Mark Drew opens the question as to how best to offset the costs of developing CFEclipse. This is an interesting question because the world of open source doesn't necessarily follow a paid model. Surely there is the Gratis vs. Libre discussion, by which open source does not necessarily mean no costs.

If I were dictator of the world, here is what I would do:

  1. Move CFEclipse to 'Free for personal use' and '$100 US for commercial use'
  2. Have Adobe take over the development of the software
  3. Make Mark Drew the CFEclipse Evangelist

My Reasoning for this? I'll make the points one by one.

  1. The donation model taxes the generous individual at the expense of the corporation. Corporations are better suited and also more accustomed to paying for software and tools. (Follow the comments in the post here). Additionally, the corporation is more likely to purchase blocks of licenses which reduce the transaction costs for each transaction (Defined as when money changes hands).
  2. Having the source code to CFEclipse does me no good. I am not familiar with the Eclipse programming model nor proficient in Java to make anything but a compiled mess. It is a nice feature, but irrelevant. If the model switches to a licensing fee model, there should be a dedicated team and dedicated support channels. This is the expectation of the market for paid software. As well, the FlexBuilder and JSEclipse teams have done wonderful things with FlexBuilder and JSEclipse. Both of these products are based on Eclipse so there is opportunity for cross-pollination and conservation of energies by merging the teams.
  3. Mark Drew should be the evangelist because he already is. He does a fine job of promoting and developing the CFEclipse tool and it would be hard to find another who is equally passionate not to mention, equally experienced. I imagine he, as the CFEclipse Evangelist would be responsible for customer feedback, training, promoting awareness and the like. Having met Mark and hear him speak, he would be perfect for the job.

The play for Adobe is a standardization of their toolsets and the revenue from commercial sales. Dreamweaver is not a Programmers Editor. It works, but then again, so does Crimson Editor, UltraEdit and Notepad. I am not as productive using those tools. CFEclipse, really allows me to program ColdFusion most efficiently. (Once I got past the 'What is a project' moments).

Since I am not the dictator of the world, nor very likely to get the position anytime soon, I leave it up to the readers to decide.

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