Open source CFML

Written on 21 September 2014, 10:42pm

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Over the weekend I played for a while with the open source alternatives to Adobe’s ColdFusion: Railo and Open Blue Dragon (I know, strange name).
[Usability break] This is how is how their presentation website looks like:

OpenBD
getRailo.org
OpenBD scores more usability points for clearly explaining itself in a sentence, the clear navigation and good use of colors. Oh, and it’s responsive! 😎
Railo on the other hand offers a search box, but it’s confusing with its 2 levels navigation system and small carousel. The choice of colors is a bit odd, the logo looks childish and the overall experience is reminding of the websites from a decade ago.
[/End Usability break]

Coming back to the open source CFML engines, I think that Open CFML Foundation provides a very good starting point in understanding the basics and the main actors (BTW – did you know that jpl.nasa.gov is powered by Railo?)
Here are some additional resources comparing Railo, Open BD and Adobe’s ColdFusion:
ColdFusion or Railo ?
Some differences between the 3 alternatives
cfml.io – a common languange reference for the ColdFusion Markup Language.
Comparing installations: CF10, Railo and OpenBD

Readig the first article in the list above, I saw this CON for Adobe ColdFusion:
CON: Bugs are not fixed quickly, if at all, some have been around for years.
It instantly reminded me about the 29 February bug present in ColdFusion 8. I detailed it here, and in short, it’s about the cfftp tag being unable to list files modified on the 29th of February.

So I wanted to check if this problem is also present in Railo and OpenBD. I installed the Jetty-powered zip archives, unzipped and ready to test (versions Railo 4.2 and Open BD 3.1).

First I had to touch -d some files on my server, then to fire up the FTP connection using the cfftp in the 2 cases.


me@hostname [/home/me/tmp/29feb]# ls -lh
total 8.0K
drwxr-xr-x 2 me me 4.0K Sep 21 22:35 ./
drwxr-xr-x 9 me me 4.0K Sep 21 18:59 ../
-rw-r--r-- 1 me me    0 Jan 31  2007 file1.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 me me    0 Feb 29  2012 file2.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 me me    0 Sep 21 18:59 file3.txt

As it turns out, both engines are correctly showing the file modified on 29 February 2012:
railo vs openbd

So here is one of the big advantages of the open source alternatives: bugs fixes and patches are released more quickly. Moreover, you can be the one implementing them 🙂