Challenges Facing by Coldfusion in 2009

Posted by semaphore007 | 9:55 PM

A year ago, I challenged the community to evangelize ColdFusion and convert new developers from other technologies. It was part of a blog post that examined and rebuffed several common arguments that often arise within the community as to why ColdFusion is not more popular. Most of those arguments focus on what people think Adobe should do to make ColdFusion more popular. A lot has happened in the last year since that blog post so I want to revisit the arguments and see where we stand today.

ColdFusion needs to be taught in schools. I argued that many programmers don’t use the languages they learn in school and, of course, almost all CFers are using a language they learned after leaving school! In 2008, Adobe announced that ColdFusion 8 would be made available for free to all students and faculty for teaching purposes and Adobe also committed to working on course curriculum materials to help push ColdFusion into schools. It’ll be interesting to see how successful this is but it will take several years before we can judge the results. +1 to Adobe.

ColdFusion needs to be free and/or open source. I argued that cost was a bit of a red herring because folks need to look at “total cost of ownership”. See the ColdFusion Evangelist Kit Adobe have produced for more information on that. So what about “free and/or open source”? Well, Open BlueDragon was released as open source in 2008, based on BlueDragon 7 so it’s a solid, well-established product. Railo released their 3.0 Community Edition which is free for production use and it’s also very full-featured (and very fast). Railo will be releasing their product as open source in early 2009, under the umbrella, part of the Red Hat group. So now you have both free and open source options. Oh, and there’s also free hosting now for ColdFusion! +1 to OpenBD and Railo.

Adobe needs to provide more ColdFusion evangelists. I argued that other popular technologies (PHP, Ruby on Rails, Groovy/Grails, Python etc) have no paid evangelists, just the community. The economy makes it hard for any company to support extensive evangelism and makes it almost impossible to increase the amount of paid evangelism. At MAX, Adobe talked about their drive to support and increase the user group community however and launched an official hub for their rapidly growing number of user groups. They also provided the ColdFusion Evangelist Kit (mentioned above) to help every community member become a better evangelist. +1 to Adobe.

And what’s your challenge for 2009?

Same as 2008 - convert a non-CF developer to CF. Just one. C’mon, you have 349 days left. If all of you - all 500,000 of you - convert just one developer this year, we’ll double the community. You believe in ColdFusion - make someone else believe in it too!

This Article Written by :- Sean Corfield

About The Author
Sean is currently Chief Technology Officer for Railo Technologies US. He has worked in IT for over twenty five years, starting out writing database systems and compilers then moving into mobile telecoms and finally into web development in 1997. Along the way, he worked on the ISO and ANSI C++ Standards committees for eight years and is a staunch advocate of software standards and best practice. Sean has championed and contributed to a number of CFML frameworks and was lead developer on Fusebox for two years.

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