Coldfusion just die already

So a friend of mine was given a title of "webmaster" recently to help manage his companies website.  Not a true programmer but a pretty smart guy none the less.  He had some issues come up and wanted some "expert" advice, after not finding any experts he turned to me ;) .  So my first question is what is the platform:  Windows 2003 server, IIS 6, SQL 2k5, this was all sounding warm and fuzzy to me, but then he dropped the Adobe Coldfusion MX 8 Server.  Memories flashed in my head, ala 2001ish, working with the nightmare that is/was Coldfusion.  No, say it ain’t so, Coldfusion couldn’t have survived in the almost year 2008, could it?

Why Coldfusion Sucks, not my cup of tea

  • It’s slower then other languages
  • It uses markup tags similar to html for server side programming
  • Doing basic OOP is hard, MVC is even harder.
  • Expensive, even Microsoft doesn’t charge for ASP.NET
  • Not Open Source, compared to Ruby or PHP or even .NET’s new view source license.
  • Turned POST, GET, & FORM upside down.  They use these keywords in the complete opposite of anyone else.

What’s nice about Coldfusion

- A bridge between .NET and Java.  I can’t believe many are doing it but in v8 you are suppose to be able to reference .NET assemblies and java classes in the same file.

- Create PDF via markup.

Yeah that’s about it I can see.  If anyone out there is part of an organization thinking about deploying a new project in Coldfusion, get out now.  Web platforms that aren’t going anywhere in the next 10 years and don’t suck: ASP.NET, Java, PHP, Perl, and maybe Ruby/Python (they don’t suck, but not completely sold they are are going to be around in 10 years) .  Pick one of these and thank me later.

Tim

A .NET, PHP, Marketing Guru authority, at least I hope I am. Reach me at tboland@gmail.com

37 thoughts on “Coldfusion just die already

  1. php says:

    Coldfusion just die already…

    Bookmarked your post over at Blog Bookmarker.com!…

  2. Adrock says:

    Well, it’s very clear you are completely ignorant on the subject. For the record, ColdFusion has evolved incredibly since it’s launch in 1995. It was completely re-built in 2001 as a J2EE application and today bolsters over a half-million developers worldwide (that even more than Ruby…. and ColdFusion isn’t free!)

    * It’s slower then other languages

    This is completely wrong. ColdFusion compiles to native Java byte code and is quite fast. It also scales effortlessly and powers some of the largest sites in the world. ColdFusion is nothing more than a J2EE applcation, so it’s _speed_ is equivalent to the app serer its deployed on (WebSpehere, OracleAS, WebLogic, JBoss, etc).

    * It uses markup tags similar to html for server side programming

    ColdFusion offers a tag based syntax as well as a script based syntax. As the very first web application server on the market, ColdFusion was the base for ASP, JSP and PHP.

    * Doing basic OOP is hard, MVC is even harder.

    I’m guessing even in 2001 you didn’t really understand ColdFusion. ColdFusion is a hybrid between procedural and OO, taking the best from both worlds. There are several popular open-source frameworks available for ColdFusion to implement OO and MVC patterns. Event-driven frameworks like Model-Glue and Mach-ii, ORM solutions (ala Hibernate) like Transfer, and even a port of the Java Spring library for IoC (ColdFspring).

    * Expensive, even Microsoft doesn’t charge for ASP.NET

    Tricked again by Microsoft eh? It’s a lot more expensive to buy Visual Studio or an MSDN subscripting for _each_ developer then it is to buy one single license of ColdFusion. With ColdFusion, you are paying for productivity and integration and the saving come back at enormous.

    * Not Open Source, compared to Ruby or PHP or even .NET’s new view source license.

    ColdFusion bundles several open source and 3rd party application to increase productivity and simplify integration. It’s fully featured out of the box.

    * Turned POST, GET, & FORM upside down. They use these keywords in the complete opposite of anyone else.

