Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Cheers lads

I'm making a blog article out of this because I can't fit it into 140 chars, and I don't want it to solely be buried on a comment on their own blog.

If you didn't know, or had managed to ignore it, the lads @ CFHour, Scott and Dave, took exception to something I wrote a coupla weeks back, "CFML: where Railo is better than ColdFusion", and had "a bit" of a rant in their recent podcast "Show #207 - Ryno, Rocks, Railo Rants, and Scott (Box)". I thought their tone was perhaps a bit more intense than it needed to be, and some other people have said the same.

TBH, I don't mind. I'm a big boy, and I simply don't take offence at stuff. They're entitled to their opinion, even if I don't happen to agree with it. For the record: no, I don't agree with pretty much everything they said, however I do see where they were coming from. That said, there was never any anguish or angst between us: I was talking to Dave about tickets in the bug tracker shortly afterwards, and was in touch with Scott yesterday too. I consider them my mates, so they can say what they like at me.

Still... good on them... they decided they perhaps had slightly too much of a go at me, and have made a public apology to me today (Show #208 - Eating Crow and Grunting). That's pretty cool. Plus the rest of the podcast was also good stuff.

One thing to take away from this, perhaps, if I can make a suggestion: if you - anyone - ever take issue at something I say (and, hey, I give plenty of opportunity for that!), maybe take it back to me in the first instance. I don't think there is actually an issue here, and it's down to me not quite articulating the correct message in that article. Had we discussed that, I don't think there would have been any ranting at all.

For the record - I was discussing this with someone last night - I am not a Railo fanboi. I have worked solely with ColdFusion for over a decade. I have only ever done one small project in Railo, and that was just in a cross-compatibility way. The bulk of the "community work" I do directly relates to ColdFusion, and only a small amount of it is in Railo. I've been on the Adobe ColdFusion Pre-release Programme for over a decade as well (I have recently retired from it though), and I've probably raised more tickets for ColdFusion than most other people participating in that environment put together. I have won prizes from Adobe for my support of ColdFusion. Equally, I bitch and moan at Railo in the same vein as I do with Adobe.When I see stupid bugs in Railo, I mention them on my blog (and on their forums, and in their bug tracker). Indeed I have really only warmed to Railo in the last year or so. I judged it fairly harshly prior to that. However I do now think they have a solid product. And do you know what? It's better than ColdFusion in some areas, in my opinion. When there are two similar things (eg: CFML engines), they there is an innate comparison. And things will either be "better", "worse", or "equal" in any of those comparisons. That's just the way things work. And there's nothing wrong with that. And certainly no reason for bystanders to get defensive about it.

One thing I think Railo do poorly is to promote themselves, and I think they are doing themselves a disservice in this area. Part of the vibe I get from them regarding this is that they're an open source project, so it's up to the community to laud them. So that is what I was doing. If my blog was a technology-agnostic one, the it would make sense to promote what's good about CFML (and I'd perhaps be comparing to PHP or Java, etc), and it wouldn't matter whether I was meaning Railo or ColdFusion. However my blog is very specifically a CFML blog (it's there in the title!), so if I am to say something about Railo is good, then intrinsically it needs to be "as opposed to what?", and that "what" is "ColdFusion" (it's not gonna be "OpenBD", is it?). These is nothing wrong with this, and this is how things work. That is also, I hasten to add, what the readers of the blog are going to be interested in: if they hadn't given Railo a try, but were thinking about it, this is good comparative information which might motivate them to give it a go. Or they might think "screw those things, where's CFClient?"

I think the whole issue here arose because Dave and Scott approached the thing as an attack against ColdFusion, whereas I meant it as a promotion of Railo. There is a subtle difference there, and I do think I made that clear. Also I do stand by everything I said in that article, and it is based on my increasing experience of testing things on Railo and ColdFusion in a parallel environment, and my dealings with the community and the relevant people at both organisations. Clearly it's all opinion, but it doesn't make it an uninformed one. I never claimed anything was a fact (almost everything I commented on was subjective anyhow so "facts" don't come into it). I think anyone not going out of their way to find fault would simply read it as my own opinion. And had they had experience in both platforms, I also imagine they'd also agree with me.

Still: Scott 'n' Dave are entitled to their reading of my article, and that's cool. Speaking of opinions... thanks to everyone that came out to bat for me on this. Especially Aaron Martone (Aaron, I presume that's you?) and Mary-Jo Sminkey.

Anyway.We're done with this now, perhaps? I've got some code for ColdFusion UI the Right Way to write.