An Architect's View

CFML, Clojure, Software Design, Frameworks and more...

An Architect's View

CFML Advisory Committee

June 18, 2008 ·

Ben Forta announced in this morning's CFUNITED keynote that Adobe has formed a CFML Advisory Committee that will be responsible for guiding and reviewing changes to CFML going forward. The committee is made up of:
  • Sean Corfield, lead
  • Ben Forta, Adobe
  • Adam Lehman, Adobe
  • Gert Franz, Railo
  • Matthew Woodward, Open BlueDragon
  • Ray Camden
  • Rob Brooks-Bilson
This is brand new information and details are still being worked out. I was not actually expecting it to be announced yet but I'll post more information as and when I can. As you can see, Adobe has just two positions on the committee, so this is intended to be community-driven, not Adobe-driven. When someone asked why no one from other CFML engine vendors was listed, Ben explained (as carefully as he could) that the committee was made up of people who have shown an interest in working together on CFML for the benefit of the community. This issue is going to continue to be hotly debated, I'm sure, which is why I mention it up front instead of waiting for someone to ask in a comment!
Updated to show latest committee line up February 2009.

Tags: adobe · cfml-advisory · coldfusion · railo

33 responses

  • 1 Jim Priest // Jun 18, 2008 at 7:50 AM

    Thanks for the info Sean (and the clarification)!!

    I think this will be a great thing moving forward...
  • 2 Steve H // Jun 18, 2008 at 8:08 AM

    Its a good first step but if Adobe are serious about opening up the direction of CFML then they must include a rep from excuses please. Otherwise this advisory committee is no more than a rushed attempt to try and ride the Railo and openBD open source train.

    Both Railo and openBD are open source, mature engines and have communities that are working towards the goal of opening up CFML to the masses.

    If only all the ego maniacs could just hug, make up and then get this CFML roadtrain moving. CF devs would be ruling the world in no time :D
  • 3 Sam Farmer // Jun 18, 2008 at 8:44 AM

    Very pleased to see you leading this effort and it gives me great confidence in its, and CFs, future.
  • 4 Dan G. Switzer, II // Jun 18, 2008 at 8:44 AM

    I think this is tremendous news!
  • 5 Rey Bango // Jun 18, 2008 at 8:45 AM

    I think this is a great move in formalizing a process for creating consistency in the CFML language.
  • 6 Sean Corfield // Jun 18, 2008 at 9:13 AM

    @Steve, if you'd been in the CFUNITED keynote, I think Ben made it pretty clear why no one from OpenBD is on the committee at this point. I was trying to summarize Ben's comments as neutrally as possible but he spoke at some length about the issue...
  • 7 Sami Hoda // Jun 18, 2008 at 9:44 AM

    Hey no fair. Two Broadchoice folks.

    :P Just kidding.

    Looking forward to more news and the debate.

    I'll be chiming in on some ideas as well since ahem, I asked on the internal beta forums for expansion of cfscript... and people jumped on me. :D

    Good news all around!
  • 8 Adam Haskell // Jun 18, 2008 at 10:04 AM

    I'm disappointed to not see OpenBD included and I am disappointed in both sides honestly. I'm disappointed that some folks in the OpenBD project have been represented in a negative light (not entirely inaccurately) and that has tarnished the OpenBD project. This alone leads me to understand why Adobe (and most likely others) had no desire to include OpenBD in the CFML Advisory Committee. I am also a little disappointed that Adobe did not come to the OpenBD steering committee to let us know this was happening and that we were not being included and XYZ is why. Adobe really appreciated the fact Gert came to them to talk about his next move at SoTR and they equally probably would have appreciated Vince/NA/tagServlet being open about their announcement. I sincerely hope Adobe and the committee will step up to the plate and outline what OpenBD needs to change to be included on the Committee that way OpenBD can change or choose not to change. Then there will be no question on where OpenBD stands in the community.
  • 9 tony of the weeg clan // Jun 18, 2008 at 10:12 AM

    good stuff! four people i trust heavily on this... good times ahead :)
  • 10 Jeff Gladnick // Jun 18, 2008 at 10:16 AM

    This is a great first step, and something I and many others have requested for quite some time, and I throughly applaud Adobe's leadership on this role. However, the issue raised by others about openBD is correct. I currently work on various projects running on Railo, bluedragon JX, and Adobe CF8.

    There are plenty of times when I try to move code written on one to another only system only to become frustrated trying to debug it (hint: Railo is the most forgiving - accepting almost anything thrown at it, bluedragon is the most finicky). I am sure there are plenty of other developers who are in similar positions as I am, and have to support clients in different CFML engines. I understand there has been a lot of bad blood between adobe and NA, but I think it would be wise to include at least one person from the openBD group.

