Saturday, December 06, 2008

Vote for me! CFUnited

I completely failed to mention CFUnited posted the long awaited survey for session in 2009! Don't forget to check out the details for all the session in the PDF. I've got quite a few topics up this year, including learn Java which I am ultra stoked about folks taking interest in the underlying language of most CFML engines! Of course I could not submit topics without adding one for Fusebox and I figured I'd round it out with a BDD/TDD presentation. The select few that went to bFusion and attended my presentation there can attest to it being a great time. My only regret is I did not submit an OpenBD topic, if you want it you can submit a proposal in the survey so ask for it!!!! I love presenting and I hope I get the vote in, if you haven't filled out the survey get to it.

OpenBD v1 out. What about v2?

Open BlueDragon has released v1 and it has a great feature set. It's nice to see a good mix of essential functionality from ColdFusion and our own ideas. I'm particularly happy with CFSMTP and memcache integration and support for this.mapping. For the official release head on over to OpenBD's website.

Work does not stop at v1 though we've started a road map and we plan to continue to build that road map out, no time to rest we're just getting rolling. ColdFusion 9 is currently in beta (or so Andy Alan happily announced it was on cf-talk) and I am sure there are wildly debates going on about how to improve ColdFusion. The sad part is it's entirely behind closed doors, if you are not a one of the chosen hundreds (to say few is not fair enough I know how big these programs are) you blindly will have to wait. I don't mean to be overly critical of this process, Adobe has very good reason to do it this way. I do not fault them, it is just different than an open source project. If you are down and out about not being on the beta, or maybe just interested helping CFML evolve, head over to Open BlueDragon's google forum and start sharing ideas on how to improve CFML. CFML is a 2 way stream and we have seen features of other engines make their way to ColdFusion (and of course vice versa). Best part is if you have an idea a large group agrees on you don't have to wait weeks or months for the beta build (or a year + for a new version). OpenBD is built every night, as soon as a feature is coded it will be checked in and added to a nightly build. In the past we've gone from concept to implementation in just over 3 days! If you don't feel like heading over to the forums but would like to see a feature added feel free to leave a comment here.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

OpenBD Status

Back in the mid November time frame a kind feller asked about the status of OpenBD, also suggesting maybe we the Steering Committee post a short little summary. Alan kindly responded and made him aware of how the project is doing, which is fantastic. I've been busy so I didn't even read the email until about 10 minutes ago. About a month ago I was also invited to speak at Mid Michigan's CFUG (note this as also my last entry b/c I have been so busy) and a similar sentiment was conveyed. I was told that OpenBD has some cool features and we really should be talking about it more. Now with these 2 bits of information bopping around in my head I decided maybe now is a good time to talk, give my personal explanation about my silence about OpenBD and a quick update about OpenBD's status.

After CFunited and the rather subtle (or not so sublte) slap in the face from Adobe, not being involed/invited to participate in the CFML advisory committee (nor even told that there would be one and this is why you are not being invited), I went back and reread many posts about OpenBD's announcement, as well as Railo's. I felt part of the problem has been the perception of OpenBD trying to steal away or otherwise fragment the ColdFusion community. I understand that sentiment due to the association with New Atlanta and I don't hold it against anyone for not involving OpenBD. I personally felt constantly coming to the community and pushing OpenBD and publishing constant updates would come off wrong, just another attempt to steal ColdFusion people yada yada yada. I care about the community a lot and I also care about every's opinion of me (to an extent) and I did not want to rub people the wrong way or give folks fodder to rally against OpenBD. This is one reason I have been fairly reserve about OpenBD on my blog. Also at the end of the day the ColdFusion/CFML community is but one community OpenBD seeks to help and it really is the least important to evangelise to, you are already using CFML!* Since the vast majority of my blog readership is ColdFusion developers I think it is a pretty bad medium for me to get the word out about OpenBD. Instead I have engaged people personally, and even evangelised at user groups outside of the ColdFusion community (anyone at bFusion might recall some very boring slides about ColdFusion the platform, those were in there to introduce people to the ColdFusion product). I think maybe I have gone too much to the extreme and now maybe OpenBD comes off as a dead project to some or a project that completely doesn't give a crap about the ColdFusion community. Neither are the case I will attempt to strike a balance of providing the appropriate amount of info in the future. Always though, if you are interesting in OpenBD please ask, I am more than happy to take time to talk to you or a group of you. Heck if you know of a user group that is not ColdFusion/CFML that might be open to seeing other technologies please send me their way or send them mine.

(*I think it is very important to be clear that when it comes to features and evolution of OpenBD I very much care about the CFML community's opinion, we understand the language/platforms and have a good idea of what can be done to improve.)

Now the fun part, the status of OpenBD. The steering committee discussion board has been quite a buzz recently and with good reason. As some folks have already found, we have finally put up a wiki and content is rapidly being added. For now the wiki is PHP, it is MediaWiki. We chose MediaWiki for a very good reason it is one of the leading open source wiki software packages today. This alone is not enough, it is also happens that the OpenBD CFML wiki that we hope to release early next year is 100% compatible with MediaWiki. This wil be an entirely open source (GPLv3) CFML wiki engine that is feature complete and compatible with MediaWiki content. It's been in the works for a long time and Alan keeps wanting to add to it instead of finalize it and release it. In the upcoming months you will also be able to find a road map of OpenBD, as well as history about the legacy of dbServlet (the original engine that has evolved into OpenBD today).

<> And one more thing. We decided on a versioning schema and we set a date for the release. You will see an official v1.0 release of Open BlueDragon by the weeks end! It was, interestingly enough, a very hard decision to label OpenBD as v1.o. The engine itself has such a legacy and many, rightfully so, felt it was an unjustice to label such a mature product as v1.0. v1.0 has significances though, OpenBD is a new product. Yes the core has a long mature legacy but the name has a legacy too, not always a positive one either. We felt v1.0 was symbolic in a way; OpenBD is a new beginning. OpenBD is on its own now and it is at v1.0, we've all moved on and do not want to dwell on the past. I can not communicate it justly how hard it was for Alan and Andy to let go of the legacy and agree to v1.0 but they did because they too see the value and significances of what v1.0 means.