    I don’t even know what your talking about here. There is no POST or GET keyword in ColdFusion and the FORM scope references any thing that have been posted via an HTTP POST (which is commonly submitted by a form)

  3. >> It’s a lot more expensive to buy Visual Studio or an MSDN subscripting for _each_ developer then it is to buy one single license of ColdFusion

    That is like saying that you need JBuilder to develop Java apps

    Mmmm yes it is more expensive but you do not need Visual Studio or MSDN to develop ASP.NET apps. You can do it in notepad or csharpdevelop or visual studio express (which is free). Download the SDK and you are set, however it is of course much easier to use VS

  4. Tim says:

    Adrock,
    Sorry if you take my view personal, not intended, if fact I wrestled with the article title for some time but went with it anyways.

    1) Coldfusion isn’t standardized and not open source, I understand some 3rd party components, but come on :)
    2) Expensive, Denis nailed this one
    3) Markup Tags. There is a reason ASP was deprecated. No language has taken the extreme tag usage that coldfusion has. (for a reason)
    4) Coldfusion was designed for web designers to create db driven applications. It shows too, they tried to make it OOP but it wasn’t initially designed that way (not that it can’t be done).
    5) It compiles down to java byte code, why not use Java? Abstraction upon abstraction is bad
    6) Variables coming from POST are Stored in something similiar to super globals array in PHP, in CFML they are called FORM, while those coming from GET are called URL. This would make it harder for developers to learn standard terminology, and what kills me is that they forgot that you can have your forms method as GET, which would end up having variables coming from your form stored in the URL struct.

    I guess in the end most people say ColdFusion is “different”. And maybe this is the biggest problem.

  5. Simon says:

    Put it this way… If someone gave both of us a scope for developing a web application… as a CF developer I would SMOKE you! I just paid for ColdFusion 8 for my server that I collocate and I can honestly tell you that it was a weekends’ worth of developing to pay for it in full.

  6. Tim says:

    Simon,
    What are we smoking ;) . Sorry but there are too many option then paying ~1k for a coldfusion server and that can do rapid application builds.

  7. Brennen says:

    I agree with you completly, ColdFusion does suck! Actually I think all server side technology sucks, I think everything can be done with HTML and flaming skulls! (Check out my site).

  8. Tim says:

    Brennen,
    Wow, that is some site you have ;)

  9. RF says:

    Adobe is a far better company than Microsoft; With Flex and Air Coldfusion is another great product that tons of organizations are using.

  10. CfUser says:

    Wow! Why the hate bro? Have a bad day?

    Hope your friend ignored your “expert advice”. I would suggest he check out the forums at Adobe. http://www.adobe.com/support/forums/

    Here’s some more links for all you “experts”
    http://www.coldfusionjedi.com/index.cfm
    http://www.riaforge.org/index.cfm?event=page.category&id=1

    Your comments regarding “Post, Form, and Get” make no sense?

    BTW, Coldfusion compiles into Java, which made your list of things that don’t suck.

    Good luck shilling for microsoft as part of the Lounge.

  11. Tim says:

    #10,
    Had “one” of those days ;) . Just not a CF fan but I totally understand that people who do it everyday get up in arms. Yes, I know it compiles down to java byte code.

  12. CF Guy since 1999 says:

    Another perspective…

    http://www.techpluto.com/coldfusion-over-php/

    My questions: Are people more ‘jealous of’ or ‘ignorant about’ ColdFusion?

    If I took over a .NET ASP server/application I would be lost and say it sucks too… until I understood it… then I would really know it sucks. (hahaha)

    CF can be whatever the developer wants… a markup language, a hard core scripting language or somewhere in between. I started writing APS in CF using only the markup tags but as time went on I started doing more of a mixture… markup for rapid development and ease of reading/following code… and more complexed scripting etc. for intensive operations.

    For anyone that has used anything else CF should be a blessing when they run into it… Learn it (it’s not too difficult)… embrace it… if you have beed taking 40 hours to develop an app… try it in 20 hours with CF and then compare the 2 and tell me it was worth twice the amout of your tme.

