2008 in review
January 4, 2009 ·
As "usual", I start the year with a round-up of the highlights of last year, based on things that I blogged. It's been a strange year for me. After (seven) years with Macromedia / Adobe and most of 2007 spent freelancing, I took a full-time job with a startup and hired some amazing CFers to be part of my team. I (finally) learned Flex (and AIR). I learned a new language (Groovy) and did a lot less CFML programming than I've done in years while at the same time joining first the Open BlueDragon Steering Committee and then the CFML Advisory Committee, as well as attending more ColdFusion-related conferences than usual (cf.Objective(), Scotch on the Rocks, CFUNITED, Wee Dram of Scotch, MAX).January
- The Flex 3 / AIR 1.0 prerelease tour kicks off in San Francisco at a joint BACFUG meeting with several other UGs.
- Geek Entertainment TV posted an interview video filmed at a cat show that my wife judged (she appears briefly in the opening sequence). The video features several of my friends, both human and feline!
- I challenged the community - controversially, it seems - to convert non-CF programmers to CFML and generated nearly 100 comments. I'll be revisiting that post in a few days to look at what has changed since I issued the challenge.
- Another fairly controversial post was when I 'upgraded' from Vista to XP :)
- ColdFusion 8.0.1 was released. This brought 64-bit system support (and support for Leopard) and - my favorites - useful enhancements to onMissingMethod() and attributeCollection.
- Popular Mechanics published an interesting price/performance analysis of Mac and PC computers. I bring this up in the year-end review because this is a perennial discussion on most all of the lists I'm on!
I think ColdFusion has gone from strength to strength this year. Two enterprise-class CFML engines are now available for free
, one of them open source with the other going open source in 2009. Adobe have promised to open up their process and have started with the CFML Advisory Committee and we can look forward to a public bugbase soon, as well as a ground-breaking new release of ColdFusion and a new IDE. ColdFusion is free for education - both students and teachers - and Adobe has provided material to help us justify the cost for those who have to pay. The CFML community has begun to seriously embrace unit testing - another sign that we're growing as a community. We had some great conferences this year and MAX had more ColdFusion content (including an Unconference) and we can expect even more in 2009 with cf.Objective() in May, a three day on-the-road version of Scotch on the Rocks in June, a revitalized CFUNITED in August and MAX in November (in Los Angeles). I think a lot of developers have branched out and picked up at least one new language this year (be it Flex or Java or Groovy or Ruby or whatever) and realized that multi-language development is the way to go.
What do I think 2009 holds? Centaur and Bolt will rock our world - but the effect won't be felt until 2010 at least. Flex and AIR will continue to grow in popularity - and more CFers will pick up these technologies - and I think CFers will continue to pick up other technologies as well and combine them with CFML. 2009 will see Railo released as open source with the support of Red Hat and Jboss and that may
bring in a substantial number of new developers from the Java world. We will then be in a world where two of the three major CFML engines are both free and open source which will change the dynamic, even if the impact isn't felt for a year or two. Whatever happens, it'll be another good year to be a CFML developer!
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