ColdFusion Muse

Merger Mania and Nervous Developers

Mark Kruger December 6, 2005 1:12 PM Coldfusion's Future Comments (7)

Now that Adobe and Macromedia are one big happy family the wave of anxiety is cresting once more toward the shores of our tranquil Coldfusion Island. Contrary to what the uninitiated might think, technology people are quite passionate and they invest a great deal of themselves in their work. When it comes to passion, we Coldfusion developers are the Rudolph Valentino of the IT world - second only to hard core open source Linux fanatics. Our favorite spokesman, Ben Forta, is officially titled an "evangelist" - one who spreads the "good news". It pains us to think that something we care about might be diminished in some way by a corporate conglomerate with no thought other than the bottom line.

Take a Deep Breath

Let's think about that "big view" shall we? It's true that Adobe VIP's probably couldn't tell Coldfusion from a Ham Sandwich. Is it a language? Is it an Ap server? The nuances are probably lost on them. The biggest fear that Coldfusion developers have is that Coldfusion will be "phased out". We have invested time and energy in learning Coldfusion skills. We want to remain marketable. That's not unreasonable. The fear, however, is almost always overblown. It crops up during a merger, during releases, when bugs are found and (especially) when other products get attention. When Macromedia does a press release or Breeze presentation on Flex or Flash, Coldfusion developers monitor it closely and invariably ask "why no mention of Coldfusion?".

Here's my take. Coldfusion is ubiquitous enough to have a life of it's own. There are nearly half a million CF developers out there by some estimates. There are many thousands of Coldfusion servers of all varieties. There are entire companies (like mine) invested in Coldfusion technology. It's not likely with all that meat in the pot that Coldfusion will be "phased out". Don't forget that it cuts both ways. A merger always means a blending of 2 business cultures. The folks at MM will influence the direction of Adobe, just like the folks at Allaire influenced the direction of MM. Take a seat and watch the process unfold.

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  • danny's Gravatar
    Posted By
    danny | 12/6/05 12:41 PM
    i'm a nervous developer and found this article soothing, just knowing there's other nervous developers out there.
  • Christopher Wigginton's Gravatar
    Posted By
    Christopher Wigginton | 12/6/05 1:14 PM
    Technology tends towards commoditization and ColdFusion to a small extent has gone that route as indicated by the availability of New Atlanta's Blue Dragon, the other player in the CFML World. I'm not too worried about CFML going away, but I would hate to see Adobe shift away any future R&D dollars going into the ColdFusion bucket as they focus on the Flash and PDF integration. ColdFusion has had a glorious ride with great support and a fantastic community. I love ColdFusion and it will always have a place in my heart. If ColdFusion does eventually languish under the Adobe banner, let's hope that New Atlanta continues to carry the torch with continued enhancements.
  • mkruger's Gravatar
    Posted By
    mkruger | 12/6/05 1:26 PM
    Chris, Funny you should say that. I made this post very quickly and I debated about whether to mention New Atlanta and BD as an example of how CF is "broadening". My sense is that it is about a year to early to make that leap (BD is gaining some steam though) - but it's still something to consider.
  • Jacob Munson's Gravatar
    Posted By
    Jacob Munson | 12/6/05 5:37 PM
    I am curious to see what will happen with Adoby LiveCycle. I have seen mention of it on some of the Adobe blogs lately, in relation to CF. One guy mentioned that a future version of CF will probably have some LiveCycle functionality. From what I can glean from the propaganda papers (otherwise known as marketing), LiveCycle is a J2EE app server that helps companies manage their documents. It is kind of exciting to imagine what could be done with a CF/LiveCycle integration.
  • mkruger's Gravatar
    Posted By
    mkruger | 12/7/05 7:31 AM
    Jacob - interesting.... I've never heard of LiveCycle, although I admit that (up til now) I've been pretty disinterested in Adobe because I did not see them as a player in the sever or ap market.
  • Jeremy Geelan's Gravatar
    Posted By
    Jeremy Geelan | 12/8/05 4:22 AM
    I believe that those who have contributed feedback will be interested to read Simon Horwith's interview with David Mendels: the news for CF developers from Adobeland is definitely 100% positive!!

    Exclusive CFDJ Interview: Where's ColdFusion Headed Under Adobe?
  • mkruger's Gravatar
    Posted By
    mkruger | 12/8/05 7:41 AM
    Excellent Read - thanks Jeremy. I'm off to bone up on "liveCycle" (sounds like an excercise machine from an infomercial :)