An Architect's View

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An Architect's View

On Hal Helms, Ruby on Rails and the Death of ColdFusion and Fusebox

November 22, 2009 ·

About two weeks ago, Hal Helms blogged that he is leaving ColdFusion for Ruby on Rails. Naturally it stirred a lot of the traditional "is ColdFusion dead?" worrying from the community, so much so that Hal posted a follow-up on ColdFusion's death which suggests we focus on the value of applications, rather than any specific technology. Hal's been a father figure for a lot of CFers. His podcasts and blog posts have always been good listening / reading, with a lot of thought-provoking content. He was one of the early evangelists for OO in ColdFusion although more recently he's pulled back from this position and said several times that he feels certain "gurus" are pushing OO too hard and spreading misinformation (although he wouldn't name any names, which kinda created more heat than light and left a general sense of FUD around OO in some parts of the community - like we needed more of that!). Hal listed half a dozen reasons for his shift from ColdFusion to Ruby on Rails and I'd like to talk more about those reasons in this blog post.First off, Hal feels he's more productive with Ruby on Rails than ColdFusion. Rails is a full-stack framework that takes away a large number of things that you'd otherwise have to think about when building an application. ColdFusion has a full-stack framework in cfWheels but it doesn't yet seem to have gotten much traction. Given the popularity of other frameworks, especially ones that don't proscribe how you write your application, I have to wonder whether this is because of a resistance to "opinionated software" within the CF community? During my time as lead developer on Fusebox, and more recently as the lead developer of FW/1, I've seen quite a bit of push back from CFers on a framework telling them how to organize their code. Hal understands the benefits of conventions and finds Rails productive because he goes with the flow and does things "the Rails way". His second point touches on that too: Active Record is a very proscriptive design pattern that forces you to have a one-to-one mapping between your database and your basic persistent objects as well as lumping all of your domain object's business logic in with the persistence. Again, you gain productivity by just doing things "the Rails way". We may see more sympathy toward this now that CF9 has Hibernate-based persistence and CFers get more used to the idea of CFC = database table at the lowest level (although Hibernate let's you do all sorts of fancy mappings including inheritance, embedding and so on). I'm in two minds about Active Record - it can lead to an anemic domain model and/or a poor object model (if you start with the database - or a poor data model if you start with the objects), but it is certainly a convenient approach that can make you very productive. Hal's third reason talks about the "joy" of programming and he's finding Ruby a really nice language to work with. I can sympathize with this because I've used a number of language alongside CFML over the last couple of years. I personally don't like the syntax of Ruby (for similar reasons that I also dislike Perl and PHP) and I'm on the fence about Python at the moment. More exposure will solidify my thoughts on that. I did a lot of C++ in the 90's and got very used to working with it. When I picked up Java in '97, I became very enamored of Java's "cleanliness" and quickly moved away from C++ because I realized I'd grown tired of the fussy, punctuation-laden syntax. Over time I became tired of Java's verbosity and repetitiveness. My first exposure to CFML was not entirely positive but my team (of Java and C++ developers) came to really enjoy the speed of development of CFML, even if we didn't love the tag-based syntax. After using Railo for a while I find myself using CFSCRIPT more and more (because Railo has allowed argument types and defaults to be specified for several releases). The CFSCRIPT enhancements in CF9 - part of the CFML2009 specification and coming to Railo in the next couple of releases - will make CFSCRIPT even more enjoyable to program in. But CFML, for all its RAD benefits doesn't really make me feel "joy" when I'm programming. I spent a year doing Groovy, while I was at Broadchoice, and I enjoyed that a lot. It has the cleanliness of Java but without the verbosity. It has closures which make for expressive, high-level code and it doesn't require semicolons. That may seem like a minor point but once you get used to not needing them - in ActionScript, JavaScript and Railo's CFSCRIPT syntax - you find them quite jarring when you're forced to supply them (in C++, Java and Adobe's CFSCRIPT syntax). Even so, whilst I liked Groovy a lot, it didn't quite hit the "joy" spot for me. I've recently started working with Scala and, for me, that hits the "joy" spot pretty solidly. It's a strongly-typed language but for the most part you wouldn't know it - it infers types for you in most situations. It shares a lot of Groovy's syntactic convenience (including no semicolons!) but it goes a step further in not requiring a dot between an object and a method call and often letting you omit parentheses in function calls. Combined with a very powerful pattern-matching engine built directly into the language, Scala lets you write some very expressive, English-like code that is also type-safe so fewer errors occur at runtime - and because it isn't a dynamic language, it's very, very fast! I don't see myself leaving CFML for Scala any time soon but I look forward to writing a lot more of my model in Scala on future projects. CFML remains my drug of choice for the control / view layers. Hal likes Rails' migrations for handling database schema changes. I see the benefits, especially the ability to roll back changes but you still have to write carefully-crafted Ruby code to ensure that your up and down migrations work without causing data problems. I like Hibernate's approach of managing my schema for me but with that simplicity comes a loss of control which some (many?) will find uncomfortable. Having played with Grails - Groovy's equivalent to Rails but built on Spring and Hibernate - as well as directly with Hibernate (with Groovy), I think I'd prefer to work with a solution that leans more on Hibernate's schema management during development and carefully-crafted