I’ve been working with Ray Camden and others on a hush-hush secret project for the past few months. Well, it is secret no more … Welcome to RIAForge.
RIAForge is a place to host open source projects built with Adobe technologies – from ColdFusion applications to Photoshop plug-ins to Flex components and more. And of course the site is built using those same technologies.
RIAForge features:

  • A unique project URL (eg. http://cfyahoo.riaforge.org/)
  • File hosting
  • Bug tracking
  • Forums
  • Blogging
  • Basic stats
  • Subversion access
  • … and more

This is not an official Adobe project, although the site is Adobe supported. Ray Camden did the primary development work with a lot of help and support from others, including Brian Rinaldi and Rob Gonda (SVN support is all from Rob, and will be a hosted project shortly.)
Let us know what you think!

30 thoughts

  1. This is pretty amazing guys! great work! Excellent Ray Camden product placement too 😛
    I’ll definately move some of my projects to this!

  2. It looks great. Nice job to both you and Ray! I think this will be a great resource for the ColdFusion open-source community and all open source focused on Adobe technologies, and I appreciate your letting me be a, albeit small, part of it 🙂

  3. Definitions of superfluous on the Web:
    * otiose: serving no useful purpose; having no excuse for being; "otiose lines in a play"; "advice is wasted words"
    * excess: more than is needed, desired, or required; "trying to lose excess weight"; "found some extra change lying on the dresser"; "yet another book on heraldry might be thought redundant"; "skills made redundant by technological advance"; "sleeping in the spare room"; "supernumerary ornamentation"; "it was supererogatory of her to gloat"; "delete superfluous (or unnecessary) words"; "extra ribs as well as other supernumerary internal parts"; "surplus cheese distributed to the needy"

  4. Absolutely. A new Adobe-specific repository is completely unneeded. We already have SourceForge and the new service from Google, as well as several ColdFusion sites. This just ghettoizes us and marginalizes us more without providing anything of value. "It has all the features SourceForge has!". Then why not simply use SourceForge? Why reinvent the wheel? This thing will actually LOWER the count of CF projects on SourceForge (if thats possible), thereby making ColdFusion look even more illrelevant. This was obviously dreamed up by someone in marketing.

  5. Now if this were to be used to replace ColdFusion Exchange (that is, port everything currently in ColdFusion Exchange over to this) that would make much more sense, IMHO.

  6. I disagee. FIrst – many people are unhappy with SourceForge in general. Secondly – how does more options ghettoize stuff? RIAForge was built as a way to not only host projects, but also to let you simply list them. Also remember this is NOT just for CF, but other products as well. (Consider that Microsoft has something for it’s own products, and Apple is also doing this.)

  7. Jim, I beg to differ.
    For the record, we actually started building this long before Microsoft announced CodePlex and Google announced Google Code. Although had we known about those back then I think we’d have built this anyway.
    Believe it or not we researched this one quite thoroughly back when I first tried to sell the idea. We polled lots of folks who create projects now. Most are not on SourceForge and the reason why is that SourceForge has gotten to big and bloated, it’s hard to find anything anymore, projects get lost in the crowd. And most projects are dead, just taking up space. (Which is also why Google Code is growing in popularity).
    But that being said, there is still a need for a place for the community to get together as a community. Not just for CF, but for all related products as well. And if some of those projects live on SourceForge or elsewhere, they can (and should be) included too. I don’t believe that marginalizes us at all, on the contrary, I think it makes the community stronger. One stop shopping for the community helps create that community.
    And then there is the whole dogfood angle, too.
    All of which are reasons why Microsoft created CodePlex, incidentally.
    — Ben

  8. "Now if this were to be used to replace ColdFusion Exchange (that is, port everything currently in ColdFusion Exchange over to this) that would make much more sense, IMHO."
    Agreed. That’s an option. Not an option yet, but definitley a future option.
    — Ben

  9. I’m going to agree with Jim here – in fact I was happy to see that I wasn’t the only one with the same kind of stunned reaction as I was reading the announcment. It’s just another void for perfectly good CF projects to disappear in. As a project developer I only have so much time (and/or energy) to submit to code repositories. Do I submit to SourceForge and hope to tap their wide audience? Or do I do with a smaller, more niche site and hope that the reduced name recognition will be offset by the narrower focus? If I’m searching for resources I now have to be aware and troll multiple boards (which is already what I have to do).
    I’m not clear how pointing at Microsoft and Apple and saying ‘but there doing this’ justifies this project’s existance, either.

