Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Splendor & Thunder, eh?

Don't let the truly awful "code name" put you off, I think the news that the ColdFusion 11 (let's not mince words... it's gonna be CF11, so let's just call it that. Only dicks need code names) pre-release programme has been announced, and should kick off soon. And the less-cringingly-named CFB 3.0 (OK, this might just be 2.5 or something) - Thunder - is also going to be part of this P/R. This is excellent news.

Some people will think that I'll be violating an NDA by saying this (but I won't be. Read it), but I've been on a few of the P/Rs in the past, and it's a great time to help Adobe iron out the kinks in the new features of CF, help decide how things get implemented, and also draw attention to any bugs that are particularly annoying, and influence the decision process as to what gets fixed. It is a great programme, and I have felt very privileged to be selected to be on it in the past.

So if you can give up some time for testing & discussing potential ColdFusion 11 stuff: put your name on the list.

I'm not very popular on the programme as I tend to be my normal forthright self. This can come across as a bit confrontational at times, when I'm on one side of a discussion in which various parties don't agree and have strong opinions (if not necessarily well-formed ones, sometimes) that are contrary to the other participants in the discussion. However I think this sort of serious discussion is more important to getting CF right. I'd rather have one argumentative person on the programme than a dozen ones who just sit there like lumps.

If you can't be arsed trying to get onto the programme, or don't have time, or do apply but don't get accepted, now is the time to make sure all the features you've ever thought ColdFusion / CFML would benefit from, or any bugs that have been irking you are logged in the bug tracker. It might seem like a black hole, but during the pre-release those bugs do get looked at. You can keep an eye on new tickets that get added to the tracker by following the @cfbugnotifier Twitter feed. It's also important to vote on any bugs that already exist and that irk you, because it's easier to sell to Adobe to get something fixed if there are a lot of people saying "me too". So go and have a browse through it, and vote for stuff. Don't worry if the tickets are closed at the moment: they can be re-opened or re-entered. If you have any additional info which could help the triaging of an existing bug, you can put a comment with further notes. This helps too.

Obviously we'd like Adobe to fix everything that we ever notice as being wrong in ColdFusion, but that's simply not possible. However the community can help focus them on what stuff matters the most. And, trust me, the Adobe guys do a mountain of work and fix an awful lot of the back catalogue of issues during the dev cycle for each CF release. It might not seem like it sometimes, but I do have the deepest respect for the ColdFusion Dev Team. Even when I'm not agreeing with them! ;-)

I can't guarantee I'll be on the P/R, but if you let me know about issues that you have and would like to get addressed, and if: a) I get on the programme; b) agree with you; I'll do my best to get your issues some attention. Just lemme know about it.

So please do your bit for ColdFusion and the CF community in general. Apply for the programme, raise bugs and feature requests, and vote / comment on existing ones. Participate in your community to help make it better.