UKLUG – the good – the bad and the “ugly”

I arrived back from UKLUG in Manchester last night with a head full of thoughts and ideas. Firstly – was it worth the trip and the expense. Secondly – whats the roadmap for me and for Xpages. Thirdly – will I be going to another UKLUG in future.

The Good

The first answer is Yes. It was worth it. It was a well run event and everything happened the way it should have. The location was great and the museum staff were fantastic. I met quite a number of people that I think are on the same journey as I am with some ahead and some just getting started. The networking was the paramount reason to attend. I even found out that Sean Cull and I went to the same school – just not at the same time.

The second answer is that I believe that with more work and more support Xpages can mature into a great technology with which to develop the same great apps that I would have used Notes for in the past but for a new audience and a new generation of users. The discovery that an xpages extension library book is in the offing was great news. Perhaps someone will take up my idea of an Xpages Cookbook – with 100’s of tips, tricks and short to the point explanations of how to use xpages and the custom controls and javascript to their best effect. I don’t have a crystal ball but my feeling is still that Xpages has a future short to medium term. The longer term is hardest to predict.

The Bad

The third answer depends on IBM. If they cannot commit to a licensing mechanism that takes into account the relatively small number of Xpages developers and their tendency to be small (less than 10 developers) in the Uk at the moment – then I think it will be time to re-evaluate the toolset that I use for software development projects and cast a much wider net than I current need or want to. An informal discussion with IBM at the event with a group of Independant Software Developers (ISD) gave me the distict impression that IBM do not really understand what ISD’s do – what contraints they are under and what they need to do to help get the adoption of Domino/Xpages up !!

The Ugly (not really)

We all know that people make mistakes. The hotel I stayed at during the event by mistake gave me the wrong room key and when I went to drop off my bag in the room I thought was mine – I opened the door to find out that the room was occupied by non other than an actor from the TV drama series “Taggart” whose name I won’t mention to save their blushes. I don’t know who was more shocked – me or the actor but after a quick comparison of keys and a shared sense of confusion I went back to reception to tell them what happened. I did get offered a free drink (for the shock of course) by the hotel and I hope the actor suffered no long term injury due to my accidental incursion. I must confess it was a strange surreal experience – a bit like waking up from a vivid dream and telling someone that for no obvious reason a famous person like say David Beckham was in the dream – helping you to fix your bike. I certainly won’t forget my first UKLUG visit in a hurry


I’ve just heard that the conversation with IBM has sparked off a request for some more input. The speed of response is a promising omen. Lets see how they react to the input !!