Sunday 24 May 2009

A rogue pair of FLEX purple underpants have mounted an assault on the yellow-only wash of my lotus web dev laundry

I have been a bit remiss with the Flex series I started a while back and I do apologise for the discontinuity and I have started doing some more examples that I will pop up on here in the next few days.

There is a part of me that is a wee bit ... embarrassed is not the right word ... concerned is perhaps better ... that whilst the movers and shakers in the Domino world are "Doing it" the Xpage way I have veered off into another RIA technology.

I have never been a fanboy of any particular technology I am more inclined to use the tools that I have access to and which get the job done. Now I have had a bit of a play with X-Pages and they are indeed a wonderful if slightly not-quite-there-yet thing. As the new Domino techniques develop I have found myself moving towards a place where Domino is a back end data store, like DB2, MySQL or Oracle

I am not sure quite why I this is happening, but technologies & frameworks like AJAX, FLEX etc do take a fair bit of the drudgery out of coding for the web. I found that it was easier to have a slight dichotomy between the app as seen on the web and the app as seen in the notes client rather than to have to make concessions in one or the other for the sake of conformity.

Taking this approach also means I can deliver web apps for a broader range of server installs. Back to V6.* rather than confine myself to V8.* servers thus giving more of my user base a nice warm feeling of being included in the "new" stuff.

This is not to say that I am leaving all of the tools of Notes/Domino behind. I still use Domino Security, Author and Reader fields and loads of LS and JAVA based agents to provide the data handling facilities.

I suppose that another reason that I am heading in this direction is that Domino does not exist in isolation in my sphere of reference. It exists along side data silos in DB2 and Oracle which in the client we can now leverage with Live text linking to composite apps, widgets and side bar apps in the 8* client, which is of course marvellous for those folk on the Full Version 8 client. In the real world where I code not all my users are on V8 and it will (given the current economic climate etc etc) be some time until some of the non-power users have the tin capable of running the full client to its full advantage. In the interim so as not to exclude these users from the momentum of change, I will use the power of non-yellow-tech then it seems prudent to do so.

In several conversations I have had on this topic, there has been an air of disapproval from some that I am at snubbing all the work done to improve things on the platform in the last couple of years. I do not think that I am , I leverage the best for my users with the tools that I have and the facilities they have to use it, if that appears "disloyal" well so be it. I am paid to service my users not some ethereal dogma of yellow oneness. ;-)

For those of you not yet on Version 8 and perhaps held back by budgetary constraints my message would be that you can move forward if you step outside what some refer to as "the bubble" and look at other methods that will maintain your creative momentum with the tools and servers you have to hand.

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