Showing posts with label Jared Evans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jared Evans. Show all posts

Monday 5 October 2015

Survey results: Jared's CFML text editor usage survey


I've got Jared doing the donkey for for me today. Here's his article on the results of the CFML IDE survey he ran last week:

First of all, may I say thank you to Adam Cameron for hosting this post. I've been a ColdFusion developer for too long a time now, and it's only because of people like Adam Cameron and others, that I feel there is a community behind this language.

I have to thank everyone who participated in the survey, 132 of you in about 2 days. That's pretty good going in my opinion. Sadly, those 32 extra responses won't be counted as I have not paid for more than 100 responses. Thank you for your input though.

I wanted to get a sense of what the community were using for their main development purposes. Myself? I started off on Dreamweaver, moved to Eclipse with CfEclipse and about 2 years ago switched to Sublime with community made CF Support. My theory was that many have gone down this path, they started with a heavy IDE and either found their environments were never properly setup to use it, or that they were far too beastly for what they were doing. 

As much as I like IDE's, the environment really has to be setup for it to be useful, mine never were, our servers didn't support step debugging, so switching to a lightweight Advanced Text Editor that has allowed the extensibility to be used much in the same way as an IDE made complete sense.

I should say that an Advanced Text Editor is normally a very light weight program that will contain different types of language support for highlighting and closing of brackets and such, but with a plugin extensibility that allows for things like linters. They don't normally allow for debugging unless the community have gone completely out of their way to add it.

With my theory, I wanted to find out if the community was still using IDE's. Adobe and the CF team have invested a lot into ColdFusion Builder. Personally I think we've moved on past these heavyweight tools… Adobe have been investing in their open source community project Brackets. This already has a lot of support for many languages, but none for ColdFusion. I've argued in the Slack channels that I would prefer Adobe to focus development on, or at least put some first class support into, projects like Brackets over ColdFusion Builder. Many have argued against me, claiming there is still a want and need for ColdFusion Builder.

This survey was far from perfect, as some (Adam…) of you pointed out. Yes it was slightly Yoda-ish, maybe I should have used checkboxes instead of Radio Buttons… But I think it gives a first attempt to find out what the community is using day to day. So let's take a look at the results from the first question.

For the first question, I asked: For general purpose development, including ColdFusion, I use as my IDE?

With this, I was trying to get a sense of what people are using for general purpose development. As the world has moved on, platform specific developers have found themselves become more general purpose developers, not to say Jack of all, Master of none… but that most ColdFusion developers will now be Web Developers, expected to write at least JavaScript and HTML if not some other random language as people find themselves in DevOps roles. Keep in mind that 32 results are missing from these responses.

From these responses, we can see that overwhelmingly, Advanced Text Editors are being used for general purpose development (with a ColdFusion edge). Sublime Text appears to be the community favourite, which I can understand as it has a well supported and developed ecosystem of plugins. 21 of you are using IDE's (Dreamweaver, ColdFusion Builder, Eclipse and Eclipse with CFEclipse) which isn't surprising, ColdFusion is still a Enterprise Language, with Enterprise Pricing, so the features offered by these make sense. 

There was one IDE that I had forgotten about: IntelliJ iDEA, you made it well known by telling me in the "Other" choice. With the responses from there, IDE's are still behind their more lightweight counterparts.