My blog report for 2014

As at the end of past couple of years, WrodPress has created annual report of my blog activities. The report is available at

Some of the highlights are –

Unfortunately I did not get much time to blog in the last three months. I had many topics on which I wanted to write on, but the work schedule was quite hectic. I hope to write on those topics in the coming months.

-Ram Kulkarni

Configuring Apache on Mac OS X (Mavericks) for Python scripting

I spent a couple of hours today trying to figure out how to configure Apache Web Server on Mac OS X to execute Python scripts, so I thought I would document the process for my own reference.

OS X is preinstalled with Apache and Python. Apache executable (apachectl) is at /usr/sbin/apachectl and Python is at /usr/bin/python. But the configurations for Apache are at /etc/apache2, specifically in the file httpd.conf. If you open the file and look for DocumentRoot, you will find that default document root is set to /Library/WebServer/Documents.

I did not want to change the default doc root but at the same time did not want to store my scripts in the default folder. I could have created a virtual host or an alias. I decided to do the later because it is simpler than creating virtual host; and I was configuring Python for development only. So just below the document root setting I added the alias – Continue reading “Configuring Apache on Mac OS X (Mavericks) for Python scripting”

Encrypting data with Crypto-JS in JavaScript

I have been working intermittently on a HTML5 mobile application for some time now. This application stores some sensitive date locally (it is a standalone mobile application) and I did not want to store the data in clear text. I wanted to make retrieval of data difficult to some extent, if the device ends up in the wrong hands. So the data had to be encrypted. The application code is in JavaScript, so I started looking for a JS library that can encrypt data. I found that Crypto-JS met my requirements and it was easy to use too.

Before I proceed further, I must confess that my knowledge of encryption and digital security in general is very basic. So the solutions discussed in this post may not be the best in terms of protecting the data.

As I said, Crypto-JS is very simple to use. You can use different cipher algorithms like AES. DES etc. and APIs are simple. e.g. to encrypt using AES , you would call –

encryptedData = CryptoJS.AES.encrypt(textToEncrypt, secretPhrase); //include aes.js script

In the above API, the first argument to encrypt function is text data you want to encrypt, e.g. password. The second argument is a secret phrase (also called passPhrase). This could be any text. Secret phrase is the key that is used to encrypt the data. However you will have to use the same key (secret phrase) when decrypting the data. Continue reading “Encrypting data with Crypto-JS in JavaScript”

My Last Day at Adobe

After working in Macromedia/Adobe for ten years I decided to quit Adobe. Today was my last day at Adobe.

The last ten years at Adobe have been professionally and personally very satisfying for me. I have worked on some of the most technically challenging assignments in my career so far. Learnt a lot and put my learnings back into the products I worked on.

On the last day when I was reflecting on my journey in Adobe, I recall my interview as a candidate. Macromedia did not have an office at that time in Bangalore and I was interviewed in Windsor Manor hotel. I was the first engineer recruited for ColdFusion in Bangalore. When I joined the ColdFusion team, ColdFusion 7 release was in the final stages. I started with fixing a few bugs towards the end of the release. After that I worked on many features of ColdFusion and ColdFusion Builder in the subsequent releases.

Till a couple of months back I was not thinking about quitting Adobe. But then an opportunity came along that was so different from the way I was working in Adobe that I decided to take it up. I might write more about it later.

My best wishes to the ColdFusion team and the ColdFusion community.

-Ram Kulkarni

P.S. I joined back Adobe in June 2015.

AngularJS + JQueryMobile and Dynamic Loading of pages

I was experimenting with using AngularJS and JQueryMobile together and loading pages dynamically. The page loading and routing can either be handled by JQueryMobile ($.mobile.pageContainer.pagecontainer(“change”,“page_name”)) or AngularJS. With AngularJS you can use $route service along with ngView and/or use ngInclude .

ngInclude looked easy enough to start with, but did not turn out to be that easy. I will take as simple example of a login application. If user is not logged-in, the app will display the login page and after successfully logging in, the application will display the main page, with the option to logout. Continue reading “AngularJS + JQueryMobile and Dynamic Loading of pages”

Creating CFMobile Application using AngularJS

In my previous blog articles I had explained how to create CFMobile applications using JQuery, Bootstrap/JQueryMobile. Here are links to sample (CFMobileExpenseTracker) applications using the two UI frameworks –

I wanted to create the same application using AngularJS. It had been on my ‘to learn’ list for sometime now. So I spent the last weekend learning it. If you already know concepts of MVC and Dependency Injection, then understanding AngularJS is not difficult. The well documented tutorials also helped.

