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Cfdocument Troubleshooting - Ongoing Saga

Mark Kruger August 13, 2005 2:16 PM Coldfusion Troubleshooting Comments (5)

We are doing a CFMX 7 project that requires Cfdocument. The application moves what used to be a paper form process online. Naturally, some forms still need to be printed. Cfdocument is a great choice because it allows us to put various forms and bits of related data together in new ways that extend the old paper system. It works quite well for this task - when it works. We've run into at least one major server configuration problem.

We had a problem with some images not being rendered correctly, and we noticed a hot fix for what seemed like our issue - ID number 59868, images not scaling properly. When we installed the hot fix, Cfdocument stopped working altogether.

We started down the path of examining log files and stack traces, but we found no clues. On a hunch I added more memory and boosted the heap size, thinking the heap didn't have enough generation space (it was a dev box running 512 megs), but had no effect either. Finally I noticed that there was a pop-up message on the physical monitor that said "Error: Microsoft direct draw - must be running in 256 color mode..." or something like that.

I remembered a conversation on the CF-GURU list about CFCHART not working without the proper video drivers installed. So we began troubleshooting the video drivers. I don't typically pay any attention to video on a server. I install it at a low level and once it's installed I rarely look at the physical monitor unless there's a hardware issue. It's so bothersome to get the KVM switch to the right one on the rack and work with those little keyboards and mice. We use RDP for about everything when it comes to the server.

When we investigated we found that the AGP "bridge" on the mother board was malfunctioning and the driver wasn't loading. The system was running in BASEVIDEO mode. Ahah! we thought. There's the culprit. We lost the AGP card and the drivers won't load. The rendering engine for CF Document must have a dependency on the video subsystem (like the CFCHART problem I had heard about). We thought we had found our magic bullet.

We tried to get the AGP bridge working again. We flashed the BIOS and reinstalled the board drivers. We fiddled with things like the Aperture settings and resource allocation. Nothing seemed to work. Finally we went out and bought a PCI video card to install in this 1U server (a dual PIII 1ghz). It looks like the daughter card was bad (the card that allows you to put a PCI card horizontally into a 1U chasis.

At this point we had given up on getting Cfdocument to work on this server, but we still thought we had our magic bullet. We were preparing to configure a new CFMX 7 dev server when another developer who was not involved in the hardware issue tried the Cfdocument tag - and suddenly it began working. So now, we are back to square one. We lost the Cfdocument tag once - so we are troubled that it may fail again. We managed to fix it somehow - but we don't really know how. If you are interested, I'll keep you updated on this saga.

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  • dave ross's Gravatar
    Posted By
    dave ross | 8/13/05 4:31 PM
    there's always good ol' FOP. We've had a lot of success using images with it (on 6.1).

    FYI- when you try to comment when viewing posts on your blog in "entry" mode, the pop-up contains your home page.

  • Mark's Gravatar
    Posted By
    Mark | 8/13/05 5:17 PM
    Thanks - I just migrated to Ray's latest version (3.9) and I missed a few things I guess :)
  • Steve House's Gravatar
    Posted By
    Steve House | 8/15/05 7:02 AM
    If the image rending problem you see is that sometimes (randomly) an image is set in the correct container size, but is not scaled properly, then I was told in the MM Forums that that bug was NOT fixed in the Hotfix. The fix there was for something else to do with Images in CFDOCUMENT. More specifically, you may notice that the image will sometime render correctly on a page, but if used multiple times, will stop rendering correctly and then from that point on it will be incorrect. Odd. Anywho, I was told that it would be fixed in the next CF Updater. For whatever that is worth. Hope that helps.

    Steve H.
  • Mark's Gravatar
    Posted By
    Mark | 8/15/05 7:07 AM
    Steve - thanks for the update. I'll look for that updater. It's worrisome that we have not really identified our problem yet.
  • David's Gravatar
    Posted By
    David | 2/5/06 3:55 PM
    Don't forget to make sure that you set your width and height attributes in your img tags. if you don't do this than cfdocument will cause your image to zoom at random. Also, i've noticed that flash paper prints images really funky, so i tend to use pdf format more often. hope this helps.