Life is good in CF land. We’re working hard on what will be one of the most exciting ColdFusion upgrades ever. ColdFusion sales continue to climb. ColdFusion team members have been making a point of visiting (and posting to) the forums and major discussion list. We’ve been sending speakers to independent and community events the world over. We are continuing to support user groups, with occasional speakers, and more than occasional goodies and giveaways. Lots of Macromedians, including key ColdFusion team members, are active in the blogsphere. We are about to embark on the largest user group tour ever, dedicated to spilling the beans on the next version of ColdFusion, before the beta even begins (this in direct response to user requests for more insight into the future of ColdFusion). As I said, life is good.
Or rather, it should be. I am still being asked, and quite regularly too, “is ColdFusion dead?”, and “why is Macromedia not committed to ColdFusion?” and “why do you not support the community more?”.
So, I need your help. What do you want? What do you need us to do (more of, or differently, or even less of)? I don’t want to hear about features, or bugs, or product specific requests. Well, not in this thread anyway. What I do want is your opinions and advice on community interaction, market presence, and general perception.
Have an opinion? Please share! The good, the bad, or the ugly, I want to hear it all. Thanks.

91 thoughts

  1. John, I wholeheartedly agree. All Macromedia seems to do is go after the existing customer base, and not go after the non-ColdFusion based shops out there. Macromedia needs to do a better job at educating the potential customer, and be able to deal with the objections of the misinformed IT manager.
    Regarding something I said earlier, and many others seem to agree with, is the lack of a ColdFusion presence in the education system, and I do not mean selling CF to educational markets. I am not a Bible thumper… far from it… but I am reminded of something in the New Testament that says, "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach the man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime." Although the allegory isn’t entirely on the mark, teach someone about ColdFusion, and how to program in it, and I guarantee you that most developers out there would pick it for the bulk of the web applications out there if they just understood CF for what it really is, and not an outdated perception of what it was in 1997.
    I went around Cleveland State University on Saturday and posted fliers about the Macromedia’s worldwide user group meeting on 5/19, and when I got to the areas in Engineering, Business and Urban Studies there where the web and programming courses were being taught, and I saw the courses offered, I saw Java everywhere…. VB.NET everywhere… and even some PHP and Perl.. but ColdFusion… NOWHERE. What does that tell you? It tells me that Macromedia is not doing what it needs to do to grow the base… at the base by educating the developer. The future of ColdFusion does not lie in teaching a designer how to develop in CFML, it’s how to teach a Java developer to be more efficient and build apps faster by using ColdFusion for most of the application and use Java only where it’s necessary. In the end, it’s all Java.
    One final thing: I have seen this mentioned elsewhere. I think Macromedia needs to reexamine its licensing model. It’s been proven that there are all sorts of reasons why teams of CF developers do not develop on their own machines… version control among them. Most shops buy development, testing and production licenses, and often staging, intranet and multiple production licenses in clustered environments. This means that a company needs to make a SIGNIFICANT investment in ColdFusion app servers before a single piece of a ColdFusion application can go live. This puts ColdFusion behind the ball in investment versus PHP, ASP/ASP.NET and even Java. Look at this for a company that BUYS a ColdFusion application!!! You have to buy the application, PLUS all the servers!!!
    I think that Macromedia needs to offer copies of ColdFusion for use in development, that DO allow for multiple developers to use the same server… FOR FREE. This new license model would allow more companies to EXPLORE the use of CFML for its application development without having to make a significant initial investment… and I believe would sell more ColdFusion servers and develop more ColdFusion developers in the long run.

  2. Ben,
    As a user in Europe, I often have to defend myself against PHP/ASP users, who might not have the most attractive language to program in, but at least their product is free. So idea number 1: drop the price.
    Second idea: build a kind of "Cold Fusion Updater", like the "Windows Update" page, where bugfixes and patches can be automatically downloaded.
    Third idea: place some ads in European magazines. We often see Macromedia’s Dreamweaver advertised here, but Cold Fusion is tucked away!
    Fourth idea: build a more stable product! Since the conversion from C++ to Java, CFMX goes down once a week on all my servers. CF itself is unbelievable powerfull, but there still are some tech probs (just read the forum…).

  3. Push HomeSite+ or create a real IDE for programmers!! DW is not and is not perceived as a programmers tools, but as a html coder/designers tools.
    Have forced a lot of CF devloper to move to DW has been the worst mistake. The death of HomeSite/CF Studio has been a very bad strategic move and a lot of people have seen it like a betrayal.

  4. I think Macromedia needs to be much more aggressive in the hosting community. There’s nothing more offputting to entry developers than finding out they have to pay $30+/month for a simple shared hosting account, when you can get PHP accounts from $7.95/month. Do what Microsoft does with their service provider licensing plans (SPLA), have an extremely aggressive subscription plan for companies offering hosting, application providers etc. A simple certification/registration process, and then offer CF Standard for $69/month/processor, Enterprise $249/month/processor. Be aggressive, kill the excuse "CF is too expensive", let all the smaller Web hosts that would normally consider PHP have a fair chance of offering CF.