  10. From a nerd viewpoint have any steps been taken to insure that the code in RIAForge will be visible and included in the code view from Google Code, Krugle, or Koders? Seeing as how I bugged Ken Krugler to include ColdFusion source code in Krugle (which he did) it would be even worse to hide our virtual light under a bushel.

  11. uneeded?
    Come on man we really need things like that, it’s equal sorry my comparation but it’s like a "Hot blond" each time we see one we get excited.
    I absolutly agree with this project, Ben, Ray you rocks.
    Why?
    Simple the sf.net and google Project or Microsoft Project it’s dedicated both of them to their one goals, if you for example go to sf.net you probably will be lost in many projects in differents goals.
    With this RIAforge you are feel like in home, due to if you really work with adobe technologies, and want a place to put all your projects in the shield you really need a dedicated site for that.
    For example take a look at the OSFLash.org we need so much due to it’s focus on Flash Platform, and anyone who’s work with Flash goes to this site instead of Sf.net
    A Ruge example of that, after the OSflash.org most projects open-source was hosted in sf.net now their are in osflash.org
    I see that in this site you are really focused in using Adobe technology to support and helping people in the globe.
    Don’t agree with you man, you really need to see things across the wall. or you only see blocks?
    Regards.

  12. I love the idea!
    Having said that that, I’m very underwhelmed by the name. RIA? Isn’t that a Macromedia coined phrase that was created to indirectly validate Flash as a client side application platform?

  13. Calvin, to be very honest, it was not our first choice of name. (We may still get our first choice, maybe, and no I can’t share <g>). And no, RIA has actually taken on a meaning beyond Flash – the term is now used in conjunction with Ajax and Flash too. Although yes, it is still very associated with Flash. We can always add/change names. If you have suggestions, please share (just keep in mind that this has to be bigger than CF or Flex or any single product).
    — Ben

  14. An excellent idea. I for one see it as, you can never have to many repositories of information. What if we only had one library for the entire world. Would you not think that there would be some knowledge left out.

  15. I understand the concept of eating your own dog food but I also understand the concept of core competencies. Whats next, Adobe Web Search? If Microsoft and Apple want to waste their time creating virtual code silos that’s not a reason the make the same mistake. Had it been up to me I would have pursued a co-branded code repository with Google and deployed Ray’s considerable talents toward creating something innovative that showcased unique differentiators.

  16. Jim, I really don’t see the issue here.First, I host my project at Google Code and it doesn’t actually have some of these features including the forum and the blog. Second, it isn’t easy to find projects IMO as they aren’t organized in a usable fashion. SourceForge for that matter has *a lot* of CF projects, only 90% are vaporware…i.e. projects that never materialized (though try figuring that our by searching, you can make your best guess by number of downloads, but you can’t actually find it out until you click a project, click to download and see that there are no packages defined…frustrating). Adding these projects to the Krugle search, for example, is a legitimate concern, however, that sounds more like an improvement request rather than a reason not to do something.
    You don’t have to mention to me that there are a lot of sources for CF open source, and probably the largest grouping are projects hosted on the owner’s site. These won’t go away, and no one wants them to…host your project wherever you like. Not to toot my own horn, but if you want a list that weeds out vaporware and other junk and is CF specific and you can find everything in one place, then go to my list – http://www.remotesynthesis.com/cfopensourcelist – I spend way too much time maintaining that and making sure it lists everything from every possible location.
    Nonetheless, your concerns seem like a lot of griping over nothing. Especially when many people still think that there is no real open-source in CF and this site will offer visibility that my list cannot to get the word out (oh…and Flex, Flash, etc too).

  17. Neat idea, but I’d be worried about stability and longevity. You can be fairly certain that Google Code will be supported well into the future, but who can say the same for the small one-off repo sites like this?
    What’s with the strangly fixed width layout? On the about page I need a 1280px wide browser to NOT get a horizontal scrollbar!

  18. It looks good,
    However I agree that another one of these wasn’t needed. Unless you guys put some serious effort to going and collecting all the good stuff all over the place in here, then it’s a waste of time.
    There are only a handfull of things in there, mostly Ray’s where are all the really good open source bits, please don’t rely on the authors to find and post their code to yet another site, you guys need to be proactive.
    As for the name, I aslo don’t get it. I think AdobeForge would have been better, I don’t really see how some of the products are RIA. It might make people think twice about posting here also, such as my CFC isn’t RIA so I won’t post it here like zip.cfc.

