Sam Farmer

Growing up I never imagined I would play bass guitar for the Dave Matthews Band. And indeed it never happened.

ColdFusion 11 and Me

March 21, 2014

I started programming with ColdFusion in 1998. Grew to love it. Became passionate enough about it to join pre-releases and start a blog primarily about it (although self-promotion and a desire to share knowledge where factors).

Language and Tools
I've always considered a language and the tools it provides together. These tools are sometimes built in, added by a company, or provided by the community. Together I like using both to solve a problem, whether a real business problem or a theoretical one I have come up with. Part of what I've loved about ColdFusion are the tools it provides.

Trends with value
Computer programming and fashion both have trends. I'm more interested in the trends that have value for me as a programmer. In the lead up to ColdFusion 9 release I was starting to enjoy script-based code, in particular JavaScript/jQuery, more than tags. When CF9 was released I jumped on two of the trends I saw as adding value; a) script, and b) ORM.

In the past two years the trends I want to embrace are; a) concise languages with some functional programming , b) unit/integration/functional testing along with code coverage, c) great tooling/IDE (I am an IDE developer).

Last summer a colleague and I began a language evaluation process. Striving to be objective we listed out criteria picking the above criteria and some others (from techniques such as Dependency Injection to developer pool). The exact criteria are not important as each individual/shop has different constraints and needs. The process was good though. In all we evaluated thirteen languages (with the best appropriate framework) and three in depth.

Back to Language and Tools
The features of the last two ColdFusion releases either do not interest me or I do not like the implementation. There have been some moderate, generally good language enhancements. And some not so good ones. (Full parity has now been achieved in script with the tag based language. But in such a way via a generic implementation that Adobe will now look to release tags and have script fall in automatically. A backwards step masqueraded as a forward one.)

Adobe and I are on divergent paths leading to me losing interest in ColdFusion.

Does ColdFusion Have a Future?
Honestly I have no idea. As mentioned earlier every individual/shop has their own criteria, constraints and needs when picking a language. There are some great open-source projects (FW/1, ColdBox, Taffy, Mura, Slatwall). For many ColdFusion is still a great choice. It just no longer is for me.


(No comments? Sorry, I've retired my blog and pulled it out for this one final hurrah. Happy to chat though over email or Twitter)

(You may ask: Did you provide feedback to Adobe? Yes, mostly behind NDA walls though so its not in the bugbase. I do get a smile when the improvements I suggest make it in and get positive community feedback.)

(What did I pick? Groovy and the Grails framework)


More blog entries that I have written.