Paul Jansen is TIOBE’s Management Director, and he responded to my post yesterday about the ColdFusion being taken off the TIOBE Programming Index. Here is his message:
Hi Ben,
Thanks for your reply on our TIOBE index. I have added an extra question called “Who is Richard Bremner?” to the FAQ of the TIOBE index (see the end of the page). I hope that this answers your question.
Regards,
Paul

Paul, thank you for responding. I still believe that you made a mistake, both in removing ColdFusion from the index, and trusting the input of a single individual and not making the effort to check the facts for yourself. However, I do appreciate you responding to the reactions and feedback of the ColdFusion community.

25 thoughts

  1. By their logic cfscript is also a language, as the syntax differs from cfml. Somebody over there has an axe to grind with cf (or somebody directly related to cf), and these are just semantic games.

  2. I received the exact same response. Good to see that they now recognize CFML as a language, but seriously, who calls it that? When people say ColdFusion, they mean CFML. Ignoring the name ColdFusion is the wrong approach for them.
    Its like searching for gelatin versus Jell-O. Or facial tissue versus Kleenex. The name ColdFusion is synonymous with the language CFML.

  3. I read their section on how they come up with their numbers yesterday. Based on what I learned from this and making the same assumption as Jeff, No one calls it CFML; would their research results/methods not be completely flawed in using the acronym? I hope they take this into consideration, I know I rarely ever even use the term CFML.

  4. Hi Ben,
    I’m looking into "macromedia coldfusion mx 7 certified study guide" right now, pages 10 and 11. I can see following definitions for ColdFusion and CFML terms:
    ColdFusion: behaves as an application server, and it functions as desribed in previous section (which is titled "Application Servers").
    CFML: ColdFusion code is written in CFML – ColdFusion Markup Language. This is a tag-based language…
    So is ColdFusion a programming language? Refering to your book it is not.

  5. @All. Anyone that write like this: ColdFusion still appears to be no a programming language at second thought, but CFML definitely is." should not be taken to seriously.

  6. The thing is, ColdFusion is what everyone calls it. I’m 99% sure I’ve never used the term CFML in a Google search… Which ever way you look at it the results are flawed.

  7. Seriously,
    Why do we care, it’s better off not on there. Then people won’t jump up and down when it drops a ranking or two.
    The software and stats on this list are just rubish, always have been. According to those May figures.
    C is more popular than C++ and C# (Rubish)
    Pascal is moving up the rankings with a bullet (Rubish)
    SAS is 13th on the list and SAS is a "Statistical Analysis System" not a language.
    And further more, they are 100% correct. ColdFusion isn’t the programming language CFML is. But the fact that they say that it’s ranked 135th, is once again rubbish. It’s more commonly used than some of those listed in top 50, in fact several in the top 20. It’s a ranking based on hype, how many people talk about it, and since no one refers to ColdFusion the language as CFML it’s in no mans land.

  8. But the question remains: Who is Richard Bremner? I don’t think the FAQ accurately addresses this question. I just want to know why TIOBE considers him the AUTHORITY. I think they should at least address his credentials.

  9. I will echo Justin’s comment. We generally say ColdFusion even when we mean CFML which means that their rating for this item (unless they combine the two terms) is inherently flawed.

  10. As Chris just said, the FAQ is "Who is Richard Bremner" but they never answered it! They just go on a defensive rant complete with rushed statements and poor grammar to attempt to draw validity to their "index". 15 year olds indeed.

  11. It probably would be best if they just took ColdFusion (or CFML) off the list. The list is meaningless and frankly it’s a waste of time to even look at it. If any one is trying to base their choice of technology on a list such as this, they are doing themselves a real disservice. This is exactly like the ComputerWorld fiasco. We’re giving them too much attention which is probably what they wanted in the first place. We just need to continue to make the ColdFusion world bigger and better and not worry about the few people who can’t even determine what a computer language is making silly comments.

  12. In my mind, TIOBE is continuing to lose credibility in the Coldfusion family with their blatant disregard to validate the credentials of Richard Bremner. But again, why do we care to begin with? I do not base my project plans on the rankings on TIOBE. And as long as Adobe doesn’t do the same, I think I’ll be alright. TIOBE can have their Richard Bremners, Matthew Drayers, rankings and index, I’ll still write CFML tomorrow, regardless of where they have it ‘ranked’.
    The name TIOBE (when pronounced like the southerner that I am: Toe-Be) makes me think of a certain early 90s home hair-cutting device.

