I was glad to see ColdFusion make it on this list of the top 10 dead (or dying) computer skills. It’s a ridiculous “language” that I never bothered to learn and used to tell people was craptastic and worthless when it was brand new and everybody and their mother was looking for people that knew it. I clearly remember being told that I just had to learn ColdFusion or I was going to miss the next web wave. I scoffed, learned ASP and PHP, and think I made the right call.

I was surprised to see C on the list, though. I guess I can understand that there aren’t many people actually programming in the original C, but I’d say that the basic principles of the language — including C++ and all of its children — are still pretty important.

There are 45 comments on this post

  1. ColdFusion used to suck. 5 Years ago, it was a terrible platform. Much has changed, and it now leads true web application platforms in both speed and features. If you feel that PHP (and ASP, for that matter) is a better platform then CF, you clearly don’t know anything about the language or the platform.

  2. But I do certainly know the difference between “than” and “then”, so it doesn’t really bother me when people tell me I don’t know anything.

  3. But do you know how to read dates? The article in question was posted, debated, refuted, and put to bed over a month ago. Old news dude.

  4. “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

    If someone said PHP was a dying technology, I would roll my eyes and forget about it.

  5. […] I Always Said ColdFusion Sucks – davidgagne.netFunny. I met a guy at a conference a few months back who wrote his own framework in ColdFusion. He swore by it. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.(tags: programming code coldfusion weblog ) […]

  6. Wow, I guess “Ignorance is bliss”, for someone who uses other developers code (ie WordPress) and has nothing to offer the “PHP” or “ASP” community, you sure do have a big opinion on something you know nothing about.

    I bet your a “web developer” that uses “PHP” and pretty much creates websites for clients using open source code. In my opinion I think your a “script kiddie”, look that up!

  7. If you’ve “never bothered to learn” ColdFusion, how can you criticize it? Perhaps if you are going to blog about how a technology sucks, then you should provide some objective reasons for why you believe that to be true which might actually benefit someone. Your post only shows your ignorance and a lack of willingness to learn and understand, and no matter what language you write, with an attitude like that you will always fail.

  8. Now that the great David Gagne has has declared his ignorance on ColdFusion, I’m sure Adobe will just end of life it. He did after all write one awesome Photoshop tutorial showing the world how to frame kitty photos to look like shoddy Polaroids. Actually when I wrote ‘awesome’, I actually meant ‘retarded’ and ‘worthless’.

    Keep up the good work! I’m sure this one will make the exclusive ‘top 5 posts’ list along with ‘dolphin sex’ and ‘bart simpson cartoon’. The internet is forever in your debt.

  9. Ha Ha. A bit of a harsh statement, David, but I agree that ColdFusion has never been the best decision. We develop almost exclusively in ASP.net, MS SQLserver, PHP, and AJAX. Occasionally we use MySQL as our DB engine, and we also do a lot of Flash. We think this is the future.

    One thing I must say, is that Computerworld readers hardly represent the mainstream of this business. I think most of them have hearing aids, and require walkers to get around. They think an iPod is some sort of biological specimen. I could easily create my own top 10 list of losers, and put ASP.net on it based on the responses of MacWorld readers.

  10. It seems that the original article claims that ColdFusion as a technology is dying along with programmers that know only C. C, the programming language, is alive and kicking, and it is absurd to think that a widely adopted programming language is dying because of the Web.

    David mentions only PHP and ASP as things that he’s learned, and I guess that can lead people to some confusion. Afterall, if I only see PHP or ASP on a person’s curriculum vitae, I’d dismiss the candidate as a script-kiddie as well.

    Perhaps, David is involved with the implementation of distributed and highly available enterprise applications. His designs might even require the use of strongly typed programming languages or languages that ease system implementation among a team of developers that he overlooks. Maybe, he’s doing a better job than others (like me) on not blogging about what he actually does at work. And when I say “perhaps” or “maybe” in this paragraph, I mean “definitely.”

    David was just stating that he was glad to adopt ASP and PHP instead of CF. In retrospect, I’m also glad that he made this decision. It’s his opinion that CF sucks, and it seems that trends in the markets that CF targets appear to support it. Introducing other parts of this site into this discussion simply distracts readers from the point that ColdFusion sucks.

