I’ve been trying to put together a “ColdFusion 11 Wishlist” post for quite a while. The time consuming part has been that it is difficult to think of things that I want to see added to CF. Over the years I’ve become quite accustomed to its shortcomings, pitfalls and long-standing bugs. I don’t pretend CF is something that it is not. There are a lot of things that it’s just not good at (there are also many things that it IS good at). However, tacked-on features like <cfmap> don’t appeal to me because I know how to implement a Google map – and I can do it better, faster and can keep it up to date.
I mention the <cfmap> tag (and the feared <cffacebook> tag that we hope to not see in the upcoming version of CF) because these additions don’t sell the product to developers – they sell it to managers. Developers realize that these incomplete features are ultimately glued on to a somewhat antiquated language that only recently got the ability to understand null. I think videos like this (produced by The Onion?) will demonstrate the point I’m trying to make.
Adobe has done well to publish a road map for its next versions of CF with some general bullet points regarding upcoming features. The good news? They are listening to the community to some extent because the install process and PDF features are to be improved. Huzzah! The bad news? The other upcoming features appear to be “add-ons” for developing mobile sites (apps?) and social media integration. No thanks…
I’m all for, as the CF team puts it, “embracing futuristic technologies” – but the lack of these integrated “futuristic technologies” is not what prevents me from creating great web applications in ColdFusion. What does prevent me from doing that are the long-standing bugs in very important functions like SerializeJSON(). These are significant hold ups that chew-up development time are not addressed quickly (or even acknowledged).
So, what’s ultimately in my ColdFusion 11 wishlist? Just two things:
- Address the backlog of bugs.
- Listen to CF developers. We care about the the future of the product – it is our livelihood, after all. We won’t steer CF in the wrong direction!