  13. Now hold on a second everyone… The TIOBE is an index of popular languages. What is really popular the CF markup language or the ColdFusion Platform? Adobe ColdFusion’s own product manager even points out that ColdFusion is not a language but a platform. I do think there is a general difference between ColdFusion the platform and CFML the language. ColdFusion is growing in popularity however you split it but at the end of the day I would say the platform is much more popular than the language. I think an accurate search for be CFC CFM CFML this would cover the basis. Searching for just ColdFusion would be inaccurate too as we have Ralio and (Open) BlueDragon along with IgniteFusion and Smith too.

  14. Look at the Wikipedia article on ColdFusion.
    "ColdFusion is an application server and software development framework used for the development of computer software in general, and dynamic web sites in particular. In this regard, ColdFusion is a similar product to Microsoft ASP.NET, JavaServer Pages or PHP.
    "The primary distinguishing feature of ColdFusion is its associated scripting language, ColdFusion Markup Language (CFML), which compares to JSP, ASP.NET, or PHP and resembles HTML in syntax. ‘ColdFusion’ is often used synonymously with ‘CFML’, but it should be noted that there are additional CFML application servers besides ColdFusion, and that ColdFusion supports programming languages other than CFML, such as server-side Actionscript and embedded scripts that can be written in a JavaScript-like language, known as CFScript."
    This text has been pretty much the same for two years. Can we call off the Richard Bremner witch hunt now?
    I don’t care whether ColdFusion is a language or not. I don’t care whether it’s listed on TIOBE’s index or not. But I do care about prejudices against ColdFusion developers, such as the one that we’re all sticks in the mud who are more passionate about our tools and the companies that build them than we are about getting work done.
    Not only did the shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later response fail to get ColdFusion put back in the index. It also makes ColdFusion developers look like a bunch of asses.

  15. Patrick – Richard Bremner isn’t the problem TIOBE is.
    Still, there are valid questions to be answered:
    Who is Richard Bremner, and what are his qualifications? Why did TIOBE act directly on his recommendation to remove ColdFusion, and why? Why didn’t TIOBE consult someone at Adobe (Ben for example) to get a competing argument?
    I sent an email to TIOBE asking them to remove SAS from the index, because it is "an integrated system of software products" – and yet SAS remains on the index – why?
    What is it about MY qualifications that are less than those of Mr. Bremner? There has been no transparency in this process, and quite frankly, it just smacks of the same old BS that we in the CF community have had to deal with for years now. The fact that people are standing up, fighting back and demanding answers is a good thing.
    Cheers,
    Davo

  16. I think that TIOBE is 50% correct in their new assessment. ColdFusion is neither a programming language, nor is it a frame work. ColdFusion is a runtime environment for CFML and CFScript.
    We (as CF developpers) write code in CFML and CFScript, not ColdFusion. ColdFusion (remember, CF is installed on the server) compiles the code.
    As for their remarks about popular frameworks, they are wrong in saying that ColdFusion is a framework, because (as stated above) it is not, it is a run time. Their confusion of the topic is further evident in that they state that ruby on rails is a framework, which it is not. Rails is a framework, and ruby is a language. The rails framework is available for a couple different languages.
    Just my 2 cents….

  17. TIOBE’s response is incredibly unprofessional. Why would anyone respect an organization that so easily becomes childishly defensive after a little pressure from developers? Professionalism goes hand-in-hand with expertise and intelligence. They lack all three.
    So let’s just review the value of TIOBE:
    1. they base their index on google searches. What a ridiculous idea.
    2. they lack the professionalism to compose meaningful, articulate responses to criticism.
    So explain to me why I should care about TIOBE. At this point I’m laughing at them!

  18. Had never heard of "TIOBE" before this article. But then again I am in web developing, and only very few "programming languages" on that list stand out to be web-related. I did (Turbo)Pascal in school some 20 years ago, on a "green on black" screen. I know TurboPascal is not Pascal, so please no one needs to feel bothered to comment on that fact. If people are still forced to use Python, Pascal and COBOL, good luck to them, I certainly don’t want their job.
    Everyone else, I am sure we get straight back on with all the great stuff out there, Ruby on Rails, Coldfusion, Flex, those things rock and are a blast to develop for with Eclipse and Apple’s Software Development kits on modern machines.
    I’ll delete the TIOBE bookmark from my computer now, it is certainly never going to be surfed to again from here. 🙂

  19. I think it is amusing that they added the question "Who is Richard Bremner?" to their FAQ, only to respond "Don’t blame Richard Bremner."
    Q: Hey, what is TIOBE?
    A: Don’t blame TIOBE.
    🙂
    Classic.

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