Note: This blog post is from 2012. Some content, links and indeed comments from others may be outdated--though not necessarily. Corrections are welcome, in the comments. I may revise the content if necessary.Let me say this up front: I realize that some folks may well decry my pointing this out (hold that thought). But in the spirit of my tradition of pointing out "hidden gems" in things related to CF and CFBuilder, those who may edit files via FTP will want to know that there are some enhancements for that support in CF Builder 2.0.1, now in public beta.
Among the "other enhancements" mentioned at the bottom of the "New Features Notes" (PDF), note a few related to FTP:
- New Upload On Save option on the FTP connector dialog box to upload a file by way of FTP when saved locally
- Use shortcuts to perform Synchronize and Upload (Ctrl+Alt+W U)/Download (Ctrl+Alt+W D) simultaneously
- Take advantage of the shortcut for Synchronize (Ctrl+Alt+W Y)
Those may be big news for some, which might be easily missed, and which are not likely to be pointed out in most posts on what's new in CFB 2.0.1. And some would even intentionally leave them out, so I'm "takin' one for the community" here by pointing these out. :-)
Why some may decry these features
Some folks, reasonably promoting better development practices, will have great disdain toward anyone who works this way, editing files via FTP within an editor, especially against a production server (I never do it myself, but I know many do.)
They would suggest that such folks ought to be using source code control and a process of migration instead, or at least testing locally and then deploying remotely. I do totally understand their position and agree that most folks should have far better development practices.
I just know that some folks may feel they have their hands tied, or they just won't be persuaded to change this approach (or, as Russ Michaels would point out, they may be doing it against a remote development or testing server. That said, I'm sure some would contend against doing that, too, and that people really should have a local development server. I'll address a common argument against that below here.)
Regardless of reason people may want to edit via FTP, my motivation in pointing out the new features related to it is that, if being able to edit via FTP is important to them, then enhancements to that may help motivate such folks to use CFB, and we can hope that over time they'd benefit from its many other features which CAN lead to better development practices.
It's not Adobe who added FTP support
Of course, folks who would decry the approach of editing via FTP would also lament that any IDE/editor would even ever offer such FTP support(!), as it "only enables these bad practices"(!).
To be clear, CFB has had FTP support from the beginning. All that's new is these couple of tweaks.
More than that, I'd point out that it's not Adobe who "added this evil FTP support". :-) The FTP support comes with the Eclipse plugin, Aptana, which ColdFusion Builder has integrated since it's initial release.
I don't know if these new couple of features come with an Aptana update built into CFB 2.0.1 or if they may well have been added by Adobe specifically. They have in fact added their own tweaks even to things Aptana builds in.
Indeed, one reason Adobe does tweak things is that there are certainly folks coming from Dreamweaver or HomeSite who had been used to certain features (including editing via FTP), and Adobe is aware of the benefit of giving them things they want, so that they will move to the many other better features of CFB.
And really, that's the reason I'm pointing out this enhancement to FTP support also: to remove one more obstacle from such folks considering CFB.
Overcoming licensing as a common excuse for editing remotely via FTP
Finally, one of the reasons people often pose for why they "have to edit remotely" and "can't setup a development environment" is the cost of buying CF. (I realize there can be some other configuration challenges also that motivate remote development.)
With respect to licensing, though, there's great news that many miss about free licensing for development (which has been true for years) and for testing servers (since CF9). That's really worthy of its own post, which I will do shortly.