If author wants to continue using CF for his own reasons, that's fine but it's still worth knowing why others care about popularity:
2) large community that has seen similar problems and can provide answers to copy&paste code : blog posts, tutorials, books, Google searches, StackOverflow, etc. (Relevant XKCD: https://xkcd.com/979/)
3) large ecosystem with lots of 3rd-party libraries, open source repos, etc so one doesn't have to invent everything from scratch
4) the language is continually enhanced with the latest technical features to stay up-to-date - e.g. Delphi didn't have 64bit compiler support for a long time (~2011?) even though C++ had that ability for years. That drove away many programmers that needed to access more than 4GB of RAM.
The common theme to all those bullet points is that programmers are using "popularity" as a rough cost-benefit analysis of investing time into using it. They know programming doesn't happen in a vacuum.
I've seen people who follow the strategy you prescribe, and while they did make above market while they helped companies migrate away from [dying technology] they eventually became unemployable.
It simply isn't a good long term play, for either employee or employer.
Better yet, be the guy who can upgrade a system like that from X language to the newer one that can be maintained by the your new wave of engineers.
For some, the short term payoff is the right strategy. Also how is it not good for the employer? Assuming they could fire the person (or just hire him/her as contract).
On the other hand, you can definitely demand obscene hourly rates for old, clunky stuff most people don't want to touch. Sharepoint is one example I know of. (Not to imply CF is clunky, but the worse the workflow, the higher the rate, obviously.)
Hmm. I know this is completely anecdotal, but the two software engineers I know who are COBOL experts also happen to be the best-paid software engineers I know, and not by a little.
this is unprofessional and doesn't help drive your point. You're arguing that "dimwits" perceive popularity as a good measurement of the value of a language, and then you point to the language's owner's own bluster about how popular it is in the industry.
I'd like to present an honest inquiry: who's life is made better by this article? The "dimwits"? Coldfusion devs? My guess is neither.
> The kit also points out that 70% of Adobe Coldfusion customers are still building new apps with CF - meaning that they still consider the platform viable for future expansion.
If you believe that number (and I'm skeptical, but let's grant it for the purposes of discussion), that indicates that CF is still a going concern in most places that use it, rather than something cordoned off in a dark corner as "maintenance mode." And people generally don't start new projects on platforms they believe are going to go away soon.
Note, however, the shifting goalposts: we hear that 70% of Fortune 100 companies use CF, and then that 70% of "ColdFusion customers" are starting new projects in CF, but that doesn't mean 70% of Fortune 100 companies that use CF are starting new projects with it. We have no idea how many of those big enterprises that use CF still consider it viable. But by placing the two numbers in sequence like that, the Evangelism Kit plants the suggestion in your mind that lots of them do.
Case in point, the banking world's use of COBOL. Very few organizations use COBOL anymore, but those who do are using it in some absolutely critical pieces of infrastructure that can't easily be replaced. The combination of low popularity and critical usage means that people who know COBOL are in high demand and can command fantastic salaries due to rarity.
However about 6 years ago I made the transition away from CF to Rails (not for jobs - in my role I pick the technology stack). The Rails ecosystem is so much richer (and most of what I'd compliment there is true of other languages as well). Great package management, great tools (for example, Code Climate started as Ruby/Rails tool), great devops story, and more.
There's a lot I think CF still is advantageous for (the admin UI, easy debugging via CFDump, in-memory SQL engine to query against recordsets, etc). However, there's a lot it doesn't include. Easy ability to use environment variables. Background processing (Ruby's Sidekiq replaced in one line what I had spent years writing in CFML, because no one was trying to solve the problem etc) Etc
Also the support from Adobe has waned substantially over the years. As a user group manager I saw this in person.
I'd still do CFML, happily. I also would work in any other language I know, or do devops work. However, I've noticed alot of developers who cling to ColdFusion like they owe it allegiance. They beat the "ColdFusion's not dead!" drum even though the job market is pretty clear for the technology. It's a decent language, but it's just a tool.
But it’s also a development paradigm that is easily comprehended and encompassed by a single developer, which is not something you can say about modern development architectures. You don’t need to understand front-end toolchains or VDOMs, you don’t need to figure out how to make reverse proxies and API gateways work, you never have to use OpenShift or even understand what a container, let alone Kubernetes, is, and you don’t need to stand up logging and analytics servers. You can do a lot in CF with a little. Granted, oftentimes it’s a lot of damage, but there’s definitely a lure to having such a simple development environment even if you’re trading off little things like, say, code encapsulation and separation of concerns.
