IBM hosted a Domino Designer XPages Open Mic conference call with Lotus Development and Support Engineers on 16 February 2011.
Q. What does design for earlier XPages servers mean? 8.5.3 will build a page using the 8.5 event model?
A. If you use a property or an event that isn't available on an 8.5 server, you will get an error in Designer. So it's not specifically the Event model. For example, if you have an 8.5.3 Designer and you're building an XPages app you can make it run on earlier servers Designer will give you proper warning.
Q. How widespread is the use of XPages among customers? We reserve a memory segment of Domino servers for XPages, so just wondering?
A. We have not seen any formal statistics. Greater adoption but we can't quantify it.
Q. When do we get our DBMS data sources?
A. We're looking into possibly putting it onto OpenNTF.
Q. When will Domino Designer become a true plug-in and be ported to the Mac OS?
A. That's really at the top of our list beyond the 8.5.x stream. We know it's important.
Q. Are there plans to have DOLs support thru XPages anytime soon?
A. Not as part of the product. If this interests you, use cases would be welcome. We haven't got enough traction right now to get DOLs running on XPages.
Q. What's the advantage and purpose of using XPages?
A. You will write true Web applications faster than using the classic technology, so the cost will be really less and the technology really advanced.
Q. If the extensibility library is used to pull 8.5.2 and gets integrated in 8.5.3, will I need rewrite my apps?
A. No, because it won't be integrated into 8.5.3 but perhaps alater version. We don't know how integration will happen yet. Our goal is to keep it compatible, we don't want you to rewrite your app.
Q. How does social business toolkit impact XPages?
A. XPages is going to be adapted to play inside the social business framework. How this framework, which is a set of APIs for managing activity streams and other new capabilities to XPages, will be extended to support this. For example, you'll be able to put some code in the proper places of your application and deliver events to the Activity stream. So we're really going to adapt XPages to the social business toolkit.
Q. Any plans to add Sametime link stat capability to the extension list?
A. It's already there. We have an implementation as part of the Extension list although it's not complete yet and we're going to extend that.
Q. How do I install CKEditor?
A. You have nothing to do. CKEditor is installed by the Domino server and this is the default rich text editor used by XPages if you don't specify any other property, so you have nothing to do here.
Q. How do I programmatically define data sources? Want to be able to have data sources defined in a Configuration document.
A. Data sources in XPages are a particular type of object. You can create your own data sources here. In this case you can create your own implementation of a data source that is gathering the information from whatever source your want like a Rational database, a green screen emulator, any kind of sources and then it's just Java code behind the scenes. So if you want to read that from a Configuration document then it's just up to your Java code to read the Configuration document. With the Rational Database project that we want to put on OpenNTF we're going to create some specific data sources here for DBMS. That will be a good example for you to look at.
Q. Some controls have facets and there is no indication in the Designer that there is a facet available for that control. For example, the Repeat control. There's a header and footer facet but there is no way of knowing that unless you've read the document. Is there any plans to show these available facets anywhere in Designer?
A. Good suggestion, very good point. We will look into what we can do in future releases.
Q. XPages seems like a good tool for classic Notes client developers but skilled Web developers prefer other IDEs as well as other frameworks. Would you consider it supported and correct to build Web apps with a Domino backend, without using XPages, i.e. where Domino is only part of the solution.
A. Nothing in Domino prevents you from doing that.
Q.There is nAPI framework inside XPages controls, which makes them much faster than ordinary Notes API for Java. could IBM document this API publicly?
A. There are no plans to do that right now. It's not a complete API.
Q. Is there any plan to allow developer controlled build process?
A. Assuming you mean Eclipse builders in Designer, we aren't running any ones we don't need. They are doing work like compiling your XPages into Java files and Java files into class files. We run them because we need them.
For the other sets of build process, now that we have source control integration coming into 8.5.3 we do some work potentially with a headless designer in the future to be able to run and build an application without having to launch the Designer UI.
Q. Is it possible to use the (internal) APIs for parsing XPages source?
A. We don't have any public APIs to do that.
Q.What is the scalability of XPages controls? For example, the pager control. Ie, upper bound of # of records from 1 NSF.
A. The only limit is provided by NSF itself.
Q. How do you join or union two data sources. If I have similar records from two databases, can I join them and show in a repeat control
A. At runtime, yes. You can have multiple data sources inside your page and from a repeat control you can access all those data sources.
Q.What are the plans for Mobile Controls as part of XPages and core designer going forward?
A. Mobile is one of the main themes for the upcoming year. We're going to provide new mobile capabilities on top of XPages. You'll see things happening right after 8.5.3 will be out.
Q. How to achieve Encryption and Sign over data inside XPages?
A. Good point. Right now you cannot. Provide use cases if you can to help us prioritize this for future releases.
Q. What about mobile support other than Dojo?
A. Big investment going on from IBM and other Dojo community members the idea is to get a library that is better than jQuery mobile by the end of the year. Aggressive plan for dojo here for targeting mobile devices.
XPages Cheat Sheet on David Leedy's blog
Notes/Domino App Dev Wiki category: Developing XPages Web applications
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