XPages, Components, and Plugin development

I just attended a BOF for Plugin development for Lotus Notes, Sametime, Symphony and Expeditor that was led by Mikkel.  The discussion was very good and the attendance was also pretty good for a 7am meeting after the engineering party (and then Jelly Rolls)!  We had 13 people with very active discussion.  The primary feedback I took with me was more documentation, more samples, and more API’s.  This isn’t new to me, I hear it a lot.  One thing that was interesting was some attendees actually knew there is a lot of plugin development information on the Composite Application Wiki.  The discussion then went down the same rat hole of “the CA wiki is hard to navigate”, “it has irrelevant information”, “it is not well structured”, and my favorite was “why isn’t there one place to get all Notes based help”.  I think this is all great feedback and I will do my best to get this fixed in 2010.

What I can offer is some things we have done to make it easier to navigate to date.  For instance, the Getting Started page is a great place to “start”.  It has all of the latest relevant articles and tutorials.  Next, the Tutorials category is also a great place to start.  The top of the tutorials page has all of the new tutorials we created for 8.5.1.

Lastly for documentation, I want to communicate it is a wiki!  If you have content, pointers or information you want to share then please post it or at least post a suggestion to the following page:  Suggestions for new wiki articles.

The other topic that got some attention was writing something once and using it across all products or platforms.  I sort of led the topic of using XPages as the primary component model – there, you can at least get to run your component both on the web and rich client.  Some others brought up Portlet Factory – which can accomplish the same thing using portlet technology.  The key here is, Expeditor and Notes ship with a full web container – so you can deploy pre-compiled JSP’s, HTML, Portlets, and now with Lotus Notes 8.5.1 XPage components to the rich client and then standardize on web technology for your user interfaces.

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