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Ideas from the #domino2025 Forum

'An uninhibited romp' exclaims the N.Y. Times!

I took the recent opportunity to submit a few ideas to the #domino2025 "App Dev - How would you like to see Domino Application Development evolve (and why)?" Ideation forum.

First, good on IBM/et al for putting this together. After reading some of the submissions ("layers"... really?!), I'm hoping that the good ideas get in front of the right people.

For those curious, here's a quick recap of what I submitted:

  1. Updated integration and common needs documentation

    Here I suggested that we have updated documentation and development guides that not only address those grey areas of functionality (eg., Web Services Providers, Web Services Consumers, etc.), but also common real world adoption scenarios.

    I can remember being asked to change an article I was writing for developerWorks years ago. I was asked to change the article, code, and demo/download to use vs. Google Maps... because Google competed in some of the same spaces as IBM.

    Customers - of which I am, so I'm speaking both in generalization and from personal experience here - have other technology investments. The idea that your IBM technology investment can work with your other investments - even those that compete in some of the same spaces as they do - is a good thing.

    I also added that they should feel free to use the IBM Champions if they must, but to pay them for their contributions and sharing their subject matter expertise.

    For more on that, I'll defer to Harlan Ellison:

  2. jQuery-based XSP CSJS

    ... simply because I'm tired of having to load Dojo just to get XSP.partialRefreshGet()/XSP.partialRefreshPost() and XSP._isDirty() to work.

  3. ... the ability to kill an HTTP Task thread that hanged due to an infinite loop/bad iterator

    We've all been there, and I can't tell you how many times I've had to kill a server over this. For those of you unaware, if the HTTP Task thread hangs, it breaks ALL XPages apps while traditional Domino HTTP works "fine"... while the server is slowing choking on itself because you wrote yourself into an infinite loop.

    Yes, there are ways to code around this, and it's always something I've done to myself vs. someone hijacking my keyboard and removing the _doc = _col.getNext(_doc);... but I should be able to kill a thread without having to kill the Domino server!

The Top Voted Ideas

And while it was mentioned and upvoted to the top spot, I think people still miss the point:

Apps: 3rd party product support and add-on's for Domino; 'App Store' certified by IBM#domino2025 Forum Topic - Apps: 3rd party product support and add-on's for Domino; 'App Store' certified by IBM

IBM Notes Domino is a managed solution, and I would never suggest a user-facing app store [at this point]. For more of my thoughts on this, read my 2012 Editorial, "Is there a market for XPages apps?", which I specifically call out that the target audience for an IBM-vetted marketplace is not the end-user, but the person/team that maintains the managed solution. Again, it's not Joe the Accountant but rather Deb the Systems Engineer.

This confusion always reminds me of a scene from The Shawshank Redemption:

Is it deliberate?

Now my stance on this has changed over the years. Back in 2009, I was all about the user being the consumer - allowing them to harness tools to help them get their jobs done. Today I think there needs to be a few things in place that would support a managed yet flexible user solution. The marketplace target audience would be IT, while the deployed/available solutions would work much like the Widgets Catalog... if Notes was still a player.

We don't use Notes. We're a GMail shop for email, calendaring and scheduling. We use Domino for our collaboration applications [aside: remember the first point above? Integration is the only reason we're still using IBM Domino and actively paying maintenance.].

A user facing "app store" wouldn't work for us. A marketplace that allows us to buy solutions, code snippets, "jumpstart" templates, and premium documentation / guides would be invaluable.

I can see why the suggestion for an "app store" was upvoted to the top spot with 92 votes.

In second place with 73 votes, a call to a dedicated Evangelist (development focused).

And in third with 59 votes, replacing Lotus 123 imports with Excel imports.

If you missed the chance to add your ideas in the forum, or have thoughts on my ramblings, leave a comment below!

About the author: Chris Toohey

Thought Leadership, Web & Mobile Application Development, Solutions Integration, Technical Writing & Mentoring

A published developer and webmaster of, Chris Toohey specializes in platform application development, solutions integration, and evangelism of platform capabilities and best practices.

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