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CFHour going off the air. End of an era? Thanks, Dave and Scott

Note: This blog post is from 2014. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily. Same with links and subsequent comments from myself or others. Corrections are welcome, in the comments. And I may revise the content as necessary.
If you haven't heard the news yet, the CFHour podcast has had it's last show, it seems. Dave (Ferguson) and Scott (Stroz) announced the news at the end of their last episode (#213), quietly and without fanfare (or any advanced indications), citing time challenges, etc.

I'm holding a glimmer of hope that it's all an April Fool's prank, but if true it's indeed the end of an era and time to pause and reflect as if on the passing of a friend.

Update: I'm vindicated! :-) The guys announced in their next show that it WAS INDEED an April Fool's prank. Even so, I'll leave this entry, untouched, for posterity. Plus, most of the info is just as valuable to have shared, with them and with readers, whether they did or did not end the show. And like I said below, this gave them a chance like Twain and Nobel to see what folks thought when they thought they were dead. :-)

I also want to give some solace to fans of the show (and the general CFML community) with respect to where they may want to turn now to keep up on news, resources, etc. Fortunately, there are some places being actively updated. (And while surely some will see this as one more nail in CF's coffin, I don't and I'll address that briefly too.)

But first let's give credit where it's due about the podcast...

So long, and thanks for all your efforts, Dave and Scott

(I had started writing this as a comment on the cfhour blog. As it got longer and longer, I realized it was perhaps not the right place for it, with other comments being just a paragraph at most.

I'll go ahead and keep this written as if to the guys, and I have gone to expand it still more, if it may help readers. You'll want to listen to the last show to get context for some of what I have to say. And of course regular listeners of the show will better appreciate some of the points I make.)

So first, wow. Just wow. I never saw this coming, not even in any relaxed manner you guys say you felt in recent shows.

Dave and Scott, I'm sure I speak for many long time listeners in saying that the show (and your voices) will be missed, and that there will be a big hole in our week, and surely for some a loss of the primary outlet where they heard news or new insights.

As often can be the case, such thanks can be too little, too late. But I wanted to take the time to express my appreciation, and on behalf of the entire community if I might.

As you've acknowledged before, there are many in the community who aren't active in social networks, blogs, or forums, and for them this was in fact possibly their only news outlet.

They likely made sure to listen to each episode. Maybe they didn't hear it the day it came out. Maybe it was sometimes 2-3 weeks later, but they would eventually hear it. I was one of those folks, and I listened to every show since 2009 (as well as to nearly all the CFML podcasts over the years. More on those later.)

It's been a "long strange trip", and I learned a lot from you guys, so I want thank you, publicly, and profusely. :-)

"Double speed, Mr Sulu"

You mentioned in the last show that Jim P listened (on double-speed) while biking. You've mentioned in the past other ways people said they listen. I'll say that I myself would listen generally each week as I mowed my lawn--and it actually made me look forward to the chore, and even forego paying someone to do it! :-) (That's also why during winter I might go a couple weeks before hearing a show, but I always caught up.)

And I'll admit, I didn't necessarily love every moment. :-) I too leveraged the "double-speed" option (as offered in BeyondPod on my Android), generally during Scott's rants about the Giants (arch-rivals to my Redskins) or about the Stack Overlords, or perhaps when you guys went off into some tech topics that I wasn't personally intrigued about.

But hey, I'm sure even those helped many. Then there was the, umm...occasional...news of Dave's son's exploits in martial arts training and performance. Hey, Dave's a proud dad and that's surely understandable (and commendable). Why, some may even miss news of Brice's "tournamenting" (inside joke, listen to the last show). :-)

So while you guys didn't always stick JUST to CF, and perhaps sometimes to a point of distraction for some depending on the topic, I think we all appreciated that hey, it's your show. You could do what you want, and we were just going along for the ride.

Indeed, as Scott might put it, it was like we were sitting in a carpool with buddies who, frankly, liked to talk, and that was cool. We could happily listen along as long as we wanted to. And often these carpool buddies talked smack, or got their "panties in a wad", as Scott would say it. :-)

But often these carpool buddies talked about stuff that would be really valuable to know, or that we may not have heard about otherwise, or maybe not for some time. It might even sometimes be the "best news since pockets". :-)

Gauging your impact, listenership

So while maybe most folks (myself included) rarely if ever commented, on your blog or on twitter, just know that they were listening, and DID appreciate it. I'm sure many (like I did) tried to let you know in person when we could. And as you mentioned, when you asked at a live broadcast last year, it was a room full of us who did. And that was surely just a small fraction of the worldwide audience.

Of course, you'll know the numbers on downloads, and maybe you felt it didn't seem worth the effort.

But as often happens when a favored TV show is cancelled, or worse when someone is gravely ill or passes, it may not be clear until too late just how much and how widely they were appreciated.

You guys sincerely were.

News of your passing, premature?

And who knows, maybe this could be one of those times, like Mark Twain or Alfred Nobel, where news of their death was publicized when they'd not yet actually died, and they were able to see what folks thought (for better or worse in those 2 cases), and maybe it could lead you guys to reconsider.

