One thing about taking the Notes development exams was that it forced me to explore the obscure parts of Notes development.
I took my first Notes application development exam so long ago, the date isn’t even on my resume (R4 in about 1997 or so), then took each update exam through R7 to maintain my certification as a “Professional” or an “Advanced Application Developer”. I also wrote the questions for Brainbench’s R5 Notes application development exam (and some of the R6 exam, which I’m not sure if they ever released). So, I was forced to learn all the new wrinkles in each new release.
For fun, I used my free exam at the recent
Lotusphere Connect conference to sample the LotusScript exam. I decided on the last day to take it, then failed by just one question with no preparation. It was a tough exam, delving into parts of LotusScript I’ve never used, but which provide new capabilities.
I’ve always found that Notes has more capability than I thought it did. As a junior developer, I would sometimes think that something simply couldn’t be done in Notes, then, after working on it for a while, exploring and stretching my knowledge, finding that not only could it be done, but that I was able to do it myself. So, while there are, in fact, things that Notes cannot do and things that Notes is not the best tool to do, I never say “It can’t be done” any more.
Because of the exposure forced by those exams, I often knew of capabilities, even if I had not exploited them. Hopefully, blogging XPages is going to force me to explore the obscure as well.
Today, I was clicking around, refreshing a design with some changes I’d made and I noticed something I had not seen before. On the menus, under File – Application, I saw down near the bottom “Set Prohibit Design Refresh…” I don’t know when that started appearing, but it practically jumped off the screen at me.
I’d been impressed when I realized I could change that property on multiple design elements of the same type in the work pane, but it’s terrific to be able to do it across the entire database so quickly and easily.
I think it would be a nice upgrade to that capability to allow the application of a specific template at that level, selecting a collection of design elements quickly there. In our of our main designs, there are a variety of modules used in each similar database and one database can have elements from three or four templates. If I take several design elements and move them into a “module template”, it would be nice to use this kind of dialog to retro-fit the databases to pull from the new module template going forward. Of course, I’m sure someone could design a utility to do that, but I think it would be nice to see in the basic designer client. What do all y’all think?
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