In an effort to compete 'on a more level playing field', Macromedia announced today that it would be making ColdFusion substantially more difficult to use.
This unusual move was prompted, said Damon Jordahl, a product manager at Macromedia, by ColdFusion's continuing bad reputation as a 'toy' language. 'We've been getting a bad reputation for years,' he said, 'because people would look at ColdFusion, produce a working database driven report page in a couple of minutes, and discard it as being way to easy and fast to be considered as a "serious" language.'
Larry Wall, founder of the Perl language, applauded the move. 'For the longest time, Perl has been alone as the world's only self-encrypting language. I'm hoping that Macromedia will give me some real competition in this space.'
The success of ASP.NET was also a factor in the decision, when interviews with ASP developers revealed that one of the main reasons they use the language is its inefficiency. One anonymous ASP developer was cited as saying, 'Well, it takes weeks to get anything useful done in ASP. With ColdFusion, I can get entire working sites done in hours or maybe a few days. Where's the job security?'
Complexity also provides a convenient barrier to entry. 'Let's face it', concluded Jordahl, 'we've been attracting the novice developer for years. People who had never before written a line of machine instruction in their life. And novice programmers just don't have the experience to make scalable sites. Half the time they don't even index their database tables, and that's just a recipe for scalability disaster. But the programmers and the DBAs don't get the bad reputation. People always want to blame ColdFusion. We think that adding substantial complexity to the language will exclude these entry level people from the game, and allow ColdFusion to get the good reputation it deserves.'
Macromedia plans to ship the newly obfuscated ColdFusion language in its next release version.
(Happy April Fool's Day!)
Notes from the field on ColdFusion (or related) technical issues.