Genii Weblog

Wishes for Notes-Domino 10

Wed 8 Nov 2017, 09:54 PM

by Ben Langhinrichs
With all the talk, whether optimistic, pessimistic or snarky, about Notes/Domino 10, one thing I haven't heard much is what people wish would be in there. Yes, it will be a new version. Yes, it will be a strong affirmation to those companies still using Notes/Domino that product support will be around for the foreseeable future.

But what do you actually want the version to look like? Do you care about a Notes client, or are you only focused on Domino? Do you want as little change as necessary, or as much as possible?

Personally, I like the Notes client and think it offers a lot of value, though I wish I could dump Eclipse and still get Domino Designer. I also like the Domino server, though I find XPages tedious. I'd like to see enhancements to use Domino as a web platform aside from XPages. Not necessarily classic Domino web design, but ways to blend backend Domino with front end frameworks.

My wishes tend to be related to extensibility, partly because I like to sell extensions,. and partly because building an ecosystem is the key to building a stronger product. Neither IBM nor HCL will be able to meet everybody's needs, so we need entry points and events and components where we can plug in value. I want those for Domino, for Notes, for XPages, for everything. I wish for some JSON support inside the product. Also, my pet peeve is that I'd really like proper support for PNGs in Notes. Rich text supports them. Why the hell can't you import them manually? Grr. (Yes, you can import them with Midas, but really?)

Anyway, what are your wishes?

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What has been said:

1090.1. Cameron Gregor
(11/08/2017 11:22 PM)

When IBM switched to eclipse I wrote a very negative feedback message along the lines of "why on earth did you switch to eclipse?".

The responsiveness of Notes/Designer before eclipse was almost instantaneous in comparison to the eclipse based version. The reduced performance definitely affected our productivity.

In hindsight I realise there were benefits from moving to eclipse by providing an extensibility framework that can be utilised by java developers, which is one of the most frequently used languages.

If you are after extensibility then wouldn't removing eclipse be a bad idea? It already provides a an extensibility framework via extension points etc. XPages is heavily reliant on it for both Domino Designer and also server side using similar extension point mechanisms.

If anything is missing from an extensibility point of view, wouldn't it just be a matter of IBM adding in extensions points to places that it was not there before? Or are you looking for extensions down at a lower level such as the C API?

I have seen a couple of wishes along the lines of 'get rid of eclipse' but surely this would require a massive re-write of existing functionality, and also invalidate any extensions that people have written that rely on the eclipse extension point framework.

Is the main driving factor for the wish to ditch eclipse due to the performance of the User Interface? If so I wonder if any improvements would be seen after upgrading the underlying framework from 3.4 to 4.x

Otherwise is it due to appearance?

We have learned to adjust memory settings and I have a quite powerful machine so maybe I don't notice the performance problems as much anymore.

What I am trying to say is would time and money be better spent improving the performance/appearance of the underlying eclipse framework(instead of a complete re-write in a new framework), or is there another reason why people don't want it to be based on eclipse anymore?

1090.2. Doug Finner
(11/09/2017 05:53 AM)

Add a robust audit trail function into the core. I use, and love, AuditManager but find it tends to be a failure point with things like backup systems.

1090.3. Ben Langhinrichs
(11/09/2017 07:40 AM)

I have to admit, my issues with Eclipse are mostly that they destabilize the environment when running IDEs and debuggers with extensions, as well as the slower start time. Eclipse has just never added anything for me, but has subtracted a lot from the development experience. I doubt it is worth re-doing everything now, but I don't mind grumbling a bit.

1090.4. Brian Hewitt
(11/09/2017 08:51 AM)

Support for SOAP 1.2 and SOAP 2.0

Support for servlet annotations

Support for design prohibit/target platform for design elements in Java perspective

Support for "Join" between views

Suport for locking documents on web (using xockets)

Better integration in Eclipse with git;

Design versioning

Support for Progressive Web Application and offline web application

Support for Angular as a client framework

1090.5. mathew murphy
(11/09/2017 09:43 AM)

Upgrade JSF underpinnings to JSF 2.x.