    I bought the hype of Ruby on Rails, and luckily, I never had the time to pick it up.

  11. >> It’s a ridiculous “language” that I never bothered to learn and used to tell people was craptastic and worthless when it was brand new and everybody and their mother was looking for people that knew it.

    Let me translate: I don’t know anything about it but I have a very strong opinion on the matter.

    Last time I looked, that was called prejudice.

  12. Coldfusion indeed sucks major spidermonkey testicles. Used it for four years…only because my previous employer was mildly retarded and half their clients were dished out CF based sites. They are slowly moving away from it now…I’m glad I quit when I did though 😛

  13. […] old web application. Fortunately for me this means goodbye to my two favorite development tools, ColdFusion and MS SQL. The combination of these two was too much to bear, and the former continually crashed […]

  14. You are getting kicked square in the nuts!

  15. Right on David. CF = worthless.

    Adrock – oh how clever you are. Thank you for gracing us with your brilliance. It appears from your remark that you might disagree with David on how worthless CF is in modern webdev. Surely you make your comments as an independent, unbiased individual without any intentions besides promoting what you believe to be true.

    or, wait a sec…

    it says on your blog you work for adobe! hmmm, perhaps you do have some interest in covering up how absurd CF has become.

    love the disclaimers on adrocksomemadeupthing.net – “all rights reserved” for instance. So does that include the co-opted tri-force, copyright Nintendo? Or how about the Adobe logo, copyright Adobe?

  16. CFM was what one system admin called “Complete **** ing Mess” in the early days. That said, it’s matured into a front end for some interesting java back-end stuff, according to, uh, the same system admin I spoke with recently…. CF isn’t evil, but in some organisations, it is, like any environment. Yes, it does have some interesting abilities to isolate parts of the project from others, and some interesting architectural features if used in a sophisticated way. In some people’s hands, CFM is baby talk, in others, it can be sanskrit. PHP and ASP can also be baby talk or something more sophisticated. That said, sometimes excessive sophistication in a simple project can be some mess for the next programmer to clean up….

    I think CFM is dying largely because it’s not commonly used, costs $$ and isn’t dazzling, like Roooby on Ruhaillzzz….

  17. I develop Coldfusion at work and I actually feel dumber when programming in this **** langugage. Sure, it can do some stuff, but it’s sucks! And the community around CF feels retarded too! Thank good for some true OO languages with curly braces and classes.

  18. Just found this article, and have to say the greek chorus of (paid) adobe sycophants was in fine form, especially Adrock saying:

    Actually when I wrote ‘awesome’, I actually meant ‘retarded’ and ‘worthless’.

    What, are we in 5th grade again? And this guy gets PAID by ADOBE to be an “evangelist?”

    Oh brother. Glad I never messed with Cold Fusion, it sounds like the “community” [sic] around it is full of shrill, insecure children.

  19. I have been using Coldfusion for few years back to 2004, then I realized (finally) that this language really … sux compare with C#.NET or Java or even PHP. So I switched.

    I am glad that I made a switch at that time, really.

    CF, only good for small projects, if you want to grow up, go learn something else.

    You can call me ignorance if you want and stick with your Coldfusion.

  20. Coldfusion, while slowly improving, is and remains a retarded language. Some points amongst others (many others) :

    – identifiers are not case sensitive
    – Arrays are 1-based (gasp)
    – It relies on Java internally (who needs a language layer over Java ?)
    – Comparison operators are syntactically alien (>= is “gte”. Welcome back to assembly days)
    – Flash applets it relies on (cfcalendar, cfchart) are clumsy, hardly customisable, sometimes even buggy. Much better free versions exist
    – construct is both retarded and XML-breaking
    – Let’s not talk about OOP implementation. I’d rather use PHP4…
    – Did I mention arrays are 1-based ? Can you imagine that ? Who the hell made such a choice ??
    – It’s closed and expensive.

  21. ummm…. yeah this article is like 2 years ago… but what the heck let’s keep it going.