It would surely be ok if you went to bi-weekly, or monthly. The name doesn't connote frequency, just length, right?

Heck, I even thought this was maybe just an April Fool's prank, coming in the week it did. And who knows, maybe it really all is, and we'll all find out next week we'd been totally pranked, punked, p*wned, burned, or whatever it is the kids say these days! :-)

Whether it is or not, you deserve the kudos you've been getting so far in the community, and I'm sure more directly.

Again, you will be missed, and some of us do hope you'll maybe reconsider, or let us wake up next week to find it was all a bad dream (cue the "Dallas" music).

Filling the void: a few options

Of course, we have to wonder: what's the betting line on how long before someone will comment that this is just another sign of CF's impending doom?! :-)

To that point, let's make sure people know that there are still some other places to get CF news and resources, on a regular basis.

Both Pete Frietag and Akbarsait have email/online newsletters where they share reviews of news from the CFML community (and each is still active, as of recent weeks.) I list the URLs for both newsletters in a category of my CF411.com site. In fact, Dave and Scott, if you guys didn't know of them or didn't consider it, perhaps they could ease the task of having talking points, should you come back.

And of course there are still folks blogging out there, and I list blog aggregating tools above them on that page, which have existed for years but can help people keep an eye on many blogs at once.

More specifically, let's note that there's the Adobe CF blog, which is a place that any CFer should be following to hear news as well as tips and other resources, from the mothership. More to the point, it's from the CF team. (Even if anyone might argue they feel "Adobe doesn't care" much about CF anymore, it's clear that the CF team does, and their blog is one place to see that reflected.)

It may be worth noting also that there is still one other podcast which has tended to address CFML topics over the years: Kai and Mark's 2 Devs from Down Under. Though they've kind of gone dormant the past few months, they've not announced an end of life as far as I know, so I do keep them listed as (for now) the only active CFML podcast, in my list of them at CF411.com.

Any new podcaster in the offing?

And who knows, maybe there's someone out there who might want to step into the void and start their own podcast.

I've had thoughts myself of doing one focused on CF Server troubleshooting, but besides that more narrow focus, I'd not see it having the kind of banter nor even the focus on "what's news" that has been the nature of nearly all CF-oriented podcasts over the years. I'd want to focus just on the topic at hand, but that's just my style, not necessarily everyone's cup of tea! :-)

(To that very point, I've started a series of Youtube videos I'm calling "CArehart Quick Tips", which I hope would be of interest any CFers, and I have in mind already several dozen topics. More on that later.)

Finally, speaking of past podcasts, we have in fact had many of them, some have which lasted for a long time, others which were like brief comets. :-) I list them all in a subcategory of inactive podcasts at my CF411 site, and sadly I have moved the CFHour show into that category (for now).

If someone perhaps does take up a new podcast, of any sort related to CF/CFML, whether under a new name or perhaps by negotiating to take up the cfhour name--or if Dave and Scott change their mind, I'll certainly look forward to updating my site!

But if indeed it is the end of the road for the CFHour show, I really do hope people will see it simply as an understandable change in direction for the guys, and not necessarily a reflection on CF or the community.

So thanks for the efforts, and onward we go

So let's indeed thank them (like any long-time community contributors who may choose to move on from a given project) for all that Dave and Scott have done in the show: their effort, the news, the humor, the insights into their lives, their take on what was happening, the banter, the inside jokes, and so on.

And just as they did, thanks also to Matt and more recently Chris, their producers. (And a shout out also to Michael Sean Becker, who helmed the ship with Dave the first couple of years, until Scott joined him as co-host in show 107 in July 2011.)

It was a great 5 year run, and if you may reconsider things (or if this is in fact all a prank, and man you GOT us!), then here's to 5 more years.

I myself have no doubt that we'll have plenty to talk about in the CFML community for that long and more. CF11 (Splendor) is in beta, CF12 (Dazzle) is already in planning stages. Railo's going strong. The Box community is going strong, as are still other CF/CFML-oriented projects and resources.

We also have cf.objective and intothebox next month, and so on (listed, along with many other CFML conferences, in yet another category of my CF411 site, for those who still may not realize how much is tracked on that site, itself another resource site.)

So here's to many more years for the CF/CFML community.

Yet still, we do pause Dave, Scott (and others involved in the show), to thank you for your efforts advancing the community as you have. And we wish you well in whatever you guys may choose to do with whatever free time this may open! :-)

Some may wonder, "what about the Online CFMeetup? Could that help fill the void?" And I mentioned above my new series of videos.

I'd like to address each of those in their own blog entries. The first is The State of the Online #ColdFusion Meetup. The second is to come (later today, I hope). I'll add a link here when I do.

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Thank you for all your kind words. I really appreciate it.

Not got to the end of the most recent show yet, so this was a surprise ! I'd only started listening this year, but it was already a main source of CFML news. I don't know your reasons, but hope you can come back in some form (maybe not even weekly).
# Posted By Tom Chiverton | 4/7/14 7:41 AM
AHA! We learned in the next show that this WAS indeed all an April Fool's prank. Good on ya, guys. I added an update to the top of the entry here, but as I say there, I'll leave the entry and all the text, for whatever it's worth for posterity.
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