Duncan's blog

August 30, 2008

ASP.NET gets no Respect; does Coldfusion?

Filed under: Coldfusion — duncan @ 8:44 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Read this interesting post on Rick Stahl’s blog: ASP.NET gets no Respect. Basically looking at some of the reasons why ASP.NET isn’t considered as highly as say the LAMP stack. I thought it might be interesting to see if the same reasons apply to Coldfusion. We occasionally see articles about the death of Coldfusion, but rumours of its demise are greatly exaggerated. However I think Coldfusion has the same battle against the perceived coolness of PHP, Python, Ruby on Rails etc.

I’ve just taken Rick’s sub-headings and reworded them to be CF-specific where relevant. I’m going to keep this fairly brief, but please feel free to comment at length!

Competing with Free

This is probably an even bigger problem for Coldfusion than it is for ASP.Net, simply because of the relatively high initial cost. Sure, us CF developers know the overall cost will be lower due to speed of development, but that’s rarely considered.

Barrier of Entry

This sort of crosses over with the above; the high initial cost is the big barrier. It will be harder to find free or cheap hosting companies offering good Coldfusion hosting.

Learning Curve

Not applicable. CFML probably has the lowest learning curve of any server-side web development language that I’m aware of.

Coldfusion is a Different Web Metaphor

Not applicable. Coldfusion lends itself to being picked up quickly by anyone who knows HTML and has a basic understanding of programming constructs.

The Loss of Cool

This is definitely a problem. Coldfusion, being really the oldest surviving web application server, is frequently referred to in disparaging terms by people who maybe used it last in the 1990s, unaware it’s moved on a lot since then. And most of the cool sites are definitely being done in PHP and Python. In part I think this could be due to the bedroom-startup nature some of them have.

Possibly the open source release of Railo might help combat some of that.

Coldfusion has gone Stale

Apart from the occasional mistaken references to Coldfusion being dead, it’s not stale at all, with a new version released every 1-2 years.

Ajax – stuck in the Mud

With some of the Ajax features in CF 8, I think we’re not bad here. Also we integrate pretty well with Ajax stuff like jQuery, Flex etc.

Adobe Stigma

I’m not aware of there being one in the same way there is a Microsoft stigma.

Overall I think Coldfusion actually wins out on these points over ASP.NET. However it has its own failings and reasons for not getting the respect it sometimes deserves.

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