XPages experience and resources

I’ve recently started messing with XPages and I think I like it. Now there is a rather steep learning curve for XPages, especially if your web development hat is as dusty as mine. I even had to bust out the “Beginning JavaScript” book by Paul Wilton (which is an excellent JavaScript reference). But learning them is certainly doable, and quite fun (in a geek sort-of way). But this trek started with an OpenSource project I’ve been working on which I mentioned a little over a month ago. I want a web gui to go with the project so I figured it was the perfect excuse to delve into XPages head first.

My first impression with XPages seems to be pretty good, it’s easily implemented, looks nice and easily compartmentalized (is that a word?). As I said above the learning curve is pretty steep and when using the @Functions it is easy to make a mistake, since those are now serverside JavaScript it is case sensitive. I’ve also noticed any bad habits you have with using LotusScript and @Formulas that those bad habits really come back to bite you as you try to use that knowledge in the XPages world. As for all the controls, it seems that everything I’ve needed has been there in some form or fashion. My biggest issue so far has been trying to figure out how to use a checkbox. In the notes client a checkbox is a multi-value field with each value being a checked checkbox, in XPages they are individual elements and a field with values already there doesn’t seem to translate over, at least I haven’t been able to figure out a way yet, but I’m sure it’s there somewhere. Radio buttons are similar but a little easier to figure out.

But something that has provided A LOT of help is the excellent XPages tutorial over on Declan Lynch ‘s site. This is a great reasource to get you moving in the right direction. Thanks Declan! Interestingly enough though there is no mention of how to use Check Boxes or radio buttons in this tutorial or any of the other tuturials I’ve come across.

Some other resources I’ve found are listed below:

I guess the biggest complaint I’ve had with this process is the quirks of the 8.5 designer. The double-clicking to open a design element is killing me. Also, sometimes it takes 4 clicks to get a group of design elements (say XPages) to open and show the XPages in that group. I know that isn’t a very good description of what I’m talking about. But hopefully the resource list above will get you on your way to starting XPages. I am by no means really knowledgeable enough to really speak about XPages in any way other than my experiences so far, but this trek should be something new and interesting and produce some really nice applications. Plus it seems that this is really the next logical step for Domino development.

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