  19. While I don’t agree with your first few points – I have to ask. Are you -seriously- saying you won’t submit just because RIA is in the name? That seems – if you don’t mind me saying- silly. It is obvious that this isn’t just for Flash/Flex apps.

  20. I’m saying it looks like a place to submit code relating to RIA’s. So people may not submit non RIA related code IMHO.
    Also, are you saying you don’t agree you need to chase code for this thing and hope people just find it and both submitting again. If you are then I wouldn’t bother at all, i’ll stick with cfopen.org which seems to do the same thing as your new site.

  21. I’m stunned at the negativity from some people here!
    I had my open source projects all over the place (OpenXCF on SourceForge, Concurrency for CFMX on cfopen and more recently stuff on Google Code). I’m in the process of listing these projects here so they get more visibility in a central location for open source projects based on Adobe technology. I think RIAForge is a great idea!
    It’s not like you have to *move* your project to take advantage of it. I just listed Concurrency for CFMX and Closures for CFMX and pointed to their Google Code home but now folks can download directly from RIAForge too – excellent!
    My thoughts on the other systems:
    OpenXCF on SourceForge is the hosting location for cfcUnit, Tartan, Clarion, a bunch of Mach II stuff, some Java custom tags that let you read/write Excel files and other assorted stuff. It was started by Matt Liotta and the project admins now include Paul Kenney, myself and Ray Camden with development work from Jared Rypka-Hauer and Joe Rinehart. Why didn’t it get traction? SourceForge is big and clunky and hard to use.
    cfopen where I originally hosted the Concurrency for CFMX project. cfopen just seemed too slow and unreliable and contained a lot of vaporware (as someone noted above!).
    Google Code is very bare bones but again it’s going to become big and projects will be hard to find.
    Seems to me I can get the best of all worlds by using RIAForge as a focus, pointing to my Google Code project, and maybe using RIAForge to host what I currently have on OpenXCF / SourceForge.

  22. Wow…
    I just want to go on record as saying – About bloody time! This is fantastic!
    I’m going to be moving Transfer onto here as soon as I have some free time, and I will tell you my reasons why –
    1) Hate sourceforge.. hate it with a passion. its too big, too bloated, and quite frankly I don’t want to be lost in the amongst the masses.
    2) Looked at Google Code. Liked it – currently doesn’t have as much as I want in terms of functionality – i.e. bug tracking (I think it has that now), download management, etc.
    3) I want to be in a place that is reasonably CFCentric. CFOpen was good for that, but this is way better.
    4) CFOpen was a good idea initially, but unfortunatley wasn’t the best implementation in the world (sorry guys! much kudos for the work, but it fell by the wayside). Emails went unanswered, the site would go down for days etc.
    The only constructive critisisms I will offer –
    1) Please be very specific in terms of the functionality you guys offer on a project. With some digging I’ve worked out that there is a bug tracker, and there is SVN, is there download management?, is there any form of statistics? forums? (I think there are… oh yep.. I see them)… oh and now I see a list on your blog ben, cool – but this sorta list should be on the about page, and more fleshed out please.
    2) Open Source licences. Currently Transfer is under CPL, but that is not listed as an option on the Licences list. Am I going to have to change licences to come into RIAForge?
    Otherwise – damn job well done. Well done. I am seriously impressed.

  23. Hey Mark – the licenses right now are a tiny bit hard to edit. I’m working on fixing that. The idea was to make it easier to provide links for licenses since most folks would look at "CPL" and have no idea what it means. So when I get _that_ working, I’ll add CPL.
    To your point about documentation, I agree 110%. In fact, someone asked me a question yesterday that I was unable to answer w/o looking at the code. So I want more docs as well. The site is _definitely_ still being upgraded each and ever day. (Although things will stop during MAX. 🙂

  24. As usual Sean makes a lot of sense: "Seems to me I can get the best of all worlds by using RIAForge as a focus, pointing to my Google Code project, and maybe using RIAForge to host what I currently have on OpenXCF / SourceForge."
    Yeah, I can see that. The "Forge" in the name threw me off, but if it’s thought of as listing service similar to the excellent job Brians been doing then it kinda makes sense and doesnt seem so redundant and copycattish.

  25. Jim: 100%. Trust me – I have a long list now of stuff people have asked for – and that’s on it. There will be continual improvement to the site (except while I’m at MAX).

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