Ask a Jedi: What's up with "CFIDE"? (And some cool Allaire history to boot!)

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So here is a fun question:

Why is the CFIDE directory called CFIDE?

To be honest, I had no idea. I pinged Damon Cooper and got a very interesting response:

Good one :)

Tom Jordahl and I did a quick comparison of mental notes, and to the best of our "collective recollection", here's a bit of the history behind it:

Back before Allaire acquired the Homesite product from Nick Bradbury, a fully web-based ColdFusion administration AND development experience was envisioned. It was to use a combination of client-side Java and ColdFusion server-side code. The "/CFIDE" (or "ColdFusion Integrated Development Environment") directory was the designated location for this administrator and development environment.

Around ColdFusion 3.0, the CF Administrator shipped as a CF-based application for the first time, and RDS support came a bit later.

There was actually a prototype around somewhere, apparently (that was rumored to be tucked away in Patrick Muzila's desk drawer by the time I joined in Jan 1998) of the Java applet-based development environment, but it never shipped with the product. The RDS-based file browser Java applet, however, did ship as part of the Administrator, and is still used in the Administrator (for better or worse!) even today, using the "/CFIDE" directory.

For a number of reasons (not the least of which was the fact that client-side Java had it's share of issues), the web-based development environment was dropped in favor of what became ColdFusion Studio, based on the Bradbury Homesite product and code-base, which made a lot more sense, as a native desktop IDE with built-in RDS support.

This was a good call (IMO), but since those days the "/CFIDE" directory has persisted, and has become the default web-accessible location for Flash Form styles and themes, CF7 XML Form "skins" and layouts, Admin API, CFC Utils, debugging templates, Getting Started base (if installed), etc.

It has caused a bit of grief along the way, being case-sensitive on Unix, needs to be web-accessible in hosted environments for Flash Forms and the old CFFORM applets to work, etc, etc, but it's likely there to stay now, I think :)

(HINT: For a little "blast from the distant past", check out the contents of your {webroot}\CFIDE\classes\images directory, especially "cflogo.gif")


Cool story! For those who are curious, here is cflogo.gif (copyrighted by Macromedia, yada yada yada):

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