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08:31:31 AM

Thursday morning at 8:30 AM, the morning after the party at Univeral Islands of Adventure. This is not exactly my favorite time slot, but Keving Cavanaugh has opened up the session and quickly (and emphatically) turned over the stage to Maureen Leland. Reason enough to be here -- propped up by caffeine.

Maureen jumps right into the Eclipse-based Domino Designer, which is actually a "perspective" in Eclipse. Design elements in an NSF essentially become virtual files in Eclipse. Now, if that kind of indirection can happen, it seems to me that a smart programmer should be able to introduce different indirections, perhaps to/from a source control repository? Rocky... are you listening?

Predictably, the long-awaited class browser got the first applause break. Lots of nice little navigation aids, typeahead and help aids, etc. You know... I might just miss the struggle of developing in the old Designer. But I doubt it

XPages -- a standards-based (JSF) approach to designing pages/forms, with pixel-oriented placement, drag-and-drop placement of fields. The big, big difference is that an XPage is not bound to a data source. You have to bind the controls to their destination. Client or sever-based code can be bound to buttons. Server-based code is Javascript. AJAX features are controllable via selection of full versus partial update. Flow of control is a simple matter of assigning previous and next pages for success and failure. Everything is computed, and (apparently -- didint' really catch this) can be broken into definable controls..

iWidgets -- a new design element that wraps a page into a compnent. and defines events. Maureen moved pretty quickly through this. Will need to get more info.

David Taieb came on to talk about mashups. He added Maureen's iWidget to a mashup page, with two other widgets, and brought up the "Wiring UI" to show how to make widgets talk to each other. What I don't get about this is why it is a separate product (or tool)? Clearly it has value without Notes/Domino, but does it really have enough value to stand on its own? And what, by the way, is the licensing model for Mashups? What is the server for Lotus Mashups? Is it separate from Domino? Haven't heard any mention of that. David just mentioned showing his widget on a "real portal server". Are Mashups tied to Websphere Portal?

The next speaker -- didn't catch the name, is now talking about widgets running inside portlets, and I think he also talked about portlts inside widgets. This is waaaaay too recursive thinking for 9 AM. Need more caffeine. Or maybe less. Or perhaps I just need to be doing a little less live-blogging and a little more paying attention. ... Nah! ... Can't be that Could it be that portal is finally getting interesting and useful enough that I should turn off the automatic portal-blocking filter in my brain and actually be paying attention to it? I may have to admit that it is a possiblity.

By the way, I'm sitting in between Gary Devendorf, and Dr. Ludwig Nastansky. Gary was running Outlook to check his mail. For a moment I thought that Dr. Nastansky was, too. Then I realized it was actually Notes 8. At a glance, it's hard to tell the difference.

Another aside: I just noticed from the Ed Brill widget on my Google home page that Ed linked to my post from last night. Thanks, Ed! Hope my server stays up

OK... I'm going to stop trying to catch the names. The next presenter, Dee Something, is talking about Portalet Factory and Builders, which are the basic unit that you play with in the Eclipse IDE to build a portlet. Everything is now AJAXified via the Dojo toolkit. Quote of the day, so far: "Portlet Factory... It's not just for Portlets any more". Kind of cool, maybe. At least in this case, since it seems to cross the boundary of Domino and Portal, it does seem logical that it is a separate tool. Perhaps that's why Mashups is, too?

I didn't get the name of the the next pair of presenters either. Nicholas Something and Andrew Something Else. They're talking about components in the sidebar of Notes and composite applications. The dialog box clearly calls them components, but the speaker is talking about widgets. Are these the same or different than iWidgets? If different,why? They are appearing in a "My Widgets" shelf. Applause break for displaying a Notes view -- any Notes view --- in a sidebar shelf. Using the Compiosite Application Editor in Notes, components can be dragged and dropped onto a page and wired together. How come this sounds so much like iWidgets and Mashups? This is turning into a recurring theme, isn't it? Different tools and different techniques for similar purposes in different contexts.

As psyched as I am about the cool things you can do, I'm concerned about this. It seems a little scatter-shot. Kevin is actually addressing this now, though -- pointing out that moving forward while preserving legacy code is a rather demanding goal. A single set of tools isn't optimal for both populations: those with and those without the legacy code.

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Comments :v

1. Dan Brown01/30/2008 06:06:34 PM

Thanks for your comments.

I agree with you about not understnading the difference between a component and a widget. I wish someone from IBM/Lotus would put together a chart/table or something that would explain what they are, where they can and cannot be used, etc. If they could include Mashups and xPages in the table would be very helpful to me as well. What do you think?

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