  5. CF needs some of the more useful .NET features like REAL grids (*NOT* Java), Events and etc.
    Lets forget about all the Flex and Flash hoopla and concentrate a little bit on bringing CF back to the front of the pack.
    I agree with the other postings that TerraForms should be builtin (anything from Matthew in fact would be a welcome addition).
    Spend some time bringing HomeSite+ (CFStudio, or whatever you want to call it) up to date as DW is NOT nor ever will be a replacement. DW is bloated, slow and nearly requires multiple monitors to work with any productivity at all.
    Granted, DW is a nice tool but the target audiences are different and Visual Studio 2003 kicks the crap out of DW for productivity for more ‘traditional’ developers (like those that actually use HomeSite still). Hire Nick to bring it back to life again if needed.
    Better .NET integration aka Black Knight functionality should be included in CFMX Enterprise.
    Include a secure method of compiling and protecting source code that is long overdue.
    Provide a way to package and distribute CF applications without having to purchase a full blown CF server package. .NET is far, far ahead of CF in this area. Maybe this is done as a developers toolbox version of CF or something so MM can still generate income without the canibalization of the CF server marketspace.
    Include FLEX and leave the pricing structure of CFMX as is (or lower it even) to make it more competitive in its’ marketspace. This would include marketing CF in non-CF related venues. CF users already know why CF is great and don’t need to be re-sold at every corner. Agressively pursue new marketshare. MM markets Flex in the enterprise segment and CF should be promoted to that same audience.
    Include the majority of the DRK components and apps with CFMX.
    Provide a freaking way to add java resources that don’t require you to restart CF and/or JRUN constantly to help reduce momentary outages for these configuration additions/changes.
    Enhance graphing to include more chart types and animated graphs.
    Include the ability to generate Flash Paper output and other file types such as PDF and XLS without jumping through hoops. FOP is a good place to start for PDF.
    Replace all of the Java based elements (like CFGrid and etc.) with Flash based versions including grids, file browsing, trees and so forth.
    Get rid of the Macromedia is king attitude and listen to developers better. MM has gained quite an ego lately.
    Fix the MM website so it is more productive. Searching forums and etc. is so painfully slow that it is nearly unusable. The RIA based versions of the developer exchange suck compared to the old versions. At a minimum, provide a webservice to allow developers to create their own interface to the exchange instead.
    Pretty graphics and design layouts often conflict with usability factors and while the MM site is visually appealing the usability stinks. It’s ridiculus to have to login to various parts of the site over and over because the integration on the backend is lacking.
    Send update and hotfix notices to subscribed users. What is the point in having the option to be notified when there are updates when you never get any notifications?
    Provide an easy way for managing MM product licenses and subscriptions from a central location. We purchased CFMX Ent upgrades and subscriptions, multiple MX Studio copies and subscriptions and a month later DevNet is released and we are left in the cold unless we want to pay more $$ which is difficult because we had to fight for the subscription funds in the first place and have to return a month later with our hands out again. Since there are no notices sent out when subscriptions are close to expiration and no place to check subscription details on the MM site it makes it a huge PITA. Purchase an MSDN Universal (or even lower level) subscription from MS and compare the level of service differences between the two and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
    MM charges significant premiums for the CF platform and as such should provide much higher levels of service across the board. Learn how to do the existing products well at all levels before stretching limited resources on various new stuff like Central, Flex and etc. These are all great additions but have come at a cost to CF focused resources as well. MM as a whole may be making steps forward but CF in general has been slipping more and more over time. CF had a significant time lead over .NET and MS has taken significant steps to quickly close the gap.
    We all love CF but it is tiring to constantly battle to protect its usage and maintain a positive light in a corporate environment when it comes at a significant cost. All platforms have bugs here and there but when CF stumbles it really stumbles and often leaves supports with some damage control issues to cleanup which detracts from its’ overall lustre.

  6. I agree – I agree – I agree
    Replace all of the Java based elements (like CFGrid and etc.) with Flash based versions including grids, file browsing, trees and so forth.
    Posted by MediaStorm at 5/13/04 4:44 AM

  7. Ben,
    Marketing and Support.
    All I hear from former local ColdFusion shop’s is that they are going .NET. With the high turnover of IT staff and officers in this industry, not enough is being done to hype ColdFusion with/vs .NET. They see .NET on TV, they get a Microsoft Salesperson, they are on board. One example yesterday, A large company is on CF 5.x and going to .NET…they didn’t even look at CFMX. Why wasn’t a sales person on the doorstep long ago? Once more Macromedia had a Yahoo advertising banner with a typo. I notified MM and never got a thank you. the banner was still displaying on yahoo 4 days later.
    Also the support service…Even Microsoft gives free setup phone support. When I was installing CFMX MM said I could pay $600 or fill out a web form and receive help within 24 hours. I was upset and I have been a ColdFusion advocate since ver 3.x! There is not one CIO in the world that will pick ColdFusion over .NET or PHP if they think the support isn’t there.
    The local sales rep might want to call and keep tabs with me as I am a local manager and could give them several leads. Sorry for the rant but evidently they won’t listen to me.
    Manager Central Indiana CFUG

