A modern commenting view in XPages

Introduction

In the old days you a typical commenting feature was something with a form and a view. Typically you could read a list of comments in a historical (flat) order and on the bottom you had the form to enter your comment. Something like in the IBM Domino blog template.

domino-blog

With the rise of social and mobile it became more important to be able to comment-only so the form moved to the top and the list of comments became sorted in the opposite order (Youtube).

Discussions are still displayed in a thread but since threads are less friendly on a mobile device a more what’app like chat display. But these are more instant messaging apps, similar to Slack or IBM’s upcoming Toscana.

slack

My idea: welcome to the bubble

So what can/should we do to modernize the display of the comment feature in our Notes/XPages application?

Well mainly we still have a top level object (TLO) where people comment on. To stimulate people to comment the form should be close to this TLO. We can promote the interaction between a user and others and provide some form of “bubble speech” experience and (ofcourse) the option to “like” a comment.

That would bring us to something more like this:

social_comment

 

Notice on the left you see the comments I have made and on the right comments made by others. The latest comment is displayed first and mines are a bit more outstanding using a background-color.

Now how it’s made

To come to this solutions I am using the following technologies:

  • XPages
  • Java
  • SSJS
  • Bootstrap
  • PrettyTime
  • CSS
  • JavaScript / mention JS

Note that in a previous post I described how to add @mention autocomplete like Facebook, Twitter & Google+ to your XPages app. So I will not discuss in this post how to build the form to comment.

Here is a general outline of what we are going to build:

outline

Step 1 – basic structure; a repeater with a panel

step01

First I have a repeat control which is bound to an ArrayList containing JsonObjects. This approach you can find in my Bildr project on OpenNTF (shameless plug).

I also added an infinite scroll function. You can read about how to set that up in this post.

The panel has a computed styleclass. The style defintion “right” does nothing more than a  text-align: right. This makes sure the text in the content is … aligned right.

Step 2 – adding a user icon

Humans are visually oriented and idle so nothing wrong making our display attractive with a user icon.

step02

In this example I am just displaying some random icons, but if you have a corporate directory with user profiles containing icons you should embed them here.

The pull-left and pull-right classes are from Bootstrap. My comments are pulled to the left, comments from others to the right.

Step 3 – the media body

Next item that we add is a div with a media-body class. It contains out of 2 sections: the content of the comment (text written) and some meta-data (date, author). I also added a “like” link which is inspired by Thomas Adrian’s Intrapages app also available on OpenNTF.

step03

(Guess I don’t need the attributes here…). Here is the part of the meta-data:

step03b

First I display the Author name, only for comments written by others. In order to make the date more human friendly to read I am using PrettyTime. In the past I have blogged about how to use it.

For the remove link I am using the userbean to check if I can delete documents in the database and if the comment is mine: (@UserName() == obj.From) && (userBean.canDeleteDocs == true)

For the event I check and ask if I am sure that I want to remove the entry and then I simply remove it by UNID:

step03c

For the “like” button I would like to point to Adrian’s example in his Intrapages project. I made however the exeption to store the likes in a separate document, so not in the comment. By this way I can tighten my security model. Everybody has the role of [liker] and author access. So everybody can update a like document and not the original comment document.

The like function uses the cookie management principles described here. It stores the username:

userCookie = new javax.servlet.http.Cookie(“userid”, @UserName());

I have set the duration of the cookie as long as the session is active:

//Cookie.setMaxAge(-1) will make the cookie expire after the browser is closed
userCookie.setMaxAge(-1);

But beware that the cookie still exists when users logout and login with a different username-password combination !!

So I have a counter for the number of likes, and depending on my activity I have a like or unlike link.

Ready! Some CSS whistles

After we have added some more (basic) CSS we are done! As a result we have created something much more modern that the old school comments display as we know from the IBM Domino Blog template.

If you are interested and want to receive the details of this setup I welcome you to send me a message and we can exchange code.

Add 20 years of experience to your workforce

You can 20 years of experience within IBM Notes and Web development to your workforce by hiring me.

Interested? Read my curriculum vitae on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/patrickkwinten and get in contact.

I am happy to work WITH you !

