First of all, I’m not saying back-end developers are real men or are the only ones who have “Curiosity”! But I’ve begun to realise more and more that XPages developers are either back-end or front-end, features or look & feel.
In the old days of Notes Client development, the two were so tightly coupled that there was no separation. Maybe that’s one of the reasons Notes got a bad reputation. But it was not particularly easy to know which camp you were in.
But over the last couple of years, I’ve realised I’m most definitely back-end. Dr Marky Roden is front-end. Nathan Freeman is back-end. Bruce Elgort is front-end. I’d say Mark Leusink is front-end. Mike McGarel, my co-presenter again this week, confirmed my suspicion he is front-end.
XPages has shown that because it’s a wide canvas and you find yourself specialising in a particular area. For me, it’s Java, with the OpenNTF Domino API. I took great delight last year at IBM Connect in showing a plugin that allowed integration with Sametime. What fired my imagination with the XPages OpenLog Logger project was when I learned how I could pick settings from xsp.properties. I’m definitely back-end. But OneUI and, now, the Bootstrap4XPages project on OpenNTF mean even someone who lives for functionality can easily create an app with great look and feel.
But for those who enjoy the front-end stuff, it’s easier than ever to integrate other frameworks in XPages apps and keep them current. Whether it’s using OneUI to stay consistent with other products like Connections and Sametime (if we can still call it that), ExtJS as shown by Marky Roden, Twitter Bootstrap or anything else. And the Bootstrap4XPages project also removes the nightmares of rewriting lots of stuff when moving up to Bootstrap 3.