ECMAScript 6 and Java 8.

Fix session handling so it doesn't fail and cause forms to randomly stop working until users clear cache and cookies.

Fix DXL import/export so it doesn't randomly delete half the database design when I install a FP upgrade and reopen Designer.

Un-EOL the Linux client.

1090.6. Richard Schwartz
(11/09/2017 09:45 AM)

For designer: support for comment notes. A form should have a comments section. You shouldn't have to a paragraph of hidden text that the renderer has to skip over. It should be a separate note that designer knows is associated with the form, and does something smart with - like displaying at the top of the form but allows you to collapse. Fields should have a comment note. Shared elements (e.g., subforms, shared fields, etc.) should have a comment note associated with them, and the insertion points for them on a form should have their own comment note so you can provide more contextual info regarding this particular use of the shared element. You should be able to create a separate comment anywhere on a form where you can create a paragraph. Visually, it should just be a marker that you can hover over and see the comment, or click to edit the comment. All the same is true for page elements, for computed text, for xpages, etc. I haven't thought it through much for views but I'm sure I could build a case.

1090.7. Richard Schwartz
(11/09/2017 10:00 AM)

For the client, support for annotation notes. Privat ones and public ones. Think in terms of PostIt notes, attached anywhere, in any app, on a view, on a view entry, in a document at a particular place, etc. Private annotations don't rely on anything in the design of the app in order to enable them. Shared annotations would be stored in the NSF, so there should be a simple Allow/Don't Allow property on the NSF for that. Private annotations are stored somewhere private - but backed up, so maybe they're yet another thing that's thrown into the mail file. It's up to the client software to find and load them as appropriate, so they'd be indexed by NSF, design element, offset, etc., merge them with the public annotations that are indexed in any given app, and display a marker for them as appropriate in the UI. Hovering over the marker shows the annotation. Clicking brings it up to edit. And why not let users post reply annotations, too? Mostly useful for public annotations, but there's no reason not to allow them for private ones. Notes already knows how to deal with parent-child relationships, so this isn't really breaking a whole lot of new ground.

To be honest, a zillion years ago when I first heard the name "Lotus Notes", and before I ever actually saw it, this type of functionality was the first thing that I envisioned. It surprised me that it wasn't there. I posted it as a suggestion in an internal Iris forum back in the days I had access as a contractor - so getting close to 20 years ago! I would settle for the Notes client only, though surfacing these annotations in web apps (traditional and xpages) would be even more awesome.

1090.8. Ben Langhinrichs
(11/09/2017 10:14 AM)

It has always seemed odd to me that an ad hoc database system called Notes has never enabled something like sticky notes. I think there's always been an odd tension between the front-end and back-end teams, and such annotations would involve both. But they would absolutely fit within the ad hoc nature of the product, and implemented right, could be a strong addition.

1090.9. Cameron d
(11/09/2017 02:09 PM)

Get rid of the 64gb database limit. We live in a world of big data, it's time. Linked to this, improve performance of large databases. This includes view indexes and full text indexing, maybe rewrite full text indexing from scratch. Keep improving XPages.

1090.10. William Beh
(11/09/2017 06:05 PM)

Notes is one of the better db that I've develop on especially on the access control. Would be good for it to move forward with current trend. Sorry direct REST API calls. Maybe some JavaScript SDK. That would open up possibility to integrate easier with growing framework like angular and react. And also earlier for mobile app to talk to.

1090.11. Jay Marme
(11/10/2017 09:36 AM)

The decision to end support for Linux is a big issue for any company with a substantial number of Linux desktops.

1090.12. Carl Tyler
(11/10/2017 12:07 PM)

The Notes client can import PNG files.

Choose Create, Picture...

select your PNG file, notes shows it as (network portable Graphics)

1090.13. Ben Langhinrichs
(11/10/2017 12:47 PM)

Carl, try it with a transparent PNG and you'll see the problem. It converts it to JPEG when it imports, even though PNG is supported inline. Weird, but true. Similar problems with image resources, which can be PNG but are treated as file resources rather than image resources. It is just half-assed.