SQL for migrations in production. For me, that's the best of both worlds. The next bullet on Hal's list is "gems" aka plugins for the Rails framework. This is definitely an area where CFML frameworks have lagged behind. Fusebox has supported plugins for years but there's really only a handful of useful, production-quality plugins out there. ColdBox supports plugins and provides a large number out of the box, although the 3rd party market is growing. cfWheels also supports plugins and there's over a dozen on the cfWheels site which is a good number for a relatively small community. None of these frameworks approach the breadth of plugins available for Rails, in the same way that jQuery has a huge number of plugins. I think part of this is a mindset amongst CFers that doesn't lend itself to open source development by default - something that is the norm in the communities behind non-CFML languages and frameworks. Finally, Hal points to all the "little things" - the conveniences that make modern languages and frameworks easier to use. Now, it's worth pointing out that Ruby is about as old as CFML but it's grown up in an open source environment that has driven its pace of change at a much faster level than Allaire and Macromedia could manage. Adobe has pushed CFML forward dramatically over the last couple of releases but even that still leaves CFML a long way behind many of its rivals in the modern web development world. It's the "little things" that I like about Groovy, Grails, Scala... None of them would be enough to make you switch languages, but once you use them you wonder how you managed without them (and then when you come back to CFML, you realize how you have to manage without them!). So what's the bottom line? CFML is a strong, solid work-horse of a language. It's not particularly exciting but it gets the job done quickly and easily for nearly 800k developers and lets them do their jobs effectively. Adam Lehman has publicly acknowledged that CFML's competition is more Ruby on Rails and similar "modern scripting languages / frameworks" than anything else these days and he's committing to taking back the RAD crown for CFML. Hal says it was a very hard choice to switch to Ruby on Rails and I can believe that. I've worked in a lot of programming languages and CFML is still, for me, the most productive way to build web applications. Could I be more productive with Ruby or Rails? Maybe, but I don't like the language enough to switch. What about Grails? Again, maybe, but it's not as lightweight and easy to work with, in my opinion. For Java diehards, Grails is very very appealing tho'. What about Scala and Lift? Yes, Scala has a sophisticated web framework too. I'm just not convinced about Lift. I'll read the docs a few more times and I'll build a few more sample apps before I pass judgment tho'... Almost concurrent with Hal's defection from CFML was the realization that FuseNG, the recent fork of Fusebox, was truly dead (unlike CFML!). Adam Haskell, project lead for FuseNG announced on his blog that FuseNG is dead. Given that his job has moved him away from CFML and Fusebox, that's not too surprising. Peter J. Farrell (of Team Mach-II) picked up on this news and ran with it, proclaiming that Fusebox is dead too. Fusebox is the oldest CFML framework around and there are probably more production apps built with some version of Fusebox than the sum of all the other frameworks put together. Does a framework "die" when no one is actively enhancing it? How can it, when there are so many production apps built with it? I'd say reports of Fusebox's death are greatly exaggerated - so I asked the community... I posted to the House of Fusion Fusebox mailing list as well as the fusebox4 and fusebox5 Yahoo! Groups, asking for their thoughts on the lack of leadership and the failure of FuseNG. They were initially saddened by the news (showing how few "in the trenches" CFers actually pay attention to blogs - they just get on with their jobs, quietly and successfully - so let's not kid ourselves about any "status" associated with even a high-traffic blog!) but then they rallied and soon a number of people were volunteering to help and it was suggested that perhaps 4CFF might be persuaded to take over stewardship of Fusebox. An interesting proposition and, in some ways, exactly what 4CFF was created for - to ensure widely used projects can't die off through lack of active participation. It's too early to know what will happen here but parallel remains: neither CFML nor Fusebox can be considered dead because of the huge number of developers using them and the success those developers have had. I'll close by pointing out another mournful blog post about CFML which tells the story of a web site being redeveloped in PHP because of a lack of available CFML developers (at a reasonable price). I get asked to recommend CFers all the time by recruiters with jobs to fill and I suggest they post to user group mailing lists and job boards in the area in which they are recruiting. There are definitely jobs out there but you can't always telecommute and your area may be lacking in CF jobs. That's an unfortunate situation for us to be in as a community. If you're multi-lingual, it's easier to get work and then you at least have a chance to introduce CFML into a new company. There's no doubt tho' that CFers earn more than, say, PHP developers. I've run into that a few times with agencies that are used to PHP but suddenly have a project and need a CFer. They're often shocked at our rates but then they ask around and, yes, we do get paid more. Why? Because CFML lets us develop better applications quicker than PHP. PHP succeeds because of its ubiquity, not because it is better technology. It succeeds because it has a killer array of Free Open Source software and that gets it in the door. CFML lags far behind in that area, as I've blogged before and as I've said at conferences too. Can we change that? Yes, but it will be a long, slow, hard road and we'll need to work together more. I think 4CFF will help. I think the availability of Free Open Source CFML engines will help too. On the other hand, don't worry about working with a niche technology - COBOL, much-maligned at times, is still powering a large number of businesses and its developers are paid handsomely. Hal says "As developers, we're paid to produce great applications." and he suggests that we get our self-worth from the work we do, not the technology we use. Amen!

