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Cool! Lotus Dropping Not So Vague Hints About Future of Domino Designer


Shhhhh-Icon.gifVowe has uncovered a juicy tidbit of news about the apparent "demise" of Lotus Component Designer (LCD) aka Workplace Designer aka "the development tool that was supposed to open up websphere development to us simple Notes developers.  

Don't expect a press release about this, but Lotus Component Designer (LCD) has been put into maintenance mode, read: will die a slow and horrible death. A few weeks ago the development team was dismembered and reassigned.

I first heard about this tool at Lotusphere 2005 when it was hyped as a way to let folks with @Formula and Lotusscript skills (well, @Formula anyway - can't remember all the details) build applications for Workplace (RIP).  One nifty trick I *think* I remember, for example, was the ability to include @Functions inside javascript code windows.  Workplace Designer also had a familiar "Domino Designer" look and feel.  I suspect I was not alone in feeling somewhat reassured that my skillset would not soon become obsolete just because IBM's commitment to Domino might be waining.

In retrospect, the feeling that IBM Lotus at least recognized the value of the existing Domino development community was justified, and has only been reinforced by the release of Notes 8.  But back to Vowe's blog post...

So, the news that LCD was being "phased out" seemed puzzling because only a couple weeks ago Rob "Capt. Oblivious" McDonough, fresh from a top secret gathering at Lotus Design HQ in Westford, had offered this bit of advice:

First, I would like to remind you of some things that have been public knowledge for some time now: IBM has a product called Lotus Component Designer (LCD); Domino Designer's very own Maureen Leland worked extensively on LCD; Maureen is (once again, yay!) leading the Domino Designer team; and IBM bundles a license for LCD with the Domino Designer license. Now, many Domino developers have practically ignored LCD, maybe because of the Workplace Designer bad karma or LCD's deployment target (Websphere Portal, and its associated baggage with the Domino community). Those developers are making a mistake. Trying out LCD as a developer is free - the license is built into your existing Domino Designer license. So do yourself a favor and check it out.

Now, please understand that I have no special inside knowledge of whatever Lotus is cooking up with regard to the future of its development tools, but after reading Vowe's post, I had a pretty strong notion that far from being "dead", all the cool functionality of LCD would simply be incorporated into Domino Designer.  With Bob Balaban and Maureen Leland both focused on the application development future of Domino, and with this whole "composite application" thing making headlines, it only made sense.

Well, it seems we don't have to speculate too hard on what is actually going on, because in a comment to Vowe's post Lotus' own Alan Lepofsky all but confirmed my suspicions:

Is Lotus Domino Designer Being Reborn?
At the upcoming LotuSphere 2008 in Orlando, you just might be hearing some very exciting news about the future of Domino Designer and Domino application development. read: could both be getting some incredible new features and have new life breathed into them, providing Lotus developers many of the things they have wished for in the past, and some new things they've not yet imagined? A few weeks ago some members of the development team that had previously been working on Lotus Component Designer (LCD) were refocused back to Domino Designer, perhaps where they belonged all along. ...

It's nice to feel loved.


1 - This sounds really exciting. I really hope I can go to Lotusphere in January.

Btw, you've been tagged -> { Link }

2 - Silahkan kunjungi website saya

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