It has been "commonly known" that layout regions are obsolete and essentially deprecated, and have been for many, many versions. In a quick scan, the first mention I have seen of this "common knowledge" is back in July 1999, almost ten years ago, when Nathan Freeman wrote in this post
It's unlikely that a Notes client will ever *stop* recognizing layout regions. However, they are pretty effectively deprecated at this point unless you're building modal dialog boxes.
I know that in various beta forums over the years, it has been widely debated whether or not to bother rendering them in DXL, for example, or otherwise waste any resources on them. I found many more comments that they are obsolete or deprecated from widely respected members of our community (e.g., Stan Rogers
, Bill Ernest
, Bruce Stapley
, etc.), basically since R5 was released, and certainly since ND6 with layers included.
Given this, it is somewhat surprising to explore the Designer Help, which refers to layout regions more frequently than it refers to layers, for example, and which contains absolutely nothing discouraging people from using them, suggesting that they are obsolete, or comparing them in any way to layers, which one might think would be the obvious "upgrade". It is made clear that they are not supported on the web, but they are recommended for various uses without comment or concern. I have also noticed that IBM folks, such as Andre Guirard, occasionally recommend them for one purpose or another without saying they are deprecated.
So, which is it? Is "common knowledge" wrong, or is this "secret knowledge" kept that way to trap unsuspecting newcomers who start using this handy feature (much easier interface than layers, I might point out, although far less powerful in some ways)? Why is that experienced developers can so confidently describe a feature for ten years as "deprecated", but not have IBM reflect that in any visible way? If IBM doesn't want developers to keep adding layout regions, which you might guess from the non-existent layout region support in DxL, shouldn't they say something about it to warn developers?
Maybe we are just wrong. Maybe they are not deprecated at all?
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Tags: Lotus Notes