Question for Lighthouse Pro Users

This post is more than 2 years old.

I know I've asked this before - but I'm on the edge now and want a "sanity" check before I jump. Lighthouse Pro makes extensive use of Flash Forms. In some cases, it does so for simply stuff like the editing of project loci (this just means the bug area). The only time where it makes great use of it is the project view. However, I'm running into trouble trying to make some simple changes to it. For example - if you filter by Open, then edit a bug, then submit, the grid comes back with all items selected. The guys over at ASFusion sent me a nice example of how to get around that, but it is becoming problematic.

It occurs to me I could switch to a simple HTML form and just be done with it. I'd lose the filtering and sorting w/o a server refresh though. Filtering could be down with a simple auto-reload, and it would probably be nice and fast. Sorting should be fast as well.

Now - before you ask - I know I could AJAX (flavor of the year) and some fancy DHTML, but I'm not. My goal here is to keep it simple.

Would there be anyone using LHP now who would stop if I removed the Flash Forms? Would there be people who would start if I did?

Raymond Camden's Picture

About Raymond Camden

Raymond is a senior developer evangelist for Adobe. He focuses on document services, JavaScript, and enterprise cat demos. If you like this article, please consider visiting my Amazon Wishlist or donating via PayPal to show your support. You can even buy me a coffee!

Lafayette, LA https://www.raymondcamden.com

Archived Comments

Comment 1 by Dave Crawford posted on 12/22/2005 at 12:50 AM

Ray,

I would really start using it if you removed the flash forms. I am hosting at CrystalTech, and with IIS and "check if file exists" with CF (including the SWF files), the Flash Forms fail, in a similar fashion as CFGraph stuff.

While I think Flash Forms have a great deal of potential, but in a shared hosting environment, there seems to be some issues.

I am looking for a CF/web-based tracking tool and Lighthouse Pro appeals to me, but as it stands now, I can't run it.

Thanks.

Dave

Comment 2 by Zach Stepek posted on 12/22/2005 at 12:59 AM

Ray,

I like Flash Forms, but I definitely wouldn't _stop_ using LHP if you removed them. I'd love to see the result of tying this into a Flex 2 app, but that's because everything I'm doing now I'm building the Admin UI's in Flex 2 when possible, even when it means installing a few copies of the Debug Player for 8.5. And as far as the CrystalTech issue Dave is having goes, I host some of my sites with CT, and haven't had any trouble with Flash Forms yet, though I can honestly say it's been quite a while since I've tried using Flash Forms on one of their servers, I switched to HostMySite almost 6 months ago now for all my new sites.

- Zach

Comment 3 by Raymond Camden posted on 12/22/2005 at 1:03 AM

A Flex2 would be nice. (Ahem). But wouldn't be officially supported.

Comment 4 by Brad posted on 12/22/2005 at 1:24 AM

Ray,

I was on the verge of using LHP and the only thing I thought would be nice was to have is a regular old HTML version. So, yes...I would now be more inclined to use it.

One other thing about Flash forms. I think they're great, but all of the sites I've used them on have been converted back to HTML forms or are in the process of switching. This was largely based on customer requests.

I look foward to using LHP.

Thanks,
Brad

Comment 5 by Sami Hoda posted on 12/22/2005 at 1:41 AM

Ray,

Are you saying that when you filter, its showing all the rows as having been 'edited', and thus selecting all? If that is the case, then let me know, there is a way around that...

Sami

Comment 6 by Raymond Camden posted on 12/22/2005 at 1:43 AM

Let me go into more detail. You change loci to DB. It correctly filters. You pick one. You edit and save. On reload, loci is back to all. To make it remember DB is no big deal. TO make it refilter is very difficult.

FYI, I've got a few of the forms in HTML already and I'm feeling better about it. Things are much more responsive.

Comment 7 by Anthony posted on 12/22/2005 at 1:56 AM

Interestingly I run LHP on 3 systems, all Windows using IIS and have never run into the "if file exists" bug. One is even the vanilla install of IIS with no configuration changes. @ others are production environments. What causes this error anyway? (besides the server checking to see if a file exists, got that part :P)

Comment 8 by Ben Rogers posted on 12/22/2005 at 2:44 AM

We're still running ColdFusion 6.1. Consequently, we haven't been able to use Lighthouse Pro. If dropping the Flash forms opened the door to backwards compatibility with ColdFusion 6.1, then we might start using Lighthouse Pro.

Comment 9 by Dave Crawford posted on 12/22/2005 at 2:58 AM

It appears that the "check if file exists" problem is two fold. Flash Forms make reference to .SWF files that don't physically exist. Somehow IIS (if the "check" flag is on), steps in before hand and if custom error handling is turned on, redirects to the custom error handler, before CF ever gets an opportunity to "serve" the SWF content.

At least in my hosted environment, I am told that I can either have the "check for file existence" on and have a custom 404 page, or off, and be stuck with the CF 404 handler, but I can't have both capabilities.

I have toyed with Flash Forms on my local dev box with no problems, but in my hosted environment they don't work - neither does CFGraph.