Tags: coldfusion · fusebox · oss

35 responses

  • 1 Marcel // Nov 22, 2009 at 7:22 PM

    I have said for a while now that the best thing Railo could do would be to include the ability to use server-side javascript with a DOM model like env.js so all the jQuery developers (according to Google trends one of the fastest growing communities in the IT industry at the moment) could get excited about Railo and insist it get installed everywhere and then by proxy ColdFusion would also be everywhere. That's a dream I have had for a while :)

    The awesomeness of JavaScript with the power of a CF server.
  • 2 walt // Nov 22, 2009 at 7:37 PM

    re: Cfwheels, I just started using it over the weekend.
    I can't recommend it highly enough.
    Per Helms leaving CF to use Ruby on Rails, whatever floats your boat.
    I don't think it's particularly correct or healthy to way the viability of a product based on one person's defection, regardless of that person's stature.
    But I may be naive.
  • 3 Dave Shuck // Nov 22, 2009 at 8:02 PM

    Sean, well said on all accounts. Nice thoughtful post without any obvious bios one way or another, which is far too rare in these discussions. Thanks for taking the time.
  • 4 Sameer Gupta // Nov 22, 2009 at 8:49 PM

    CF is a rock solid product. To be honest until today I had never heard of Mr. Hal Helms. I don't think this is going to effect the larger part of the community, because most CF projects are done inside corporate firewalls.

