Collabsphere 2019 Beauty Contest

Paul Withers | 1 month ago | Comments
Yesterday Richard Moy announced a new contest to provide a modern user experience for DMA to a traditional Notes template.

After contest in recent years for Connections Customizer and XPages, now is the right time to engage with LotusScript and Formula Language developers and re-energise that community around open source.

There are many developers who never made the jump to XPages and may not make the leap to the App Dev Pack. But IBM and HCL's launch of DMA has brought an additional entry point to Notes Client applications. HCL's work on iPhone and Android (tablet and phone) DMA apps with expand that reach across the two main mobile platforms. And with V11 the lightweight client is likely to bring Notes Client applications to any modern browser. Applications built with traditional design elements, LotusScript and Formula Language can have a greater reach than ever before. And OpenNTF is still here ready to embrace those open source samples to wow users and educate developers.

But most client applications on OpenNTF have not had a facelift in a decade. And the facelift given to the core templates is not one that works outside the Eclipse client. The world has moved on, expectations have changed, and it's time for applications to modernise as well. Technology is not a barrier to user experience. Just because it's Notes doesn't mean it can't be fresh, as Theo Heselmans showed with his Wine Tasting App. Paul Withers also delivered a session at Engage earlier this year on modernising applications including adding a DMA interface to the XPages Extension Library database. There is a blog post going into more detail.

So while you're waiting for the template to be selected and the start of the contest, take a look at these and think about innovative approaches.

Once the contest starts, there will be people available to act as mentors for teams. And the template itself will be packaged with the relevant license and notice files, plus starter markdown documentation file, ready for final deployment to OpenNTF. If teams want a GitHub repository setting up under OpenNTF for source control, we can do so. We also advise on issues templates / feature request templates / CLA process integration on GitHub.

Engage-ing With Our Community

Paul Withers | 3 months ago | Comments
Nearly half of the OpenNTF board members were present at Engage - Paul Withers, Oliver Busse, Jesse Gallagher, Graham Acres and Serdar Basegmez. Hopefully everone had a good time at the showcase reception on Tuesday evening we co-sponsored with HADSL. We had a round table on Tuesday morning that was very well attended, with a lively discussion. In the build-up we posted seven poll questions on Twitter. Thanks to all who got involved, though because of technical challenges the questions were only posted during the opening session of Engage.

q1.jpg
q2.jpg
q3.jpg
q4.jpg
q5.jpg
q6.jpg
q7.jpg

The results reinforced the theme of the round table, that the developer tools that will be used for development against Domino in the next decade will be different to those for the last decade. First off, we stated Domino Designer - enhancement or replacement - was out of scope of the round table. In terms of the rise of exposure to other development tools, this is already happening with sessions at Engage on Docker and more. But many have yet to be familiar with tools and techniques that are standard outside of the yellowverse. This was reinforced with responses around Maven, Gradle and npm. Although many had some experience (particularly of npm), few considered themselves familiar enough. This isn't surprising considering many confirmed they came from a citizen developer background. There are a lot of educational resources available, but they are not specifically targeted at our community and don't provide a simple single end-to-end tutorial taking you from zero to hero. But there was a strong experience of Java amongst the audience, as well as for XPages - not a surprise. There will be a lot of interest in the future Java domino-db module - hopefully integrating with proton and hopefully available centrally, like other Java SDKs, on places like Maven Central. In terms of proton and gRPC itself, there seemed not great understanding of performance metrics vs HTTP. Maybe this explains why so few have tried the app dev pack and may prefer to stay with more familiar options for REST services like XPages.

In terms of XPages itself, the final question to our audience confirmed that many would feel open sourcing XPages would be something they would welcome, and more than expected said that they would be interested in getting involved, although technical knowledge is of course a key requirement. What the future or best outcome on XPages will be, it's too early to know. PrimeFaces has been raised by some as a preferable framework, though not widely.

Regardless of XPages, Java or Node.js, Notes Client development has had a resurgence. And that option - probably the clearest RADD option - now supports mobile and, potentially in the future, web through the lightweight client. Sametime has a renewed focus as well, and it's worth reiterating that OpenNTF has always supported projects for Sametime as well. Once the deal closes, Connections is also expected to receive increased focus and we support projects for that too. It's best to finish our review of the round table with a tweet from Graham Acres, "We encourage members of the #dominoforever community to join and contribute. It doesn’t have to be your own idea. Join an existing project. Write documentation. There are lots of opportunities to help each other. @openntf at #engageug"

Before we finish, we would like to wish a speedy recovery to our chairman Christian Guedemann.

OpenNTF at Engage

Paul Withers | 3 months ago | Comments
It‘s probably fitting thatI’m writing a blog post about Engage sat in a coffee shop, on my iPad, using Domino Mobile Apps. The last year has brought the product a long way and one of the most significant new projects has been Theo Heselmans’ Wine App. Admittedly the OpenNTF Blog database is unchanged from the desktop version, but it’s probably only going to be seen by a handful of people, so investment is less beneficial.

But to get to the reason for this blog post, in a little over a week, OpenNTF will be in attendance at Engage. We’re proud to co-sponsor the Sponsor Showcase event on Tuesday night, but we’ll also be involved heavily throughout the event. Graham Acres, Jesse Gallagher, Oliver Busse, Paul Withers and Serdar Basegmez will be in attendance and happy to speak all things open source.

We have our OpenNTF round table on Tuesday 11.45 in R1 called “Developer Tools for the Next Decade”, hosted by Serdar Basegmez and Paul Withers.

Graham Acres has a session on Wednesday 11.30 in Room D (Minerva) called “What is Cool with Domino V10, Proton and Node.js, and why would I use it in my Domino Apps Anyway?”

Jesse Gallagher has a session on Tuesday at 16.00 in Room E (Mahy) called “Java with Domino after XPages”.

Oliver Busse has a session with Jan Krejcarek on Wednesday in Room E (Mahy) at 14.45 called “The NERD stuff: opening Domino to the modern web developer”.

Paul Withers has three other sessions.
Tuesday at 17.00 in Room D (Minerva) with Fredrik Malmborg called “Introduction to Node-RED”.
Wednesday at 09.00 in Room D (Minerva) called “Modernizing Your Domino and XPages Applications”.
Wednesday at 12.00 in Room E (Mahy) called “AI - What Is It Good For?”

Serdar Basegmez has a session on Wednesday at 13.30 in Room E (Mahy) with Tom van Aken called “Your Data in the Major Leagues: A Practical and Updated Guide to RESTful Domino v10”.

There are more sessions that can be named by contributors and helpers of OpenNTF, and we thank you all for your continuing efforts.