  8. I am in University studying computer science. When I tell people that I create websites using ColdFusion I usually get one of two reactions: (1) either a blank stare indicating they have no idea what it is or (2) questions asking me why I don’t use a *real* programming language.
    Amongst my peers at university, there is a real feeling that CF is a toy, akin to creating a website or a program using Visual Basic. "Real programmers do not use ColdFusion, they use php or Perl of C."
    In addition, there is an attitude of why should I use CF since php is free and even more powerfull. In addition, php is easier to learn and it constitues *real* programming.
    At my school it is the new media students who learn ColdFusion programming, not the computer science students.
    Amongst the faculty there is also the attitude that they do not use packages. Therefore, they would never buy or start teaching something like CF because is constitutes a package. There is a real hostility when it comes to pre-packaged applications like CF. However, all the computers have Visual Studio .NET installed on them, which is used for all of one course throughout the entire CompSci program.
    Macromedia needs to do something to change this attitude. I am just not sure what.

  9. As a developer I have to really wonder how much "in the family" Cold Fusion is. First thing I notice is that when you install Studio MX is that CF is installed in it’s own directory. Might seem small, but I’ve also noticed that there is a very, very big push to show that CFMX can integrate with the .NET environment. I think that a MS can make this argument, but when I hear it from MM it sounds as though you are at least thinking about conceding the CF arena.
    I see a lot of advertising promoting Dreamweaver as an ASP.net tool, how about a CF tool as well?.
    Don’t like DW, never have, probably never will. Too much stuff I don’t need. WYSIWYG has been mucho bad for the web development crowd. Too many folks who have no clue about the code underneath (can you say Security?)
    On the Macromedia Website Mr Forta is no longer a CF Evangelist. He’s now a Macromedia Evangelist (Waters down the argument a bit).
    Although the Flash integration looks really nice I’d like to see some CF tags do some of these things. They are trying to market CF as "faster development" and with many websites this is true, especially when you are using the tag base. However, if you do a website with Flash Remoting, development time is pretty much the same as doing it in .NET, and it adds one more layer that you must worry about security issues.
    Dump it into a lot of Schools for free. The University of Houston sells it for cheap in their software store, but ask any Faculty about it and they act as though you need to see the Foreign Language Department.
    Yes, I do the .NET thing too. I’m breaking into PHP as well. I do like CF, although this CFMX 6.1 and JDBC drivers in SQL Server is low-budget. Shouldn’t have to fight creating a DSN. Reality is, if you are looking for work, and a lot in this Industry are, the CF jobs are pretty lean.

  10. This is an invaluable thread, and lots of folks are paying attention. I have not replied to any responses yet, as I don’t want to get into a discussion or debate and somehow affect the direction it is taking. But please, keep posting, this is all being read, and I (and others) will respond.

  11. Wow. Some great ideas here – I hope Macromedia is listening (and acts upon it)
    I like the idea of making http://www.coldfusion.com a seperately focused site instead of buried in Macromedia.
    I agree with the .NET comments as well. I’m evening seeing this internally – we’ve always been a CF shop but lately I’ve had some management members ask about .NET – because they see Microsoft pushing that in the press while Macromedia/ColdFusion are absent.
    In regards to Flex I was extremely disappointed when I saw the price. After seeing example here at Ben’s site I was excited about the possibility of using it but at that price range I’ll never have the chance.
    jim

  12. I agree with almost everything I have read here. I’ve been using CF since 3.x. I have been a (devoted) senior CF developer for the last 3 years.
    My issues:
    Product Representation
    Better Online Support
    Developer Education
    PRODUCT REPRESENTATION
    The company that I work for recently went from 4.5 to MX and now they are telling me that I will soon be rewriting the application in .NET. The company has shifted from using Java, MS and .NET is now our corporate standard. After I registered MX, there was not one follow up from MM to my manager or myself. It seems like MM isn’t even putting up a fight.
    Why isn’t MM doing more to pursued corporations to consider CF to .NET as a company standard? It seems that MM is hoping that the loyalty to Java will give them some kickback. I recently sat in a meeting where some .NET guy in our company had solicited the guys from Blue Dragon to attempt to convince me that we should run our CF application on their approaching .NET version of BD. Why in world would I do this? Why in the world would my managers even consider this as well? Where the hell is MM? I would much rather use a MM .NET version of CF than trust some smaller company that may not be around in the next few years.
    MM needs to do more to represent themselves and change the negative IT perceptions that have fostered due to a misunderstanding of CF. Unfortunately, it is frowned upon and not taken too seriously.
    BETTER ONLINE SUPPORT
    The upgrade had its ups and downs. I was quite frustrated at the amount of digging into the MM web site I had to do to find info and fix inherent issues. I agree, ditch the Flash where it isn’t needed.
    DEVELOPER EDUCATION
    Based on what I have seen at a recent CF conference in Irvine CA, I feel that the majority of CF developers here is southern CA have a soft understanding of OO or modular programming and web development in general. This may be one reason why CF isn’t taken seriously by the more adamant IT groups. I think MM should change its focus from rapid development to robust development and stress the importance of the UML paradigm and formal development processes. Too many times, I have seen CF pages that are well over 500 lines long and self submitting. Although this may not take too long to actually develop, if it is an important app, all you get is headaches in supporting this and trying to extend it. CF developers need to become more serious in their approach to design and development and MM needs to help bring this awareness to them through the product. Although it seems that this was the original intention with the release of MX, MM seems to have since dropped the ball.

