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Episode 21 - What would you do if ColdFusion died tomorrow?

April 20th, 2012

So in this episode, we propose the following hypothetical scenario:

Adobe decides that it’s EOL’ing ColdFusion, without open sourcing it. Micha, Denny, Gert and Mark Drew all crash into the ocean in a tragic plane accident (they should really fly separately) and we discover that the OpenBD corporation is over an Indian burial ground, and everyone disappears in what looks like a horrific massacre, but no bodies can be found.

So essentially, CF is about as dead as it could possibly get. What do you do? Can you keep your applications with the platform you are on? Do you have to move? Can ColdFusion be resurrected and/or continued? Do you have to move to another language - and if so, which one?

It's a fairly interesting discussion topic, as it really forces you to look outside of "CFML-land", and make a proper examination of the offerings that currently exist, which is something that not a lot of us do (present company included).

As per always, we welcome any comments and or discussions - so please feel free to add comments to this blog post.

Also - if you have experience with any of the languages we have talked about on the show (or some we haven't), and think it would be an interesting addition to the podcast, please get in touch, we would love to have you on.

Links to some items we referenced in the show:

Also, don't forget - we'll be at cf.Objective(ANZ) which is the 1st and 2nd of November this year!


  • RogerTheGeek

    One often overlooked option for developers is completely moving out of development and into other types of jobs. You need to know things about a lot of domains to do software development. Many times, you can find niche positions and careers that are related to solving problems, but don’t involve coding.

    I have changed languages and systems a number of times over my career. It is not only possible for your world to get turned inside out, it is most likely guaranteed.

    Apr 20, 2012 at 3:21 pm
  • Geoff Bowers

    Seriously guys.. this is the most implausible dribble. As has been mentioned elsewhere, how can you have what looks like a massacre with no bodies?

    Apr 20, 2012 at 3:26 pm
  • Mark

    @Roger - good point, but like we said on the podcast, we wanted to focus specifically on back end programming. So yes, you could go become a dental hygienist (and that is a totally viable option), but that doesn’t really fit into the topic of discussion we wanted to address here.

    @Geoff - very easily. Lots of blood, lots of broken furniture, but noone can find the people, and the bodies cannot be located either. Just watch half a dozen horror / thriller type movies and you’ll get the gist :)

    Apr 20, 2012 at 3:44 pm
  • Geoff Bowers

    @Mark — Touche’. However, I’ll be disappointed if a there isn’t a freezer or wardrobe somewhere with mismatching body parts (aka the TIOBE index).

    Apr 20, 2012 at 3:57 pm
  • Snake

    Well as Railo is FOSS, anyone else could take it over and there would be plenty of time for that to happen, so wouldn’t be too worried. If I did decide to change platform, I might be looking at Ruby on Rails or Groovy for my own personal development. But with the hugh array of off the shelf PHP FOSS apps, there isn’t much need to do any coding these days :-)

    Apr 21, 2012 at 12:45 am
  • Adam Presley (@adampresley)

    Fun topic. I certainly agree that one should not prop their entire career as a software engineer on a single language/platform/system/toolset/Swedish Desk/mobile platform. :) I write ColdFusion code for a living, though I also write (and occasionally get paid for) PHP, Groovy, Python, etc… My biggest lessons from using a multitude of languages often come from finding and discovering new ways to approach old problems.

    So, if Adobe EOL’d CF tomorrow, I’d find work as a PHP dev pretty quick. Pay would suck, but ya gotta make a living somehow! ;)

    Apr 21, 2012 at 11:34 am
  • Justin Carter

    I think I’d fork Railo, and implement E4X-style support for queries in cfscript because Query.cfc makes me weep, and then hopefully live happily ever after :P

    Apr 22, 2012 at 2:00 pm
  • Mark

    @Justin - what is stopping you from doing this now? What is so special about this hypothetical end of CF that would cause you to start doing something that you aren’t doing now?

    I’m seeing a few comments (here and elsewhere) that say ‘Well, people would just continue Railo’. My question remains though - if the interest isn’t there in contributing code to Railo now, what guarantee is there that it will be in the future?

    Apr 22, 2012 at 8:54 pm
  • Kyle Dodge

    Great episode guys, I think this is an interesting thought to get yourself thinking about what else is out there. Although ColdFusion is my first love, I sometimes find myself thinking other languages are crap… until I try them and realize they each have something I can learn from, and sometimes even bring back to my ColdFusion code. I recently started digging into .NET and C#, just to explore and get some more tools on my toolbelt, and I immediately started noticing its not as bad as I had made it out to be… in fact, coming from ColdBox and FW/1, the .NET framework was pretty easy to pick up and run with. I think its always exciting to learn new ways of doing something, it keeps us from getting into a rut wouldn’t you agree?

    Apr 24, 2012 at 12:22 pm
  • Kai

    @Mark and @Justin:

    I do wonder about exactly that. What stops people from contributing to Railo, OpenBD or the OS project of your choice right _now_ instead of … at some point. Is it an “it’s not my problem/concern at the moment” thinking?


    Playing with other technologies is always good and helps one’s brain to stay active :) Personally, my main issue with .NET is not .NET, but the integration into the whole Windows ecosystem that I don’t really like.

    Apr 24, 2012 at 4:45 pm
  • Sean Corfield

    Thoroughly enjoyed this episode - the premise really does make you think “what would I do if…?” and it should apply to any developers that strongly associate themselves with a particular technology.

    The discussion around all the other languages was fascinating (I share Mark’s feelings about Perl, having maintained a 1,000 line Perl build script at Macromedia!) and I look forward to future episodes about those other languages!

    Seeing the comments does make me wonder why folks aren’t breaking down the doors to contribute to the open source engines. Maybe it’s a lack of urgency because Adobe, Railo and OpenBD are all humming along just fine? Seems a bit of a shame that it would take a massacre and an air crash to get people to really step up tho’… ;)

    Apr 24, 2012 at 9:00 pm
  • Sharon

    I do think that most of us are a bit lax in contributing to OS because we know it’s in good hands. But if we were forced into it, I believe that there are enough passionate and talented developers out there who could and would step in.

    As for me personally? In the short-term, I’d be organizing the single best memorial event for the Railo/OpenBD folks. (I’m Irish, we know how to grieve right.) After that…dunno. I’m not enough of a java geek to jump in on the OS stuff. But it would probably be a good incentive to become one and/or pick up something like Python to pay the bills.

    I just don’t know if I could become a MS geek. Nothing against .NET, but I’m more of a computing agnostic type gal.

    Apr 26, 2012 at 9:43 am