Blogs have been lighting up this past week with lots of great discussion around what folks would like to see (or not!) in future versions of ColdFusion.
Just a quick note to let everyone know on the affirmative: we're listening, reading pretty much every single post down to the last comments made by readers of those blogs, and let me just reassure folks that everything (yes, absolutely everything) gets considered.
The CF Team is focused on Scorpio development currently and in terms of picking the right "major" features of a release we're following a process known internally as the "Synchronous Development Process".
SDP helps us really nail down the defining features of the release to make sure they're the most relevant and useful for our customers. The process is fairly rigid, has been used by many recent product releases at Macromedia/Adobe, forces us to ask some hard questions of ourselves and customers, and it's the same process we followed when identifying the major features we had to do for the ColdFusion "Blackstone" (CF7) release.
An entire book could be written on the SDP process, but it's robust, iterative, it takes the "Core" SyncDev CF team on the road in "waves" talking to carefully selected groups of customers which represent the various parts of our customer base. It also has some great (and very sophisticated) tools and approaches and follows a formal, prescribed process to refine the feature list to the one that should make it into the product.
We also mix in favorite features and enhancements requested by customers from all the various forums, our own "CF flavored" home-cooked ideas, as well as tight integration with and use of other company technologies that make sense as well.
Of course, there are also features that we add in that are hatched by CF engineers themselves that are just too cool to leave out :) (You wouldn't believe the now fundamental features of CF that came down this route!)
Anyway, we're well under way building the future of CF, and while we do have a bunch of features already done, we still have a bunch of TBD features and other work to do as well, but please do know that we take input from everywhere we can find it and all ideas are considered.
We kicked off this release last year with about 15 solid weeks worth of all-hands-on-deck research that came up with a set of recommendations that serve as inputs to the SyncDev and development processes. Suffice it to say, a lot of planning, listening and innovation goes into the defining of a major ColdFusion release, but we never forget our roots and what we're about:
Making Hard Stuff Easy.
Keep the ideas and feedback coming!