  13. Marketing, marketing, marketing. Macromedia is not speading the word about ColdFusion to a broad enough market. Just like those who mentioned above about the .Net and Cisco commericals and magazine ad placements. Those media avenues sell the idea to executives. Executives say whether or not you can buy the ump-teen licenses it’ll take to buy a J2EE version of ColdFusion to run on a company’s development, QA, staging, and production environments.
    Speaking of licenses…. Hey, if a company buys an enterprise or J2EE license for their production environment, why should they have to buy even more licenses for their development, qa, and staging environments. Yes, ColdFusion is inexpensive, but three to five servers can really add up, especially when it’s sold by the CPU. After all many other software companies do this, including Microsoft, Sun, and IBM! I’m not saying give it away, but make it worth while for businesses to operate annually.
    But then again, ColdFusion does need to be given away or at least strip down version of it. It needs to be given out to those who will not use it for commerical gain. After all, .NET is free, so is PHP. But the lack of an editor will drive folks to buy Dreamweaver. From that point, Macromedia will gain.
    Web Hosting Providers should be given huge discounts for loading up ColdFusion. Macromedia should work with the WHP’s on how to offer all of ColdFusion’s features without jeopradizing security. Once again, this could drive sales of Dreamweaver up because more people can have a dynamic web site for less cost than the Microsoft technologies.
    Macromedia should promote ColdFusion as a Java based RAD for the Web. And promote it big time. I’ve been able to build web apps faster in ColdFusion than most .NET or ASP developers can produce with the Microsoft tools. Let’s not even discuss JSP and Struts….
    There should be more high level documentation on how to build a solid web application using ColdFusion. No, FuseBox doesn’t count, nor does Mach II. Those are for folks who don’t have clue on web application architectures. I’m talking about how to use ColdFusion as the GUI and utlizing EJB’s to a middle tier app server like WebLogic or WebSphere without having to have the J2EE version of ColdFusion. How to utilize remote scripting technologies without using Flash Remoting. There should be even more articles on how to mange and administrate servers, especially in clustered environments. Articles on how to integrate with other products like linux and mail servers would be very practical.
    ColdFusion’s xml feature lag in speed drastically. The new function xmlSearch() is so time consuming, I’m trying to figure out how to uses a Java object to do xslt translations to improve output performance of the html. But the advantage of the ColdFusion’s xml is that it does harness the ColdFusion’s structure and arrays objects wonderfully. This makes it very easy to navigate. The xml features just needs more speed and more options opened up, especially with xmlTransform().
    Another worth while feature would be the ability to write JavaBeans and access them like they are CFC’s. This could really get the ball moving in the Java world. Allow cross application development and promote more usage of design based tools for GUI that Macromedia does such a superb job or providing.
    To sum it up, ColdFusion is a niche market. Developers have to move from city to city keep working with the technology or switch to Microsoft, PHP, or a whole new field altogether. I’m on my third city in six years with ColdFusion. I’m tired of moving because of Microsoft’s hollow promises of scalabity. Better marketing would keep me in one place better. Three other ColdFusion developers I work with will also agree who also have move to same city I’m currently in just to do ColdFusion. Who knows, maybe a better, broader marketing strategy will open an opportunity back up where I am originally from. It would be nice to go home and stay home…

  14. Troy Pullis made an interesting comment that I would concur with. The Cleveland MMUG, my new group (it’s only a three hour drive from Detroit, Ben! I know because I drive back and forth to Windsor every weekend!) is going to miss out having you speak… as well as my former MMUG, the West Virginia Macromedia Users Group, that I am still involved with. Both groups, although called MMUGs, have definite CF slants, and it would have been great to have you… but we were never asked! 🙁 I hope you will make the trip to see us soon!

  15. Troy Pullis made an interesting comment that I would concur with. The Cleveland MMUG, my new group (it’s only a three hour drive from Detroit, Ben! I know because I drive back and forth to Windsor every weekend!) is going to miss out having you speak… as well as my former MMUG, the West Virginia Macromedia Users Group, that I am still involved with. Both groups, although called MMUGs, have definite CF slants, and it would have been great to have you… but we were never asked! 🙁 I hope you will make the trip to see us soon!

