CFBuilder Contest: Base64 Image Converter

Today's ColdFusion Builder Contest entry comes from Dave Ferguson. Once again - it is a very unique, very interesting extension that I think just goes to show what kind of tools you can build when you have a platform as extensible as CFBuilder. His extension allows you to create Base64 strings out of images. Not only that - you can actually create images with the extension as well!

For those who don't know - you can embed images as strings in both IMG tags and within CSS as well. It's one way to help minimize network calls. Instead of 2 calls (one for HTML, one for an image), you end up with one call (HTML+image data all in one). I did a quick Google for a tutorial on it and this is the first I found: Inline Image with Data URLs. If anyone has a better recommendation/tutorial, please post it as a comment.

The first feature of this extension is the ability to right click on an image in your project. I did that and then asked the extension to convert it to base64:

It would be nice if the extension had a way to copy to my clipboard, but as far as I know that isn't an option. I selected all, copied, and pasted into CFBuilder, and had a bit of sluggishness with the super long string. I was able though to add the proper HTML in front: and was surprised to see it worked perfectly.

Along with right clicking on images, you can, supposedly, also right click on a file and the extension will scan it for images. However, the extension told me it didn't support this. Since Dave said it should work, I'm assuming this will be fixed ASAP once he finds out.

I then tried the 'create an image' support. While you are somewhat limited in what you can make (gradients), the UI for this is slick as heck. For example, there is a very nice color picker:

Nice growl-like error handling (although the growl messages went a bit too quickly for me to take a nice screen shot):

and the end result is nice as well:

Code wise - there isn't much to speak to here. I'll note that once again - the developer made use of the Application scope to cache information. I don't know why I struggled so much trying to get sessions to work in my extensions. I was able to "break" his extension again by selecting an invalid file first and then a valid file - but that's really a bug in CFBuilder. I will say I absolutely loved his error handler (and how he made use of his own product within it). Error handling is something I typically don't do in my extensions, but I'm definitely going to think more about it going forward.

Anyway - what do people think? I mean - so far - I freaking love our submissions. I've been a huge fan of CFBuilder extensions, but seeing the examples so far, I'm even more of a fan boy.

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