Bob Balaban and Philippe Riand are presenting some of the new features coming in Domino 8.5 for web application development.
Why Change. Well things have not changed much since 1996 using the built in domino functions. It basically sucks compared to some web sites todat and the goal is to make domino web apps Kick-Ass again and make it easy for developers to acheive a better UI for their apps.
All done by enhancements to the domino web engine and exposing the features in the new designer client and the addition of xPages. Nothing will be taken out. There will be a switch for ‘Old Style rendering’ for those apps you don’t want to update.
gZip compression for web traffic is coming…
Plan to fix all the ‘Pain Points’ in current web development. Things like the closed HTML generation, More XML/JSON access for ajax, better DXL. By fix they mean fix, not just cover it over with a new ui.
Closed HTML generation will be fixed by generating semantically tagged html that is ajax and css friendly and well formed XML. pass-thru html will not go away but should not be needed as much.
As of last week DOJO has been checked directly into the Domino 8.5 server build so it is there by default. They are planning to replace the Java applets with DoJo equivs. IBM legal made this difficult but it is now done.
Add a REST like API so you can get and post data with a url command.
DXLis not 100% reliable, make sure that anything that can be exported to DXl cn be reimported with 100% confidence.
Quick demo of using the new rendering model to show how to link a css file to a domino rendered html page. Looks good so far. the Dojo replacements of teh applets look nice. A bit of competition with EXT.ND here. More demo’s of ths in the labs if you want to go.
xPages ( just a code name right now so may change ) is a new feature in Domino 8.5. It leverages JSF based java runtime from Lotus Components. xPages are builtin design elements for creating modern web apps with builtin Ajax features.
xPages can be looked at as a pure XML file and every property is computable. There is a palette of prebuilt controls and you can add your own custom controls. The custom controls are like subforms on steroids or you can support Java controls.
Loads of AJAX support to make page refreshes lighter, Ajax typeahead can be added to any control and implemented via a formula on the page design No need to write your own AJAX service.
The look and feel is driven by CSS. This can help enforce a look and feel acrosss all your apps.This also allows you to skin your apps, there is a default style used for controls but they can be overridden in the CSS skin.
Skins can also detect the browser so you can have different skins for different browser types ( IE, Firefox, Windows Mobile, iPhone etc ). They are also looking making the rendering engine detect browsers so it can generate the right code for the browser.
xPages are fully localizable, An automated string extraction utility will generate resource bundles and you can then make translated resource bundles to be supplied to the browser. There is no runtime penalty for this.
xPages looks good. I can’t wait to personally try them out.