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"Convergence Is Now Coming Alive" Says Jeremy Allaire
Macromedia has a huge head-start over Microsoft in building both the runtimes and tools
Aug. 7, 2005 12:45 AM
ON THE PAST...
ON THE PRESENT...
"It's hard to think of a kind of Internet or Web application that ColdFusion couldn't be used for building"
"most...institutions - learning institutions, government institutions, religious institutions, are augmenting the ways in which they organize, communicate, and behave based on the shifts and possibilities of the Internet"
ON THE FUTURE...
"The metaphor of self-published micro-content, feeds, syndication, etc. are taking hold, and they are moving into media worlds through podcasting, vlogging, and so forth"
"I'm very positive on this [Adobe-Macromedia] merger/acquisition. I think it's a natural fit, there is very little overlap for the companies, and it will give the combined company critical mass to innovate in design, production and development tools, and also in applications for corporations"
On the eve of ColdFusion's 10th Birthday, CFDJ Editor-in-Chief Simon Horwith sits down with one of the true pioneers of the Web, the man who started it all, Jeremy Allaire, to talk about the past, present, and future of ColdFusion...
Simon: Jeremy, ColdFusion turns 10 years old this month. Did you ever think, in the beginning, that it would last this long?
Jeremy: I think when we were working on ColdFusion in the early days, we definitely had the sense that what we were doing was going to have very broad, and very significant impact. We were shooting to help create a mass phenomenon with the Internet, and to put the power of the Web in everyone's hands. As such, I think we all believed that what we were doing would have lasting impact. 10 years and going strong, definitely didn't expect or even think about that kind of time horizon, but it's just great.
Simon: I agree; it is terrific. So, what have you been up to these days? Are you still involved in what goes on at Macromedia? What trends are you keeping an eye on?
Jeremy: Over a year ago, I founded a new company called Brightcove. We're building an online service for the distribution of video and television on the Internet. It's a very exciting project, really coming at a time when the television and media industry generally is sort of in a state of siege, driven by digital distribution and convergence. As such, for the past few years I've spent a great deal of timing working on and thinking about the application of rich media, video, and media distribution technologies, and marrying that with all the things I've learned in the past 10 years about the Internet, online services, e-commerce, and so forth.
As part of Brightcove, I'm taking advantage of a number of key Macromedia platform technologies, so am staying close to developments there, and provide feedback and input into what I'd like to see evolve.
Simon: Since you left Macromedia, ColdFusion has moved onto the J2EE platform and ColdFusion Components have introduced exciting new ways for developers to encapsulate business logic and take advantage of Object Oriented features. The most recent release, ColdFusion MX 7, introduced many new features such as a reporting engine and report design tool, Flash Forms, support for PDF and FlashPaper generation, and an event gateway framework that allows CFML applications to fully leverage the power of Java in order to communicate with other systems via a variety of protocols including SMS and to do things like listen for changes in the file system and asynchronously execute code. What are your thoughts on how the ColdFusion server has evolved? What do you think ColdFusion will look like in another 10 years?
Jeremy: I think it's just wonderful how the platform and product has evolved. We started the process of moving CF to Java back at Allaire, and while I was at Macromedia we released one of the most important releases in its history, ColdFusion MX. It's been really rewarding to see the ColdFusion team thrive, to innovate around features that customers have wanted for a long time, and to find unique synergies with the rest of the Macromedia platform. In many respects, it's hard to think of a kind of Internet or Web application that ColdFusion couldn't be used for building.
Another 10 years is a long time, and I have no idea how and where it will evolve. But, given the strength of the product-line, and the fact that it's experienced growth in the market right now, I suspect that, just as in the past, customers will lead the way in terms of features and innovations.
Simon: I agree - speculating on what the Web might be in 10 years is difficult. What about in the next year or two? I know Macromedia has been focussing heavily on delivering rich content to devices. Adobe cites this as a topic of major interest to them, in their Macromedia acquisition presentation. At Brightcove, you are focussed right now on delivering video and television via the Internet. My question is whether or not you believe that sometime soon, common everyday activities are going to become another form of network activity? Does the evolution of the Web include blurring the boundries between peoples' "online activity" and "real-world activity"? So far, most attempts to cross these boundries have been successful from a technology point of view, but not popular. Why is this and will this always be the case?
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