Having said all that, the “70% of major companies” argument is bunk. Choose any legacy technology and you’re likely to find it in 70% of major companies just through the inertia of “if it ain’t broke.”
Is Adobe Experience Manager eating Coldfusion's lunch that you could tell?
The only reason right now someone would choose Coldfusion over literally anything else free is their existing skill. That's the very definition of dying out.
The other problem with Coldfusion is the community that all seem to have this same chip on their shoulder.
(Obviously: don't use ColdFusion).
I think it's the CF applications that aren't being maintained that are the biggest risk (and there's plenty of those) - Adobe has indicated which version are EOL:
ColdFusion is also unpopular for an important fact: it's proprietary and their licenses aren't cheap.
ColdFusion does everything that PHP does poorly, with the added bonus that you are paying for it, and there's never been the excuse that ColdFusion just runs "everywhere" like PHP had during the early internet.
Ruby wasn't built to be embedded inside HTML, so I don't Ruby would have the worst problems of classical PHP even if Rails didn't exist, just as Perl (which both PHP and Ruby took inspirations from) even at its worst CGI architectures never quite had the same raw architecture problems that were rampant in early page-based mixed HTML and PHP design. The trade-offs for those architecture problems was development speed and "ease of use", PHP succeeded so well on the early internet almost precisely because of such problems.
ColdFusion too presumably succeeded as much as it did in Enterprise because of those problems in that space (easy to sprinkle a bit of server-side code in the middle of a page at will), though with no excuse for being free or easy to host. It's unfortunate that that also leads to the legacy of spaghetti code it will perhaps eternally have left behind in big-E Enterprise.
I think the overall marketplace has shown pretty clearly that proprietary languages are doomed to insignificant market share at best, outright failure at worst. The writing was really on the wall when Microsoft opened up all of .NET.
The most popular one I know is https://lucee.org/
Source: Was Coldfusion developer for approximately 10 years.
You are correct with the spaghetti code comment, but I've seen worse in Java.
Let me tell a story. I know of a billing system that was written in IBM RPG. Up until 2008ish, it was still being maintained and distributed. The guy that wrote it was the sole owner and maintainer of this billing company and swore up and down that RPG was the best language in the world and he'd never consider writing in anything else.
But guess what happened? He couldn't hire anyone else to maintain this system. Further, it was slowly and obviously decaying. Operating the system was a full time job for 2 employees. Eventually the companies using that software abandoned it for a solution that was maintained by a company that was both larger and had a workforce of more than 1. Those companies cut their billing staff to it being a part time job for just 1 person.
Why do I tell this story? Because you can literally replace "ColdFusion" with "RPG" and you'll have the same article that guy would have written. That guy's business is shutdown now.
Popularity IS important. Popularity feeds support and stability. The author is free to cling onto a language that, frankly, I thought WAS dead. But he'd be well advised to brush up on one of the more "Popular" languages and techs.
Added to that I feel unable to imagine a piece of indented 80 column wide XML that doesn't somehow curl up on the right edge. It's certainly not for me, but I won't tell you not to use anything.
Paraphrasing a thing I heard on the internet: XML is like violence, if it doesn't solve your problem, maybe you need to use ColdFusion?
Am I the only one bothered by the author's repeated assertion that Node is a language?
I should probably just take off my "Well, actually," glasses.
The awesome thing is that I bashed it out in one week, starting from knowing no CFML at all. It was essentially me and my employer building websites (a 3rd or 4th dealt with IT), and he was successful with my work within one day.
It's dumb, it's boring, it's uninteresting, and those are seemingly features. I love Vue and Svelte with a passion, but it takes more than a day to become successful with those (and far longer to become wildly productive).
All of that being said, I don't care to go back to it.
Contrast this with Adobe Coldfusion, with four major releases since 2012"
Is that tongue in cheek?
If a language is popular, then companies are more likely to use it, if only because the pool of engineers they can hire from is larger.
For example, two companies I've worked for have seriously debated shifting to Java. Not for technical reasons, but because Java programmers are easy to find, and often are cheaper. (Neither of them ended up making that shift, though.)
Linux is NOT dying, quite the opposite, but I guess since 2004 more and more non-technical people have come online who have nothing to do with linux.
I’m pretty sure Etsy is largely PHP. The creator of PHP works for them.