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Open BlueDragon Steering Committee Interview Series - Matt Woodward

We are coming to the end of our series of interviews with the Open BlueDragon steering committee. I am proud to introduce Matt Woodard.



What would you say is your biggest contribution to the CFML community?
This is a tough one to answer! If I had to pick one, I'd say that I hope I've pushing people in the community to expand their horizons through my conference presentations, my blog, the podcast, my involvement with user groups, and my involvement with Mach-II. I like to try to push people out of their comfort zone so they don't get complacent, and hopefully I make people excited and unafraid to try new things.
You are involved with the popular ColdfusionWeekly podcast, how have you found the tone of the community over the past couple of years?
In general the tone in the CFML community is fantastic. In my experience there are few technologies that have the level of passion that can be found in the CFML community. I would, however, like to see people put this passion into action with a bit more fervor by getting more involved with the community, attending conferences, calling into the podcast, getting involved with open source projects, and in general being fully engaged and even more excited about CFML and where it's going. I think there's a lot of people out there who have a lot to offer that just need to be brought out of their shells.

I also think that some CFML developers have a bit of a chip on their shoulder about their choice of technology, and I'd like to see that attitude change. CFML is a great language, so be proud that you're using it, and help spread the word!
Do you think the CFML market is shrinking, growing, or just staying the same?
This is a total gut call of course, but frankly I think it's plateaued a bit from what I can tell. That's not to say it's not a vibrant community with a sizable number of developers, but I get the general sense that it's stayed the same recently which is something I'd love to see change.
Do CFML developers understand open source with them being a closed source for so long?
I have to say no on this one. There were a lot of comments on the blogs after the Open BlueDragon announcement was made, and frankly I was shocked at the number of people who from their comments--from my perspective at any rate--simply don't understand what a huge deal this is. Having a proven CFML engine available through a GPL license opens up numerous possibilities that CFML developers simply haven't had available before. This isn't about monetary cost, although that certainly does change things as well; it's really about the freedom to deploy CFML applications in ways we couldn't before.
Why does Open BlueDragon interest you?
I'm a huge proponent of open source software from a philosophical standpoint, and I seem to be getting more adamant about this as I get older, so one of the reasons I'm so excited about Open BlueDragon is because CFML developers will have access to a truly free engine that gives them freedoms that they probably haven't thought about before because they weren't an option. The freedom to use the software more or less as I see fit is huge to me.

I'm also excited because I think this has tremendous potential to build up an entirely different kind of community around CFML as a language. Open BlueDragon will become what we as a community make of it, and I think this gives people more of a sense of ownership, which in turn can lead to greater participation, and this feeds on itself in a very positive way. In my experience people get excited when they feel they're a part of something at this level and this can only be good both for Open BlueDragon and CFML as a language.

The other thing about the project that interests me is that I'll be able to dig around in the guts of Open BlueDragon, see how it works, potentially contribute to the codebase, and have the freedom to experiment. The plugin architecture and sandbox projects are going to bring about some really exciting innovations, and again this lets people get involved at a level they simply couldn't before.
What are you hoping to bring to the Steering Committee?
I'm hoping to bring a lot of excitement in the community about Open BlueDragon by evangelizing it and making people understand that this project isn't simply about offering a free-of-cost CFML engine, and it isn't about whether or not individual CFML developers will look at the source code. Open BlueDragon is about choice, giving CFML developers opportunities they didn't have before, and potentially bringing more attention to CFML from those who previously dismissed it because there were no open source options available. Open source really matters to a lot of people and they now have a great choice in an open source CFML engine. That's really a long way of saying that I hope to help spread the word about the tremendous potential this offers CFML developers, because I think many of the big points from that perspective have gotten and will continue to get lost in the discussion.
What one thing would you like to change about CFML?
The one thing I would have said is being addressed by Open BlueDragon!
Your development environment of choice?
For development I'm all Mac all the time at the moment, with CFEclipse as my IDE. Prior to being on OS X I was on Ubuntu so Linux is my close second choice to Mac. People who know me know my feelings on Windows so I'll stop myself before going on that rant again. ;-)
Looking ahead 12months, what needs to happen before we can claim Open BD a success
The fact that this is happening at all make it a success in my mind. Beyond that, I would love to see a "Who's Using" page on the Open BlueDragon site that grows by leaps and bounds over the next year. I think hosting options running on Open BlueDragon will be another measure of success that will be nice to see. More attention from the open source community at large would also be a great thing to see, and I'll do everything I can to help promote Open BlueDragon wherever I can!

Contact Matt @ matt.woodward@openbluedragon.orghttp://www.mattwoodward.com/blog

 

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