    It is common misconception that CF is a product for everybody. It isn't. Its well suited for enterprises, not for entreprenuers looking to buy cheap, do cheap: shoot, and then aim.

    After I left my company sometime back, I have been interviewed lately by US based companies and after working with CF for over 6 years, I can't showcase even one of my CF project. How can I? Should I get them VPN access to my ex company? SLB almost upgrades to each version of CF and I think they purchased 12 licenses of CF8 enterprise edition for multi-processer servers - and I am talking about one project out of a dozen CF projects that I know of running inside SLB.

    The active community of CF seems to have no clue about the situation inside these corporate firewalls. Since three years we have been integrating CF with Sharepoint, exchanging information with .Net team, etc. But this is not what active community members do. They are playing with jQuery - as if it does anything more than JavaScript of 2002 - I mean what jQuery does was possible even in 2000.

    Can you run Ruby on Rails inside corporate office? Only Ruby project that comes to my mind is Redmine project management. And when your company has MS Project server or Sharepoint you don't need Redmine.

    And PHP? I have seen just a handful of PHP projects running inside offices and those are from companies like Parallels - not cheap stuff by any measure. They cost you the same, you hire a Linux pro, PHP pro, and rent a powerful server.

    It is so easy to sell CF to enterprises, yet so difficult to get a buyer in general public. Frankly, they don't need CF. They are not using CFExchange, Sharepoint, not making dashboards with 20 different types of charts in every project. Requirements of two kind of developers are so different.

    CF has its limitations. Consider this. Can CFHTTP stream content back to client browser? Can it save memory by not uncompressing the data? No! So if site.com is loading RSS from feed.com using CFHTTP based proxy, there is wait time plus useless uncompression of data in CF. How do we tackle this? We write ASPX page or JSP page!

    If Adobe wish to sell CF to general public or the so called web startups of this age, here are few suggestions.

    1. Its high time Adobe launches ColdFusion Express Edition. Strip down the features that makes it costly (Webcharts, ExtJS, etc.) but offer the same language and syntax. Even the mighty Visual Studio has free Express Edition. Database like Oracle and MS SQL are available in Express Edition. Express edition could suit casual projects.

    2. Start-ups can play a major role for CF. Adobe should start working with infant dot-com start ups & toddler creative agencies. Offer them free licenses in exchange of promise that products will be developed within 6 months. MS gives over $25000 worth of licenses to start ups - did you even know that?! Why will a start up chose CF over ASP.net? Or PHP? or Ruby? Or $25000 of freebies?

    3. Expose Java classes in easy and more open way! (read cfhttp limitation again)

    If future CF start ups become successful, it will give CF the same kind of boost Ruby is getting these days. When they scale, they will eventually purchase more license from Adobe.

    Adobe must start a campaign to reach entrepreneurs around the world.

    They give out licenses to contest winner and that's one good step. But working with entreprenuers should be much higher priority. I won a license of CF9, I don't know how to use it, I am equally satisfied with shared hosting!

    Do you see Adobe reaching out to entreprenuers? No! They are working hard on features that enterprises need. Mr. Helms is right to leave the ground and find a language that suits him. He doesn't need all that CF offers or doesn't offer.
  • 5 Sean Corfield // Nov 22, 2009 at 9:55 PM

    @Sameer, there used to be a ColdFusion Express - it sucked, because it was stripped down.

    Startups and others with budgetary issues can choose from two Free Open Source CFML engines...
  • 6 Brian Swartzfager // Nov 23, 2009 at 5:20 AM

    I'll echo Dave Shuck on this one: well said.

    And I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks that declaring a framework to be dead simply because it's not actively being worked on at the moment is a bit hasty.
  • 7 Marko Simic // Nov 23, 2009 at 6:14 AM

    @Dave Shuck +1

    I am following CF community for last 9 years and it became symptomatic to see discussions like this on every new CF release and abates by time.

