If there were any justice in this world, ColdFusion would never have been created.
I currently have a client whose webhost uses Windows hosting. Okay, I can handle that. It’s not what I would advise (since I’m far more competent with Linux hosting), but these things happen. And the host offers PHP.
But this particular client’s website was designed in ColdFusion, which means that it’s languishing on one the host’s ColdFusion servers, with no access to PHP. Due to the fact that I cannot test PHP applications under Windows SQL conditions, I get stuck using ColdFusion in order to be able to test anything.
It wasn’t until I was halfway through the project and banging my head against a wall because nothing was working that I figured out that it wasn’t just ColdFusion, it was ColdFusion 5, two full version numbers lower than the current released version. This server is obviously a dinosaur. I have a fairly decent background in ColdFusion thanks to my college’s idiotic policies (they used ColdFusion rather than PHP because they didn’t think PHP, a piece of open-source software, was secure), but having to use ColdFusion 5, which I’m sure is light-years better than 4, is like riding a tricycle when I’m used to PHP’s motorcycle. At least ColdFusion MX was a bicycle with training wheels.
Needless to say, the site’s code is ugly. Ugly, ugly, ugly, and no fun to write, either.
I know the people who need to hear this are not going to read this, but please businesses looking for hosting. Just because Windows “business” hosting often costs more, doesn’t mean it’s better. And if you settle for Windows, at least make sure that you don’t get saddled with ColdFusion.
On the other hand, this project has forced me to think about interface design a lot (mainly because my first design choices weren’t possible given the limitations, but also because the people who will be using this site are not at all savvy when it comes to the web). When I have more time after the project is done, I shall have to ponder interface on the web.