Episode 39, recorded Thursday 17th February 2011, discussing the massively successful ‘Mastering XPages’ book, Domino Designer on the Mac, Watson and more…


Stuart McIntyre (blog | twitter | company) & Darren Duke (blog | twitter | company)


Tony McGuckin (linkedin) is a software engineer in the IBM Ireland software lab. He began his career with IBM in 2006 working in software product development on the Lotus Component Designer runtime before morphing into the XPages core runtime team. When not directly contributing to the core runtime, Tony is busy with software research and development for the next generation of application development tooling for both Domino server and XPiNC. He also spends time engaging directly with IBM customers as an XPages consultant, and being involved with the IBM OneUI web applications and iWidgets adoption workgroup. Tony lives in Northern Ireland where its always warm and sunny.

Martin Donnelly (linkedin) is a software architect and tech lead for the XPages runtime team in IBM Ireland and has worked on all three XPages releases from Notes/Domino 8.5 through 8.5.2, Prior to this, Martin also worked on XFaces for Lotus Component Designer and on JSF tooling for Rational Application Developer. In the 1990s while living and working in Massachusetts, he was a lead developer on Domino Designer. Now, once again based in Ireland, Martin lives in Cork with his wife, three daughters, and two greyhounds. When pressed, he confesses to playing soccer on a weekly basis, and salmon fishing during the summer when the opportunity presents itself.

Mark Wallace (linkedIn) is a software architect working in the IBM Ireland software lab. In the past, he worked on the XSP runtime, which was developed for Lotus Component Designer and subsequently evolved into the XPages runtime. He has a keen interest in programming models and improving developer productivity. Mark has worked in Lotus and IBM for more than 15 years on various products and is currently working on Sametime Unified Telephony. Mark lives in Dublin with his wife and two children and spends as much time as possible in the Ireland’s sunny south east enjoying fishing and kayaking with his family.


Mastering XPages Book

  • How did the book come about?
  • When did you start work?
  • It’s quite a tome! 750 pages! How long did it take you to write?
  • Who is the book aimed at?
  • How did you split out the workload?  By chapter, by topic?
  • Who was responsible for the overall flow and organisation of the content?
  • The book was launched just prior to Lotusphere – great timing!
    • At LS11 it out sold any book at any IBM event in the last 6 years!
    • How have sales gone so far?
    • Pleased with the reaction?
    • Did that “fixed date”cause extra work?
  • What were the greatest challenges to writing the book?
    • How did you overcome them?
    • Would you write another one, given the experience?
  • Did you have to make any changes when 8.5.2 shipped?
  • Why write a book?
    • Has it raised your profile in IBM?
  • Discounts, discounts, get yer discounts here
    • Good through February!!!
    • Get 35% off the book in the US
    • Get 40% off the ebook version
    • See Ellice’s blog for details, codes and links

DDE on Mac

  • Why the sudden storm of discussion?
  • Would it be that hard to do?
  • Ed says the decision is a business justification one and that “cost != opportunity cost”. Is this one that must be justified by net new revenue, or is it (like social business) not possible to justify ROI, but needs to be done as the cost of not doing it is so great?
  • Is full DDE necessary, or would a designer just for XPages be enough?
  • Should we be looking beyond Domino Designer to other development tools (RAD7, Portlet Factory etc) being Mac-based?

Watson on Jeopardy

  • Wow!
  • A good advert for IBM?  Good PR?
  • What does this tech mean for us?  Can we see a day where call centres are replaced by Watson-type technology?
  • Built on the Power7 platform

IBM Execs beginning to get social!

  • Alistair Rennie now on Twitter
  • Does IBM pushing Social Business mean that IBM/Lotus must be seen to be leading the way in being more social itself?
  • Does Social need to mean external, or is internal enough?

UKLUG Call for Abstracts open


DarrenFree bar code labels for tape libraries, just buy the correct Avery label, http://tapelabels.librelogiciel.com/

Oh, and we have an e-book version of the “Mastering XPages”book to give away. Send an email before 12PM EST next Wednesday to ideas@thisweekinlotus.com to enter.

StuartBuy Mastering XPages!
TonyIf you’ve not already downloaded the new TeamRoom OpenNTF 8.5.2 template from OpenNTF.org then you should do so now!

It is quite literally a developers goldmine for examples and best practices on how to use many of the new controls found in the XPages Extension Library!  And don’t be shy on giving feedback!

Bear in mind it’s currently geared at 8.5.2, requires the Extension Library of course, and works best in Firefox 3.6, and MSIE 7 & 8.  In the coming weeks we’ll be updating it with more cross browser, XPiNC, and performance enhancements!


MarkTake some time to go through the samples in chapter 4 “Anatomy of an XPage”, these will provide you with valuable lessons on the structure of an XPages and the fundamentals of the XSP language. Happy Reading!
Martin1) XPages book has tips throughout – chapter 9 is a good one (about sorting in views)
2) Always thank the people that help – in the acknowledgements section!