It’s time for bold action in order to make ColdFusion grow… and it starts by killing the reputation that ColdFusion is anchored with.
For 20 years, I’ve listened to ColdFusion nay-sayers who haven’t had faith in the language. My first CF project in 1999 was met with resistance about using ColdFusion as part of the technology stack. I’ve endured companies and developers alike tell me that ColdFusion is dying; that ColdFusion developers are too hard to find; that ColdFusion isn’t as modern as other languages. ColdFusion has a bad reputation, regardless of how the die-hards, myself included, love and are passionate about the product.
To be clear, I love ColdFusion. It’s the best development language. It’s easy to learn, it’s easy to understand, and it’s constantly evolving. It’s got an active, vibrant community of some of the best and brightest developers in the world.
But for 20 years I’ve fought the reputation, and frankly, I’m tired of it. I know how great ColdFusion is, I’m tired of having to sell it to others. Defending a product that is so capable, secure, and easy to work with us exhausting. I’m tired of business owners and developers who hear the name “ColdFusion” and immediately wince. It’s an uphill battle and playing the role of Sisyphus is challenging.
Adobe has made tremendous efforts to improve the reputation of ColdFusion in the development community. The annual CF Summit is amazing. When ColdFusion 10 came out, Adobe created a class curriculum for teaching the language in colleges and universities. I don’t doubt Adobe’s commitment to the product, or its ability to continue to create the best application development platform in the world. Adobe is dedicated to the development and success of ColdFusion; this I do not doubt one iota.
The community itself, albeit small, is dedicated and passionate. Ask any ColdFusion developer about why they love the language and they will talk your ear off.
And ColdFusion itself is simply the best. It’s enterprise class. It’s strong, stable, mature, secure and feature-rich. There are very few legitimate reasons anyone can give a developer to justify the reputation that ColdFusion has.
Michaela Light is one of the most passionate advocates of the improvement of the image of ColdFusion and its community. In each episode of her CF Alive podcast she asks “What Would It Take to make CF more alive this year?”
Here’s a bold option to consider; Don’t keep it alive. It’s time to kill ColdFusion. Let the ColdFusion name die. Rebrand the product as something entirely new. This would require revamping the language so that it’s effectively a new product. Make it as easy as ColdFusion, and backward compatible with CFML. Perhaps, spin off the forthcoming cfscript 2.0 into its own product!
Something needs to change. The biggest reason ColdFusion is considered a dying language is because of its reputation as a dying language! Perhaps we, as a community, need to let the ColdFusion name die, take the best parts of the language and create something new that doesn’t carry the stigma of the ColdFusion name.
I would love to see the world view ColdFusion and its development community as the cutting-edge product that we know it already is. I want to see it grow, and thrive, and be successful, and all of us along with it. Maybe we should consider the anchor that is the reputation associated with bringing up the name “ColdFusion” as the sacrifice needed to make that happen.