    Lastly, boo fricken hooo… $1000 – maybe that will weed out some of the cheep ass self proclaimed (use nothing but freeware) developers. There’s too many of those in this business.

    my 2 cents…

  13. Tim says:

    @12 – Good points, if you have a room of CF developers then of course go that route, but I wouldn’t advocate starting new projects in CF and by the loss in popularity of CF, I think I’m winning this argument ;)

  14. Wang says:

    Coldfusion is very popular with associations because it’s very easy for their webmasters to pick up and learn. The tag based language is very comforting for someone who already is familiar with HTML. People always like to knock CF because it’s not free like ASP or PHP, but for an association, paying $1299 for a standard license is nothing. They just want something nice and easy. They probably only have a webmaster/editor and maybe an assistant. They’re not looking to hire a programmer, which would end up costing a whole lot more than $1299. So it does have its niche in the world.

    I remember when the WWW was just taking off–everybody and his brother was suddenly a webmaster. And a lot of graphic designers thumbed their noses at them because they weren’t “real” professionals. Because CFML is very easy to pick up, we had the same influx of wannabe developers.

  15. Tim says:

    @14 – Great points Wang

  16. Micahel Skinner says:

    ColdFusion is an excellent programming platform for a specific need, flat web sites and shopping carts – that’s it period. It is not flexible and maintainable for large scale enterprise applications. Some managers feet that any one can learn it in a fairly sort time that that they will get a quick ROI on it. Don’t buy into it. It will fail and you will have egg on your face.

  17. Anon says:

    Why is Coldfusion bad?
    It is an atrocious programming language! I understand that it is used by many people and that is one reason that proponents of this farce claim it is good-a lot of people listen to pop music, that doesn’t mean that it is good music.
    To the details to back up what I said:
    1) Coldfusion’s ‘searching’ of what variable to use. If you have a variable in the variables (i.e. ‘local-kind-of’ scope) and a variable in another scope with the same name (i.e. form) and you reference the variable name without a scope it will search for the one to use. (variables.smth, form.smth,

    #smth#

    ). This may be easy but it results in very, very bad and unreliable code.

    2) Coldfusion ‘blends in’ well with HTML and Javascript because of it’s HTML tag format. This makes it easier for managers to look at ’cause it looks like the other stuff’ but makes it harder for a programmer to read and tell where mistakes are. This makes it easier to make mistakes because of the blending affect.

    3) The persistent data scopes (mainly the Client scope) are bad for reliability and sanity.
    To quote from the adobe site ‘Contains variables that are associated with one client. Client variables let you maintain state as a user moves from page to page in an application, and are available across browser sessions. By default, Client variables are stored in the system registry…’ why, oh why would you do this? If you want data to be ‘persistent’ use sessions and your database, not some pseudo persistant magic variable.

    4) I agree with the author that the form and URL variables are a poor idea. What happens to Mr. (or Mrs.) ‘webdeveloper’ that has a form with the method being “GET”… which one do you use? To those who understand the web the answer would be clear-the URL scope because it accesses the parameters from a GET request of the server. It is confusing and obfuscates the code and, thus, true understanding.

    5) The lack of true OO. One can instantiate pseudo objects (called components) which can have functions, etc. But doesn’t have a constructor!?! Really? Also, one can call the components’ functions from two ways-cfinvoke and regular obj.do_something() syntax. The problem is that the cfinvoke allows you to use named parameters and the obj.do_something() method uses positional parameter passing. This, once again, hurts the reliability of the programming language.

    If I didn’t have work to do I would enumerate more on the offense to all that is and has conceptual integrity called Coldfusion.

    Oh yeah, the good – the charting is pretty sweet!

  18. Dan says:

    Coldfusion is the Cobol of web programming languages.

    It lost all relevance when it became nothing more than an abstraction layer for Java.

    Adobe should take the useful functionality (pdf) and sell it to Java programmers and let the language die off.

  19. CarbonFusion says:

    To say CF sux or not, you need to first define what is your “website”.

    Writing a website for your cheap client for him to blog and upload some photos and probably sell some CDs online, and your client probably won’t want to extend his application too much later on, you need probably only one or two programmers to work on this project for 2 months max… CF is fine.

    dude, now you get a client who want to make a complex application, you need to have 3 or more programmers to work on the same project, your application will keep extending; reliability and scalability are pretty important; your software architect telling you that you might even need more people or outsource your project later one… so on and on… sorry CF sux.

    Your programmers sux? CF is fine.