  16. I’m a relative newcomer to ColdFusion. I’ve only been using it for a couple of years. My first exposure to CF was ColdFusion MX. So I may have a little different perspective than the long time users.
    To echo several comments. More marketing. I know that Macromedia does not have the marketing dollars that Microsoft has but it sure would be nice to see some mainstream advertising.
    High Education: I work at a state university and this is the perfect environment to promote ColdFusion, both in the classroom and as a solution for the IT departments at universities. Look at Microsofts MS Campus Agreement Program. For the cost of the media ($5 per CD) I can get any of the major MS applications for work use or personal use. I know MM cannot likely do this but they could certainly make it more economical for universities to use their products.
    Dreamweaver: I use DW excusively and like it a lot. For me personally it is the right development tool. I would like to see tighter integration with ColdFusion. The components inspector is great. I like that I can instantly see a list of CFC’s. I would like to see something similar to this for Custom Tags. I would also like to see code hinting for custom tags as well. How about a version of Dreamweaver called DreamweaverMX ColdFusion Edition that has all of non-CF server behaviors stripped out of it?
    Forms: Build into ColdFusion robust form creation capabilities. A few people have mentioned TerraForms and while I’ve not used the Custom Tag I have looked at the sample apps and that is definitely the direction I’d like to see Macromedia take.
    CFLogin: Personally I love this tag. That is how I secure all my apps. In addition to being able to assign a user to a role I would also like to be able to assign permissions to a users which I think would make the CFLogin tag even more flexible. I’d also like to see Macromedia promote this tag to the ColdFusion community a little (It was nice to see the Security CFC using CFLogin in DRK7). I think it is one of the hidden gems in ColdFusionMX.
    Custom Tags: I have not been using custom tags very long but recently have begun to use them on a regular basis. I would like to see a better way to manage custom tags (I sort of get at that in my comments about Dreamweaver). Some kind of inspector for custom tags within the ColdFusion Administrator that list all the custom tags in the Custom Tags directory would be great.
    I would also like to see Macromedia provide more articles, tutorials and sample applications using frameworks such as Fusebox and mach ii.

  17. This is incredible first of all. Want to spread the word to all Minnesota CFer’s to check out http://www.colderfusion.com.
    I think the big mistake all occured when the merger of alliar/macromedia happened.
    It sounded like a good idea, to bring two industries together.
    But in reality it’s not that great.
    Because you really don’t understand well enough the mind set, culture and economy of an average CF Developer.
    1. Most of us are self-taught, so learning the basics is such a struggle,that we never have the opportunity, other than thru years and years of experience to learn the best practices. From databases, cf admin, commenting, documentation, project management, sql, caching, com objects, source control. This is what coldfusion.com should be about.
    In fact, all cfugs should be a subset of coldfusion.com, that way we can all share all our data and presentations,and have one global interface to learning and sharing about ColdFusion.
    2. Dreamweaver really sucks for coding, for design it’s nice. But I am always having to clean up the html from anyone using dreamweaver or any other WYSIWYG. Go back to homesite, or make a deal with a text editor like Textpad, editplus or any of the other great text editors. Some of us will never even waste our time or money on dreamweaver or cf studio or homesite.
    3. Ramp up the Marketing. One of the great things about allaire.com’s website was all the case studies of successful sites use coldfusion, as well as walk through’s of what changes they made. If we want CF to be dominant like we know it can be.
    WE MUST SHOWCASE OUR SUCCESSES!
    Be in colleges, be in corporate offices, i want people who are thinking about new, existing sites to only think of CF.
    4. ColdFusion Store – Let us buy t-shirts, polo shirts, hats, any and all kind of gear that promotes and style-izes us as cool and hep cat Cold Fusion Developer’s.
    5. Get our own instant messenger tool, so fellow cfers can instantly talk to any other cfer over the internet. COMMUNICATION BABY!!!
    That’s it for now.
    Biggest One is to have coldfusion.com to be a seperate non-flash site, that has everything we want in it!!!
    Please listen to us, we want you to be successful.

  18. 1. Complete ability to manipulate the http Request and Response streams in an obvious manner.
    2. <cflocation type="server">
    3. Introduction of null. Would be controlled via a <cfsetting>
    4. <cfcontinue>, please
    5. Interfaces in CFCs
    6. Removal of all "magic" variables – e.g. cfhttp, cffile
    7. Session onend event.
    8. Ability to create threads.
    9. In CFCs, "this" to work like "this" in Java/C#/C++
    10. Place all CF tags in a pseudo-XML like namespace. e.g. (<cf:output>)

  19. 11. Get <cftransaction> to work across more than database.
    12. Controls similar to .NET’s controls (e.g. Datagrid, etc).
    13. Insert/Delete/Update commands in a <cfquery> to return # of rows affected.
    14. Digest authentication for Web Services consumption.