    What about Matt Woodward - He has done a huge amount of work expanding the community, writing a great framework, multiple open source projects, and making the CF Podcast for so long in addition to frequent presentations, blog posts, and speaker sessions. I think he would be the perfect person to fill out this CFML advisory board.

    I already preferred Railo to bluedragon, and now that it is FOSS, for me the decision is pretty easy. But there are other circumstances where I need to do .net integration and is the only way (I already have one client on, so I still have a vested interest in seeing someone from openBD at the table.
  • 11 Sean Corfield // Jun 18, 2008 at 10:52 AM

    @Jeff, having someone from OpenBD on the committee would have no impact on BD.NET compatibility.
  • 12 Jeff Gladnick // Jun 18, 2008 at 10:57 AM

    @Sean - You are correct about the, but there were two thoughts I had while writing that.

    1) I Highly doubt that, in light of current sentiment between NA and Adobe, this would be asking for too much.

    2) Any feedback that someone from openBD received would go back to the openBD group eventually trickle back up to NA & therefore

  • 13 Brian FitzGerald // Jun 18, 2008 at 11:32 AM

    I, too, strongly believe that Matt Woodward is an excellent fit for this committee, and should be included (if he would like to be). His great work for the community, including work on a variety of important open source projects, and his commitment to expand the cfml developer base each clearly illustrate this.

    The fact that he is on the OpenBD steering committee just so happens to be a side benefit so that each major engine is well represented.
  • 14 Nitai Aventaggiato // Jun 18, 2008 at 12:21 PM


    As the leader of this Advisory panel you should be neutral to any engine. The fact that you have a your sides with Alan, does not help this at all. I understand you.

    But, as many others have mentioned, if you, Railo and Adobe are serious about it, then someone from our OpenBD Steering Committee has to be on the board. Only this, will give the community, a community CFML standard.

    You know where I am standing, you also know some of the other SC folks. I know as a matter of fact, that Gert also wants to have someone of the OpenBD SC on board. Please, let us not but any personal stuff come in between for the good of the community.

    Matt and myself have been assigned by the OpenBD SC to take care of the CFML language standards. We are the ones that are taking this back to the project.

    Please reconsider and talk to us.

    Kind Regards,
  • 15 Jeff Gladnick // Jun 18, 2008 at 12:32 PM

    Excuse me, my post SHOULD have read:

    @Sean - You are correct about the, but there were two thoughts I had while writing that.

    1) I **believe**, in light of current sentiment between NA and Adobe, this would be asking for too much.

    2) Any feedback that someone from openBD received would go back to the openBD group eventually trickle back up to NA & therefore
  • 16 Sean Corfield // Jun 18, 2008 at 12:36 PM

    @Nitai, I think that Alan, as chair of the OpenBD steering committee, should approach Adobe and see what it will take to resolve the concerns that have been raised about OpenBD's involvement...

    I have no personal stake in whether OpenBD is involved nor any personal issues with members of the steering committee and I expect I'll have a beer with Alan next time we're in the same town :)

  • 17 Nitai Aventaggiato // Jun 18, 2008 at 12:43 PM


    He already approached Adobe. We will see how they will react.

    Fact remains, we, the OpenBD Steering Committee are an independent body. You have been on the SC, you know that NA has no say in what we do.

    You only mean you will have a beer with Alan? Let's take that on at CFDevcon. I meet you at the bar :-)
  • 18 Sean Corfield // Jun 18, 2008 at 12:50 PM

    @Nitai, glad to hear Alan is making that move. I'd like to see everyone get along.

    As for New Atlanta, not only do I know that they have no say in OpenBD but *I* was the one pushing the steering committee to publicly distance themselves from NA. Alan's negative reaction to that pushing was part of why I left.

    As for beers, yes, CFDevCon. And Alan will be in California before then and we may well get together for a beer...
  • 19 Nitai Aventaggiato // Jun 18, 2008 at 1:13 PM

    "I'd like to see everyone get along."

    Amen to that. Let's see in the future if that will hold up.

    For now, I think it is the best to leave the past to the past and look into the future and how to bring the CFML together.
  • 20 Peter Boughton // Jun 18, 2008 at 1:32 PM

    Does SanJeev Kumar have a website?
  • 21 Sean Corfield // Jun 18, 2008 at 1:45 PM

    @Peter, I don't believe so. Couldn't find it via Google.
  • 22 Ant Cooper // Jun 19, 2008 at 6:08 AM

    I think that having a CFML Advisory Committee is a great step forward for promoting CFML as a language and how it can be best improved for the developers.

