Sunday 8 June 2014

CFClient: pardon my ignorance / thought exercise / advice solicited

This is a lazy-arse article, but it's Sunday and I am suffering from post-conference malaise. So... bad luck if you were after something incisive / thoughtful.

It perhaps might be thought provoking though.

And at least it's short. Once I get on with it.

I was chatting with some people in the bar at Scotch on the Rocks, and this train of thought was proffered:
  • <cfclient> only has relevance when it comes to building client-device-homed applications (ie: mobiles, tablets, what-have-you);
  • as such it's a dev tool, and would serve no purpose at all on a production ColdFusion server. Think about it... why would one every have a <cfclient> tag in code running on an actual ColdFusion server?
  • CFBuilder now ships with a built-in CFML server (well: a compiler for all intends and purposes);
  • CFBuilder has a free version.
I'm guessing that one can use the in-built CFML server to compile one's <cfclient> code, and that is available in the free version of ColdFusion Builder?

So presupposing all that is correct, two things occur to me:
  1. This kind of ends the argument that did the rounds as to whether <cfclient> belongs in the CFML language: it doesn't. And, indeed, it's not actually usable in the context of the rest of the language. For all intents and purposes it's a plug-in module to the CFML compilation process solely for ColdFusion Builder's benefit, and accordingly only really relevant in the dev environment. So the CFML language was the wrong place for it. Shouldn't it just be an alternative compilation option in ColdFusion Builder?
  2. One doesn't need to actually buy ColdFusion to use it. So from Adobe's perspective - which is to make money - what was the bloody point?
I'm hoping I am missing something here, and I welcome feedback / the record being set straight here as to how <cfclient> was really actually worth Adobe sinking time into. Did they "invest" an awful lot of the ColdFusion 11 release cycle on something they are giving away for free?


Sean's done some research for me here (see the comments below), but regarding costing:

I asked Ray and he asked internally and he confirmed that the mobile development features in ColdFusion Builder 3 are part of the paid edition only.

So you can build mobile apps for 60 days with the trial edition, but then you have to buy it. Still, a few hundred bucks for an IDE with a slick integration with PhoneGap for building iOS and Android apps - without even needing to touch cfclient, by the way - is probably pretty reasonable for a lot of CFML developers.
Cheers for looking into that, Sean :-)

Please explain.