  20. Advertising campaigns cost a LOT of money. Trust me, you will more for your money if you paid Wouter Demuynck http://www.nucleuscms.org/contact.php to port Nucleus from PHP to ColdFusion (and keep it open source). He’s a 23 year old Dane and author of an incredible open source CMS/Blog application that is easy beyond compare to install on LAMP or Win/IIS servers, shared or dedicated. I’m sure he would port it for a "song" compared to the cost of an international advertising campaign.
    Maybe there is another Open Source tool out there (phpbb, gallery, phpcollab, oscommerce) that would garner more interest than Nucleus, if ported to ColdFusion. That decision is best left to the marketing/demographics folks. Real-world solutions that people can use and tinker with are a lot more interesting than ads saying how great a product is. If it is so great and easy, then show the world.
    MySQL did not reach its status through advertising campaigns. Read the article linked below for info…
    http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/wlg/4715
    With an excellent Open Source tool written in ColdFusion thousands of people would demand ColdFusion support from their hosting services.
    Another idea is for MM to provide the support needed to make FarCry install easily in a shared hosting environment. FarCry is an amazing tool that would spread like wildfire if people could install it on a $10/month hosting service!
    Implementing these suggestions will take CF adoption a lot further than a million dollar advertising campaign.

  21. Documents on Macromedia.com should be dated. Especially DevNet articles. Products change. Dating articles would make it much easier for users to quickly discern which version the article’s content may apply too.

  22. Bring CF to the students and the ISP’s for free and you will see a lot more articles and overall use of Coldfusion on the internet.. let’s face it.. CF is used mostly as an intranet tool and not so much as an internet tool, the reason why a language like PHP and ASP are so damn popular is only this.. the ISP’s are offering it for a low price.
    For example.. my ISP didn’t know about Bluedragon 6.1 (sorry…) and after i said it was free they had it running on there server for the same hosting price as an PHP package. Since then there are a lot of CF sites running on that server with users that already used Coldfusion in there working environment but had there personal sites in ASP or PHP. I think that coldfusion will only get bigger by name, if they focused more on the personal use instead of the corporate use, and this said.. that can only be done by offering Coldfusion to ISP’s for a low, low, really low price.
    The more Coldfusion will be used for personal sites the more it will be used for corporate applications.. let’s face it.. the kids of today are the decision maker’s of tomorrow

  23. What I’d really like to see is for CF to directly market itself as a .NET and JSP alternative. A March 2004 Netcraft survey (http://www.forta.com/blog/index.cfm?mode=e&entry=1109) showed the rapid rise of ASP.NET as a scripting technology. Assuming current growth rates, .NET will overtake CF at about this time next year. It’s fair to assume that the huge number of ASP-driven sites are adding fuel to the .NET fire by switching over, so perhaps Macromedia can appeal to them as a viable alternative. I’ve had the uncomfortable feeling that Macromedia has been resting on its laurels in terms of marketing; consider that the increase in servers with scripting technologies far outpaces Coldfusion adoption rates for internet sites and the situation becomes more alarming. If you market it, they will come!

  24. I notice almost every book store including BarnesNoble as well as web related training has ColdFusion MX in the category of Web Design. I would suggest Macromedia get a team together to address this problem. How can we get new developers to the web app technology if it is not presented as such.

  25. Recently started learning and using ColdFusion and here is what I have found.
    1) Visited 2 different bookstores recently and found 0 books at one bookstore except for 1 book on Version 5 in the 50% off rack. At the other bookstore there were about 4 books on ColdFusion. I see 50-75 books for .asp, PHP on the bookshelves but hardly anything for ColdFusion. Why aren’t there more books in the bookstores for CF?
    2) Several of the website hosting companies I started dealing with when setting up my site have not upgraded to MX. They continue to use 4.5 or 5.0. Check with a few of the national/regional web hosting companies for yourself and see what version they are running.
    Also, I am finding that it is more expensive to find a hosting company that hosts for CF as opposed to asp or PHP.
    3) Marketing of your product is lacking. Not enough people know about ColdFusion. Need to step up your advertising of what ColdFusion is and does.
    4) Very few in town if any classes run on training in ColdFusion but yet I see several classes offered for Microsoft, Cisco,etc. We had to have a class created which took several months for them to setup at one of our local training centers in order for our people to get training in CF.
    It’s a great product, you need to get the word out more.
    Just my two cents.

  26. While I am a devoted follower, I have observed (and fought against) a lot of anti-CF sentiment, so I can make useful comment.
    Many developer frustrations are caused by show-stopping bugs or instabilities that, from the developer’s point of view, take too long to fix. The odd issue has been picked up from the forums by people like Stephen Dupre (i.e. the most important ones like the recent JDBC driver hotfix) and given a lot of attention – if that happened more often more confidence in the products would return. Interactive feedback on these issues is the key (IMHO) as the developer can then go back to the manager breathing down their neck and say, "Yes, MM is working on it – see!" Without this the manager says, "We are going to replace CF in the near future as the product doesn’t work," even though said manager has never written a line of CF in their life. Said developer then has the extra job of CF salesperson, trying to convince the ignorant powers that be that CF is far better than they have been told by the last Perl guru they spoke to (who also has never written a line of CF in their life).
    (Yes, I speak from experience)
    I’m willing to discuss personally, if there is any use in doing so – just email me Ben.

