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I’m limiting this post to things specific to fixing the Domino Designer Client. I may talk in another post later about next steps and new features, new design architectures, library interfaces to other design tools, and changes to the client strategy – but for now those are off limits.
First – Move XPages to a standalone tool. The XPages application has no business being inside the old Notes Designer Client, and keeping it there has a strong negative impact on one of the key goals of XPages – attracting new developers. Creating an XPages design tool that can be installed without DDE and containing elements designed solely around XPages would free that team to creating a truly modern user interface without wrecking the existing tools. Minimalism is the key.
Second – Hire or train people to become experts in rich text and form design layouts. Those skills have been largely lost through layoffs and attrition, resulting in an abject fear at IBM of actually modifying that old code. That just irresponsible and frankly pathetic.
Third – Fix the bugs, stupid little workarounds, and half done features – all of them. Spend a full development cycle if that’s what it takes. What do I mean by this? Example: You can select a subform in another database by menu at design time, but you cannot do it with a computed subform. You can use @GetDocField – but only if the target doc is in the same database. BOTH of these are missing nothing more than the ability to add a “server”:”database” parameter the way other lookup function were smart enough to include back in 1992.
Fourth – Deprecate some features that never worked right. One of the things holding back changes to Forms is the need to support features that failed from day one – like layout regions. If there are little used, poorly functioning parts of the product then it’s time to allow some backward compatibility failure through a rational deprecation process.
Fifth – Start adding modern feature sets to the core product. I’ve got a list of those as I’m sure many of you do. We need to save and refine that list – but first we need to fix the damn base.
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3) and the 32K and 64K limits on stuff.....