A few more thoughts on Railo going OS

by kai on 05/06/2008

The Railo keynote has started and I’ll take a few minutes to share a few thoughts on the open sourcing of Railo on JBoss.org.

Looking back a few months when Open BlueDragon was born, quite a few people stated their excitement that a “grown-up” CFML engine went open source. A rather large amount of people stated that it was some sort of a last effort to keep BD alive due to lacking sales etc. Anyway – Open BD exists and it has it’s place. A few weeks ago a steering committee was born and they have quite a few good and well known people backing it.

Now – Railo joins the game – what does it mean? Is Railo desperate or their business model failing? I strongly doubt that after talking to Gert Franz, Railo’s CEO. Their aim is to broaden their range and the exposure of CFML as a language and by that of ColdFusion as a platform.

Believe it or not – the Java world (and also JBoss) is full of frameworks, APIs and technologies and using Java is much more difficult than using ColdFusion. An open CFML engine on JBoss.org therefore provides a lot of benefits for Java developers, particular when it comes straight away together with JBoss.

The future from a technology point of view looks interesting as well. The ORM framework Hibernate is a JBoss.org framework. Also JBoss Cache and JBoss Clustering could prove to be highly interesting extensions for “JBoss Railo” – think about a CFDATA tag to hook your CF apps to Hibernate straight away.

Having a foot in both markets, Railo’s announcemet is absolutely exciting for me. LGPL is an extremely community-friendly license – think about providing FarCry CMS on Railo on JBoss in an absolutely free open source technology stack. And knowing the Java community, there’s quite a lot of contribution to be expected.

In regards to Railo’s business model – they’re probably doing the best thing – they’re def. doing it for the right reasons: expanding the community, getting a larger footprint and providing consulting and services around the open source product.

The future will show how all that works out in a competitive scenario with Adobe. I hope for all of us and for the CFML platform that Railo and Adobe will find a good way of working together – it’s actually impossible not to feel the tensions and negative feelings between Adobe and New Atlanta (provider of Blue Dragon).

Andrew Mercer June 5, 2008 at 12:00 am

Hi Kai,

Look forward to catching up with you at webDU to discussing this further.

Terry Schmitt June 5, 2008 at 12:00 am

This is extremely interesting! I got involved some with testing Railo 2, but have not had a place to use it yet.
I think Railo has positioned themselves very intelligently with JBoss, which could really show Java developers that CFML really does fit in their world.
I agree about the tension between New Atlanta and Adobe. New Atlanta staff always comes off very defensive and critical in the online world. They always seem to have a chip on their shoulder. On the other hand, Gert seems to be really genuine.
I think both products could be real contenders. Is there room for 2 open-source CFML engines? I hope so.

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