Dave

Comment 10 by Anthony posted on 12/22/2005 at 3:19 AM

That sucks. I assume there isn't a way around it yet, is it possible that future versions can fix this somehow? I like Flash Forms and think they have great potential in the future. Would really annoy me if there was no way to get past IIS. Either way I'll keep using LHP.

Maybe an option in defaults.cfm to use Flash Forms in capable?

Comment 11 by Steve Walker posted on 12/22/2005 at 3:44 AM

I will be using LHP regardless. If you take out Flash Forms and they serve my needs better, I'll put my own back in.

On a completely unrelated topic, AvantGo now synchronizes RSS feeds. Now I get Ray, Ben, and ASFusion on my Treo...

Comment 12 by Gary Fenton posted on 12/22/2005 at 4:57 AM

I'm desperate for you to remove flash! We want to use LHP on our LAN which we must RDP to access securely. At the moment RDP makes Flash perform much slower - even slower than it does in a local browser! ;-)

I've moved LHP onto its own website on port 89 and none of the Flash forms can load data from the db. Is this a Flash Remoting problem with regard to non-standard port numbers?

Comment 13 by Rob Gonda posted on 12/22/2005 at 5:25 AM

IMO flash forms are too slow. Flex 2.0 will help a lot there, they're way faster...
I could volunteer to help with all the ajax part; I think simple html and ajax calls will make it light, fast, keep the simplicity behind it, and still allow filtering without refreshes... I do not consider ajax to be complicated... let me know if there's anything I can help with.

-Rob

Comment 14 by Callum posted on 12/22/2005 at 7:36 AM

I have to say that HTML forms would see us using it too !!

The server that I want to install on is (sadly) still running 6.1.

I have found that flash forms can be clunky at times... despite some of the beautiful stuff that I have seen out there... (AS Fusion in particular).

Sadly, the web has not yet reached 2.0 :D

Comment 15 by rd posted on 12/22/2005 at 8:24 AM

Well, lemme throw a log on this fire... I would love to use lighthouse pro at my work but the two things that have stopped me is the required cf7 and the flash forms on everything (which i thought were a little slow sometimes for basic stuff... with the loader bars and all). So for me it would actually be better if it didnt use the flash forms. Though the option to have them would be nice too... especially on the report pages.

Comment 16 by Nick Tong posted on 12/22/2005 at 9:17 AM

Hey Ray, to be honest i really like your use of flash forms but some of my clients using the system haven't been able to use it. Now I know you not pro Ajax from you post but i think this would be a great move forward. I'm about to publish how you can use Ajax via Tab browsing (http://www.succor.co.uk) which will alow you to load content via an ajea call. This is really simple and it will allow you to acces tasks on request. I belive that this will be quicker than flash forms (although i happy to be corrected). More people will be enabled to use javascript than Flash.

I do apolgies for my typos and rambaling but it's 4:15am GMT.

Comment 17 by Andy Allan posted on 12/22/2005 at 2:54 PM

I'll continue to use LHP but would prefer HTML forms instead. I'm simply not a fan of the current implementation of Flash Forms.

Comment 18 by Raymond Camden posted on 12/22/2005 at 6:19 PM

Update:

I've removed the Flash Forms from everything but the issue view on a project. So far I'm loving it. The app seems a lot more "springy". I'm also fixing bugs and adding features. So for example, when you logon, your home page now shows some quick stats, specifically regarding your open issues, so you can see the general health of your queue.

Something else that will change, I will get rid of the 'view' issue and simply link to an edit detail for a bug. Mails that get sent out for issues will have this link.

There will also be a print format for all open issues as well.

Comment 19 by Phillip Senn posted on 12/22/2005 at 6:24 PM

I think Flash forms is the beginning of Rich Internet Applications (RIA), but simply putting format="flash" around a cfform tag does not a RIA make.
Ray, I know you know about the following link, but for those who haven't:
To see the future of Flash forms, a terrific mock-up was done at http://www.asfusion.com/blog.

Comment 20 by Phillip Senn posted on 12/22/2005 at 6:25 PM

When I hover over my name, it hyperlinks to
http://ray.camdenfamily.com...
not
http://www.aacr9.com

Comment 21 by Raymond Camden posted on 12/22/2005 at 6:27 PM

Good link Phillip. Folks should know I'm not against Flash Forms. I love em. I'm just thinking for THIS project, it may have been a mistake. For a bug tracker, I want something super fast and simple I can jump into and use quickly. I found the FF in LHP were dragging me downa bit, and making me avoid the app a bit.

FYI - I hope to have LHP ready as a beta by end of week. By beta I just mean, it's done, but with such a massive change, I want folks to test it first.

Comment 22 by Phillip Senn posted on 12/22/2005 at 6:35 PM

Ah yes.
What's that Latin phrase "Who will watch the watchers"?
Maybe you could put that in the masthead for your bug tracking of LHP.

Comment 23 by Raymond Camden posted on 12/22/2005 at 7:10 PM

Phil, this is because I forgot to validate for a full URL. Will add that later.