The State of ColdFusion


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Every so often the media, recruiting firms or someone at a conference stands up and says “Coldfusion is dead”, and everyone goes into a tizzy.

It seems to be that Coldfusion is like the development platform whipping boy, that gets throw out of the cupboard for a beating every now and again.

Now I’m not a “gun” Coldfusion developer, I used to work heavily with the product about 4-5 years back. But lately despite the frameworks and the version 8 advancements my interest in Coldfusion has wained. I guess this really started when I was finding it hard (yes hard) to get Coldfusion work several years back. That to me was the first sign to move on. At that point I suspect I made a decision with respect to Coldfusion. Now that’s not to say that I still think it Rocks.

You have to ask why this constant reporting of the demise of Coldfusion is happening at all, particularly in Australia. Have people just lost interest. The various Coldfusion communities will tell you there is no lack of interest. I disagree. We have taken our eye of the ball.

Is it just the natural shift of people to the popular development platforms like .Net. Maybe we can add Python and Rudy on Rails to that list as well.

Maybe it’s a price factor. Coldfusion in Australia isn’t the cheapest product on the block, add to this the fact that the costs for a hosting providers it isn’t competitive. All the pricing leads back to Adobe. Now I can understand why, Australia has always been a very small market, and small markets don’t get price breaks. Not Adobe bashing here, this is just reality. The open source Coldfusion implementations may help on this front.

The Coldfusion community tells me that there is a lack of experienced good developers and that this shortage is causing existing developments in the Coldfusion to be re-evaluated. Fair enough can’t get a developer you can’t proceed. Developer can’t find work, they retrain. That’s a double edged sword on that one.

Now on the flip side when did you last hear about:

  • A Coldfusion developer standing up talking about a Coldfusion based development at a major Australia conference, not dedicated to Adobe products (WebDU doesn’t count).
  • In fact anyone standing up talking about Coldfusion outside of a ColdFusion User Group. Doing this would at least make people aware of Coldfusion.
  • Any promotion of Coldfusion outside of the Coldfusion User Groups.
  • Coldfusion servers and educational package being rolled out free to universities so they can teach Coldfusion.
  • A graduate who knows what Coldfusion is.
  • A new book on Coldfusion in a bookstore online or otherwise.

No good bitching that Coldfusion is dying if you are just promoting it within your closed community. Sitting around the campfire grumbling that no one likes your beans isn’t going to help one bit, get out there look around the other campfires.

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  1. No good bitching that Coldfusion is dying if you are just promoting it within your closed community

    But if it is only promoted within the closed community, surely the closed community are not getting new members, and then surely it is dying?

  2. @Kat B – Thats the point, people want the product to survive they have to get out and talk about it.

  3. You’re making a few good points here. I particularly like your remark re rolling out free educational CF for schools or tertiary institutues, doing massive road shows at unis etc. That’s something I’m preaching for years without being heard (a bit ironic really – why should Adobe bother, the sales figures in the US are great…). One can just hope that the open sourcing of BlueDragon becomes a success – even if the product is not up to scratch with CF 8, it gives people an option to have a reasonable o/s CFML engine and get into business for free. That might drive interest and that might create a spark for life etc…

  4. Some good points here – some of which I blogged about back in August.

    I do agree the ColdFusion community is a bit ‘closed’ compared to others.

    One bright note – the upcoming open-source release of OpenBD (Open Blue Dragon) may spark some interest in CFML again…

    Dead? No. But the community could do more I think to go outside it’s comfort zone…

  5. “I particularly like your remark re rolling out free educational CF for schools or tertiary institutues”

    ColdFusion Enterprise is available FREE (as in beer) for educational institutions – provided it’s used for teaching and learning (student dev server, hosting student work).

    contact Adobe Australia or if you hit road block, contact me directly to drop a name or 2 to talk to at Adobe.

    Adobe are now getting serious in getting it into schools. for student admin work, you still have to pay EDU licences though (which is fair enough)

  6. @Barney

    Is the free CF for educational instatutions available in the US also? I googled some and couldn’t find any info on it. Thanks,

  7. Thanks people. I’m glad someone is starting to get it and it s not just navel gazing and grumbling into their coffee.

    Get out there folks promote ColdFusion or the rot will set in.

  8. I’m wondering if the remarks here about the ColdFusion community being more closed than most web communities pertain only to Australia or are meant as a general rule? Because I don’t find the Java, .NET or PHP communities to be all that open myself. Java developers tend to present at Java conferences, PHP developers at PHP conferences, .NET developers at .NET conferences… Or am I missing something here?

    In fact, I find ColdFusion developers are a lot more open to learning multiple languages (and have always been, as long as I’ve been with the community – which is since the beginning) than I expect these other developers are.

    Just my two cents…


  9. @judith – Can’t speak for the non Australian experience. But I have found PhP .NET, Python, RoR developers to be a lot more open as a community and willing to step outside their development community. This allows people not familiar with the languages to get that exposure.

    But Coldfusion is just very closed. Hence my call to get out and mingle.

    I don’t know about CF devs being more open, there are cores of “my way or the highway” in every community, as there are the moderates that know several languages etc.

    I have just found locally the CF community, bless them, to be a little closed, not in a bad way.

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