Recently we open sourced our BlueDragon CFML Java engine. Many congratulated us, many didn't even care.
Unfortunately, some people in the CFML community took it upon themselves to start going negative against the project. I don't know why this is happening, nor how it came about. The good thing is that they can not speak for the whole CFML community, because really, no one can lay claim to such a statement.
In the software world, nothing polarizes people quicker than a good old fashioned debate on open source. If its not about the pro's and con's of open source itself, it just moves onto the types of licenses, and so on. It would seem some quarters are always hell bent on a fight at some stage.
I do not read blogs. I have never followed any of them and to be completely honest, the vast majority of them are complete strangers to me. But since forming the Steering Committee to help direct OpenBD, these names are coming known to me, through the referrals of other SC members.
While I have been involved in BlueDragon for near on 10 years now, I have largely been a backroom boy, never getting involved in any of the politics. I once had a meeting with Jeremy Allaire, Simeon Simeonov and a few others way back when ColdFusion was still under the stewardship of Allaire. They had flown me over to Boston to discuss what I was up to with tagServlet as it was known then. It was a cordial and upbeat meeting.
I have never had a conversation with Ben Forta (of Adobe), only ever met him twice, shaking his hand at a SYS-CON conference we were both speaking at (I was talking Java not CFML), and again just last week at Scotch. I knew who he was due to my involvement at SYS-CON; they published a CFML magazine, and his name would pop up from time to time.
Likewise, I have never spoken/emailed Gert Franz of Railo fame, and only met him briefly at Scotch last week for the first time. I didn't really know who Sean Corfield was, until I started the Steering Committee. I met him for the first time only a couple of months ago when I was out in the Bay Area and we went out for dinner.
The only person I knew very well from the CFML world was Charlie Arehart, and that was largely down to the fact he was employed at New Atlanta for a number of years, and he would bubble email threads down to me every so often.
So, by in large, I have never been involved with the public CFML community. Not even a post on the House-Of-Fusion mailing list! (that I have since learned is a rather popular CFML mailing list). I sat on the Scottish CFUG list for a while, but the vast majority of the conversation on that list, was nothing to do with CFML, it was more banter amongst friends!
So to say I have not engaged with the CFML community is probably a fair statement.
Where all this negativity is coming from I have no idea. Are people scared? Are people threatened? I am not sure, because I have never once spoken to them, and likewise, not one of them have asked me a question about any of our motives.
It came to my attention yesterday from one of the Steering Committee that I was claimed to have said something rather cutting and nasty. When I heard the charge and what it was I was supposed to have said, I literally burst out laughing. Anyone that knows me, would know that those words do not fit my personality or attitude.
The Steering Committee felt it was time that I come out and tackle this head on, for the sake of the project, because the message doesn't seem to be getting through. I have a policy of not leaving comments on a blog, as it's a medium were no one can win. I just don't believe in going negative. It serves no one any good in the long run.
For myself, I learned a very important rule when playing out arguments in the public - Google never forgets!.
But I took their advice under consideration and have emailed both Ben and Gert (as representatives of the other CFML engines) personally introducing myself and outlining my position and motives. I do not see them as enemies or anything of the like. We are all in this world together, and we can make it a better place if we work together instead of against one another.
OpenBD is the accumulation of a 10 year old project for me and I am not for a minute going away. We are here to stay and we will help shape the CFML landscape with everyone else. I am passionate about CFML and the future it holds. I am a new player to the community, many don't know who I am. Hopefully that will change as we move forward.
If anyone wants to email me and talk CFML, or ask about OpenBD, then my inbox welcomes you (my email address firstname.lastname@example.org). I extend that invitation to anyone that wants to know what we are doing. I am here to help you understand our motives and vision. Email any of our Steering Committee, and they too, will be happy to discuss their motives and their vision.
So please, introduce yourself to me. I want to know who you are and build relationships.
It has never been a better time to be a CFML developer.