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#Domino2025 Jam – Think Big

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It’s great to see the amount of activity in the #Domino2025 Jam forum. But just a few thoughts from my point of view on the vision area:

  • Take a step back and think beyond a specific use case requirement
  • Don’t focus on detail of an individual feature, focus on direction
  • Back it up with justifications
  • Be aware of the announcements at IBM Connect last year and where the product has moved since, and especially what’s upcoming in FP10 (I’ve seen one idea for future direction that’s already a well-publicised key part of FP10)

Just to add some meat on the bones there, asking IBM / HCL to reinvent the wheel and build something third-party vendors already do, and something which doesn’t bring new customers in, I suspect that’s unlikely to get progressed.

Similarly, we’ve all built apps where the customer asks for a specific feature, but when you deliver it, what they asked for isn’t what they actually wanted or needed. It’s nothing new. Herodotus gave the story 2500 years ago of a “feature request” from Midas that was not what he actually meant. Better to focus on the broader picture, add some ideas for the “how”, but leave that for further discussion. Unless you’re totally confident you’ve thought of the problem from all angles and for all interested parties, it may result in a white elephant. And we’ve seen a number of dead-ends in Domino (composite apps, DB2 views etc).

With your justifications think “5 W’s + H”. Okay, so “when” is less relevant, “where” may require some off-the-wall thinking. But “what” will it achieve, “who” will it help, “why” is it relevant, and maybe an idea of “how” it can be achieved. A well constructed argument can be the difference between something being adopted and ignored.

More importantly, think outside the box. Think beyond the current Domino landscape. Why expect IBM to reinvent the wheel when the kind of developers who grow the product are already familiar with an alternative solution (okay, I’m thinking of Node-RED for scheduling here, but I’m sure there are other relevant aspects). Think beyond the standard uses of the NSF. Many XPages developers no longer tie presentation and data layer so tightly and microservices have changed the world. Think beyond today. Dojo was the right choice for XPages in 2009 – it was probably more popular than jQuery at the time, certainly more widely used, and had strong adoption in IBM; but that’s not the case now. What’s right now may not be right in 2025 or beyond. So a broad vision is more likely to be relevant by the time specific requests can be addressed.

But most importantly, think. One A couple of well-thought-out, well-constructed ideas are better than 50 single-line feature requests.

AUTHOR - Paul Withers

Paul Withers has been an IBM Champion since 2011, has been an OpenNTF Board Member since 2013, has worked with XPages since 2009, co-authored XPages Extension Library and was technical editor for Mastering XPages 2nd Edition. He is one of the developers on OpenNTF Domino API as well as contributor to a variety of other OpenNTF projects.

1Comment
  • Stephan Wissel | Jan 18, 2018 at 1:09 am

    The task for Domino is twofold: one: close the glaring omissions from the past and support current standards (there are a few missing in the eMail RFC space) and versions (JSF, ECMAscript) and longstanding grievances.
    Two: paint a bold vision how the “Mother of NoSQL” can become: First contact for the citizen Developer (or other boldness)

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