May 30, 2007
Loading up Google Reader tonight, I noticed a new link that read "Read Offline". What was this I wondered, so of course I clicked the link. It turns out that Google's been working on a new open source project called Google Gears that allows web applications to run offline. Very cool. I can see myself using this when I travel to read my RSS feeds on the plane, or in airports that don't have free wi-fi (why pay $10 just to read my feeds for an hour).
Gears is a browser extension that Google describes as adding "... just enough to AJAX to make current web applications work offline."
It's certainly an interesting approach. I doubt, though, that the approach will be as flexible as Adobe's Apollo platform, but it does offer another approach for allowing offline access. For Google Reader, it's a natural fit.
Google is also working with Adobe, Mozilla, and Opera (and other companies) on the project to ensure that the project has broad industry support.
You can read more about Google Gears on the Google Gears site.
May 24, 2007
By now, you've probably read the Computerworld column titled "The top 10 dead (or dying) computer skills" by Mary Brandel. In it, she lists 10 technologies she considers dead or dying. Coming in at number 5 is ColdFusion.
With all the recent buzz over Scorpio, as well as a recently released report by Evans Data citing the number of ColdFusion developers at over 400,000 (see this post from Matt Woodward's writeup of Tim Buntel's D.C. Scorpio presentation), it's hard to see how she can justify saying that ColdFusion is dying.
In fact, all of the evidence I've seen points to exactly the opposite:
- Adobe has gone on record stating that the number of ColdFusion devlopers is up from previously published numbers.
- Sales of ColdFusion have continued to grow steadily
- Adobe has made a significant investment in ColdFusion 8
- The number of companies looking for ColdFusion developers has increased dramatically.
ColdFusion is in use at most of the Fortune 100 companies as well as most branches of the U.S. government. It's much more heavily utilized for Intranets and corporate applications behind the firewall, so that maybe where a lack of "public" visibility comes from.
I think what this latest round of FUD surrounding ColdFusion boils down to is this. The state of technical writing in trade publications such as Computerworld is abysmal. Top ten type lists are easy to write and garner a lot of attention. The source of information for the ColdFusion piece of the story is a small technical recruiter in a small state (Connecticut). It's hardly representative of where ColdFusion is in the marketplace. How do you think the results would have read had the writer contacted a recruiter in D.C. where there's a quite heavy concentration of ColdFusion shops?
My point is, the article just isn't accurate when it comes to ColdFusion, or C for that matter. The only way to combat this type of bad reporting, though, is to make your voice heard. Ray Camden has a good suggestion on his blog, where he suggests leaving feedback (politely) for the reporter letting her know your thoughts on the article.