Community XPages

XPages: The Best of Times,The Worst of Times

If you’re reading this you probably already know that I like working with XPages. It’s a great tool that lets me provide business solutions to my company in a timely manner. There’s also a really really good community behind it. A lot of great people sharing wonderful information these days and I’m happy to try and contribute a little bit to it.

But I think the XPages community has suffered a big  loss lately and I thought it was worth mentioning. Recently, at least 3 KEY IBMers have moved on or out of the XPages realm.

We lost Paul Hannan a little bit ago as he moved onto new challenges in IBM. Notes in the cloud or something. Honestly I forget what it was. So he’s still close, but out of the XPages App Dev world.

A couple of days ago Phil Riand announced he was leaving IBM for something new. As far as I know Phil has been the driving force behind not only XPages itself, but the Extension Library, the very recent XPages4Bootstrap project with Mark Leusink, and I’m sure a whole lot more. Heck it was pretty much a single tweet from Phil that got the XPages Extension Library book on it’s path. And who was the key IBMer with that book? Paul Hannan!

Then today Simon O’Doherty announced he was moving to the Watson team. Don’t know who Simon is? He’s a level 2 support engineer at IBM for Notes/Domino App Dev issues. But even more then that Simon went out of his way to answer questions to the community. A quick check on Stack OverFlow shows him answering 166 questions! Wow! He does not get enough credit for his contributions to Notes/Domino App Dev.

I want to personally thank Paul, Phil and Simon for their contributions to the community.  I know they will succeed in whatever they do.

But with 3 very engaged and high profile IBMers leaving the XPages world that just seems concerning to me.

Clearly the Worst of times?

Or maybe not.

We also got out a brand new book this week. Mastering XPages 2nd Edition! Written by the App Dev team itself. There’s a TON of new content in it and I’m looking forward to digging into it. Maybe now I’ll finally understand the JSF Lifecycle. haha

In other news Mark Leusink recently updated the very important XPages Bootstrap project. Oliver Busse released a helper project for that – a template that I’m interested to check out.

Over on OpenNTF there’s been recent releases of the Unplugged XPages Mobile Controls, XPages Extension Library, XPages OpenLog Logger and more.

In my little corner of the world people still watch NotesIn9. The recent Java/JavaScript throwdown show was very well received, I have a show from Tim Tripcony to process and tons of my own show ideas that I just need to get time for. It astounds me that my Introduction to XPages show from way back in 2010 is still typically in the top 5 show downloads for the month. I have to believe that this is an indication of new people trying to get up to speed on XPages. I would like to revisit and update that show some point soon.

Clearly the Best of Times?

Which is it? The Best or the Worst of Times?

Ok so some key IBM’ers left. That in itself is not the end of the world.  I guess my biggest concern there is these three were EXTREMELY outgoing to the community. I really hope additional IBMer’s step up and take their place otherwise it’s a huge loss.

I hope IBM realizes that with their official XPages documentation “lacking”, and their plan of Documentation by “Community wiki” somewhat, shall I say, “misguided”, that the best thing they can do is encourage their key experts to engage in the community so we can get questions answered and information published. IBM preaches Social. I hope they know it’s not just about budgets, and spreadsheets. It’s not just about writing Social software but its also important for IBMers to interact with customers and business partners to share knowledge and mutually work together to make something that’s better then the sum of it’s parts.

I’m hopeful that what is happening is that XPages is just catching its breath. Some people want new challenges and others are hopefully waiting in the wings. If any IBMer wants to share something and needs help in publishing via a blog post, NotesIn9 or something else then please just let me know. I’m happy to assist with that. Just reach out. I’m pretty easy to find.

For me, I’m hopefully just catching my breath as well.  I have the best job in the world but man am I busy.  Home life isn’t any slower as the kids school year starts the final stretch.  But I’m trying to gear up for a push to at least get to 150 shows and maybe another surprise or two as well.

I’m going to call it the Best of Times.