Saturday 22 February 2014

CFML: Feature toggling for both Railo(/Lucee) and ColdFusion

I'm just drawing attention to part of the bottom line of my previous article ("Expressions and operators and doing weird shit"), as I think it's a significant feature request for both Railo and ColdFusion.

I've suggested both Railo (RAILO-2926) and ColdFusion (3712059) should implement a feature toggling system. This would resolve issues both platforms have with cross-compatibility and backwards-compatibility.

There are a few things recently that I've raised with both companies and the response has been "be that as it may... we can't do it due to backwards compat" (to be fair to Railo they are far less emphatic about this, and usually consider how else to approach things; in Adobe's case it's just their favourite mantra when they don't feel like fixing something, I think).

The degree of validity of the compatibility issues is one thing, but it is a real consideration. However I want Adobe to stop wallowing in the past, and I want Railo to not have to wallow alongside them for the sake of cross-compatibility. Plus there's some own-goal issues with some Railo code too.

What I think both need is a feature toggling system which can be applied to a feature meaning that by default a new backwards-incompat fix will work for everyone for whom there isn't a backwards compat issue (which, let's face it, will generally be most people, for any given issue). However to preserve the sanity of people whose code is impacted by these fixes and just toggle them off until they get around to updating their code to not rely on broken CFML behaviour.

I'm so fed up with some of the inertia we're seeing in CFML that something needs to be done. And especially for ColdFusion... now's the time, given we're in the dev phase of ColdFusion 11.

As always... thoughts / comments?

I think I need to do one more gripe about integers, but then I can crack on with looking at new stuff in ColdFusion 11. I'm still finding good stuff! :-)