Ben Nadel
On User Experience (UX) Design, JavaScript, ColdFusion, Node.js, Life, and Love.
I am the chief technical officer at InVision App, Inc - a prototyping and collaboration platform for designers, built by designers. I also rock out in JavaScript and ColdFusion 24x7.
Meanwhile on Twitter
Loading latest tweet...
Ben Nadel at Hal Helms' Real World OO (Feb. 2009) with: Steve Good and Joakim Marner and Charlie Griefer

ColdFusion 404 Handling Makes Sub Domain Redirects Hard

By Ben Nadel on

My site runs on the handling of 404 Page Not Found IIS errors within ColdFusion. It is through this mechanism that I am able to translate things like:

www.bennadel.com/foo/bar.htm

... into:

www.bennadel.com/index.cfm?dax=foo.bar

This has been really cool for search engine optimization, but has certainly added some complexity to the page load process. What I have in place has been really good. Except now, I want to add a global 301 permanent redirect for users that access the site without the "www" sub domain. This way, Google and other search engines won't think that www.bennadel.com and bennadel.com are not two different sites.

At first, I thought this would be really easy: All I was gonna have to do is put some logic in my Application.cfc OnRequestStart() event method that would check the current URL, do some CFHeader magic, and then return FALSE (such that the rest of the page wouldn't render - an awesome use case for returning FALSE in an Application.cfc event handler). The problem is, since I am using 404 redirects, the "page" that I am actually firing is the error handling page and NOT the page that was original requested by the end user.

Arrrrg! Now, I need to go back an re-evaluate my whole page load process (it's been a long, long time since it was built). I think I can really move some stuff around and make it work a whole lot nicer. It was an experimentation at the time of construction; now, I think I have the understanding to go back and make it sweet-ass-sweet.

Now don't get carried away and tell me I should just use something like ISAPI_Rewrite or Mod-Rewrite (I don't have access to that sort of mumbo-jumbo on my server). I know I can do an easy All-ColdFusion solution; it's just a matter of sitting down and really thinking out the page request process and standardizing the way I refer to variables (ie. Using an internal CGI representation vs. the CGI object).

More to come...




Reader Comments

"Now don't get carried away and tell me I should just use something like ISAPI_Rewrite or Mod-Rewrite (I don't have access to that sort of mumbo-jumbo on my server)."

That had me cracking up.

Reply to this Comment

Are you trying to make me sad that I only run on a CFMX 7 box - maybe you'd like to kick my dog while you're at it :)

J/K... I can't wait to be on an CF8 machine. Sooo much cool stuff in CF8 (such as OnMissingTemplate()).

Reply to this Comment

Also, that "kick my dog" thing was a reference to an old ESPN commercial - not sure if anyone will pick up on that :)

Reply to this Comment

@James,

If you are using Application.cfc, CF8+, you should be able to use onMissingTemplate() AND only if they requested a CFM/CFC page. If you request a non-ColdFusion page, however, you either have to rewrite the request (ala mod_rewrite or IIS Mod-Rewrite) or handle it via 404 error handling.

Reply to this Comment

Post A Comment

You — Get Out Of My Dreams, Get Into My Comments
Live in the Now
Oops!
Comment Etiquette: Please do not post spam. Please keep the comments on-topic. Please do not post unrelated questions or large chunks of code. And, above all, please be nice to each other - we're trying to have a good conversation here.