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To Our CFML Friends: We Welcome You

To Our CFML Friends: We Welcome You

Fly me to the moon...let me walk among the stars" or at least America. I am at present sitting in a Continental plane flying over the beautiful Scottish islands, sun beaming in through the window, contemplating the week ahead of me. My destination is Toronto where I will be attending the CFML conference, CFNORTH.

It has been very interesting to watch how the CFML community is reacting to the Java releases. Their responses serve to illustrate the point I have been banging on about for the last few months: outside of the Java community, we still have a long way to go in the education and perception of our beautiful language. Allow me to give you another example of ignorance. As luck would have it, the May issue of the in-flight magazine has an article on Web technologies. This article is, of course, aimed at the masses, but let me give you its paragraph on what JSP is:

Like ASP, a specification that allows a browser to ask the database for information. For example, people play games against each other on the Internet on JSP pages. Advantages: works well behind the scenes. Disadvantages: whereas ASP pages are programmed with PERL, JSP pages are programmed with a very specific set of tools - one for which it may be harder to find expert maintenance.
-Continental, May 2002

Read it? Do me a favor, read it again. What do you think? Not really selling JSP is it? In fact, you would probably get a bad feeling about JSP. As we know, the author is wrong; if anything JSP is the easiest way to get your hands on Java - no compiling, just save and surf! How difficult is that I ask you?

Keep your eyes open. Look outside your Java circle and ask those who haven't the in-depth knowledge you have what their perception of Java is. I think you'll be surprised by the responses.

The CFML language has enjoyed years of success as a server-side application implemented in C/C++. Therefore, the move to the Java platform is a controversial one, raising an eyebrow or two within CFML's loyal user base. The posts by respected CFML people regarding the move to Java are startling; I urge you to check out the official CFML mailing list archives for examples of posts that will send your blood racing.

We have a barrage of posts from people berating Java, claiming it could never be as fast as a native implementation, and it's no wonder CFMX is running slow. I'm assuming these people haven't given CFMX a chance. In our tests, CFMX outperforms the CF5 version running on the same hardware. So where these people are getting their facts from is beyond me.

What has happened is that the old Chinese whispers network has begun. The focus of conversation has moved from CFML to whether or not Java is up to the task. We all know that Java is more than up for the job of serving dynamic content; this was its calling and this is where Java is making serious headway, at the server side.

Although it appears as if we, the Java community, are the only people who really know this for sure. Our message doesn't seem to be getting out there.

There's a huge movement within the CFML community to come to Java and sit at our table to share in the delights we offer. This is wonderful and we welcome and encourage our new developers.

More power to you.

More Stories By Alan Williamson

Alan Williamson is widely recognized as an early expert on Cloud Computing, he is Co-Founder of aw2.0 Ltd, a software company specializing in deploying software solutions within Cloud networks. Alan is a Sun Java Champion and creator of OpenBlueDragon (an open source Java CFML runtime engine). With many books, articles and speaking engagements under his belt, Alan likes to talk passionately about what can be done TODAY and not get caught up in the marketing hype of TOMORROW. Follow his blog, or e-mail him at cloud(at)

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Most Recent Comments
Srini 06/06/03 06:13:00 AM EDT

ColdFusion is a good scripting and tag based language.There are so many advanced features available in ColdFusion which so many programmers may not be using or knowing. It is perfectly suitable for FuseBox technology, with this feature we can develop very secure and easily maintainable sites. You can couple or de-copule the things very easily.You can even go for your own custom tags. Maintain the Client's state using built in feature -CDATA and CGLOBAL tbles,Calling Visual Basic Components using CfOBJECT,CFWDDX etc etc there are so many good features available in ColdFusion. To my knowledge Coldfusion is not that bad.

swj 06/06/03 01:14:00 AM EDT

Obviously Chris Mountford is developing on a different planet to me.

We have been using ColdFusion for 6 years. When I came to it 6 years ago having been developing enterprise level apps for the previous 10 years in many development languages I considered it to be one of the most productive, stable and powerful languages I'd ever worked with.

