Friday 17 January 2014

Rakshith is mistaken about the release schedule for ColdFusion 11


First things first:

To demonstrate a point, I am going to release this blog article with one title, post my usual Twitter status update, and ask someone to "retweet" it. Then I shall be changing the title subtly... and the title change will reflect the title I actually want the article to be seen as. This is to demonstrate that once someone says something on the internet, it stays said. The original title was unfairly harsh, and a slight overstatement (although not actually inaccurate). By design.

Today I wondered out loud on Twitter whether the ColdFusion 11 pre-release lifecycle seemed longer than usual. Brian Klass set me straight on that:

And, indeed, having done some homework, I am well off base with my instinct. I'll get to that. That's only tangential to what this article is about.

After that, a useful discussion ensued relating to this:

(And, as I've said before, because Twitter don't seem to understand how people read... you need to read that from bottom to top. Obviously).

Anyway, all good. Then I got distracted and ignored Twitter for a while, and have come back to this statement from Rakshith:

I beg your f***ing pardon?

Can I just remind you of this video posted on your own blog, fronted by you:

In this video we have two relevant screens:

This clearly shows CF11 being released in 2013. And CF12 being released in 2014. There is no other way to interpret that.

And this one:

This shows a dot for each release of ColdFusion (or Cold Fusion back until CF4), including dots for CF11, CF12 and CF13. ColdFusion 13 is clearly aligned with 2015; and one can extrapolate back from there (and from the even spacing) that CF12 is represented as being released in 2014, and CF11 in 2013. Basically an evenly-space timeline from when ColdFusion 10 was released, and ColdFusion 13 being released in 2015.

Let's have a look at how that would pan out. Here's a table of all CF's release dates:

VersionRelease DateDiff in months
1.0 1995-07 0
2.0 1996-11 16
3.0 1997-06 7
4.0 1998-11 17
5.0 2001-06 31
6.0 2002-05 11
7.0 2005-02 32
8.0 2007-07 29
9.0 2009-10 26
10.0 2012-05 31

If we were then to extrapolate that out to Dec 31 2015 and squeezed in three more releases between then and ColdFusion 10's release date of May 2012... we'd get a release cycle of every 14 months or so, with release dates along these lines:

VersionRelease Date
11.0 2013-07
12.0 2014-09
13.0 2014-11

If we based this planned cycle from the date of the release of the video which stated it (April 05, 2013), then it'd be more like end of Feb this year for 11, end of Jan 2015 for ColdFusion 12 and end of Dec 2015 for CF13. Maybe that's more like it? I can't see CF11 being released by end of Feb given it's not even in public beta year (and I hope the public beta goes for a good three months!). So let's say release in May 2014 for CF 11.

And actual that schedule is entire reasonable, and still in-keeping with the idea Rakshith sat in front of us and put across: that they're going for a leaner release cycle.

But it's completely disingenuous of Rakshith to say that the release of ColdFusion 11 was never planned for 2013. He pretty much sat there and told us it would be! With a timeline! And a chart!

He followed up his initial Twitter message saying this:

It certainly has been. They were there until Jan 2013 (PDF), and gone by the end of April 2013 (again, PDF). And in that first PDF it clearly states that ColdFusion 11 was intended for 2013 release, and ColdFusion 12 for 2014 release:

So, Rakshith: stop lying mate.

Do you know what? Shit happens. We all know shit happens. I guess the Adobe ColdFusion team initially thought they could get CF11 out the door in 2013, and for one reason or another - perhaps ColdFusion-in-the-Cloud took longer than anticipated - they couldn't make it. That's cool. That's no problem at all. IT project planning, especially when involving developers, is notoriously inaccurate. We all know this.

But this doesn't excuse lying to one's community. And telling such poor, easily refutable lies so as to just be an incredibly lazy exercise in lying too, is just very disappointing.

How come the line couldn't be "yeah hey sorry guys... we got delayed a bit", or "actually we just decided to put more stuff into CF11, so it's taking longer than we originally bargained for". Or "bugger me... getting <cfclient> to work is proving tricky, eh?!" Or just "those dates weren't very well thought out, and - in hindsight - we probably shouldn't have mentioned them. Sorry".

This isn't some OrwellianAdobian 1984. You can't simply get Winston Smith to redact all references to "the aim is to get ColdFusion 11 out in 2013", and then we'll all just go about our business being at war with Eurasia. Like we always have been. Or is it East Asia, this month?

Very disappointed in these communications today [shakes head for effect. Writes that down].