I decided to re-write CFMobileExpenseTracker using AngularJS and JQueryMobile. Since AngularJS provides very easy way to manipulate DOM, you really don’t need JQuery. But I had to include it in the application anyway because JQueryMobile depends on it. I also used JQuery for basic event handling.

Earlier in my application I had used client side custom tag (expenseList.cfm) to display expense items by calling JQuery APIs to modify DOM and update UI. I could get rid of this custom tag entirely after using AngularJS, because of templating features  and automatic synchronisation between model and view provided by Angular JS.

Here are the screen shots of the application –

Though I said that I re-wrote the application, it was not a complete re-write. I could reuse CFCs and made small modifications to index_include.cfm. I added a new JS file (angular_app.js) to crate AngularJS application and controllers – Continue reading “Creating CFMobile Application using AngularJS”

ColdFusion Splendor – When to use invokeCFClientFunction

I have seen some confusion when it comes to using invokeCFClientFunction. I have been asked this question a few times, more recently on LinkedIn, so I thought explaining it in a blog post might be a good idea.

If you don’t know already, ColdFusion Splendor has added support for client side CFML (<cfclient>) and this code is translated to JavaScript.  You can call JavaScript functions from cfclient and vice versa.

cfclient also makes calling asynchronous functions of PhoneGap easy by providing synchronous access to them. All device APIs are asynchronous in nature, but in cfclient block you call then as synchronous functions and ColdFusion translates them to asynchronous PhoneGap functions. All function starting with ‘cfclient.’, e.g., are asynchronous. In addition to device APIs, data access function, executeQuery and tag, cfquery, are also asynchronous in cfclient.

When you call asynchronous functions in cfclient, ColdFusion takes care of chaining callback functions – any code following an asynchronous function goes in the success callback function. But if you call asynchronous cfclient function form JavaScript code block, then ColdFusion compiler does not touch it. Note that if a UDF in cfclient block calls any asynchronous function (e.g. cfquery or any device APIs) then that function also becomes asynchronous.

Let’s see an example. In the following code, I have a UDF in cfclient block, createDatabase. It does not need any argument, but let’s say it takes one argument, arg1. This function calls queryExecute function, which is an asynchronous function – so createDatabase function also becomes asynchronous. If you call it from JavaScript and have some JS code to be executed only after database is created, then calling createDatabase function directly from JavaScript is not going to work as expected – Continue reading “ColdFusion Splendor – When to use invokeCFClientFunction”

Parsing JavaScript code using Mozilla Rhino

Last year I had blogged “Understanding AST created by Mozilla Rhino parser“, where I exaplained how to traverse AST to get all functions and variables. Since then I have received some comments, public and private, to provide sample code. So here is an example of how to parse JavaScript code and get all functions and variables using Mozilla Rhino.

Note that my intention here is not to build the complete symbol table for any given JavaScript code. And I have not run a lot of test cases on this code. The idea is to show how AST could be traversed and how hierarchy of symbols (functions and variables) be built .

So, for example, if you feed following JavaScript code to this program –

function func1()
	var local1 = 10;

	global1 = 20;

obj1 = {
	objFunc1 : function()
		var local2 = 30;
	objProp1 : "prop1"

You will get following output –

Function : func1
		Function : objFunc1

Yes, I know there are duplicates for object and closure – because they are first processed as variable names and then object/closure. This can be easily fixed, but I am going to leave it that way to keep the code simple. Continue reading “Parsing JavaScript code using Mozilla Rhino”

CFMobile Example – Accessing remote data from mobile application

So far I have posted CFMobile examples that were mostly standalone applications (except a photo application that uploaded image to server). However many mobile applications may need to interact with server, for example to show data from a remote database, to modify data or for many other purposes.

CFMobile features in ColdFusion Splendor make accessing remote CF server very easy. I will demonstrate this using a simple example – I will build a mobile app that displays employee records fetched from a remote CF server. The client side (cfclient) code calls a CFC on the server side which fetches data and returns result to the calling page. You will see that creating and accessing a server side CFC is as easy as it is in a completely server side CFML code – you don’t need to worry about writing code to make AJAX calls. cfclient does that for you transparently. I should mention here that this feature to call server CFCs from cfclient is not limited to mobile application, you can even use it for any web application.

Here is a screenshot of the application –


Continue reading “CFMobile Example – Accessing remote data from mobile application”