Recently I’ve become more involved with the Railo community. A lot of clients (and myself, too) are really impressed with what the Railo team has delivered with version 4 of the Railo server. There’s a lot of interest and inquires from people wanting help to investigate what’d be involved with moving/porting their application from Adobe ColdFusion 9 to Railo 4.
Working on some of those scenarios, I kept looking at language differences and language support for certain features. Obviously there are differences: in language specifications at compile time, but also when it comes to the runtime behavior of certain language features. Before I get onto (some of) these, let’s have a quick look at CFML as a language.
CFML in public perception is mainly driven by Adobe and Adobe ColdFusion. For quite a while, Railo (and Open Blue Dragon) essentially were playing catch-up and trying to be as compatible as possible while bringing new ideas and features to the table. At some point, this resulted in the instantiation of the CFML Advisory Committee with luminaries such as Ben Forta, Sean Corfield, Gert Franz and some others being involved. That lasted for about two years until Adobe left the Committee. There are obviously different accounts of why and what exactly had happened and I don’t want to go into all the details of it at this stage.
Fact is – a language standard for CFML would be useful for the common developer out there. Fact is – different CFML server vendors innovate and develop the language on their own terms and for their own user base. I like coding in script very much nowadays and both Railo and Adobe have recently made some very good progress on that (I’d probably argue that Railo’s implementation is slightly better and more consistent than Adobe’s, but that’s my personal take).
Coming back to language differences in CFML between Railo and Adobe ColdFusion – I’m currently working on a series of blog posts outlining some of the things I found and consider worthwhile to be documented. First post should be out at some point later today (keep in mind that it’s Saturday here in Australia/New Zealand) as I’ve got a few hours in Qantas’ First Class lounge in Sydney to come… 🙂 Stay tuned!