    Your programmers are very experience and smart? Forget about CF please. Honestly, you are making mistake to assign this programmer to work on this little small tiny project, don’t you think so?

  20. dotNet guru says:

    Whoever claims to build an enterprise app using CF never been into an enterprise. Whoever calls CF a “programming language” and those who use it “programmers” is not a programmer and has no idea what it takes to build a solid business application. .NET is not a language, .NET is a platform that provides developers with powerful objects to solve business problems and automate workflow.
    Now to the comment:
    “It’s a lot more expensive to buy Visual Studio or an MSDN subscripting for _each_ developer then it is to buy one single license of ColdFusion.”
    THIS IS BY FAR THE MOST OFFEDING COMMENTS IN THIS DEBATE
    ASP.NET (or web application) is just one type of projects that VS provide. VS is the tool of choice to build projects upon .NET platform, including Desktop WinFORM, ASP + AJAX, Web Services, DATABASE projects, Work flow, Communication any anything that .NET provide (basically anything that the business need). In fact, the price of Visual Studio Pro is very cheap considering its value (if you just need to build an ASP app, just download the express web edition for free)

    CF is no good for anything more than a small web application.

  21. I have nothing to add other than there are 2 F/OSS CFML Engines available and both of them are pretty competent.

    http://www.getrailo.org/
    http://www.openbluedragon.org/

    All three software vendors are co-operating on http://www.opencfml.org/. For a “dead” language, it’s doing pretty good and growing.

  22. CarbonFusion says:

    Todd,

    http://www.opencfml.org is dead when I tried it, dead link.

    sorry to say but i don’t think it is “doing pretty good and growing”.

  23. CFRocks says:

    We use Coldfusion as the backbone for our Enterprise. It is absolutely
    fantastic. It provides a rapid development environment that gets the job done. It is great to also integrate CF with our Flex and Flash applications and PDF. When you guys bash ColdFusion, it really shows
    that you do not know what you are talking about.

  24. jnh says:

    The number of ColdFusion Developers has tripled in the last four years according to EDC (Evans Data Corp). And for #18 above (Dan), CF9 which is out in public beta now is opening up their APIs so that other languages can now use those cool features.

    See this video for more info.

    Gartner has also recently sang its praises among its competitors.

    Yes, CF has its niche, however it’s a lot larger niche than most of the naysayers here think.

  25. FALCONSEYE says:

    This is kind of funny. This topic keeps popping here and there for almost every 3 months.

    @Anon: you are as good as your programming knowledge and practices. You can do the similar mistakes in any other language. This doesn’t mean one language is worse than the other. Perhaps, picking up a book on best programming practices will eliminate stuff like:
    variables.smth vs. form.smth

    Any savy CF programmer will tell you not to mix business logic into presentation layer, embed data-tier logic with business logic and avoid “DRY”. So if you are “blending in ColdFusion with HTML and Javascript”, perhaps you might want to pick up a book on best design practices.

    “But doesn’t have a constructor!?! ” Yeah, google init() and cfc. Also, if you want to call
    obj.do_something(update, address);
    vs
    obj.do_something(action=’#update#’, fieldName=’#address#’ );
    be my guest. This is all personal and saying ColdFusion sux because of this is realllly lame.

    @Micahel Skinner. i mean wow. I worked in places where they used server farms: 24 CF servers located all across the U.S. During one of my interviews with a company in Jacksonville, FL, I saw 150+ CF programmers under one roof. They had 200+ CF servers with millions of users including Pepsi, Boeing, and many other big boys. You almost sound like this d-bag that I came across a while ago who spent 30 mins reading about ColdFusion and started talking garbage about it. (no offense to you!)

    @dotNet guru : wow! Not been to another enterprise. I am sure you worked in a workplace where there were 150 fellow programmers. Again, as somebody else mentioned, you can write everything in notepad, textpad. You don’t need any of the expensive tools. Hey, do yourself a favor and get Eclipse. It’s free!
    Also, good luck with stuff like open ds, write your select, execute your select, and close your ds.

    I think if you want to be a “great” programmer, you need to know a mix of programming languages not just stick with one.

    IGNORANCe is a bliss, whatever makes you sleep happy at night.

