We're releasing the new version of oncalls soon. This has been a long long road. Well over a year in development, this little site has comsumed most of my free time .. and some of my not-free time too.
It's not XML. Though it could be. It's not a weblog. It doesn't do web services (though I could make it do so! .. just don't have anyone to serve it to… ). It's just a clean, well designed application that does it's job.
The core off the application is a database – SQLserver – and a web application – built in coldfusion. Why Coldfusion?
a) It's easy to learn, and doesn't require "code immersion" as do many langualges. Have I coined a new term? …. To code in C or Pascal or — yes Dave — Usertalk .. one needs to be immersed in the code. The programmers get "in the zone." and they work productively.
I already have two jobs. I'm a family physician and a medical school teacher/hospital infromatician. I spend my days seeing patients and going to meeting and writing/reading things. I like my jobs: I find them exiting and educational. It is truly a priviledge to be doing what I do for a living.
But I also love the creativity of programming. I don't have 6 hour blocks of time to become immersed in my code. I have 10 minutes here and 30 minutes there .. and a few minutes before bed. With Coldfusion, I can start and stop and do pretty well to keep things moving forward. Complex data structures do get confusing sometimes .. but so long as I leave cooke crumbs along the way .. I'm fine.
b) Collaborative development is easy with coldfusion. See above. I'll do this part you do that part. Sometimes I don't see Dave Ross for weeks and weeks .. but we still work well together. To be honest — he's doing most of the developmen tehse days .. but I still understand 90% of what he;s doing . and I can pitch in here and there. To KNOW what my programmer is doing for/with me is important to me. I can't manage someone who is implementing somethign I don't understand. Like the service manager at the car dealership who has never been a mechanic. This would never work ..
c) Coldfusion is fun. (see a above) .. I teach medical students and they're up to speed in only a few days. The lerning curve is short because they really can "get it" rather quickly.