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July 26, 2006
Future ColdFusion Features: How Do They Do That?

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!

Damon

Comments

With all my heart - for the comment "Making Hard Stuff Easy." I say thank-you.


"Making the hard stuff easy" is a pretty good definition of CFML and why I love the language so much. Whatever process gets used it's glad to know that the engineers are coming at it from the right direction.


Hi Damon, could you also add my list to your review? I posted this back in Dec '05, so it's not fresh content...

Though substitute CF7+Flex 1.5 to be CF8+Flex2 FDS integated install. Which...also takes care of the messaging one too. :)

http://www.dopejam.com/shownewsitem.cfm?NewsID=198

Thx.


Damon -

That is good to hear that you listen to your customers. It seems that 'some' developers thought that is not the case. I hope you make some performance enhancements to the 'current' tags (ie., PDF document creation). I would love to have more tags but faster tags help my customers (NASA).


Damon,

Thanks for posting this... it's very cool to know there's a solid, well-defined process behind determining what goes into CF. For my part I never really doubted it, which is why, when I blogged about features and wishlists, I said that the CF team ranks features according to their relative importance and then goes forward with them.

By no means did I mean to indicate that I thought y'all ignore the community... more that getting into flame wars wasn't productive. It seemed that there were "camps" setting up and nobody was actually engaging in dialogue... perhaps I communicated myself poorly. When I said the CF team compiles stats, ranks requests and then implements them, I was referring to something exactly like you blogged about here. :D

What I was trying to say, really, was that while discussing our desires is good, the flaming and community drama doesn't do anyone any good.

Thanks for letting us in on your process!!

Laterz, J


Damon,

One of the things I haven't seen talked about is basic improvements to CFSCRIPT! Has there been any focus here, because its been talked about for years now.

Sami


I just want two areas filled. Images and Archives. Adobe already knows everything about images, so just throw in the PhotoShop engine (grin). For archives, add ZIP and RAR support.

That is all I have to say.


Thanks Damon,

I know it's early. But any chance we could get an ETA on when it's expected.

Any chance any of the new features being shown or the Beta being released for Max 2006


Ok, I have to post this cause I haven't seen it anywhere and I would love it. Abreviations for scopes.

Application = app Session = ses Form = frm Request = req Variables = var URL = url Caller = cal

Please, please, please. Even as an option in admin in case it breaks peoples apps who use these variables.

becomes

I blogged the same thing so that your CF8 blog feature finder would find it.

http://dale.fraser.id.au/blog/index.cfm/2006/7/28/Coldfusion-Scope-Aliases


I'd love to see some improvements to the cfchart tag. Specifically, I'd like to be able to send a field in the drilldown link that doesn't show up on the chart, such as the primary key. And I love all the features in RChart, which I've been using to fill the gaps in cfchart since before cfgraph existed. Specifically the guage and radar charts. http://www.java4less.com/charts_e.htm


Damon, I'd love to hear any feedback you might have (if you have time) with regard to my extensive list that I just posted:

http://www.cbetta.com/blog/index.cfm/2006/7/31/a-new-week-a-new-coldfusion-8-wishlist

Off-line or any alternative to this is perfectly fine. If not, oh well, thanks for (hopefully) reading it anyway!

Regards, Dave.


Hey guys, thanks for the comments. Dave, yes, we had a great discussion internally after the whole CF Team studied your list :)

Damon


Uh oh. Why do I feel like I was roasted pretty good in that discussion! ;)


Not at all. Lots of good discussion, though and I can confirm that there's stuff on your list in Scorpio for sure :)

Damon


I would like to see official support for Intel Macs. In fact I would love to see Adobe resolve the issue prior to Scorpio for the current version of ColdFusion.


tried it but unfortunately i wasnt able to get it to work.. All it did was show me an empty pane after typing in my name and clicking submit.

Could you give me an idea what may be wrong?