 

 

 

 

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FlipSwitch style for your checkboxes

A flip switch is an alternative look for a checkbox or the two-option select menu. It can be toggled by a click or a swipe.

flipswitchoff

I am not sure if it’s originated from mobile interfaces, at least it is there where they are most common. So if you modernize an application and optimize it for mobile access you might consider adding flip switch behaviour to these form elements.

Here is an example how to do this with XPages:

htmlswith

 

Ofcourse you have to provide the CSS. The CSS depends on your theme. There are handy sites that might help you with it.

Here is my CSS:

.onoffswitch {
position: relative; width: 90px;
-webkit-user-select:none; -moz-user-select:none; -ms-user-select: none;
}
.onoffswitch-checkbox {
display: none;
}
.onoffswitch-label {
display: block; overflow: hidden; cursor: pointer;
border: 2px solid #999999; border-radius: 20px;
}
.onoffswitch-inner {
display: block; width: 200%; margin-left: -100%;
transition: margin 0.3s ease-in 0s;
}
.onoffswitch-inner:before, .onoffswitch-inner:after {
display: block; float: left; width: 50%; height: 30px; padding: 0; line-height: 30px;
font-size: 14px; color: white; font-family: Trebuchet, Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: bold;
box-sizing: border-box;
}
.onoffswitch-inner:before {
content: “ON”;
padding-left: 10px;
background-color: #34A7C1; color: #FFFFFF;
}
.onoffswitch-inner:after {
content: “OFF”;
padding-right: 10px;
background-color: #EEEEEE; color: #999999;
text-align: right;
}
.onoffswitch-switch {
display: block; width: 18px; margin: 6px;
background: #FFFFFF;
position: absolute; top: 0; bottom: 0;
right: 56px;
border: 2px solid #999999; border-radius: 20px;
transition: all 0.3s ease-in 0s;
}
.onoffswitch-checkbox:checked + .onoffswitch-label .onoffswitch-inner {
margin-left: 0;
}
.onoffswitch-checkbox:checked + .onoffswitch-label .onoffswitch-switch {
right: 0px;
}

I hope you find this tip useful…

flipswitch

 

Add 20 years of experience to your workforce

 

You can 20 years of experience within IBM Notes and Web development to your workforce by hiring me.

Interested? Read my curriculum vitae on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/patrickkwinten and get in contact.

I am happy to work WITH you !

Infinite scroll and prevent multiple event fire

Probably a lot of you use the “Simple custom control to add infinite scrolling to repeat or views” available as codesnippet on OpenNTF.

This snippet allows you to load a next set of documents for a repeat or view control when you reach the bottom of the page. A feature that will be appreciated highly by mobile users of your Notes app.

If you look at the code, it fires the click event of a pagerAddRows control when you have reached the bottom of the window. This will happen as long as you are on the bottom of the window. What can this cause for disturbance:

  • It fires multiple events, while it is at the bottom of the window. You only asked for 1.
  • The events are not chained so when the second event is returned quicker that the first it will be inserted before it, which messes up the sorting of your collection.

I have not found a way to create a JS function to load a set of data from a repeat control in the ajax way. That would allow you to use the success property and set a state (ajaxready, true/false) for your window. This state could be used to check if the fire event is entitled to run or not.

Drop a line in cause you know the answer to such a function.

As a temporarily solution I suggest to keep the click event for the pagerAddRows control but set a timeout.

Here is what the code could look like:

<xp:scriptBlock id=”scriptBlock1″>
<xp:this.value>
<![CDATA[$(window).data(‘ajaxready’, true).scroll(function(e) {
if ($(window).data(‘ajaxready’) == false) return;
if ($(window).scrollTop() >= ($(document).height() – $(window).height())) {
$(window).data(‘ajaxready’, false);
setTimeout(function() {
$(“.infiniteScroll ul li a”).click();
dojo.query(“.timeago”).forEach( function(el) {
var timeagoWidget= dijit.getEnclosingWidget(el);
if(!timeagoWidget){
timeagoWidget = new timeago.Timeago({}, el);
}

//refresh timeago
timeagoWidget.refresh();
});
$(window).data(‘ajaxready’, true);
}, 200);

}
});]]>
</xp:this.value>
</xp:scriptBlock>

Here is set a timeout for 200 milliseconds which turns out to be quiet generous in my application, but at least I have prevented the disturbances mentioned earlier.