  26. Ranman says:

    Don’t know about the high-end but being able to build a basic database-driven site with just Access (or even Excel) in a few hours and sell it a few days later for a few thousand is just a dream come true.

    The Mac completely changed my life because it had both the balance of ease of use and power that a smart but unskilled could leverage into a career and the same was true for CF… it’s the Mac of DB web tools. If you’re hard core code junky then who cares, you’re in your own Matrix, but for me CF has enabled me to take my entire life (income) to the next level.

    Thank you Allaire, Macromedia, and Adobe.

  27. Anu says:

    COLDFUSION SUCKS ASS HOLE

  28. Papichulo says:

    Wow, 2010, another 2 years and ColdFusion still rules.

    In the enterprise nothing communicates better and easier with other systems. Try it, and you don’t even have to use tags – really.

    Coldfusion 9 features blow away all other web platforms. We are Java.

    Owned by Adobe. Yes, nobody uses that Flash and Flex right? What do you think makes working with those technologies easiest? Their own product, Coldfusion maybe?

    Your clueless dude. I’ll out code you and your girlfriends any day with Coldfusion. Of course you can’t use .NET because I work on the world’s most popular server OS’s – Linux/UNIX. Sure, we got that covered too. Go install Mono on Linux and show me those great .NET web apps. LOL!

    Amateur! Peace!

  29. Corey says:

    I’m on team Tim! Trying to maintain cold fusion is a nightmare. Try finding a specific textbox that is on a page within the code. You have to go to a certain folder, open the fbx_switch, then you might have to look up an include that points to another include… finally 5 minutes later you find your text box.

    It’s like magic how things happen in cold fusion and that means you have no control. That guy’s company probably needed 150+ programmers to maintain this crap! I can see how it’s fast to develop, but you reap what you sow. Spray your veggies with growth hormones and you get a nice harvest, then you come down with colon cancer.

    cold fusion is not programming, it’s waving a wand to make things happen.

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  31. Jowy Hurtado says:

    I like Python. Switched about 5 years ago from CF and also went through a PHP phase. CF is a chocolate covered disaster.

  32. Leslie Neilsen says:

    Hilarious comments from the ColdFusion community. It was fun to look back on these comments that were posted five years ago. For example:

    “Yes, nobody uses that Flash and Flex right?” – Flash forward to 2015. Yep, that’s right! They’re as dead as ColdFusion!

    “Your clueless dude. I’ll out code you and your girlfriends any day with Coldfusion.” – Got a good belly laugh from this one. You all know this guy is currently unemployed and wishing he had spent less time commenting on blogs and more time studying Rails and Django.

    “…but for me CF has enabled me to take my entire life (income) to the next level.” – Flash forward to 2015, this same guy is struggling to get up to speed with PHP before his unemployment benefits expire.

    “…the same was true for CF… it’s the Mac of DB web tools.” – I’m pretty sure Steve Jobs would beat you senseless for saying that.

    “Coldfusion 9 features blow away all other web platforms. We are Java.” – You ColdFusion idiots are a lot of things, but you sure as hell aren’t Java. Your presence on the JVM hasn’t allowed you to conjure up the knowledge to actually write Java code or know the first thing about how to work with a servlet container.

    ColdFusion, then and now in 2015 as version freaking 11 for god’s sake, sucks sucks sucks sucks, even more than its garbage community of apologist idiots. Do yourselves and your family’s a favor and study!!!

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  34. I am a certified developer and I have got its certification from City Lit and this is an interesting place in London for short courses. I also worked on ColdFusion which was used for application development. Now I am currently focusing on ASP.net.

  35. We use ColdFusion as the backbone for our Enterprise. It is absolutely superb. It presents a fast development surroundings that gets the task performed.

  36. Every update brought new ideas making it easier for the developer and the client to use ColdFusion projects more flexibly and efficiently.

  37. Coldfusion isn’t its own language it’s a server for Java. You can get java servers from Oracle too. Java is also well documented but not nearly as popular and is generally only used for very large projects with big budgets and a lot of users. Also, I would go for Oracle if you are going to write a java project. Oracle bought out Sun which invented java, and their documentation will be better than Adobes.

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