    Aside from the actual syntax which can be debated on who’s better or worse… they all have pros and cons. Debated weather English is better than French makes about the same sense. HOWEVER, more people speak English…. just as more people speak PHP. {www.langpop.com}

    You can get started on any other platform for FREE. The developer edition of CF …. haha… hardly…. ONLY 2 IPs can access your server. So imagine how long that would last if you were on DHCP. By day two you’re stuck or have to change to a static.

    At the end of the day you can get either language to perform the desired end result….. speed and performance can be easily debated, because it really depends on how you wrote the code in the first place…. easy fix to that is to throw more hardware at it… Hardware today is so damn fast is sick.

    CF does save a few lines of code here and there…. but honestly… I find a lot of rather annoying …. CFSCRIPT is a big improvement… but I think the race is just about lost.

    My advice to ADOBE…. give Standard away for free….. Charge more for Enterprise. You’ll dramatically increase the demand by allowing developers to create apps at no cost.

  22. ColdFusionSucksMonkeyBalls

    I f***ing hate this damn language. I don’t really agree with the ComputerWorld article. C is still a very relevant language today, these people (f***ing journalists) really don’t know what they’re talking about.

    But I hate ColdFusion. It sucked 5 years ago. It sucks today. I’m not all that hot on PHP either, but it does the trick and at least it has a C-like syntax, mixed in with some Perl-ish influence.

    I can’t f***ing stand ColdFusion, with everything having a CF this and CF that prefixed to it. It’s getting compiled into a servlet anyways, for the love of all that is holy, I would rather bleed out of my a**s than program in ColdFusion.


  23. The best of the best come here to weigh in.

    BTW David, Gartner disagrees with you on CF, but wtf do they know?

    How is the view from inside your hind quarters?

  24. I will say CF is better than ASP.crap …. At least I don’t have to purchase Visual Studio

  25. ColdFusion is Painful. Stop Using It….

    I’m a software engineer with 10 years under my belt, and my specialty is web-based applications. I have used a number of platforms to author applications of all sizes. PHP is very near-and-dear to my heart (Stop laughing. I’ll save my defense of PHP…

  26. I’ve been programming in CF8 now for about a year…and I’m starting to hate my job because of it. I’ve never used such a silly language before…cftag this cftag that…and don’t even get me started on the IDE (using this acronym looooooosly) – Eclipse is so incredibly lacking…using notepad wouldn’t be much of a setback. Line by line debugging – good luck, this is hit or miss if you can even get it working at all. Most the time you’re stuck using cfdump, which the CF crowd seems to think is the best thing to come along since man stood upright. And don’t even get me started on Intellisense…let’s just say Eclipse does for intellisense what Joe Biden does for charities.

    If you are accustomed to markup languages (tags) and have absolutely no OO programming experience, then CF may be the right choice for you. I could understand how one could be more at home in this circumstance. But coming from someone who has a professional background programming in C, Pascal, VB/.Net, and C# (and now some CF), ASP.Net is by far the more productive language for ME.

    1. The IDE is hands down superior to Eclipse. Intellisense is incredibly useful and spans from the Application scope clear down to every single accessible variable.

    2. Projects can be compiled locally and ran from the IDE. Most of the time, the code breaks at the exact line of the problem – and when it doesn’t you can step through your code until you pinpoint the issue. If that’s not good enough, the built in trace functionality lets you easily log what your classes/code is doing. In my opinion this is much more effective than relying on a server and its often vague messaging / page dumps.

    3. .Net has a whole arsenal of complex objects(CF term) – GenericLists(my favorite), Arrays, Structures, Hashtables, Enums, Dictionaries, StringBuilders, etc etc… CF has Array and Struct.

    4. Both VB.Net and C# are Strong type languages – meaning you have to declare the variable type when creating a variable (by the way VB and C# are the primary ASP.Net languages). Because of this, any changes to your code will immediately cause the compiler to complain if there are ill-referenced or unsatisfied conditions. And because of this, a good majority of typed functions are directly accessible through dot notation. You won’t spend a lot of time combing news groups for functions.
    For example:
    Dim str as String = “this is a string. And so am I”

    str = str.ToUpper
    str = str.ToLower
    dim hmm as Boolean = str.Contains(“is”)
    dim strs() as String = str.Split(“.”)

    and as soon as you place the dot after the variable, a good chunk of the available function are listed.

