CFX: Feature Requests Part 1 – Addons & Frameworks

Even though I was unable to attend, Max 2011 produced some good things in the way of announcements for ColdFusion 10 (I like CFX better).  Most of what was announced though seemed like obvious steps forward of things that needed to be addressed, and not necessarily features that will make you jump out of your seat to line up and buy the product the second it’s released.  And I don’t really want to cover these features which can be easily found via Google.

Seeing as I’m not part of the alpha/beta of Zeus, what I do want to cover are some things that I believe would make CFX the product that would make you get in line and a product you can’t live without.

Today’s software and programming world is plagued with modularization. It is no longer just the language that is chosen for a project, but also the framework on which it’s built.

I am an anti-framework guy.  I honestly don’t get the buzz or see the benefit.  Inheriting someone else’s mistakes and relying on them because I’m too lazy to code the features myself isn’t a blessing for me or any of my clients.  It may save time to slap together a site in a few minutes, but does it really save time in the long run (and then have to keep that framework up-to-date… no thanks)?  Having jumped from framework to framework I’ve become a naysayer.  However, for the world of framework-lovers and the fact that ColdFusion is for everyone, lets modularize:

In the ColdFusion admin panel menu, the new addons feature would be for allowing the user to control built in aspects of ColdFusion that benefit the language because they’re frequently updated themselves:

  • Java (would obviously need to be the JDK and not the JRE)
  • SOLR
  • WebKit – because WebKit’s gonna replace ICEbrowser right Adobe?
  • jQuery – because jQuery’s gonna replace Ext JS right Adobe?
  • Tomcat(?) – yay… Adobe replaced jRun, but this probably can’t/won’t be updated in the addons.
  • etc.

Updating these addons would be as simple as uploading the new file(s) and CF handles the rest (extraction, placement of files in the system, etc.).  I know CFX is planning a way to keep itself up-to-date, so it’d be even better if it displayed the installed version (I know it already does in the information link) AND the current version for these addons as well.  I’m not sure I’m fond of the idea of allowing other user-installed addons, but I don’t see why not either if a system is put into place that ensures CF’s integrity.

The other link there is for frameworks.  I loathe the idea of frameworks being bundled with the CFX primarily because they’ll be out-of-date immediately and what if the next great one comes along.  This feature would be user-controlled, but also boast an API/SDK for those frameworks to be built on (that’s right… rules to follow baby!).  Adding the framework would be as simple as clicking on a link provided by the framework creator to download or allowing the user to upload it in the admin panel.

Coming next week
CFX: Feature Requests Part 2 – New Tags & Functions


  1. Gert Franz says:

    What do you actually think of the Railo extension manager, who let’s you install and update any extension (framework for example) in Railo through the admin frontend.
    IMHO since ACF and Railo have a broad user spreading it is impossible to just update a certain addon like Tomcat or SolR. Perhaps ONLY if they are installed in the most common way. Since only then there would be a proper update process. This would IMHO mean as well that Adobe and Railo would habe to host the files for the plugings they want people to update.


    • Rick Smith says:

      I’m not big on Railo, but honestly the extension manager in Railo is indeed one of the things I absolutely love about it.  I don’t believe Railo’s the only one with an extension manager though (can’t remember the others… haven’t used frameworks in a while).

      You certainly hit the spot on addon hosting, which would probably be more trouble than it’s worth for particular things (I still think it would be worthwhile for things such as jQuery and Java.  Maybe rather than host the update then since it’s pretty illogical to do so, Adobe could make the version installed a little more visually prominent than what it is now (and possibly maintain a database of the latest version available) and provide a link to a step-by-step tutorial on how to correctly perform/install the update.

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