Why Coldfusion?

SorcerousKhanSorcerousKhan Minneapolis, MNMember UncommonPosts: 164

As a developer, I'm very curious about the reasoning behind using Coldfusion to power MMORPG.com. I see so few people use it nowadays that I can't help but be surprised.

MMORPG.com, why not use PHP, NodeJS, or even ASP.Net? 

Comments

  • HowbadisbadHowbadisbad Member UncommonPosts: 453

    Like many other businesses that have really old stuff (like machines that still run on COBOL and other ancient assembly languages) they probably started out with it, then never bothered to upgrade because "it just werks"

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  • AlverantAlverant Wheaton, ILMember RarePosts: 922

    I've used cold fusion for years and back in the day (read around the year 2000) it was pretty useful. It was a clean basic language that was easy to use and did what you expected it to. If you wanted to add another page to a website you just had to add the file and not bother with recompiling an application or code behind. The variables weren't strongly typed and it wasn't case sensitive which made it better than PHP (which IIRC was case sensitive in some respects). It was great ... back then. But since then other better languages have been developed so it's not used so much any more. Sadly it is hard to convert a large website from one language to another, especially if you keep adding to the site over time. It requires a completely different shift in thinking. I'm speaking from personal experience. My employer uses coldfusion. We're slowly converting to asp.net for large projects but when someone needs something quick and easy, we go back to coldfusion.

    There comes a point where you just need to pretty much start from scratch in terms of programming and designing if you want to upgrade the programming language. This site is at that point and chances are so are 90% of the sites that use coldfusion. I'm guessing the remaining 10% are pretty basic so coldfusion meets their needs so it makes no financial sense to upgrade.

  • SorcerousKhanSorcerousKhan Minneapolis, MNMember UncommonPosts: 164
    Originally posted by Alverant
    I've used cold fusion for years and back in the day (read around the year 2000) it was pretty useful. It was a clean basic language that was easy to use and did what you expected it to. If you wanted to add another page to a website you just had to add the file and not bother with recompiling an application or code behind. The variables weren't strongly typed and it wasn't case sensitive which made it better than PHP (which IIRC was case sensitive in some respects). It was great ... back then. But since then other better languages have been developed so it's not used so much any more. Sadly it is hard to convert a large website from one language to another, especially if you keep adding to the site over time. It requires a completely different shift in thinking. I'm speaking from personal experience. My employer uses coldfusion. We're slowly converting to asp.net for large projects but when someone needs something quick and easy, we go back to coldfusion. There comes a point where you just need to pretty much start from scratch in terms of programming and designing if you want to upgrade the programming language. This site is at that point and chances are so are 90% of the sites that use coldfusion. I'm guessing the remaining 10% are pretty basic so coldfusion meets their needs so it makes no financial sense to upgrade.

    Aye, that makes sense. I work for a major midwestern newspaper, and there is a lot of legacy code that we're slowly converting over to something sensible.

    Coldfusion, though, is owned and maintained by Adobe. That kind of vendor lock-in can have its advantages (SLAs, etc.), but considering that CFML has lagged behind its competing technologies in the past decade, I wonder at the financial risks behind sticking with it.

    After all, if someone was running a website on PHP 5.1 and thought it was too costly to spend the time to upgrade the code to 5.6, they'd find it a nasty surprise when a decade-old security vulnerability gave some cracker access to all of their sensitive data.

    There comes a point where the risk behind not upgrading or refactoring outweighs the cost of doing so. I think in the case of Coldfusion, that turning point was a couple years ago.

  • BillMurphyBillMurphy Managing Editor Berea, OHMMORPG.COM Staff EpicPosts: 4,121

    You'll be happy to know that the new site coming this year is PHP and MySQL powered. :)  

    As others have said, the site began with CF way back in 2001 or so, and as the content and database grew, it just became hard to switch.

    We've brought on a third party to make the transition to the new structure and site. Hopefully in the coming months, we'll get to show off what we've been working so hard on. It's going to be fantastic. I imagine many of our readers who stopped coming because the site's so hard to use and find stuff on will come back. 

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  • MisterZebubMisterZebub Not In ESOMember EpicPosts: 2,229
    Originally posted by BillMurphy
    You'll be happy to know that the new site coming this year is PHP and MySQL powered. :)   As others have said, the site began with CF way back in 2001 or so, and as the content and database grew, it just became hard to switch. We've brought on a third party to make the transition to the new structure and site. Hopefully in the coming months, we'll get to show off what we've been working so hard on. It's going to be fantastic. I imagine many of our readers who stopped coming because the site's so hard to use and find stuff on will come back. 

    Yep and due to the nature of the beast I'll bet many of them will come back just to complain how much better the site was back in the "good old days".

