Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Welcome to my blog


Welcome to my blog, my name is Cameron Gregor and I'm a software developer from Sydney Australia.

I develop and have experience with many software development technologies however this blog will mainly be focused on IBM XPages development and related topics!

Whilst developing IBM Domino (or Lotus Domino as it was called then) applications for 5 years, I was completely out of touch with any online community. The most I looked at was the Lotus Forums when I had a Lotusscript bug that I couldn't figure out from the Lotus Designer Help. Over this time we managed to build a pretty neat suite of applications which are central to the way our company executes our projects, all running on Notes/Domino and integrating with other systems where necessary. As a small team, we really made use of the rapid application development nature of the system, though I still lamented lack of standard development tools though,

Our team heard about XPages when it was launched, and we glanced over it in the early days. There wasn't much information available at the time, and after seeing stack traces instead of XPages a few times, we gave up and went back to Domino, and forgot about XPages.
When we saw Mastering XPages released, we ordered it, but none of us read it, and it sat on the shelf for over a year.

Then, our company started thinking about the future, and the classic 'impending doom if you don't switch to Microsoft' scaremongering started. We wanted to move to web-based systems and at this point based on our initial experience with XPages we didn't think Domino could do it.

During the 'Domino is dead you need Microsoft' debate, we got ISW, a local IBM business partner in to do some health checks on our Domino environment, and whilst they were there they said "If you want to move to web-based then why aren't you developing with XPages?". So, that night I took the Mastering XPages book home, and started working through the chapters and doing the examples. I was gob-smacked at how easy it was web-enable an existing application. I couldn't believe this book was sitting behind me for a whole year. After a bit of convincing, the rest of the team was on board that XPages were they way to go.

ISW also said "Are you coming to AUSLug?". Before then, we had no idea what AUSLug was, but we all signed up and went down to Melbourne for the 2-day conference. Attending this conference was really the spark that got me in touch with the XPages and Domino community. We saw Declan Sciolla-Lynch's talk on Source Control, Russell Maher's talk on managed beans, Stephan Wissel did a couple of talks which really gave us a better idea of the different ways we could approach XPages development, and Paul T. Calhoun talked about techniques to access Relational Databases.

After the conference, I had a few blogs and twitter handles to follow, and from there I discovered more and more blogs, people and resources that have been invaluable help when developing with XPages.

We also then ordered the XPages Extension Library book and the XPages Portable Command guide which were both just as good as Mastering XPages, although XPages Portable Command guide also sat there behind me for a bit too long before I read it and thought "Why didn't I read this 6 months ago? This explains everything!"

Since, getting in touch with the community I have even contributed my first open source project to OpenNTF, the Domino On-Disk Repository Helper (Dora) which can be of help to you if you use Source control with you NSF!

My recent interest has been developing for XPages using OSGi bundles and XspLibraries, and also Continuous Integration / Deployment of Domino applications.

I hope to contribute more to the community, both through this blog and contributing to OpenNTF projects. With 2 small children keeping me busy I don't get much spare time! So blog posts will be sporadic, and there might be long delays between posts. But at least I now have a place where I can record my thoughts or techniques when I get the chance!

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