Wow, when was the last time I blogged anything about Reactor? According to my blog archives that would be almost a year ago. So, the natural question arises, what’s happened in that time? Sadly, not much. Which is exactly what this blog entry will begin addressing. Last week I sent an email to the reactor mailing list regarding the future of Reactor. In this email I essentially pointed out what the community has known for quite some time. Namely, that Reactor has been quite stagnant for quite a while. In fact, Reactor stalled right before it reached 1.0 and has been labeled a Release Candidate for a very, very, long time. So, what’s the cause of this? In a nutshell: me.
The rise and stall of Reactor corresponded with the Rise and (thus far) success of Alagad. I can not manage both the demands of developing, documenting and supporting Reactor while also growing Alagad. Now, before I make my big announcement, I would like to defend Reactor. We have been using Reactor here at Alagad for years. Furthermore, there are nearly a thousand people on the Reactor mailing list. I personally believe Reactor is 1.0, except for the documentation that is seriously lacking.
Some people have postulated or assumed that the success of Transfer has meant the death of Reactor. This is untrue. There are many people who feel that Reactor brings something different to the table that they prefer. Then, there’s the question of Hibernate integration in ColdFusion 9. Should anyone dedicate cycles to developing Reactor when Hibernate will be integrated into ColdFusion 9? In my opinion, yes, for a few reasons.
First off, as much as we all love Adobe, how many times have you been burnt by bugs or incompleteness in new ColdFusion features? Adobe does a great job with ColdFusion, but they only seem to complete 80% of what I need in new features. Thus, I don’t trust that Hibernate integration in version 9 will ready for prime time at first. Beyond all that, I’ve been told that Reactor is the only ColdFusion ORM framework that works on Railo, though I don’t know how true that is.
I think there is a bright future for Reactor, if we could just get the project moving again.
And so, over the last few months I’ve been pestering Mark Drew of CFEclipse fame to take the mantle of Reactor Project Manager. Finally, last week he acquiesced and agreed to take the help of the Reactor project. We vetted this decision through the Reactor mailing list and most people with an opinion supported the decision.
I will still be involved with Reactor but more as a proud parent helping his child enter the world on its own. Now, the question is, not only how to get Reactor moving again, but where to take it. To answer that question, we’ve have decided to hold public planning meetings every Wednesday from 12 noon to 1pm EST time. The meetings will be held in Andy Allan’s Connect room at http://connect.reactorframework.com.
Anyone who wishes may attend these meetings to chip in and help steer the project and volunteer to help. The first meeting will be held this week, September 24th and will primarily be organizational. We’ll probably spend some time attempting to figure out where to take Reactor and creating some tasks we need to accomplish and, hopefully volunteers to help with those tasks.The next week we’ll meet, check our progress and establish more goals. Rinse, repeat. I’m not sure where this will take Reactor, but, with a little perseverance and a little luck, hopefully it will be someplace good. I hope to see you Wednesday.