By Peter Bell

Railo: An Announcement

I've been thinking a *lot* about CFML recently. It is a language that I've been using for over a decade to build web applications quickly and cost effectively for my clients. And the community has also been very good to me, giving me the chance to present around the world at CF conferences on topics ranging from requirements and estimating to practical code generation and RAD OO.

However, recently I've found projects and situations where ColdFusion *should* have been the right choice, but wasn't. And given that I've been programming in it for ten years, I find that very sad indeed.

I think for too long we've sat back and waited for Allaire/Macromedia/Adobe to add the features we want to our favorite language and that has given the open source JVM language alternatives like Groovy, JRuby, Scala and Clojure a real edge in terms of speed of development, frequency of release cycles and relevance to developers.

Adobe has to focus on adding "manager features" to each release (hey, they want to sell your boss something for $7500 a server, they have to give them a reason to write the check!). Many of those "manager features" are also great for us as developers, but with the best will in the world, Adam and his team in India can only do so much in a given release cycle (although I believe Centaur is going to be the best developer release in years - and that is saying something after the last couple).

I decided that rather than complaining or just leaving the language entirely, I'd try to do something about this and Gert Franz offered me an opportunity that I couldn't resist when he suggested that I head up Railo operations in the 'states.

This month I will be founding Railo US and will head up all business operations for Railo in the US. Throughout the week I'll lay out in more detail why I think that Railo is the best thing that has happened to CFML in a long time and why I chose to be involved with it.

Here's to interesting times :-)

# Posted By Kevin Roche | 4/6/09 10:09 AM
That's great news, well done Peter. All the best with this venture. I've used Railo on a few sites now and i have to say it's great! I'll look forward to see what you and Gert get upto.
# Posted By Nick Tong | 4/6/09 10:09 AM
/excited @Railo

Founding Railo US sounds like a treat. Cheers.
# Posted By Bradley Moore | 4/6/09 10:09 AM

That's awesome.

I've been "super-interested" in Railo since they first announced they were going open source.. and now with Mark Drew heading Railo UK.. and now Railo US (with you)..

Very very cool. I really think that Railo is certainly one of the best things to happen to CFML.

# Posted By Yves | 4/6/09 10:09 AM
Peter, I don't think Gert could have chosen better. Thank you for agreeing to this, and best of luck my friend!!!
# Posted By Christian Ready | 4/6/09 10:09 AM
wow! Congrats, Peter!
# Posted By marc esher | 4/6/09 10:12 AM
That's fantastic Peter. The Railo team just seems to get better and better.

Gert is making some wise decisions.
# Posted By Pat Santora | 4/6/09 10:12 AM
congratulations Peter. we'll have to grab a celebratory pint the next time you are in the UK.
# Posted By Ciqala Burt | 4/6/09 10:13 AM
Welcome on board Peter! Fun times ahead!
# Posted By Mark Drew | 4/6/09 10:13 AM
Ciqala and anybody else, Peter is in the UK, we are having a cfml_drinks this wednesday!
# Posted By Mark Drew | 4/6/09 10:28 AM
Awesome news man! Congrats! Let me know if theres anything i can do
# Posted By Simon Free | 4/6/09 10:28 AM
Thats great news! Congratulations Peter!
# Posted By Anuj Gakhar | 4/6/09 10:34 AM

I'm glad to see you're not leaving the CFML community, but sorry to see you're burning bridges with Adobe. I've always valued your opinion and wish you would have taken a greater role in the direction of ColdFusion. Alas, as a friend, I wish you the best of luck in your new venture.

Since Adobe took over ColdFusion, the community has grown by more that 350k developers. We are going to stay true to the values that have served this community for the last 14 years.
# Posted By Adam Lehman | 4/6/09 10:48 AM
HOLY *#&$(*@&#$*#@(&$ CRAP!

I apologize for the language but as a Priest I can say stuff like that.

Congratulations Peter!!! This is AWESOME news!!!

As an OS fan for years I'm so excited to see both OpenBD and Railo moving in such positive directions! I think it's really going to strengthen CFML as a language in general.

I think even Adobe will benefit from these changes. Competition at any level is a good thing IMO and I think this may force Adobe to sit up and pay attention a bit...
# Posted By Jim Priest | 4/6/09 12:22 PM
Thanks all for the support - much appreciated. I'm really psyched about the opportunity.
# Posted By Peter Bell | 4/6/09 1:59 PM
Congrats man. I to believe Railo to be the best thing to happen to CF in a long time and with people that are getting behind it I only see better things coming.
# Posted By Mike Benner | 4/6/09 2:02 PM
First of all congrats to peter. Glad to see such a talented individual working on Railo.

2nd, I agree with Jim, I think having an free open-source cfml engine is totally beneficial for the language. We've been getting our butts kicked by php, java, and .net for years. While things have improved since Adobe took over, the biggest complaint I have ever received from clients was about the price. And for small web applications, I tend to agree with them. Railo solves that problem.

Eventually some railo clients are going to want greater flex connectivity or some other feature that Adobe ColdFusion may perform better then Railo. It will be much easier for Adobe to grab customers from open source CFML users then it will be for them to grab them from PHP.

@Adam - Thats great news about the +350k developers in only 3 years. Do you have more info on this, demographic information, etc? Also, do you have stats for other languages and how much they grew/contracted in the same time period?
# Posted By Jeff Gladnick | 4/6/09 2:07 PM
Congratulations Peter! It's great to see Railo expanding like this - with Mark Drew heading up the new UK division and you heading up the new US division, I expect great things!

I'll be posting my thoughts on the Adobe / Railo issue in the next day or two (I think it's a good thing but want to articulate *why* in some detail). I already use both ColdFusion and Railo at work, for different things - and Railo on my blog - so I definitely think the market's big enough for both (plus OpenBD / BlueDragon of course).
# Posted By Sean Corfield | 4/6/09 4:20 PM
@Sean, Thanks for the support! I'll be hanging out with Mark quite a bit while I'm in London over the next few days, so I look forward to us cooking up some more great stuff for CFML. And as you said, none of this takes away from the OpenBD guys - options are good!
# Posted By Peter Bell | 4/6/09 5:02 PM
>>you're burning bridges with Adobe.

The official Adobe attitude revealed.
# Posted By ziggy | 4/6/09 10:11 PM
"The official Adobe attitude revealed."

Yes, I was also amazed to discover that Adobe isn't a charity working for the good of the planet, but a business that sells server and desktop solutions. I'd never have guessed.
# Posted By James Holmes | 4/7/09 3:28 AM
I think for too long we've sat back and waited for Allaire/Macromedia/Adobe to add the features we want to our favorite language and that has given the open source JVM language alternatives like Groovy, JRuby, Scala and Clojure a real edge in terms of speed of development, frequency of release cycles and relevance to developers.

One of the great things about CFML is that you can extend the language yourself by use of the many ways there are to do that now. I personally can't think of anything I want that isn't already available as a custyom tag or CFC or Java object. I do want it to be faster. Gert tells me that Railo.
# Posted By Kevin Roche | 4/7/09 10:51 AM
Just picking up on this now but this is very exciting Peter! Congratulations buddy! Very happy for you! I know you'll do great things! We'll have to talk all about this sometime!
# Posted By Javier Julio | 4/24/09 1:05 PM
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