Considering the last time Computerworld mentioned ColdFusion, this new story on ColdFusion 8 is a significant step in the right direction.
Still chock full of errors. I mean ASP.Net? It was ASP – Chillisoft – and MS just acquired them.
And "were generated on the fly via a back-end database, rather than hard-coded using HTML" is a vast over simplification even for CF’s very early years.
Peter, which is why I said it was a step in the right direction, and not that is was good. 😉 Still, it is an acknowledgment that they were wrong last time, and that’s more than I had expected from them.
Definitely, a step in the right direction! While we’re at it, WHEN is someone going to call out TIOBE on their "ranking" of language popularity? By their own definition, they get their rankings with the following web search:
The ratings are calculated by counting hits of the most popular search engines. The search query that is used is
So, if every CF developer started a blog, and titled it "ColdFusion Programming", CF would go up in the rankings, even though the install base wouldn’t change. It’s like some high school popularity contest.
The popularity of a language can only be measured by asking companies – Fortune 500, for example, "What development languages to you use" – that, however, would require more than a search bot, and is probably why TIOBE doesn’t do it, and insists their rankings are based on science.
Still lots of errors, but at least it doesn’t make us look worse…
Wow, and I’m glad I can install my single copy of CF onto two Servers (instad of two processors). With research like this, no wonder ComputerWorld is ‘dead’!
Mistakes and high school popularity contests not withstanding, what matters here is perception. And the perception that ColfFusion was dying was real. I’m not saying that ColdFusion was dying at all, but you can’t get into a pissing contest with perception, you can only fight it with performance. Sadly, this is where the intranets don’t count. Also wasted is a lot of Government web applications that you will never see. We also got killed with the scalability perception in the past so what I am saying is high visibility sites like Half.com, MySpace.com and Bank of America are critical in the perception game and Allaire/Macromedia/ and now Adobe have been lame at winning it. MySpace moving to BlueDragon stings bad. How did the corporation let that happen? I understand that you may not be able to go after and win a Amazon or an Ebay with their own built up frameworks, but when a CF based site makes it to the big leages to lose it to another server or technology is commiting perception suicide. That has to stop because the perception is that you can use CF to get a foothold, but after that it will have to be replaced – which is bad bad business.
Today, CF can literally be viewed as a Java web application framework – that actually works. I’ve built web applications using open-source java frameworks and so I know the value proposition intimately, Java has suffered mightily from not being able to solve the presentation layer piece adequately and herein is the beauty of CF. It seems to me that Adobe should go after the Java based web application space and start beating drums until someone takes notice. If you want to win the perception game why not go after one of these huge java-based sites and win it? The day a piece of Amazon, or Ebay goes over to CF is the day you wont have to worry about perception any longer. Meanwhile, you can’t let sites like MySpace wain like it did. That in my opinion, is the biggest marketing blunder the company ever made and it had nothing to do with some article written about ColdFusion..
John, you make very valid points. But a few notes:
1) Over 90% of CF deployments are indeed internal apps, and CF does very well there because those type of apps are indeed what CF does best (eBay, which you mention, use lots of CF internally). Actually, the biggest CF deployments are all internal. Of course, the fact that these are internal and non public facing is a big pain. But having said that, if CF dominated internal apps (which actually is where most development occurs) that would be a very good thing. Public facing is good, but not critical to the core CF business.
2) Perceptions aside, CF is doing VERY well. I can’t share numbers (yet, I hope to be able to at some point) but I can tell you that the CF business is very healthy.
3) There are some significant wrinkles to the MySpace story that makes things more complex, and it has little to do with products or technologies specifically. But I can’t (and won’t) go into those issues at this time. But, you are right, I wish we could have salvaged that relationship. Ironically, Adobe actually does have a good relationship with MySpace when it comes to Flash and other products, but that won’t help CF at this point.
4) Adobe actually is investing in CF, far more than Macromedia did. Dedicated CF reps is a start, we’re expanding evangelism, CF8 got more press coverage than CFMX or CF7 did, and more.
But yes, there is still a lot to do.
I appreciate the comments. We agree on your first point, except for the notion that public facing is not critical to your business. Keeping that one-in-million website referencable would do more for your marketing and eliminate more of arguments against CF than it would cost to send an army of people to babysit every page request if that’s what it would take. For those of us behind the curtain doing the development that is never seen it would help us tremendously to be able to point to it and say, "See!"
Anyway, I’m not writing anything you don’t know already. Thanks for all your work and I hope you will be able to lever the strength of Adobe to great ends. CF 8 sure is great start.
Public facing sites like eBay, Amazon.com and Boeing.com will be my focus in 2008…
I’m already engaged with Ebay and Boeing. Let me know if you guys have contacts at Amazon.
In 2008 we will also resolve the CF hosting issue.
CF Account Mgr
We’ve got a very robust CF developers group here at Boeing, primarily working on internal Boeing applications.