    CF language evolution is bit indolent and that must change. What gives me hope is rapid increase of open source community and see this as most promising phenomena.
  • 8 Mike Rankin // Nov 23, 2009 at 6:15 AM

    How many times do we have to listen to Hal leave CF? I was surprised to see that he had ever come back to cf after he caused all the angst in the community when he left for java. His announcement that he's leaving again rates a big "meh" from me.
  • 9 RobG // Nov 23, 2009 at 7:11 AM

    I don't see Adobe stripping down CF. The king of high priced applications (who exactly can actually afford CS4 other than an enterprise?) has no motivation to do so (yet). Maybe after another couple thousand laysoffs.

    Meanwhile, instead of waiting for that, why not just adopt Railo? I'm in the process of rewriting my main personal project (a forum I initially wrote six years ago) using FW/1 and Railo. I think it's the future of CF. Adobe could dry up and CFML will live on, probably for the better.

    As for Ruby, I like it as a language... but CF is just doo darn easy and powerful for me to take the time to really learn Rails. I'm investing that time into jQuery.
  • 10 Matt Williams // Nov 23, 2009 at 8:02 AM

    "They're often shocked at our rates but then they ask around and, yes, we do get paid more. Why?"

    This can also be due to supply and demand. Fewer available CF developers would drive prices up.
  • 11 Sean Corfield // Nov 23, 2009 at 9:25 AM

    @Matt, another good reason to enjoy working in a niche market :)

    I meant to pick up on a couple of other things Sameer said when I wrote my short reply last night...

    @Sameer, there's lots of PHP inside companies - you might be surprised - and more Ruby / Rails than you might think too. You're right that those solutions aren't as free as many might say because in enterprises, they like support and full-time staff owning them internally. That's why MySQL and JBoss make money - enterprises pay for support, consulting and custom enhancements to what are otherwise Free Open Source products. It's Railo Technologies' model too - a Free Open Source CFML server for the masses and commercial support and consulting for companies that want it.

    You are right about the ease of selling ColdFusion to enterprises tho' - and that's why Adobe put the price up with CF8. It was too cheap before. You're also right about the two faces of CF developers: the corporate developers with departmental budgets for whom Adobe ColdFusion's price is not an issue and the non-corporate developers, either solo or in agencies, where even the $1,299 of Standard Edition is painful, despite the productivity of CFML itself.

    You also touch on the same community issue I brought up - that most CFers don't really pay much attention to blogs - and I'm sure you are right that the vast majority of CFers won't even read about Hal's switch to Ruby on Rails nor about the problems with Fusebox. That doesn't make the negativity any less real because it all ends up in Google and everyone - inside or outside the community - will find it.
  • 12 Mike Henke // Nov 23, 2009 at 10:39 AM

    I just gave a preso over CFWheels and Conventions Over Configuration - http://bit.ly/2Xpqd3

    I really enjoy CoC. Makes so much sense to focus on the extraordinary rather then the ordinary.
  • 13 Sean Corfield // Nov 23, 2009 at 10:41 AM

    @Mike, that's why I created FW/1 - I've grown very tired of configuration (esp. XML) and I'm tired of the bloat of many CFML frameworks... what happened to CFML's simplicity?
  • 14 larry c. lyons // Nov 23, 2009 at 11:27 AM

    Actually, is Hal even relevant. For instance how often has he bailed on speaking engagements at the last minute? His last notable book, on OO and CFC's was so riddled with errors that it was all but useless. I stopped reading his blog quite a while ago. I don't know what he was trying to achieve by the bit of drama he was enacting, but I think Mike Rankin said it best, Meh.

    larry
  • 15 Glyn Jackson // Nov 23, 2009 at 11:59 AM

    Well said. I really like the idea of 4CFF, much needed.
  • 16 Allen // Nov 23, 2009 at 12:11 PM

