Fusebox (programming)

Fusebox is a web application framework for CFML and PHP. Originally released in 1997, the current version, 5.5.1, was released in March 2008. In January 2012 the rights to Fusebox were transferred from TeraTech to a team of five developers, who removed the rights and placed the framework in the hands of the community. Fusebox is intended to be easy to learn and provides benefits by helping developers structure their code through a set of simple conventions. Fusebox also allows advanced developers to build large applications, leveraging design patterns and object-oriented technical programming if they wish.

Fusebox provides web application developers with a standardized, structured way of developing their applications using a relatively straightforward and easy to learn set of core files. In addition to the framework itself, Fusebox has been developed with the help of a proponent known as “FLiP” (for Fusebox Lifecycle Process). (Many people refer to Fusebox as a “methodology”, but in fact, as stated, it ‘s a development framework, FLiP, however, is a methodology). Many frameworks provide comparable advantages; However, Fusebox is probably one of the most popular one for CFML. The framework has been used in ASP, JSP, Lasso, Perl / CGI and PHP as well, but the CFML and PHP versions of Fusebox are the only versions to gain momentum. It is important to note that Fusebox deals primarily with the effort of wiring together states (pages) with controller actions (form submits, etc.) and the front-end of the business-logic tier. The framework does not address creating and maintaining business logic

The original concepts behind Fusebox are based on the electrical idiom of an electrical fusebox that controls each of the circuits, each one with its own fuse. In a Fusebox web application, all requests are routed through a single point (usually “is an XML-defined” method that is known as a fuseaction.The query-string variable name “fuseaction” can vary depending on configuration parameters, so not all applications using Fusebox need to use the variable action “fuseaction”.

Fusebox encourages, but does not enforce, separation of business logic from business logic. It uses a number of files in the form of a file (display) or lay (layout), database access files begin with qry (query) and general business files begin with act (action). Typical file names are in the format [prefix] _ [filename] like dsp_loginform.cfm. Additional naming conventions are used by some Fusebox developers but these are the most common ones.

Another concept that Fusebox encourages is to parameterize any exit points in a web page, coding them as variables that are set in the circuit control file. These exit points are known as XFAs – eXit FuseActions. The idea is that of a parameter in the form of a web page, or more easily.

Associated with the framework, but not strictly part of it, is the concept of FuseDocs which is a semi-formalized form of documentation written in XML that specifies the inputs and outputs of each file. There are third-party tools available which can be used in the same way.

Fusebox has had several major revisions over the years. Fusebox 3, 4 (including 4.1) and 5. In Fusebox 3, the control files were all written in the underlying programming language (eg, fbx_Switch.cfm for CFML). Fusebox 4 and later versions use XML for the control files (fusebox.xml and circuit.xml), but other framework components are written using the underlying programming language (eg fusebox5.cfm, again for CFML). In theory, this helps improve the support for the framework. It also allowed for the pre-parsing and generation of a single template for processing each fuseaction. Fusebox 5.5 allows the XML files to be omitted if certain conventions are followed.

Fusebox 1 grew out of a conversation on the CF-Talk mailing list in April 1998. Steve Nelson and Gabe Roffman are credited with creating the original Fusebox though the first Fusebox program was written by Josh Cyr. The methodology was constantly evolving and beyond a whitepaper and a handful of examples, no official documentation existed. Very few developers were exposed to Fusebox during these early days.

Craig Girard and Steve Nelson (along with Hal Helms and Nat Papovich) wrote a book, Fusebox: Methodology and Techniques, which was published in 2000 by the Fusion Authority. Programmers who said the practices described in the book were said to be doing “Fusebox 2.”

Hal Helms built upon Fusebox 2 and called his ideas eXtended FuseBox, or XFB.

Fusebox 3 (written primarily by Hal Helms, John Quarto-von Tivadar and Nat Papovich) was an effort by leading members of the Fusebox community to incorporate XFB and other ideas into a reusable library, known as “core files.” A simple API allowed application code to communicate with the core files. Upon release in the fall of 2001, Fusebox became a framework rather than a methodology. A subsequent 3.01 release addressed minor issues. Fusebox 3 was something of a sea-change from Fusebox 2. Unchanged; a Fusebox 2 and Fusebox 3 application are structured very differently.

Fusebox 4 was a complete rewrite of Fusebox 3. The license for the core files (which is open source) is owned by Hal Helms and John Quarto-von Tivadar: The Fusebox Corporation ). Fusebox 4.1 introduced some new XML that you declare, instantiate and manipulate objects (COM, Java and ColdFusion Components) and web services. These features provided Fusebox developers with the business-logic tools directly to their controllers. However, many Fusebox developers used object-oriented or highly-structured models in earlier versions of Fusebox or in the current versions.

In 2006, The Fusebox Corporation asked Sean Corfield to take the lead in developing Fusebox. Fusebox 5 was another complete rewrite with new features and improved performance. Fusebox 5 fully supported backwards-compatibility with Fusebox 4.1. In November 2006 The Fusebox Corporation transferred ownership of the core files and fusebox website to TeraTech under the guidance of TeraTech president and Fusebox speaker Michael Smith. TeraTech announced that Fusebox will remain open source and will be in the project again. Fusebox 5.1 and all subsequent releases are licensed under the Apache Source License 2.0.

This release is primarily intended for Fusebox applications without XML configuration files. The use of these new features instead of XML is called “implicit Fusebox”.

The release of Fusebox 5.5.1 in March 2008 was the last release by Sean Corfield. In August 2008, Adam Haskell took over development, but became frustrated with the Fusebox organization, and attempted to branch to a new framework called FuseNG (NG for Next Generation, a Star Trek reference). FuseNG quickly lost steam and ended without a release.

In January, 2012, John Blayter announced on the Fusebox mailing list that they had obtained the rights and copyright of Fusebox from TeraTech. The framework has been removed and is available at GitHub to encourage community participation. Experienced Fusebox developers vetting any changes which are submitted. Fusebox 5.6 goals have been announced, but there is currently no target date.

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