Monday 20 July 2015

Are we getting closer to having a CLI & REPL on ColdFusion?

I have to admit this is pretty much a click-baiting exercise, whilst also trying to drum up some community interest and support in a bugbase ticket.

A while back I raised 4013832, which says:

CLI/REPL - probably via CommandBox

I'm sure this has been raised before, but I cannot find the ticket.

ColdFusion needs a CLI/REPL for it to be taken seriously in these times. It's just a fundamental.

CommandBox is really good in this regard, so perhaps bundling it with ColdFusion under licence might be a solution.

This is by no means an original idea, and plenty of people have lamented the absence of this fundamental platform feature in ColdFusion for years. Indeed I've mentioned it a number of times previously on this very blog:
And I'd even raised a previous bE/R for it back in 2013: 3646258. The indication then was that it was going to be picked up for ColdFusion 11, btw.

I'm nothing if not predictably repetitive.

I hasten to add - and as alluded to above - Ortus have actually released a third-party implementation: CommandBox. This builds on a long-standing but previously unloved feature of Railo: it had a command-line. I have a brief look at this, and it works really well: "TickintheBox". However this is a Railo / Lucee solution, not a ColdFusion one.

Interestingly, Brad has said this (on the bugbase ticket):

CommandBox currently loads a custom CLI wrapper for Lucee that bootstraps the execution of a .cfm file. Please note though, that with Lucee 5 will come JSR-223 compatibility and we'll be looking to switch the CommandBox bootstrap over to that. If Adobe pushes support JSR-223 as well, this will provide a nice path to run CommandBox (and all of its features including package management and embedded servers) on the Adobe CF engine as well. Ortus Solutions will be happy to work with Adobe to achieve this.
Cool. Perhaps Brad could elaborate further as to what would be required to get CommandBox working with ColdFusion?

So far this is all history. What about now?

Well over night (my time), this came through from Adobe:

This is light on detail (for example: which parts of it they're evaluating), but it's positive news. As ColdFusion 2016 development is currently under way, perhaps they mean the "next version" is 2016. Although it might mean 2016+1. I've asked for clarification on this.

In the mean time... "help" Adobe make their decisions. The more weight the community puts behind feature requests, the more likely they are to be taken up. So go put your oar in, either with a vote, or a comment, or suggestion, or some other indication that you're behind this feature. Oh, obviously, if you're actively not behind it, go comment to that effect too. All opinions should be considered.

Bear in mind too that there is the pre-release for ColdFusion 2016 running at the moment, so any community input will find its way in front of Adobe. Due to NDAs, the communication flow can only be one-way for the time being though, I'm afraid, but now really is the time to make your opinions heard.