    It's unfortunate that cfWheels hasn't gotten more traction so far.
  • 17 Tony Garcia // Nov 23, 2009 at 3:58 PM

    Sean,
    A bit tangential from the subject, but since you brought up the fact that FW/1 came about because of the "bloat of many CFML frameworks" -- a couple of blog posts you mentioned that the FW/1 Team is expanding. If it's supposed to be a simple framework, why the need for an "expanding team"? Is there a danger that FW/1 will some day be victimized by its own success and become bloated as well?
  • 18 Hal Helms // Nov 23, 2009 at 4:02 PM

    Sean, excellent analysis.
  • 19 Sean Corfield // Nov 23, 2009 at 4:10 PM

    @Tony, re: why did the FW/1 team expand? Because I believe in collaborative open source development. Projects - even small ones - do better when they are more than a one-man-band.

    Ryan shares my vision for a very simple framework and you will see that of the features he's added, most are focused on increasing the robustness of FW/1 and trapping programmer errors.

    Only subsystems is a fundamental expansion of functionality and that was always on my roadmap so that FW/1 could be used to assemble large applications from small modules.
  • 20 ike // Nov 23, 2009 at 4:10 PM

    Great post Sean! So... I have actually begun work on yet another framework for ColdFusion, despite the advice against. ;) So now I maintain DataFaucet, the onTap framework, CacheBox and FreeAgent - although each of them do very different things. But my hope in particular is that FreeAgent will be a big help in that "we need apps" department. Why? Well, because the whole idea behind FreeAgent is to allow the apps to run in any given framework. It may take a while for BlogCFC and MangoBlog to adopt FreeAgent as a means of bridging the gap to other applications, but hopefully they eventually will.

    Those of us who do write apps tend to write them either as stand-alone or to a specific framework like Mach-II or Fusebox (and I fully admit, I've done that too). So in order to use the app, you've got to be in the community for that specific framework. If I want to use ByteSpring, I've got to be using ModelGlue. I think Mura CMS (or is that BluApple?) has done a fair bit of work making it possible to run code from different frameworks within their CMS and I started doing something similar with the onTap framework recently, but I think this will be much more productive for the community as a whole and not just people using one framework or another. FreeAgent will allow us to write applications in a way that allows us to install them into any MVC framework with little or no modification. So when I write a new forum app, I don't have to worry about whether others will be using Fusebox or Mach-II or the onTap framework -- it will work anywhere. The hope is that if we can write apps without having to worry about where they're going, then we'll see people writing more apps (and fewer frameworks), and hopefully more integration between those apps.

    http://freeagent.riaforge.org

    I mentioned it briefly on... the cf-talk mailing list I think -- maybe the wheels list -- in response to a thread about the end of the FuseNG fork. But haven't promoted it very much. It's been getting a good number of eyeballs on it, despite my not really pushing it yet, so I'm excited and I think it will have good support. :)
  • 21 Tony Garcia // Nov 23, 2009 at 4:20 PM

    Yes, I agree that there should be more collaborative OS projects in the CFML world, as there are so many of the one-man variety already.
    It's reassuring to know that focus of FW/1 will remain as a simple CoC framework. Great post!
  • 22 David // Nov 23, 2009 at 5:39 PM

    Quote: Naturally it stirred a lot of the traditional "is ColdFusion dead?" worrying from the community

    Did it? I must have missed that, I mean, I saw Hal's post, he said it there, but it hardly reverberated through the community, as far as I could tell. Don't get me wrong, Hal is a trailblazer, and he'll be missed, however...

    I think we've come a long way since version 7, when Adobe was laying the road map and the CF community was genuinely on tender hooks as to that direction.

    Two incredible releases of CF, as well as newer open source options has both put the "is dead" question to rest, and brought harmony and positivity to the community. I think if Hal had made this announcement circa CF 6 or 7, then yes, there would have some concern.