     

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  • SorcerousKhanSorcerousKhan Minneapolis, MNMember UncommonPosts: 164
    Originally posted by BillMurphy
    You'll be happy to know that the new site coming this year is PHP and MySQL powered. :)   As others have said, the site began with CF way back in 2001 or so, and as the content and database grew, it just became hard to switch. We've brought on a third party to make the transition to the new structure and site. Hopefully in the coming months, we'll get to show off what we've been working so hard on. It's going to be fantastic. I imagine many of our readers who stopped coming because the site's so hard to use and find stuff on will come back. 

    I am indeed very happy to hear this. =)

    I'm also professionally curious; since I'm involved in the media industry as a web engineer, I'm interested in shifting towards the gaming media industry specifically. With the death of Massively, MMORPG.com has become the most obvious job target for me. Its basis in Coldfusion has held me back from inquiring previously.

  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 15,012
    Originally posted by BillMurphy
    You'll be happy to know that the new site coming this year is PHP and MySQL powered. :)   As others have said, the site began with CF way back in 2001 or so, and as the content and database grew, it just became hard to switch. We've brought on a third party to make the transition to the new structure and site. Hopefully in the coming months, we'll get to show off what we've been working so hard on. It's going to be fantastic. I imagine many of our readers who stopped coming because the site's so hard to use and find stuff on will come back. 

    PHP and MySQL? Welcome to 2007! I kid I kid, sort of.

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  • KyleranKyleran Paradise City, FLMember LegendaryPosts: 26,840
    Originally posted by MisterZebub
    Originally posted by BillMurphy
    You'll be happy to know that the new site coming this year is PHP and MySQL powered. :)   As others have said, the site began with CF way back in 2001 or so, and as the content and database grew, it just became hard to switch. We've brought on a third party to make the transition to the new structure and site. Hopefully in the coming months, we'll get to show off what we've been working so hard on. It's going to be fantastic. I imagine many of our readers who stopped coming because the site's so hard to use and find stuff on will come back. 

    Yep and due to the nature of the beast I'll bet many of them will come back just to complain how much better the site was back in the "good old days".

     

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  • skeaserskeaser Wichita Falls, TXMember UncommonPosts: 3,906
    Originally posted by BillMurphy
    You'll be happy to know that the new site coming this year is PHP and MySQL powered. :)   As others have said, the site began with CF way back in 2001 or so, and as the content and database grew, it just became hard to switch. We've brought on a third party to make the transition to the new structure and site. Hopefully in the coming months, we'll get to show off what we've been working so hard on. It's going to be fantastic. I imagine many of our readers who stopped coming because the site's so hard to use and find stuff on will come back. 

    Happy to hear! While the site "works" as is, it really could use a facelift.

  • craftseekercraftseeker kynetonMember RarePosts: 1,547
    Originally posted by Howbadisbad
    Like many other businesses that have really old stuff (like machines that still run on COBOL and other ancient assembly languages) they probably started out with it, then never bothered to upgrade because "it just werks"

    COBOL may be old (1959) but it is not an assembly language.  COBOL (common business-oriented language) is a procedural language like FORTRAN, ALGOL, or C.  COBOL still has a large place and continues to be developed as a language for Business use, the latest standard is COBOL 2014.  In 2006 and 2012, surveys found that over 60% of organizations used COBOL (more than C++ and Visual Basic .NET) and that for half of those, COBOL was used for the majority of their internal software.   It does work, it is faster and the costs of replacing existing systems is far greater than the benefits.

  • thinktank001thinktank001 oasisMember UncommonPosts: 2,144
    Originally posted by MisterZebub

    Yep and due to the nature of the beast I'll bet many of them will come back just to complain how much better the site was back in the "good old days".  

     

    I would normally agree with you, but it really is terribly hard to make decent posts on this site.  The new upgrade may be the only thing that all MMORPGers will ever agree upon.

  • SorcerousKhanSorcerousKhan Minneapolis, MNMember UncommonPosts: 164
    Originally posted by craftseeker
    Originally posted by Howbadisbad
    Like many other businesses that have really old stuff (like machines that still run on COBOL and other ancient assembly languages) they probably started out with it, then never bothered to upgrade because "it just werks"

    COBOL may be old (1959) but it is not an assembly language.  COBOL (common business-oriented language) is a procedural language like FORTRAN, ALGOL, or C.  COBOL still has a large place and continues to be developed as a language for Business use, the latest standard is COBOL 2014.  In 2006 and 2012, surveys found that over 60% of organizations used COBOL (more than C++ and Visual Basic .NET) and that for half of those, COBOL was used for the majority of their internal software.   It does work, it is faster and the costs of replacing existing systems is far greater than the benefits.

    Over 60% of organizations use COBOL, in 2012? What kind of organizations? Where'd you get this data?

  • AlverantAlverant Wheaton, ILMember RarePosts: 922
    Originally posted by BillMurphy
    You'll be happy to know that the new site coming this year is PHP and MySQL powered. :)  

    The only advantage PHP has is that you don't need Microsoft products to run it. There is no PHP version of MS Visual Studio to help you organize projects and assist you when programming. Well I'm not the one programming it. Good luck with the conversion. I hope your plan has sufficient testing time.

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