Lucee is the best CFML engine.
Nine years ago I began a blog article with a similar claim, and set out to explain why Railo was at that time the best CFML engine. Well the simplest proof of Lucee taking the crown is that Lucee is a fork of Railo by its original creator, Michael Offner.
The thing that made Railo great and that Lucee will be taking further is in being a CFML engine written for developers. That is to say, with features added through developers saying "I need feature X to do my job better" - and specifically not via vague ideas decided on by product managers getting feedback from non-technical clients who say "we need to do mobile" and then having a bunch of disconnected non-programmers come up with a horrendously buggy and useless mess called cfclient. Eugh!
Good programmers already know what tools they need to achieve certain tasks, and if those tools don't exist or aren't good enough, they need the ability to create/improve them - that is what Micha gave us with Railo, and Lucee promises to take this further - to make it even easier for the developer community to adapt it to their needs.
Bering a fork, Lucee continues the versioning from Railo, launching tonight with Lucee 4.5 available already, and an excellent Lucee 5 just around the corner.
Why Not Railo?
Many will be wondering why fork Railo, instead of working on what was there, and the best way to answer that is simply to refer to what Brad Wood has already written on the Railo mailing list: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/railo/B_1S3WzVPXY/hlIeZDE1u98J
To re-iterate the key points: this is the original Railo developer, taking the Railo source code, and refreshing the project. Don't mistake for division what is actually an inclusive evolution, and importantly: a sign of exciting things to come!
With the next release, Lucee will bring incredible flexibility to CFML and JVM developers through a couple of key technologies.
OSGi is a modular platform for the JVM which allows only the necessary libraries to be loaded. So if, for example, you don't use Hibernate, it doesn't get included and wont add any overhead. Railo was already lightweight, and Lucee with OSGi will take this even further.
JSR223 or "Scripting for the Java Platform" is a standard for embedding different languages on the JVM, and what this means is being able to use Lucee to write CFML in far more places than before. A good example is Ant build scripts - doing certain things with Ant can be awkward and convoluted and Lucee 5 will allow embedding CFML which makes those same tasks trivial.
Together these bring some great opportunies, and this is only the beginning...
I've tried to avoid simply parrotting what others have already written, so to get further details on Lucee's launch and future you should definitely check out Mark Drew's blog post, Adam Cameron's blog post, the thread started by Igal on the Railo list, and of course the official Lucee website: lucee.org.