  27. 1) Strong advertising push at Exec level on cost savings of CF developemnt. they need to be educated!! (trade magazines etc)
    2) MM press releases (breeze presentations) it seems CF is always played down…or not mentioned at all. I think that’s one instance of ‘giving the wrong impression’ that can be rectified easily.
    Great responses

  28. 3) Be much more aggressive in education market. Even freebies etc. Microsoft floods schools with their tools…early branwashing 😉

  29. Sorry for the spam. Jsut to add to point #1.
    If Execs are educated on CF being J2EE and saving ton of money in development. They won’t be so clueless when a P.O. is dropped in front of them. It also re-assures current shops alreayd using the product that CF is not being left behind.

  30. It would be nice to see more articles on real-world ColdFusion development, keeping developers engaged and on the right track. The articles seem to have slowed to a slight trickle.
    I also like how Microsoft is keeping customers informed on the next release of Visual Studio/ASP.NET. The preview release is more of a tease, but the articles about the new features are welcomed and help me align current practices to the upcoming release. I think a similar approach to ColdFusion would be welcomed as well.

  31. I have also seen the number of CF books in local bookstores dwindle over the past couple of years. I honestly don’t think MM has much to do with that though. If people aren’t buying them, why would the bookstore fill their shelves with them. What you do see is a ton of books on .NET and the like because there is a greater demand.
    I do like CF and I think it has it’s place for some small apps. But from a personal and professional point of view, .NET is a better alternative.
    I’ll reiterate what’s already been said:
    1. Pricing is outrageous when you consider you can get PHP, PERL and ASP.NET for free. I know that MM couldn’t possibly give away CF so they have to compete on another level. The sad thing is is that I don’t know what that level is.
    2. I stopped using the exchanges a long time ago because they were very difficult to use and I was tired of wasting my time. I concur with the other poster who stated that Flash should revert back to animations and splash pages. I think the whole RIA thing is vastly overrated. It will be interesting to see what impact "sparkle" will have (if it ever comes out that is).
    3. PDF creation functionality.
    4. Ditch cfgrid and the like – applets suck and are useless.
    5. Compile and deployment of applications like .NET

  32. If Macromedia Press is going to publish working examples, make them actually work. I bought a copy of Realty ColdFusion, Intranets & Content Management. I downloaded (from your site) and setup the intranet created in section 1 of the book. There are three obvious errors* that could be found in a rudimentary QA walk through. I didn’t buy the book so I could learn how to debug an expert’s code. I bought the book to learn from the expert.
    * Three obvious errors:
    1) go to admin screen, sign in, list pages, click display link.
    2) from same screen above, click on a page title.
    3) go to admin screen, sign in, try to create a page.
    That this book was published 2002-10-01 and these errors have yet to be corrected is a shame. Where was Macromedia QA on this?
    Why don’t you GPL the eduhealth app from the book and let others improve on it and feed it back to the ColdFusion community?

  33. I would like to see the CFMX Administrator provide an option of hotfix/update checking and installation. Uses Microsoft’s Windows Update as inspiration.
    1) Macromedia provides a hot fix /update web service
    2) A mechanism (cfx java or dll) that checks the installed file versions against the available updates.
    3) ability to schedule the update check with notification via email when updates are available.
    4) Provide for automatic or manual selected updates.
    5) Since some updates will probably require stopping cfmx services, a way to launch an installer program that shuts down the cfmx services, uses the downloaded hotfix information, installs the hotfix (based on the stored configuration parameters) and then relaunch CFMX or restart the server.

  34. Ben,
    I already posted but I also wanted to throw this out there too.
    A lot of people including myself have mentioned that Macromedia really needs to target high education as a way to expose students to ColdFusion. I work at a public university and would be happy to put someone at Macromedia in contact with our CIO. Shoot me an email if you’re interested.
    Ray

  35. We need more information on Blackstone developments as they arise. For example, we are considering buying a product such as ActivePDF, but we do not have quite enough information to just wait for Blackstone.
    As an Evangelist myself, I would like to be able to better communicate the compelling developments in Blackstone to people in organizations that I work with…so that I can sell ColdFusion to them — this is the best way for MM to increase the server products division — a huge free salesforce, in place already, ready to spread the word. Keeping _us_ hanging off of our seats is a waste of energy preaching to the converted. Tell us what you know and what you know we can tell.