    Having a standard will make developing apps to run on any engine much easier. Then as Gert said at SoTR, each engine can have it's own add-on features that make one more attractive than another depending on requirements.

    This also gives us a great resource to prove to the pointy-haired-boss that "ColdFusion (sic) is dead" articles are nonsense.
  • 23 Ben Forta // Jun 19, 2008 at 11:44 AM

    Good thread Sean, thanks for rattling the cage. ;-)

    I agree with much of the sentiment expressed here. In the long run it is in the best interests of all to cooperate honestly, fairly, and openly. And I hope we get there quickly.

    I've posted some thoughts on the subject here:

    --- Ben
  • 24 Alan // Jun 19, 2008 at 12:16 PM

    @Sean; bet you didn't expect to see me reply here? ;) look at me - i am evolving!

    Seriously though, i do wish you success with this effort. For the record I have emailed both Ben and Gert personally, but as of yet no reply. I am not reading anything into that, it's show week, and their inboxes will be chock full of stuff. I do hope they get round to doing it.

    As I have stated, i am the new kid on the CFML block here, and now that i have stepped into the community blogging world, I will make all attempts to reach out to those that want to learn more about we are doing at OpenBD.

    I am indeed looking forward to some good healthy discussions and debate with people, and letting reasoned arguments shine through instead of all this political nonsense.

    Looks like I will be in the bay area around August time Sean, and I am glad to read you still up for that beer/dinner.

    Enjoy CFUnited.
  • 25 Sean Corfield // Jun 19, 2008 at 1:03 PM

    @Alan, careful, this blogging lark can be addictive :)

    Good to see you getting more involved with the CF community!
  • 26 Gert Franz // Jun 19, 2008 at 11:12 PM

    sorry I have no eMail from you in my inbox. I even checked the Spam folder :-)

    Just contact me again, I will of course answer...

  • 27 Alan // Jun 20, 2008 at 6:24 AM

    @Gert: Apologies, someone gave me the wrong email address. I've forwarded it to the one you just posted with. Well that failed! Please email me with your email Gert, and i'll try again! LOL

    ----- The following addresses had permanent fatal errors -----
    (reason: 550 5.1.1 User unknown)

    @Sean: LOL
  • 28 Gert Franz // Jun 20, 2008 at 6:50 AM

    I supposed I used my current and only address. Sorry about that. If anyone want's to contact me it's:

  • 29 Alan // Jun 20, 2008 at 12:11 PM

    @Gert ... here's hoping it gets to you: as you can see, its leaving my mail server

    Jun 20 21:09:02 muck sendmail[10765]: m5KK8wB7010763: to=<gert.franz *at*>, delay=00:00:04, xdelay=00:00:04, mailer=esmtp, pri=125976, [], dsn=2.0.0, stat=Sent (Did we spool your Message to /dev/null or not :-), who knows?)

    this is the 3rd email sent to you, so if this doesn't get to you, then i am caught in your spam filter somewhere! :(
  • 30 Brad Wood // Jun 24, 2008 at 5:19 PM

    I'm curious about Smith Project. I know they are probably the smallest alternative CFML engine out there and possibly the least mature, but they beat everyone to the CFML open-source game (May of 2005).

    Has there been any attempts to include them?

  • 31 Sean Corfield // Jun 24, 2008 at 5:31 PM

    @Brad, I spoke to a number of people who had tried to contact the Smith project folks with little success. I tried to use the Smith project when it came out but couldn't get anything to run on it.

    Does anyone have more up to date experience with Smith? Has anyone been able to contact the development team recently?
  • 32 Dale Fraser // Feb 26, 2009 at 2:19 PM


    Glad to see this in place and look forward to following. Some comments.

    Will we be able to follow, ie see when you meet perhaps see an agenda / outcomes. ie a CFML advisory blog

    Will the committie expand, I dont think there are enough people on it, it should have a broader spectrum of people, its good you have the key names, but it would be better to have those and others.
  • 33 Sean Corfield // Feb 26, 2009 at 4:31 PM

    @Dale, we plan to publish everything on the committee web site (but bear with us - this is a volunteer committee!). As for expanding the committee, we have seven people representing three vendors and the community. At this stage of the process, that is a reasonable number. I don't imagine needing to expand the committee for quite a while. Language design is not for the faint of heart (and it goes more smoothly if the people on the committee have experience with designing languages).