
Michaela Light 1:13:08
the moment. Oh, well, we won't put that one in the show notes.
John Farrar 1:13:13
I'm pushing over to business of technology,
Unknown Speaker 1:13:16
John Farrar 1:13:18
which is business of technology. I love these domains.
Michaela Light 1:13:22
There you go. Well, great. Well, thanks so much, and see you next years into the box.
Unknown Speaker 1:13:28
I will be there hopefully
Transcribed by https://otter.ai