I'm very honored to announce that my topic "Go Commando, with CommandBox! CLI + REPL + Package Manager for CFML" has been selected for this year's ColdFusion Summit Last year's inaugural event was a big success in my opinion and filled with great people and great topics.
CommandBox is a new command line tool for ColdFusion developers that allows for all kinds of cool automation and package management. It's the first of its kind in the CFML space and I'm actually writing it as we speak! The link above has a sneak peek video of some of its features and by the time CFSummit rolls around I'll have even more cool stuff to show like dependency management and task runners. Here's the topic description:
Go Commando, with CommandBox! CLI + REPL + Package Manager for CFML
A software craftsman is only as good as his or her tools, and quite frankly-- most CF developers' tools suck. For years CFML developers have relied on IDEs and text editors for their work, but what about when they wanted to spin up another server, install a library, scaffold out another site, perform a repetitive task, or just try out a snippet of code? The answer is that they did it manually. And what if they needed to do it again the next day? It was the same old story! Even though CFML as a language has modernized over the years, other platforms have advanced in the arena of developer tools while many of us still sit at work all day staring at the same glorified text editor. If you've only ever used CF, you probably don't even realize what you're missing, and it falls in 3 main categories:
- Power and expressiveness of tools
- Sharing and acquiring code with the community
- Productivity through automation
A GUI may provide the lowest entry barrier and initial intuitiveness, but it always comes with limits and restrictions to what you can do, and how easily/quickly you can do it. A Command Line Interface (CLI) is a common paradigm with a simple interface that can support any number of commands for all the common tasks you perform on a daily basis like creating new bits for your application, running tests, installing 3rd party libraries or starting a server. Another useful ability is to be able to run ad hoc CFML code without needing to spin up your CF engine. What if there was a simple text-based API that ran the same on Windows, Mac, or Linux to do all that?
Quick, how do you install the latest version of library XYZ into your site? (Please tell me you're using other developers' hard work and not writing everything yourself). If your first thought was "open up a web page and download a zip file", stop right there-- Brachiosaurus just called and he wants his workflow back. Other platforms have made their name in perfecting the art of gathering community libraries into one standardized format that can be searched for, manage dependencies, and downloaded with a simple command anywhere and any place. Forget the zip files-- what if you could just type "install XYZ" and go get another cup of coffee? And that ABC library that XYZ depends on-- don't worry it will be automatically installed as well.
Some of your day-to-day tasks might not seem so bad. So you create a new site for each new client every month with the same defaults and base libraries. You manually check every couple of months to see if any of your libraries have new versions. Every day you run your unit tests a few dozen times. And every time you need a new controller you copy the last one you made so you don't have to look up the method signatures again. Every one of those tasks should be scriptable and repeatable-- work smarter, not harder! What if you could create a "recipe" for a new site with all the goodies you like and just run the installation and setup with a single line of code to guarantee it was the same every time? Or what if running your BDD test suite was as simple as typing "testbox run"? You don't have time for boilerplate activities all day long, that coffee isn't going to drink itself!
A CLI, REPL, and Package Manager aim to help you be better, faster, and more powerful at everything you do. Come "up" your game and discover the power of CommandBox as part of your new everyday workflow. Go Commando!