Expectations of language discussions

I recently join the group but it appears to me that there is a disconnect between people who are coming up language ideas and what is actually happening with the design of the language. What really matters is if you are on the Iris group and if you can add or remove language ideas to the spreadsheet (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/12QHsZrCOU-TVdIvp2wmYTiFcL38BHIUdIidoPob8XtU/edit?pli=1#gid=1).

So if you are coming to the group and have some language idea you want to contribute you are most likely wasting your time. There is a discussion on Input gathering: formalizing process of Lucee language evolvment but it is too early to the know the direction of it. That discussion needs to be had and result of it needs to be done so those of us who want to contribute can do so in a meaningful way. There is also the discussion A fundamental philosophical decision that LAS need to make about Lucee which also needs to be finalised to help with our contributions.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t discuss language ideas. You need to accept that you could be spending a lot of time on a language idea/discussion that will never be.

Ross, knowing you for a long time in the on- and offline world I know this comment is close to a rage from you :smile: Also let me note that you haven’t had anything to do with the Railo or Lucee communities until ~2 days ago, seeing LuceeLang being discussed here via Adam’s blog and Twitter (I assume).

And frankly, you’re very right with it I think. The current situation is:

  • Lots of people are discussing whatever language ideas while the real decisions for the initial proposal of the language already have been made by the Iris group that we currently know 3 of 8 participants of.

  • At the same time there is not clear mission statement from LAS (even though @modius has semi-accidentally created something that is quite good as a high-level starting point in this thread: http://lang.lucee.org/t/the-missing-lucee-language-spec/126). So it’s even unclear if this exercise is supposed to produce CFML+ or Java- or whatever else.

  • @dom_watson asking for feedback on the formalising is a very good first step in the right direction and I think this is the one and only thing LAS needs to focus on and get out of the door right now without further dragging on and mistakes.

I seriously hope that your experience in the last 1-2 days here serves some people in LAS as a valuable lesson (and feedback) re what the perception from someone joining this group from the outside might currently be.

Lucee 5.0 is in beta. There has been no announcement as to a release date. There is not even a final decision on what will and will not be part of that final server release. No one intends to release anything until such time as it is deemed ready.

Lucee Language is a new dialect for the server. It is only one of many features slated for the Lucee 5.0 release. The initial groundwork for this dialect has been done by a focus group made up of representatives of the community; the Iris steering committee. The outcomes of that committee have been distributed. An initial pass of that specification has been implemented in the Lucee 5 beta as a tangible test bed for the language.

We are working on explaining the proposed changes and a structure or boundaries for wider participation.

We are clearly under prepared to go to a wider consultative phase. However, we are here due to peoples desire to participate ahead of time. Rather than close down debate until such time as we are ready for that participation, we are trying to harness peoples enthusiasm to help in that goal.

Is the lesson that we should keep our mouths shut and say nothing until such time as we are ready to engage with a broader audience? Or is it to be inclusive and transparent in the knowledge that people will go out of their way to help us achieve the best outcome?

I would prefer the latter, but I’m not entirely sure that is the lesson you are trying to teach.

I’m sorry more people could not be part of this initial discussion. I was not part of this discussion. But frankly I’m glad that a group of people spent the time to come up with an initial way forward.

I fully intend to examine the decisions that have been put forward and to question those decisions I don’t agree with. I hope you will join me in doing the same.

I don’t know you but I have a real problem with your tone.

Here’s some background on the “Iris” project: way back in the day, the Railo day, some well-known CFML community members were asked by some of the Railo team to discuss a possible “future CFML” language. In much the same way as the CFML Advisory Committee was created by Adobe with representatives from Railo and from the community (and, later, from Open BlueDragon), the Railo team decided to do the same thing in order to guide their future work on their CFML engine, to support a second dialect – an improved language.

There’s nothing unusual about a language advisory committee. Most languages have this in some form.

That “committee” met multiple times and discussed all sorts of cleanup of CFML and all sorts of extensions to the language.

Time passed, we dropped out of the process.

Some of the Railo team dropped out of the Railo company and forked the project to create Lucee. The concept of “Iris” resurfaces as the “Lucee dialect” and the work that team of community members had done served as the basis for the initial direction of the new Lucee dialect.

That’s very childish. LAS are actually trying to be more open about this than Railo were: instead of just using a committee and having closed discussions – like Adobe did and like Railo did – LAS have a public forum where they are openly discussing language changes. That they’re using the “Iris” work as the basis makes sense: that was a lot of very tedious work that shouldn’t be repeated. Is everyone going to agree with that committee’s decisions? No, but that’s true of any subset of the community and any choices made.

I’m not teaching anyone any lesson and I also haven’t asked @fingersdancing to join here and post (comments and his experiences) - if that’s what you’re indirectly implying.

