Open Discussion - Learning a scripting language

Late last week Dan Fredericks emailed an interesting question. I honestly had no idea how to even begin to answer it, so I thought I’d share it here and get advice from my incredibly intelligent (and good looking) readers. His question was:

I have read over the last couple of days Ben's post and Dan's post about tag vs script for components. I am more comfortable with tags, and so are most of my coworkers. However, the application we work on (CF 8 app), is written in coldbox and the previous developers did a lot of their handler work in script. So, we have developers now that don't work in script, but the code is in script...you can see the mess we are making :)

so, my question for you, or for the community as a whole, how best to transition from tags for cfc's to script? me personally, when i was converting a foxpro app to CF, i was able to grab some foxpro code and just copy it into a cfscript block and change a bit of it and it worked, but i am still no expert in script, and nobody here is. I was thinking it might be a good think at my job to try to run a small demo on the basics of scripting for CF (obviously cf8 scripting), but I really don't have a good idea about how to go about it.

are there any demos that you know of already, or do you have any suggestions? or do you think the community would have some? </blockquote>

So this is definitely a fascinating question. I began my web development career with both HTML and JavaScript. When I began doing server side work, it was in Perl. So I had scripting experience from a very early age. Scripting feels very natural to me, even with most of my development career being in a tag based language. Dan's question then threw me for a loop. If your only experience with code was tag-based HTML and ColdFusion, how do you get into scripting?

You can - of course - make use of the docs that specifically cover scripting in ColdFusion: Extending ColdFusion Pages with CFML Scripting. These docs walk you through the process of using cfscript. I find that people ignore the official docs far too often, or complain that they have too many errors and omissions in them. As a technical writer, let me just say that I've yet to see any technical book ship without errors. The official docs for ColdFusion are huge and are a resource too rarely utilized.

Obviously learning another scripting language, especially JavaScript, would be incredibly helpful. Not only would it give you another language to add to your tool chest, it would give you more experience in working within a script based environment.

Ok readers - what would you suggest?

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Raymond is a developer advocate for Extend by Auth0. He focuses on serverless and enterprise cat demos. If you like this article, please consider visiting my Amazon Wishlist or donating via PayPal to show your support.

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