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Solving the problem with too many choices

posted under category: ColdFusion on April 3, 2010 by Nathan

Yesterday I talked about how we have too many choices when people get started using ColdFusion. There were some really good comments, and the consensus was that more is always better. I agree with that, for the most part. I promised I would share my idea for a solution.

My opinion is that you have to try them all. Yeah that sucks but there's a lot of truth to it. You just can't get a feeling for a tool until you try to make something with it.

For an IDE, spend a week with it. For any type of framework, make a little sample app - I like to make a generic list-add-delete program, which gives me enough of a feel for where things go and how you interact with them. Experimentation is essential.

That's my opinion, but the solution is not good enough. What can we do so people don't have to try everything, every time?

I hate to point out problems without offering the solution, but worse yet, I hate offering a solution without offering to do any work. So here I am, a hater. If someone starts it, I would pitch in.

We need a wiki that compares and contrasts all of our options. They need to be categorized (like I did above), give a short description, explain the popularity (or lack thereof), show some screenshots or code, talk about how they work compared to other options, discuss downsides and difficulties that people have (especially problems that new initiates have, all in order to overcome them), and finally, provide links to the most popular resources.

The best we have as of today is Sean Corfield's framework comparison discussions. They're outdated now, and it was a valiant effort, but not good enough.

And with that, I'm going to end it abruptly, again.

Nathan is a software developer at The Boeing Company in Charleston, SC. He is essentially a big programming nerd. Really, you could say that makes him a nerd among nerds. Aside from making software for the web, he plays with tech toys and likes to think about programming's big picture while speaking at conferences and generally impressing people with massive nerdiness and straight-faced sarcastic humor. Nathan got his programming start writing batch files in DOS. It should go without saying, but these thought and opinions have nothing to do with Boeing in any way.
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