16 thoughts

  1. MXNA has also been an eyesore for ColdFusion for years, when it has the potential to be one of its brightest beacons. I emailed an author for Flash Magazine a couple of weeks ago, wondering why he didn’t mention ColdFusion as part of Adobe’s RIA Toolbox in his article. He replied that he likes CF’s potential, and used it seven years ago, but claimed that, "…Adobe Developers are scared of using CF since showcase sites such as MXNA crashes all the time. They really should do something about MXNA."
    ‘Nuff said. Enough developers have complained and requested something be done with MXNA over the years that apparently it has become a beacon to not use ColdFusion, use PHP instead, which works just as well with Flash. The Adobe Labs site being built with PHP is another eyesore for ColdFusion, since Labs works so well. No matter how much it might irritate Ben and other people at Adobe the negative PR that results from the perceptions of MXNA crashing or Labs being built with PHP, the message has been clearly received by the public, nonetheless. Who at Adobe is going to wake up and make something happen?
    Ignoring the opportunities to reverse the bad PR that ColdFusion is getting from MXNA and Labs is just insane. Public Relations doesn’t always work logically and the damage from MXNA and Labs will continue until it is fixed. It’s the little things that make the biggest difference. And those little things are what is being blown out of proportion and working against those who know just how awesome ColdFusion 8 is. We’re supposed to be trying to reach the audience outside of the Adobe/CF community. Labs and MXNA are a terrific way to do that…yet it lives on with its perceptions of incompetence and instability amongst the communities that are already supposed to be onboard, because of ColdFusion, while (unintentionally I’m sure) making PHP the real champion. Is it what it is – and Adobe should stop ignoring it.

  2. Hey Ben – agreed MXNA is invaluable – are there any plans for beefing it up though? Blogs and documentation are something I consult all day long in my work. Wish both could be 100% available, fast, thorough, interactive and have lots of XML hooks to leverage in other services. Currently I just import MXNA’s and others’ OPML’s into Google Reader and use http://start.gotapi.com/ – but often wonder why Adobe doesn’t invest more heavily in this cornerstone of the developer community, the way they have with labs, developer connection, etc..

  3. As a newcomer to CF (read: less than 4 years) I chose my programming poison carefully due to its stability and ease of programming sense for a graphic artist like myself. I have only paid attention to MXNA recently but still found it interesting that something touted as highly for CF does such a lousy job of keeping it in the forefront.
    With Adobe Labs, I truly am a newbie but in learning of Adobe using ANYTHING but CF – gee, when is GM going to come out and admit their engines really suck and start putting Ford powerplants in their GM cars? What’s next Adobe? Ruby on Rails support?

  4. I agree with the statements above. I would like to point out the great resource, http://www.fullasagoog.com. It is an aggregator, similar to MXNA. I’ve always prefered it to MXNA because of its 1 page layout (I start at the bottom of it each day and can easily open 15+ windows of articles to read without missing any) and simplicity.
    MXNA could use some rework and a rewrite. Likewise, I’d like to see Adobe promote their own products a bit more on the site. Case studies on rewriting apps, how the massive content distribution is handled, etc. Adobe should eat their own dog food and promote the taste for all to hear about and enjoy (and eat too).

  5. I’m also inclined to agree with Jim on this one, at least on the MXNA side of things. MXNA is a great tool, but it’s always disappointing to see it down at times. And to hear Jim’s story about talking to an author and getting the response he did is unnerving, at the least. But I would urge the community to remember that Adobe.com is running on ColdFusion. Maybe Adobe simply needs to promote that fact more heavily and publish some figures on number of servers, visits per hour/min/sec, etc. rather than trying to reinvent the wheel by creating Labs again.

  6. MXNA is a great idea and it was created through the hard work of Christian Cantrell and Mike Chambers years and lived on a non-Macromedia server for a number of reasons. As others have said tho’, it is long overdue for moving into the mainstream Adobe infrastructure and getting proper support so that it can be a reliable, robust example of ColdFusion powering the community.
    It’s down so often – and often for substantial periods of time – that I gave up using it as a news source ages ago and switched to a long list of individual blogs and then, more recently, to coldfusionbloggers.org andallyourflexarebelongtous.com which seem much more reliable than MXNA but are both independent community projects.

  7. I’m not Ben, but it’s as Sean said… MXNA was produced by individual initiative, and has been maintained, but not improved, for quite awhile.
    We’ve had bad news lately (the spam load outweighing the architecture, resulting in unacceptable downtime), but good news too… the weblogs.macromedia.com server, and the MXNA aggregator which sits atop it, have both been prioritized within Adobe for improvement. That’s an important step.
    The blog-publishing system will likely see improvement first, to a modern ColdFusion setup, perhaps towards mid-year. Expect to hear better word when this gets locked-down.
    The aggregator, though, is a more complex question. It really needs to be improved! The full river worked when there were only a few hundred weblogs aggregated within it, and some readers use categories efficiently today, but then lose out on info which was not included within that category’s feeds. We need better ways to distill signal from "noise".
    My gut feeling is that the next-gen work will make greater use of both server-based feeds, and client-side filtering and display techniques.
    Should we have a conversation on how weblog-reading needs to be smarter over the next five years? Linear lists of links aren’t really all that smart… what types of functionality would you add to improve your news-gathering…?
    jd/adobe

  8. Hi Ben,
    I am a dotnet developer. But because of Mrinal I got interest in Adobe products.
    He is helping developers like me in Bangalore.
    One of the dedicated flex developer in Bangalore.
    Thanks
    Sreedhar

  9. i agree with all of the above.
    MXNA almost is my daily newspaper, but it also is an unstable piece of s… time for a complete overhaul!

  10. I’ve found MXNA to be quite noisy and lately "the echo chamber". FullAsAGoog.com has and always will be more focused and i prefer to look at it as being the Digest – noiseless – version of MXNA.
    That and Adobe keep a tight leesh on the blogs it syndicates there.. which imho is a bad thing.

    Scott Barnes
    Microsoft.

  11. I agree with you all, MXNA has been neglected, and badly. The good news is that the problem is, finally, being addressed, as JD noted. I’ll post more details when I have them.
    — Ben

  12. Jensa,
    It’s in the process of being moved to newer faster servers, and from CF7 to CF8. Code improvements will come later, but this first change should make things much better. Stay tuned …
    — Ben

  13. MXNA is down again. I really wish MXNA and a very fast AJAX livedocs were made a priority. I think John points out that it was an individual initiative. Well, I mean – ok, but for three or four years now it’s grown into something far larger and far more important to the community. Blogs and Docs are the backbone of the Adobe developer community. It’s time to freeze all other developer resources and get this done right imho.

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