Misinformation Week

Posted 5/2/07 @ 1:50 PM by Shad Belcher in Category: General
One of the strange things about Coldfusion is the fact that people write negative articles about it without knowing anything about the language. This is especially true for big IT magazines like Information Week.

David Day, a friend of the show, pointed out this article to us. It's an article about a company with a pretty big web application that was originally written in Coldfusion. Luckily for me, they point out the flaws in their application so I don't have to.

Take a look at some of these snippets from the article:

" TripHomes originally was built using ColdFusion, a Web site development tool that runs on Windows and depends on Microsoft's Internet Information Server Web server and SQL Server database."

So, right off the bat we know that they are spreading misinformation since Coldfusion is not dependant on Microsoft IIS and SQL Servers. It runs on a lot of platforms using most webservers and any database servers that use jdbc drivers as seen here. But let's continue:

"Just as with its other sites, as HomeAway added more and more changes to TripHomes, the site became increasingly brittle and prone to failure."

Fortunately, they debunk this comment for me in the next paragraph:

" The site took eight seconds to load because its design didn't allow caching or prestoring the most frequently used files in the server's random access memory."

Hmm, a badly designed application didn't run well. Strange. So, guess what? They rewrote it in another language and claim it runs fine...

" Last year, HomeAway rebuilt TripHomes using Visual Studio .Net, Active Server Pages, and Ajax. "
" The site runs fine now, following Microsoft's .Net best practices."

(This line is off topic but it's good for a laugh -- "And it's obvious that Microsoft is trying to embrace Web standards, Buhrdorf says.")

....or does it?

Also, a hidden disadvantage of the .Net approach is that the resulting Web site is harder to manage. "It's more difficult to scale .Net, it's harder to monitor in a large-scale deployment," Buhrdorf says."

Oh no. Difficult to scale? What happened?

"Java can scale up on small Linux servers, and you get better insight into the production environment.

HomeAway is happy to continue running its TripHomes site using Microsoft technology, now that it's been revamped, until it can get around to a conversion."

Oh, now I see. They are going to use Java in the future to magically fix their application.

So, the point of the article here is a badly designed application is going to run crappy no matter how many different languages you rewrite it in. They decided to put out negative comments about Coldfusion because they can't design an application of this size. Amazing.

On last comment from the article to make you laugh:

"We're very pragmatic guys," Buhrdorf says. "We're not a religious shop here."

Way to go guys. Maybe you guys can set a record for number of languages used for the same application.


These people seem to have embarrassed themselves by even writting this article. First off I wasn't aware that ColdFusion was a "Development Tool",.. I thought it was just a programming language. I'm suprised you didn't comment on the 8 seconds to load because it was not designed to cache.. ColdFusion has a very handy query caching built right into the cfquery tag(thats probably where most their time was lost). Then I would also bet with the proper use of application.cfc (emphasis on ".cfc") that time could be cut in half again by arranging much of the code in session and application scope so it doesn't have to take up more time on every load. (does .Net have a app.cfc? or equiv.) Those two alone would have cut that time down to 3sec. max.

Its ironic that it just so happens there is one VERY poorly designed site that uses ColdFusion which happens to be one of the most visited sites on the web...MySpace.com? Funny how it seems to scale with a poor design and their's didn't.. I seriously doubt they get that much traffic. Sounds like instead of blaming ColdFusion they should blame their programmers because it sounds like they are already having trouble with the .Net. Wonder if they tried validating the html on any of microsoft's sites before they came to the conclusion that "it's obvious that Microsoft is trying to embrace Web standards". (fyi the Microsoft home page doesn't even validate)


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