  36. Lack of ColdFusion books at your local bookseller is a symptom, not the problem. The problem is lack of demand for ColdFusion books.
    As Rob Brooks Bilson says here…
    http://tinyurl.com/32eqm
    His 2nd Edition ColdFusion book only sold ‘around 5,000 copies or so in the past year’. According to him it was the second best selling CF book. Ben’s ColdFusion WACK being first. It is no wonder that O’Reilly has decided not to publish a third edition.

  37. Ben –
    there’s a huge opportunity with government and companies that WILL switch operating platforms (I know, everybody says companies never switch, but… …)
    http://news.com.com/Linux+ensnares+another+European+city/2100-7344_3-5238146.html?tag=nefd.top
    (government change).
    Why isn’t Macromedia out there yelling
    "Things change: you clients, your market, even you Operating System. But with Cold Fusion, even if your OS changes, you application continues on without a hiccup."
    OK – no hiccup is an exaggeration, but isn’t the fact that you can build your App right now for your Windows server AND use it IF you switch to Linux? From an IT level, isn’t this the sell – "Be prepared NOT to rewrite your applications. Multi-OS. Standard. Adjustable. Like your belt."
    LOPEDIA . COM

  38. Sorry – just want to add to that last line:
    "Like your belt, no matter if your OS is fat or thin, your applications will still hold up"

  39. Seems to me that ColdFusion is largely at a disadvantage because of costs. PHP and ASP are free. Yes, BlueDragon offers a free alternative, but if Adobe wants to improve their market share they should do something similar: a scaled back version of Adobe CF w/o several really nice fluff tags (like cfdocument say) thats free for any/all use. Make folks register for that product, and make it ridiculously easy to install and manage (like it is now basically). Then hound your registrees to a degree. Let them know about the features theyre missing, and give them concrete examples of why those are such great things and are worth the money for the upgrade to a business level server.
    Cost is prohibitive, not in just big organizations who are setting up several servers for production/testing/staging, but for small organizations who have little to no budget and want to develop as quickly as possible for an internal or external application on even just one server.
    Something else they could consider is a more comprehensive management tool. I’d love to see something as robust as say the sql server management tools, that let you monitoring currently running threads/sessions/applications etc. Then they could market that as the big tool to not only let you develop CF but also to manage your website(s).

  40. Nick,
    I’m usually a nice guy but you’re about the 101st guy who has said this during 07 so I must say that you’re flat out wrong about cost issues. I’ve coded in .Net framework and CF and I must say that ColdFusion wins on total cost of ownership everytime. You’ve got to understand how to sell your clients on CF, even if it means actually challenging their ASP.Net coders to a race (which I’ve actually done before and I coded circles around 2 very experienced ASP guys all by myself – and made a waaay better app then they did – thanks to FlashForms). Here’s how you do it – say you’re in a small to medium market, like I’m in Indianapolis for instance, consulting fees range from $125-150 per hour here. You can get CF for between $1150-1200. If you can convince your clients of any of the following benefits then you’ve won…
    1. Write once, run anywhere – this is a no brainer for people who fall out of love with Windows, UNIX, Linux, Mac whatever – wherever there is Java there shall be ColdFusion!
    2. I have personally bought clients ActiveX controls that cost more than ColdFusion and ColdFusion did what those controls did out of the box!
    3. I find on average that I write half (or less) actual code volume when working with CF. So, once you’ve saved your client 10 hours, because CF is all about productivity, then CF has essentially paid for itself and now the client is totally "in the black" as they say for now they will always able to do things like actually see a project get finished, or add on to a project very easily, or leverage their existing infrastructure of CFC’s to get new widgets cooking – you get my point – all while saving drastic amounts of money. And for the record, I don’t work in ColdFusion because of learning curve issues or any of the other bullshit that Microsnobs will say to you – I do it for the love of the game baby! Seriously though, CF is easy to pickup but at the same time you can get very complex with it if you want to. I like coding in C# but I think that .Net is better suited for thick client, desktop apps at this point when compared to CF. And unfortunately for Microsoft, Apollo may even end up beating them at that game too.
    Don’t ever fault Adobe for charging for ColdFusion, I don’t care how many people use ASP or PHP – ColdFusion was first – that’s right, the first dynamic web technology that could seamlessly connect to a database and make the browser useful for more than looking at dirty pictures. Bottom line, CF is priced exactly where it should be – I’m glad that they haven’t tried to stick it to any of us and really up the ante for a copy of standard. CF8 is coming and if you’re not convinced of the value of CF now then you will be!

  41. I think you guys are doing a great job. I’m not sure you get to hear that enough. Now for my wishlist 🙂 the only thing that I could ask for is greater control over the new .js files in CF8. In a hosted enviornment we don’t have access to modify the .js files. If there is a way, and there usually, is I don’t know it. Also, I like using the cftextarea tag rather than a 3rd party text editor but defining custom toolbars seems to be probelmatic.. I’m sure you are working on it, so I’ll be patient… umm, that’s it. Seriously great work! as a developer dependent upon CF for a living I too hate hearing that CF is "dead".. I think it’s a great platform with lots of power a great future and has a thriving community. So cheers!

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