    The community has never been stronger, the product is enterprise ready, the future is bright.
  • 23 Allen // Nov 23, 2009 at 9:13 PM

    FW/1???
  • 24 Sean Corfield // Nov 23, 2009 at 10:00 PM

    @Allen

    http://fw1.riaforge.org

    FW/1 - Framework One - leverages Application.cfc and some simple conventions to provide a 'full' MVC framework in a single file.
  • 25 Glyn Jackson // Nov 24, 2009 at 1:54 AM

    What projects are 4CFF currently supporting?
  • 26 Sean Corfield // Nov 24, 2009 at 9:21 AM

    @Glyn, we're working with two open source projects right now but can't announce anything until they're ready to tell their user communities.
  • 27 Hector // Nov 24, 2009 at 11:02 AM

    Your last paragraph reads like something a loser would say. Fitting conclusion given your post's title.
  • 28 Glyn Jackson // Nov 24, 2009 at 12:09 PM

    @Sean, cool looking forward to knowing :)
  • 29 Robert Haddan // Nov 25, 2009 at 12:54 PM

    Hal who? As an IT professional, and especially one in the web industry, you can't get married to any one technology or you leave yourself behind. That also means if one developer decides to move on to another technology, it shouldn't spawn the discussion that this blog posting did. If Hal switches from All to Tide, are we debating All's ability to survive in the detergent market? No, we're not.
  • 30 walt // Nov 25, 2009 at 2:25 PM

    It's because we CF'ers get too insecure when .Net and Java developers throw numbers at us, in my opinion.
    (that and the cheap shot of CF only being for non-programmers, or something along those lines)
  • 31 Allen // Nov 25, 2009 at 2:33 PM

    If Hal sold All, we probably would.
  • 32 Sean Corfield // Nov 25, 2009 at 2:37 PM

    @Walt, @Robert, @Hector, yes, there's a lot of unfair criticism of CFML based on old, out-of-date beliefs about early versions of the product.

    The number of developers is growing, developers *are* coming from other technologies, there are three engines (Adobe's commercial engine and the Railo and Open BlueDragon free open source engines) that are all evolving at a fairly rapid pace. The non-tag-based scripting language in CFML keeps improving. Adobe's latest release integrates Hibernate so that developers can use a powerful ORM seamlessly (and Hibernate will be integrated with Railo in the next major release).

    My point in covering Hal's post - and Hal's post too - is that there are lots of reasons for choosing any given technology (or combination of technologies) and that folks should not identify themselves solely by the technology they use but rather by the results they are able to achieve. In other words, no one should think ColdFusion (or Fusebox) are dying solely based on the migration of any specific developer, regardless of how high-profile they may (or may not) be...
  • 33 Jomer Decalyk // Dec 4, 2009 at 11:20 AM

    We code to make a living. I will code in anything if it makes money. If Mr. Helms is to be paid a nice some of money to code in CF tomorrow, he will rush back in. If I was paid nicely to code in RoR I will code in it. Same for PHP and others. The above talk is nonsense. I will not turn away $5000 or $10,000 jobs away because they are in PHP or CF or whatever, neither will you.

    So far though, CF has paid nicely and that X5 outside is proof. I would have to work 4 or 5 times as hard to make the same money in PHP or RoR because there are so many other people (adn kids) doing it.

    Or are you guys coding just to kill time?
  • 34 Mike Benner // Dec 13, 2009 at 8:58 PM

    I to recently made the transition from CF to Rails. Not only for the reasons that Hal has stated, but I found the good Rails shops I worked with had adopted the Agile Methodology to development and many CF shops (in my personal experience) have not. I still hold CF in my heart and have great hopes for Coldbox and Railo to keep what I think is a great language and environment current and relevant.
  • 35 Sean Corfield // Dec 13, 2009 at 9:42 PM

    @Mike, interesting point of view. My personal experience over the last few years is of CFML shops doing Agile development so I think it's a case of YMMV...