    5. Code behind. – look this up if you don’t know what it is. To me, this bridges the gap between winforms and webforms programming. It truly is OOP. No messy inline intermingling of html and code.

    For me, ASP.Net is much faster to develop applications with. The code is cleaner, debugging is better, the GUI is great…

    I could go on and on, but it’s late, I’m tired, I’m grumpy, and I have to get up and deal with CF.

  27. Sounds like *coder* got some sand in his ‘gina. You don’t like it? Quit crying like a little bitch.

  28. I quit my job because I had to program in CF. nuff said

  29. Nick, you sound like another whiny little bitch. Whaaa they made me code in CF so I quit. Grow a sack for farks sake.

    Here’s a tip. You were doing it wrong.

  30. It is an old post, but it is funny to see all these d1ck heads taking your point personal. Makes me wonder if you’re the one with the balls because you put yourself out there with your comments as opposed to all these nitwits writing posts and commenting on your abilities.

    These are the idiots who are probably stuck in a dead-end job wishing for retirement or a layoff with buyouts.

    Hey a**holes, here’s a clue: If you’re so passionate about your point of view, try saying it.

  31. Soooo glad I learned Ruby on Rails and totally dumped CF. Even with Fusebox, CF totally sucked after RoR.

    CF : RoR :: dead ant : USS Enterprise 1701-D

  32. >> I will say CF is better than ASP.crap …. At least I don’t have to purchase Visual Studio

    Varplyer, visual studio express is free.

  33. Here are my personal problems with CF. I’d love to hear how other CF developers deal with them…

    1) Refactoring. In a large complex system, if I don’t enforce very specific naming conventions across my entire organization, I get naming duplication between column names, table names, variable names, etc.. I use Aptana and I don’t have “find me all the usages of this reference” when I change something. So, I have to rely on text searches whenever I refactor my code. This can be hard when I have a variable name that is the same as a column name from my database and there are 600 hits for that text search in my system. Compare this to using VisualStudio for ASP MVC and doing a rename or Find Usages (finds every and just renames it or finds me all the places it is used – smartly).

    2) Scoping. Since you don’t “pass” variables between templates, you have no easy way of knowing if a variable has been defined. If a variable is named the same in an included template, it will just over-write it. I prefer languages where variables are a bit more explicit in their scoping (i.e. a stack). CFC function calls are little better since they allow me to pass variables that are not in the parameter list for that function and will never warn me of my error.

    3) Object-Oriented Programming. CF is very good at taking data from a table and plopping it straight into a web page. However, if I have a system with some complex logic that is best modeled by a good set of robust objects, I find CF to be very lacking. It is hard to define CFCs to give me the same functionality as C# classes without 5x-10x the amount of code. CF doesn’t seem to be well suited at building complex object models that differ from your relational data model.

    4) The “unknown”. CF allows you to not worry about many things as a developer (such as how it manages connections to a database). However, by gaining that ease of use, you often lose the ability to control it when you really want to.

    5) Debugging. I want breakpoints and step through debugging. I spend way too much time looking at dumps and running the same code over and over to find errors.

    These are some of the frustrations I have with CF when I compare it to other technologies (specifically ASP.NET). I’d love to hear if people can give me pointers on improving the items I listed in my CF code. I have a huge CF codebase that I maintain and it isn’t going away any time soon (as much as I would sometimes like it to).


  34. As an update to my previous comment, I checked again, and.. CF still sucks 😀

  35. I’m sorry you have a large CF codebase. I have one too and refer to it when needed. I started my web dev journey in 1996 with ColdFusion. I made a good deal of money, not because CF is really empowering and useful, but because of the supply/demand aspect of the market…not many people knew CF. I’m still programming in CF at my current job, but I refuse to use it for anything else.

    Mind you, I have about 8 years C experience prior to my web dev career.

    There is no reason not to change languages to something more suitable for your sanity for all new development.