Happy coding!

Hiding Notes links for Mobile Web users

Probably you are working in a collaborative environment where users access their beloved Notes apps with multiple clients: The Notes client, The Notes Browser plugin, Web browser and mobile devices.

Not all Notes applications have defined business cases in which they should become web-enabled. This could be because of application complexity or that the life-cycle / ownership of the application is poorly defined.

Nevertheless it is hard to prohibit that links to these applications or documents in them are being published on web-pages (probably you want to promote the distribution of information). Luckily there is that lovely tool called the IBM Notes Browser Plugin but this plugin is restricted to normal web browsers and not to all of them.

And then you have your ‘leading’ technology adapting usergroup that prefer to access Notes data in app and web-page form. For them the Notes Browser Plugin is not available so why should you bother to show them links to documents in applications that have not been web-enabled yet?

The following script will hide these Notes link on web-pages  and replace them with just text. It uses the deviceBean which provides an easy to use and easy to program way of identifying a popular range of mobile and tablet devices.

var isMobile = ‘#{javascript:return deviceBean.isMobile()}’;
if (isMobile==’true’){
$( document ).ready(function() {
$(“a[href^=’Notes://’]”).each(function () {
$(this).replaceWith($(this).text());
});
});
}

Add it to the onClientLoad event of your XPage.

Adding search to our app

Introduction

In this post I will demonstrate how to apply a search to our application described in previous posts, in which we read the JSON from Domino Access Service and parse it with the Jackson library to display it thereafter with a Repeat control.

Since I am using in our application the Application Layout control with a responsive Bootstrap UI (shameless pitch to glory the persons who delivered this great functionality to XPages) which includes a searchBar section and scrolling through 40K of person records is not something you want to anguish your thumb with, a search functionality gives the advantage to skip scrolling through unnecessary documents.

searchBar section

Here is how I set up the searchBar section in the Application Layout control:

searchbar

As you can see I have defined a result page for the search, called search.xsp.

Here is how the search bar will look like for the user:

searchbox

XPage search

beforePageLoad event

The beforePageLoad event has slightly changed compared with event in our initial XPage. This time we search for the search parameter defined in the searchBar section:

var query = context.getUrlParameter(“search”);
var persons = new Array();
persons = personsBean.getPersons(“http://dev1/fakenames40k.nsf/api/data/collections/name/people?count=25&search=” + query);
viewScope.put(“names”,persons);

Next is the result list. I have added an additional list item and added the active class:

This item will display the search query we have provided:

acgtive

The Repeat control has also changed slighty. The rows property has been adjusted. We calculate the number of documents returned by the full text search.

<![CDATA[#{javascript:database.updateFTIndex(true);
var query:string = context.getUrlParameter(“search”);
var vw:NotesView = database.getView(“people”);
var totNums:Integer = vw.FTSearch(query).toFixed();
return totNums}]]>

Also the text that indicates where we are in the result set has been modified:

Tip: since we are actually performing FT searches here perhaps it is better to put the counted results already from our initial call in a scope variable and re-use it =(

The button in our infinite scroll function/custom control has also been adapted. Here is the code:

Here is what the end result looks like after a search:

endresult

Infinite scroll for our Domino Access Services & Jackson app

Introduction

In a previous post I demonstrated how to process JSON data from Domino Access Services with the Jackson library. In this post I follow up on that and demonstrate how you can apply an infinite scroll function to it so you can navigate through the presented list in a mobile app kinda way:

app

Class DASRest

Include Serializable

Since we are going to add more Java objects to our list we will use a scope variable to store the values in. Because of the usage we need to include serializable in our DASRest class:

package com.quintessens.FakeNames;

import java.io.Serializable;
import javax.ws.rs.core.MediaType;
import org.codehaus.jackson.map.ObjectMapper;
import com.sun.jersey.api.client.Client;
import com.sun.jersey.api.client.WebResource;
import com.sun.jersey.api.client.config.ClientConfig;
import com.sun.jersey.api.client.config.DefaultClientConfig;

public class DASRest implements Serializable {

private static final long serialVersionUID = 1 L;

public static Person[] getPersons(String url) {
Person[] persons = null;
try {
ClientConfig config = new DefaultClientConfig();
Client client = Client.create(config);
WebResource service = client.resource(url);
String json = service.accept(MediaType.APPLICATION_JSON).get(String.class);
ObjectMapper mapper = new ObjectMapper();
persons = mapper.readValue(json, Person[].class);

