Ben Langhinrichs

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The tree you are busy hugging has new branches

Wed 15 Jan 2020, 11:58 AM



by Ben Langhinrichs
Arms hugging tree
 
As a 57-year-old developer who has spent 24 of those years working with Lotus/IBM/HCL Notes/Domino, I am quite used to being seen as a tree hugger, and that may even be the kindest appellation applied to me. Let's face it, a whole bunch of you fit the name as well. But somehow, miracle of miracles, the tree has come back to life a bit. This might tempt us to hug even harder, thinking we've been proven right and not just stubborn. (Nah, we're just stubborn, but we got lucky.)
 
But that Notes/Domino tree you've been hugging so tightly has sprouted some new branches, and if you want to keep hugging it for the next decade so until you can put your feet up and rock those grandkids in the rocker, you (and I) might want to explore the new branches.
 
We are obviously long past the time when the web itself is new, and we've all watched and even participated in the birth and almost-death and, perhaps, the almost-not-death of XPages. But there's more out there, and it isn't all going to be in LotusScript and formula language and classic Domino. Those will continue, and you will still be able to hug that limb for a while to come, but I am determined to tread out onto some other branches. HCL has poured a lot of time and energy into the architecture for a new, more modern approach to Domino. The AppDev Pack with Proton and IAM and domino-db are just starting to develop, and clearly have a lot of room to grow. Full stack developers are more and more able to use the NERD/DERN stack (meaning Domino as a secure data backend keeping the sap in that tree you are squeezing half to death). We are just at the beginning stages of HCL's event-driven model, but that promises a ton of power and flexibility. There's more, as well, which I'll go into another time.
 
As a Notes/Domino developer, I'm going to start playing with Node JS more, and working on web services and REST APIs. But I'm not just a Notes/Domino developer. I'm also an ISV, and an impatient ISV at that. I could sit around and wait for HCL to fully take advantage of the architecture and model they've built, but where's the fun in that? Instead, I am designing and building products in all of these areas, but if you want your company to be able to take advantage of a turbocharged AppDev Pack, for example, you better learn enough Node JS to be able to use it. If you want a REST API that will let you change and render almost anything, you'll first need to get your head out of the LotusScript library long enough to figure out how a REST API works. You might want to at least read a bit about HCL's event-driven architecture during your lunch break.
 
Trust me, your LotusScript and formula language will still be sitting there when you get back (and we at Genii Software will still be enhancing them), but the tree is growing and you could at least consider hugging some different parts of it. Consider it job security while your rocker is on order.
 
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