We now have a large scalable, component based enterprise app built on ColdFusion which we can run on JRun, WebLogic, WebSphere which is efficient to maintain and extend BECAUSE it's developed using ColdFusion.

For us ColdFusion just goes from strength to strength and it would take wild horses to drag me away from using it daily.

Signed: A ColdFusion, Java, SQL, LDAP, JDBC, component, MVC, XML, webServices fan

.sw 05/08/03 08:20:00 PM EDT

I see Chris Mountford with 21 years of programming experience has declared that CFMX is really bad.

Quite honestly, who cares what he thinks. 21 years and he hasn't learnt that different tools do different things.

Joseph Ottinger 01/11/03 08:06:00 AM EST

Alan's company, N-Ary, has a product called Blue Dragon that runs CFML in a Java container, so .CFM doesn't necessarily mean "Cold Fusion" is running the page. (It probably does, but hey...)

Sunitha 10/15/02 11:13:00 AM EDT

CFML is a very easy scripting language.
Easy to develop, to deploy and to maintain. What you can achieve with 100 lines of code for jsp/asp/php can be achieved by 10 lines of code in cf.
I ahve developed a job site in cf and another site in jsp. For jsp u need to know java,beans etc..
Some "GREAT PROGRAMMERS" think that if they say easy language is bad they are really genious. Only plus point in jsp i can say abt its session management. If the client doesnt accept cookies it will be written in url.

Fallon Massey 09/13/02 02:25:00 PM EDT

J2EE was a major advancement for the Java community, and is currently the preferred method of building enterprise applications. However if you haven't played with Asp.Net and C#, you are really missing a superior development environment. Granted a lot is copied from the success of Java, but so what, that's progress. If they ever get this stuff running on Unix, Java will have some serious competition.

Chris Mountford 07/04/02 08:37:00 PM EDT

Cold fusion is a very poorly designed and somewhat poorly implemented language with no future. It is designed by non programmers for non programmers.
Could it really be that bad? Oh no, technologies are never that bad. It must be just a matter of opinion and this person has a chip on his shoulder and is biased. If only it were not this simple: Cold Fusion is the worst technology I have seen in 21 years of programming.

Dave Orme 06/07/02 02:04:00 PM EDT

> Disadvantages: whereas ASP pages are
> programmed with PERL,

Oooops. They're usually programmed in Visual Basic, although Perl (the correct spelling) is also supported.

Joe 06/07/02 09:43:00 AM EDT

Notice the .CFM in the hyperlink for all the messages in this thread. The discussion posting feature of this site is driven by ColdFusion.

Don Babcock 06/07/02 09:41:00 AM EDT

I'm consulting in a largely Cold Fusion shop that has Java aspirations. The good news is that version 6 of the Cold Fusion server has a Java Foundation. It will purportedly run on top of its own Java container engine or others such as Weblogic, Websphere, JRUN (a sibling product to CF) et al. This new architecture will allow CF developers to "get their feet wet" with Java technologies much more easily as they won't have to have separate servers. We look forward to being able to seamlessly use Java and CF scripting as is most productive in this environment. In my view, it is a solid winner.

Don Babcock
Senior Consultant
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center

Joe 06/07/02 08:41:00 AM EDT

Notice the .CFM in the hyperlink for all the messages in this thread. The discussion posting feature of this site is driven by ColdFusion.

Trent 06/06/02 11:32:00 PM EDT

a very popular tag based scripting language used to develop web apps. It was designed by Allaire, which has since been bought out by Macromedia.

The newest version of CF has just been released. The new architecture sits on top of a Java server, allowing CF and Java to work together to bring even more power to CF web apps. CF will also integrate with the popular Flash plugin.


Byron 06/06/02 06:36:00 PM EDT

correct me if I am wrong.

Alan Williamson 06/06/02 05:22:00 PM EDT

"Continental Flying Machine Language"

That is so funny ... i like that.

CFML for those of you who maybe don't know, stands for ColdFusion Markup Language. A very common webscripting language.

Cheong Gan 06/06/02 04:30:00 PM EDT

What the hell is CFML? Please can you tell the reader it stands for Continental Flying Machine Language!