GridManager.js 0.2.1 released

Yes, yes, I know, rather quick after the last one. But this has some much cooler features which I didn’t want to hold back!
Now with resizeable columns, better sorting, fluid row support, better source code view, better RTE handling and some GUI improvements.

Demo | Docs | GitHub Repo

Introducing gridmanager.js

A way of building rows and grids with built in editable regions; requires jQuery, jQueryUI, Bootstrap 3.x, TinyMCE. 

So over the weekend I was becoming annoyed with the lack of layout tools which you could use with a Rich Text Editor. Specifically, users would get bewildered by divs everywhere with Bootstrap. Let’s face it, if you’re not a coder, adding a row or clearfix class, then specifying divs with col-md-6 etc isn’t exactly straight forward.

This is designed to work in conjuction with TinyMCE (and others to follow hopefully); it uses HTML5’s contentEditable attribute to hook in -inline- instances of TinyMCE. Rows are sortable on the y axis, and you can add or destroy new rows easily.

It identifies all your col-md-* divs – so anything with class=”col-md-6″ (or any other number), changes the contentEditable to true, which in turn loads in TinyMCE. When you’re done manipulating the DOM, previewing strips out and destroys all the TinyMCE instances, removes any additional markup, strips out inline styles on columns and lets you see the markup you’ve just created in the page, as actually will be!

Saving posts the contents of the main div to a URL via ajax as specified by you in the configuration. You can customise the column layout buttons by passing in an array of widths, i.e, [8,2,2] will create col-md-8 and then two col-md-2’s. Handy if your bootstrap grid actually uses 24 columns rather than 12.

So what started as a simple jQuery script seemed to merge into (my first) jQuery plugin. There’s probably a tonne of improvements to be made, i.e, no support for multiple instances or nested columns, but that might be an interesting challenge in the future.

Try it and let me know your thoughts:

Demo | Docs | GitHub Repo

jQuery / jQuery UI / CKeditor4 / Layout Editor

In my search for a visual composer style plugin but *not* for wordpress, I didn’t find much. So I thought I’d try and build one (jQuery isn’t my strong suit) – what do you think?

Edit: now released as a jQuery plugin: gridmanager.js

Things learned from creating the RoomBooking System

Since launching my little Room Booking system as an open source project, I thought it might be useful to highlight a few techniques used which others might find useful. Obviously, this isn’t to say that this is the ‘only way to do x’, but merely to flag some ways to approach common problems. All the below can be seen in context at the gitHub repo


One issue a had a while back was determining the IP address of a user. Now, historically, this wasn’t an issue, as cgi.remote_host worked fine. However, since Railo’s installer changed the way it forwards requests from Apache (mod_jk-> mod_proxy), it always saw the remote IP as This function checks the incoming request header and tries to grab the IP there, rather than in the CGI scope.

<cffunction name="getIPAddress" hint="Gets IP address even from Railo" returntype="String">
   var result="";
   var myHeaders = GetHttpRequestData();
    if(structKeyExists(myHeaders, "headers") AND structKeyExists(myHeaders.headers, "x-forwarded-for")){
    return result;


This simply checks every incoming request for the URL or FORM scope, loops over each key in the struct, and trims the whitespace.

<cfif StructCount(form)>
	<cfloop collection="#form#" item="key">
		<cfset form[key] = Trim(form[key])>
<cfif StructCount(url)>
	<cfloop collection="#url#" item="key">
		<cfset url[key] = Trim(url[key])>

Personally, I think cfWheels should do this by default, but then, it would probably break a load of people’s applications. Simply put, I can’t imagine a case where I’d want whitespace at the beginning or end of any key in my url or form scope.


This one was an interesting one – Javascript often passes it’s values in Epoch time, i.e number of seconds since 1970; I needed to convert this to localTime in a few places. Surprisingly, I’ve never had to do this before!

