In my aforementioned upcoming Lotusphere session with Maureen, "Hacking Designer (Gently)", we'll be demonstrating a few examples of how you can write Eclipse plugins to tweak (or even fundamentally alter) the way that Domino Designer behaves in order to more closely match your specific, individual needs and desires as you develop and maintain Notes and Domino applications. In other words, if you have pet peeves with certain aspects of Designer, in many cases, you can do something about it. Without waiting for IBM to do it for you. Without requiring IBM to cater to your specific wishes in addition to everything else they need to do to keep all their customers happy. In, like, 73 languages. If you're willing to write a little bit of code (and, if you're using Designer in the first place, I'm assuming you are willing to write code), you can probably convince Designer to be what you wish it already was.
But not everything we'll be demonstrating requires a plugin; some of what we'll be showing allows you to make Designer do more of what you want it to do without writing any code at all. The following tip is not among these, but is representative of this category of "hack".
If you spend much time developing custom XPage components, I suspect you may share one of my pet peeves: of the two types of XML files involved in component definition, one type has a .xml extension; the other does not... so Designer doesn't know that it's XML. These are the .xsp-config files that define which components are contributed by a given plugin library (or, in the case of Custom Control design elements, by a specific NSF). It's a bit annoying to have to hand-edit these files to begin with, but given that the editor doesn't even know the content is XML, you don't even have the luxury of automatic tag closure, folding, or even syntax highlighting.
Thankfully, this is a very easy pet peeve to remedy... all it requires is a single quick change to your Designer preferences: within General > Content Types, select Text > XML, and add *.xsp-config to the list of file associations. That's it.
locating XPage components with XspQuery
Sun, Apr 14th 2013 12:00a Tim Tripcony Several years ago, I wrote a utility Java class designed to make it easy to search for components within the current XPage instance based on various criteria. I've found it enormously useful, and, apparently, so has Keith Strickland, because he added it to org.openntf.xsp.extlib, complete with a few refinements. As an example of how you might use this, examine the following line of code:
List requiredFields = new XspQuery()
.loc [read] Keywords: ldd
your how is not your what
Wed, Apr 3rd 2013 11:36a Tim Tripcony I've noticed a pattern emerging when I'm asked for help with XPages. Here's a representative conversation:
"I'm trying to do [X] and it's not working. How can I do that?"
"What are you trying to accomplish?"
"I already told you. I'm trying to do [X]."
"No, that's how you're trying to do it. What are you trying to do?"
For example, replace "[X]" with "reach into a repeat control from outside it" (since this has become the most frequent topic I'm asked about [read] Keywords: xpages application
my new favorite quote
Sat, Mar 23rd 2013 5:20p Tim Tripcony "We go about our daily lives understanding almost nothing of the world. We give little thought to the machinery that generates the sunlight that makes life possible, to the gravity that glues us to an earth that would otherwise send us spinning off into space, or the atoms of which we are made and on whose stability we fundamentally depend. Except for children (who don’t know enough not to ask the important questions), few of us spend much time wondering why nature is the way it is; where the [read] Keywords: wiki
Taking the scary out of Java in XPages: Prologue
Tue, Feb 26th 2013 9:50p Tim Tripcony The discussion following my last post made stark the need for greater availability of information that makes the nature of Java more accessible to Domino developers. Credit for the title of this post goes to Declan, who is considering writing a series of blog posts on this topic. I will be doing the same; hopefully there will be a fair amount of duplication. As David Leedy is fond of stating, it's a good thing when several people share the same information, because that makes it easier for the [read] Keywords: domino
Passthru vs. component - my perspective
Sat, Feb 16th 2013 9:40p Tim Tripcony Paul Withers posted a thorough article explaining the differences between namespaced XPage components (e.g. ) and their corresponding passthru elements (e.g. ), providing numerous examples of what actually happens when these objects are constructed. I've always heard (and often repeated) that passthru elements are more efficiently processed than their namespaced equivalents, so Paul's post inspired me to offer my own perspective.
Simply put, there's practically no difference... but there a [read] Keywords: acl