    I’ve switched to PHP for all side-work I do. Compared to CF, PHP is a language and CF is a mess.

    Accept that you cannot “fix” ColdFusion and you will be relieved.

  36. Part of the reason CF sucks is because it’s run by people who never updated it. It may have improved, but that doesn’t help if the improved versions were never installed.

    Of course, the same can be said for PHP as well, up to a point.

    Having learned PHP first, I might be a tad biased, but having gone ahead and bothered to read at least some of the CF docs and use it a bit, it’s a pretty poor competitor to PHP, in my *very* humble opinion.

    And I’ve *never* written a Photoshop tute.

  37. Well, not really — PHP is open source and contributed to by many developers, as is RoR (Ruby on Rails — my favorite). ColdFusion is proprietary and closed-source, and while there are free reverse-engineered alternatives (Ralio), it is still a proprietary, non-free platform, making it inferior, IMHO.

  38. If you’re answering my post, Tom G, you may have misunderstood my use of the word “run”. FOSS with a large developer base absolutely posilutely trumps proprietary. Zend tops Adobe, too, IMHO.

    My point was that the people running CF on their servers never update (I work for a company that has a few sites on CF _4_, I think), and a certain percentage of those running PHP don’t either (think of all those hosting companies who are Just Now(tm) upgrading to PHP5).

  39. Can I bring this post alive again? Its quite funny how coldfusion developeres defend their technology but have no grasp on programming. Where are the static classes? Not there…where are abstract classes not there? Coldfusion was designed for a moron to develop with.

  40. Seems to be a trend to say how old this thread is.. Can I bring this post alive again???

    Any markup language that makes me put my for-loops inside of markup tags prepended with ‘cf everything’ deserves to get slapped around with my swollen carpal! Quit making me type so much sh*t just do do a simple task! Screw coldfusion! Rectum wreckers!

    Rock on David Gagne! Coldfusion was only meant for script kiddies to consume as a “gateway drug” to harder more addictive programming languages. I just hope it doesnt destroy too many potentially good developers that could be doing more meaningful things with their life.. like I should be right now.

    CF <= Script Kiddie.

  41. I’ve landed on this page multiple times over the past 5 years and I’m always satisfied. I just love hating CF and reading others’ creative rants about this backward language just makes me feel so good inside.

  42. I have extensive experience in ASP.NET, and I’ve been doing it since the 1.1 framework came out back in 2003. I started doing CF around that time too, but only a little bit. However, recently I’ve had to do a lot more CF due to situations that arose at work, and consequently I’ve found myself comparing CF against .NET a lot over these past few months.

    I find CF to be somewhat messier, if that makes any sense. The CF coders that I work with are big fans of Fusebox, and say that it gives structure (and layers) to their CF websites, but I still find it lacking and pale in comparison to any n-tiered application that I could have done in .NET (using MVC for example). The abstraction between business logic and presentation and data access seems to be a very loose concept in CF. Sure, you can throw your cfquery into some separate .cfm and then claim that it’s “abstracted” because you include it from a display file, but this honestly seems like a stretch to try to claim that CF has layers because of this.

    But what bugs me the most about CF? The lack of ability to work with true classes that have properties to describe my entities and that have methods to interact with those properties (OOP, if you will). And, as I stated before, the lack of ability to place those classes in a business layer that can be consumed by an entirely different application (if done correctly).

  43. I can confirm it. Coldfusion sucks. It’s terrible, barely a programming language.

  44. I just wanted to remind everyone that ColdFusion still sucks and wish you all good luck on your continued studies of better languages, platforms and frameworks.

    ColdFusion sucks.

Add to the discussion:

I'll never share your email address and it won't be published.

What Is This?

davidgagne.net is the personal weblog of me, David Vincent Gagne. I've been publishing here since 1999, which makes this one of the oldest continuously-updated websites on the Internet.


A few years ago I was trying to determine what cocktails I could make with the alcohol I had at home. I searched the App Store but couldn't find an app that would let me do that, so I built one.


You can read dozens of essays and articles and find hundreds of links to other sites with stories and information about Ernest Hemingway in The Hemingway Collection.