} catch (Exception e) {
System.out.println(“catch…”);
e.printStackTrace();
}
return persons;
}
}

Managed Bean

We will also register our class as a Managed Bean in the faces-config.xml file:

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
<faces-config>
<managed-bean>
<managed-bean-name>personsBean</managed-bean-name>
<managed-bean-class>com.quintessens.FakeNames.DASRest</managed-bean-class>
<managed-bean-scope>request</managed-bean-scope>
</managed-bean>
</faces-config>

beforePageLoad event

In the beforePageLoad event of the XPage where we will display the result list we will make the initial call to the Domino Access Service and collect the fist set of documents:

var persons = new Array();
persons = personsBean.getPersons(“http://dev1/fakenames40k.nsf/api/data/collections/name/people?count=25&#8221;)
viewScope.put(“names”,persons);

As you can see we still use the fakenames application. The received result we place in a viewScope variable. Now we need to bind this variable to a repeat control.

Repeat Control

Our repeat control looks pretty straight forward. I included already some mark-up since we will utilize Bootstrap for our UI presentation:

<ul class=”list-group”>
<xp:repeat id=”rptPersons” indexVar=”persIndex” var=”persData”>
<xp:this.value>
<![CDATA[#{javascript:viewScope.get(“names”)}]]>
</xp:this.value>
<xp:this.rows>
<![CDATA[#{javascript:var vw:NotesView = database.getView(“people”);
return vw.getAllEntries().getCount().toFixed();}]]>
</xp:this.rows>
<li class=”list-group-item”>
<xp:text escape=”true” id=”computedField1″ value=”#{javascript:return persData.name}”>
</xp:text>

</li>
</xp:repeat>
</ul>

Infinite Scroll

My infinite scroll function is inspired by the excellent snippet from Frank Kranenburg and available on OpenNTF.

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″ ?>
<xp:view xmlns:xp=”http://www.ibm.com/xsp/core&#8221; xmlns:xe=”http://www.ibm.com/xsp/coreex”&gt;

<!– make sure ‘add rows’ component is hidden –>
<style>
.infiniteScroll {
display: none;
}
</style>

<xp:button value=”Label” id=”button2″ styleClass=”infiniteScroll”>
<xp:eventHandler event=”onclick” submit=”true” refreshMode=”partial” refreshId=”#{javascript:compositeData.repeatId}”>
<xp:this.action>
<![CDATA[#{javascript:var repeater = compositeData.repeatControlId;

var counter = getComponent(repeater).getRowCount();
var numb = compositeData.increment;
var url = compositeData.baseURL;

var scope = compositeData.scopeVarName

var currPersons = viewScope.get(scope);
var morePersons = personsBeanTest.getPersons(url + counter + “&count=” + numb);
var allPersons = currPersons.concat(morePersons);

viewScope.put(scope,allPersons);

}]]>
</xp:this.action>
</xp:eventHandler>
</xp:button>

<!– small script to check if we need to auto-click the ‘add rows’ button –>
<xp:scriptBlock id=”scriptBlock1″>
<xp:this.value>
<![CDATA[$(window).scroll(function(){
if($(window).scrollTop() == $(document).height() – $(window).height()) {
$(“.infiniteScroll”).click();
}
});]]>
</xp:this.value>
</xp:scriptBlock>
</xp:view>

Under the event handler of the button we collect the current array with objects from the viewscope, we make a new call to Domino Access Services with our current position and we join the received next set of objects with the current set and then we write things back to the viewscope.

We then partial refresh the design element (a panel) that contains both the repeat control and the infinite scroll.