His experiences and comment should be a lesson though for LAS to act like the latter (in the context of your question above) and I absolutely acknowledge that you personally and some other folks within LAS personally are trying to be inclusive and transparent, but I guess I struggle to see LAS as an organisation (and some of the historic and political processes like Iris) to be and act this way at this stage.

You bet I will, the fact that it’s been done in secret behind closed doors is not your fault (and I think I never said or implied that). But imho Iris and the secrecy around it (still) is a fundamental flaw in the setup and history of LAS that needs to be sorted.

I’d agree from the point of view that LAS is trying to be more open than Adobe and Railo.

I’d personally had much less of an issue if:

a) LAS had communicated from the start that LuceeLang will be based on Iris
b) LAS acts on the transparency and community-driven ideas and publishes who was on Iris and who voted for what.

During the last 2 days I feel like an investigative journalist trying to shoot Official Information Act requests into secretively acting government departments to get some basic information on what’s going on.

And if one has to do that, I think it’s frankly and purely personally a shit situation for an open-source project.

Would you feel more comfortable if it had sprung, fully-formed, from the head of Zeus (i.e., Micha)?

It really doesn’t matter where the basis of Lucee comes from. FWIW, some of the Lucee proposals are not what the Iris folks agreed. Some are. So what. It’s a basis for a new set of discussions.

This whole “investigative journalism” thing is completely pointless and really distracts from the whole purpose of discussing the language that CFML could become.


No, to me it’s a question of being open and transparent and after chatting a lot to you about it, I know we’ll not be able to agree on this, @seancorfield and that’s fully ok :smile:

I still think this should have never be a big deal from LAS side and when people started talking about the Lucee dialect from LAS’ side, all this information should have been made public.

This discussion doesn’t distract, people can still discuss about whatever they want, no one stops them. However, I hope that LAS as an organisation learns from it and that at the least it triggers changes in processes and how information is communicated.

Formalizing process, and providing clear documentation is key here I believe. I agree with Sean re not needing to spend time opening up the transparency of processes that happened behind closed doors in the past. What we can all agree on is that before we as a community can rally in the same direction, the Lucee language needs clear definition of where it is today.

This is a project in itself, and one that should have happened earlier. I’d like to be so bold as to ask for community volunteers to help project manage this effort.

On a side note, I find the call of “LAS needs to provide…” understandable but inaccurate in many cases. I think LAS needs to facilitate; the community cannot get involved if it doesn’t know how. A subtle difference perhaps, but an important one IMO.

It has now been made public, and as quickly as humanly possible. If you want “nothing behind closed doors”, you cannot expect everything behind those doors to be tied up in a bow. It’s messy behind the doors. It takes an enormous amount of effort to correctly marshall information for distribution to an audience with little or no context.

Unfortunately, it does distract. Asking questions is easier than providing answers. I can only hope the feedback that has been provided has been helpful, and allays fears of a lack of community involvement.

We have a saying: democracy is expensive!


I don’t see that as being childish. I’ve got a limited amount of time I can or are willing to spend on this forum. My time is precious and I don’t want to waste time when it could be better used debating something which would add value for LAS. I would rather know or be told early on this idea is “out of scope” or will be consider for a later release. This stops anyone wasting time discuss/debating and everyone then knows the status of the topic. Lets debate/discuss relevant things which are relevant to a version release or whatever the LAS wants feedback on.

@seancorfield don’t you want focused discussion?

I would like to contribute if I can in some meaningful way.

The following quote is what I expect to be happening on this forum… I know this point has pasted but I don’t see a topic or topics for each of the items in that spreadsheet.

For instance maybe there is a group of devs who passionate about ArrayNew() and want some extensions to it or want to keep it. This would then allow good discussion to occur for both sides… If I didn’t come across that spreadsheet by chance in another topic I would have not known about it.

If the spreadsheet is what is suppose to be debated for this release then shouldn’t be a pinned topic? Hopefully the topic would contain some guidance about the process and what is expected from the community.

@agentK is right I am frustrated because I want to contribute in a meaningful way. At the moment I feel topics can be unproductive for everyone’s time. As we can have unfocused green fields topics being created. @seancorfield you know a few languages and there are a lot of different ways CFML could develop in but we (the community) need bounds.

LAS needs to give us (the community) guidance on what they want from us.

For instance we can have a month of green field discussions and at the end of it LAS can pick the ideas for the next release. Then a month refining them… I’m not trying to dictate the process but we need something.

BTW it was @modius tweet from yesterday about the forum which cause me to join ( @agentK )

@modius this has become clear to me now. I understand you position but if you pin a topic laying out this it would be useful to new comers who want to participate.

Lucee 5.0 is in beta. There has been no announcement as to a release date. There is not even a final decision on what will and will not be part of that final server release. No one intends to release anything until such time as it is deemed ready.

That sounds like an Alpha version to me - pre-release