<cffunction name="eToLocal" hint="convert epoc to localtime">
	<cfargument name="e">
	<cfreturn DateAdd("s", arguments.e ,DateConvert("utc2Local", "January 1 1970 00:00"))>

So Bootstrap3 has panels. I love panels. But I’m lazy, I don’t want to type out the markup for a panel all the time. So these two helpers do it for me:

<cffunction name="panel" hint="Renders a bootstrap Panel">
    <cfargument name="title" required="true">
    <cfargument name="class" default="panel-default">
    <cfargument name="ignorebody" default="false">
    <cfset var r ="">
    <cfsavecontent variable="r"><Cfoutput>
    <!--- Start Panel --->
    <div class="panel #arguments.class#">
        <div class="panel-heading">
            <h3 class="panel-title">#arguments.title#</h3>
        <cfif !arguments.ignorebody>
        <div class="panel-body">
    <cfreturn r />

<cffunction name="panelend" hint="Close Panel">
    <cfargument name="ignorebody" default="false">
    <cfif !arguments.ignorebody>
        <cfreturn "</div></div>" />
        <cfreturn "</div>" />


.. things here

Sometimes Bootstrap needs it’s content to be flush with the panel, so you occasionally need to ignore the panel-body – flush list-group-items – I’m looking at YOU.

#panel(title="foo", ignorebody=true)#
<ul class="list-group">
<li class="list-group-item">FOO</li>

Previously, I’d have done this using custom tags, i.e , but with the added import needed on every page, I find this a *lot* quicker/easier.


One of things I like to do is have all the CSS in the header, and all the JS in the footer. So what happens when you want to do your JS stuff in your view folders? Here’s one solution..

In your view file, simply wrap your JS bits in cfsavecontent, i.e

<cfsavecontent variable="request.js.mystuff">
<script>// JS goes here</script>

Then in your layout file, after all your calls to jQuery etc:

<cfif structkeyexists(request, "js")>
<cfloop list="#structKeyList(request.js)#" index="key"><cfoutput>#request.js[key]#</cfoutput></cfloop>

The only thing this doesn’t really deal with is calling JS in a specific order, as structs are by their nature, unordered. I guess you could turn this principle into an array based system easily enough though: generally speaking, I haven’t found needing to write JS over many view files which needs to be executed in a specific order. YMMV.


This bit of JS is very useful:

 $('body').on('', '.modal', function () {

Bootstrap caches modals which have had dynamic data inserted in, so initially, when I was building it, every time I clicked on an event, the modal would display the first event I’d click on’s data. This destroys the modal data after you close it. Handy.

And another thing…

The last thing to note is that this has an example of using Ajax in cfWheels, examples of which are fairly rare. If you’re interested in how that’s done, look at the javascript call in bookings/index.cfm under event sources: it’s just a jQuery ajax request. Now look at controllers/Eventdata.cfc = you’ll see the renderWith call, and if you look at the function ‘prepdata’, you’ll see me converting a query into a array of data (in the format I wanted it), which is then passed back by wheels using renderWith(events);

So there you go. If, of course, you guys have better ways of handling the above, I’d love to hear them.

New Open Source Project – Room Booking System

I’m pleased to announce a new open source project for a room booking system – it’s basically a backend to the excellent fullcalendar.js jQuery plugin, using cfWheels as the back end.

Features include:

  • All (well most) configuration done via database settings
  • Uses the DBMigrate plugin for cfWheels for easy future updates
  • Uses the FullCalendar.js month/day/week views
  • Allows for multiple locations, which can be filtered from the main view
  • Each location can be colour coded, and have room layout options
  • Allows you to bulk create events, so easy to add placeholders for repeating series
  • Completely configurable via web interface, all you need to do is setup a datasource called ‘roombooking’
  • Has a theme switcher so you can use/try any theme on
  • Can send confirmation emails on a new booking

You can download the code from gitHub – or try a demo at Some screenshots below. Full documentation at


Feel free to contribute or log a bug at – hopefully it’ll be useful for someone!

Build your own interactive map

The Oxford Internet Institute have been playing around with their own Visualization Library which is out there as open source. One of the things I’ve been doing recently is building the back end to a customiser, which takes your data and preferences and gives you a nicely compiled version.

The back end is written in bespoke ColdFusion, but am in the process of moving it over to cfWheels – having a framework with good documentation really helps when there’s more than one person working on it!

Anyway, it’s now in Beta, so give it a shot – – as always, any feedback greatly appreciated!