I defined some properties for the custom control in case I might re-use it for other views…

infscroll

That is basically it! On my Xpage I included some text to indicate where we are in the view and that there are more documents available:

<xp:text escape=”true” id=”computedField2″><xp:this.value><![CDATA[#{javascript:var vw:NotesView = database.getView(“people”);
var currNums:Integer = getComponent(“rptPersons”).getRowCount();
var totNums:Integer = vw.getAllEntries().getCount().toFixed();

return “Displaying rows ” + currNums + ” out of ” + totNums;
}]]></xp:this.value></xp:text>

Delivering responsive web design in IBM Notes applications

The following is a re-post I originally posted on Infoware’s blog: link.

Introduction

Responsive web design (RWD) has been the talk of town the last years. In 2012 it was listed as #2 in ‘Top Web Design Trends’ by .net magazine and Mashable called 2013 the ‘Year of Responsive Web Design’. Many other sources have recommended responsive design as a cost-effective alternative to mobile applications.

responsive

While I assume that a large portion of the internet (and in some cases intranet) sites are nowadays optimized for the device that accesses them, but what about your company’s (internal) business applications? 

Business value

IT departments need to prioritize their activities and internal applications are most often accessed by a smaller audience than external applications. Historically the internal app was accessed with a desktop computer. With the trend of smartphones and tablets taking over the workspace this may no longer be the case in your company?

With a VPN connection users want to continue to execute their work on this new breed of devices, instead starting up a desktop computer for a single task. Here is where the business value of RWD comes in.

Continue to work on same device = More productive employees = Saving time and perhaps even hardware

Mobile first

A trend is to apply the progressive application strategy of ‘Mobile first’. Instead of designing a complex application for desktop computers first and thereafter gracefully degrade it for mobile devices, the user interface is initially designed for mobile devices and enhanced for desktops with more processing power.

mobile-first-icons

 

Many RWD frameworks embrace this ‘Mobile first’ concept nowadays.

Options in Notes

So what are your options in delivering RWD in your beloved Notes applications? Depending on your roadmap for the platform and personal preferences you have the following options.

  1. Build the application with XPages technologies.
  2. Build the application with common web technologies.

The XPages way

An approach for your Notes platform that is highly promoted by IBM is to deliver web interfaces for Notes applications with XPages. Not only bring you in Rapid Application Development (RAD) principles in your project also the range of capabilities is much more diverse.

Another benefit is that you can stay on the core technologies: JSF, JavaScript and Java. This you can combine with common web technologies like AJAX, HTML5, CSS and REST services. For the RWD you can use your favorite framework such as Bootstrap or Foundation.

Bootstrap framework

twitter-bootstrap

Bootstrap is a popular framework for developing responsive, mobile first projects on the web. It makes front-end web development faster and easier. Bootstrap is based upon HTML, CSS and JavaScript, technologies already well-known in Notes web apps.

Distribution

You have several options how you distribute the Bootstrap framework to your audience:

  1. Install the files on your Domino server.
  2. Embed the files in a Notes application.
  3. Install an additional XSP library on your Domino server.
  4. Install the latest extension library on your Domino server.

In case you do not utilize the OSGi runtime on your Domino server you can either install the files on centrally on the Domino server or embed the files in each Notes application. The installation on the Domino server makes the distribution of updates easier but the administrator is responsible for the distribution across servers. Embedding the files in a Notes application is less efficient (e.g. caching) but makes distribution of updates a task for the developer.

Probably the best approach would be to utilize the OSGi runtime on your Domino server and distribute the files as a library via an Update site Notes application across your servers. This makes the task even simple and small for an administrator.

If you choose to do so you have the option to either install bootstrap4xpages library as a separate library or you can install the latest extension library (from 10 november 2014). The latter give you several benefits:

  • Custom renderer for the Application Layout control, which makes it easy to define the layout structure of your application.
    • This renderer gives the control a Bootstrap look & feel, as well making the control responsive.
  • A newer version of jQuery.
  • Latest Bootstrap themes (3.2.0 normal or flat).
  • Additional configuration options in the Application Layout control wizard for the Bootstrap navigation components.

Separate Mobile devices UI alternative

The extension library (a library with additional XPages controls and functions) provides also so-called ‘Mobile controls’ which allow you to deliver a separate interface for mobile devices for your Notes apps. Via a wizard you can build a ‘single page application’ in a matter of minutes with full CRUD (create, read, update and delete) operations and infinite scrolling through document lists (aka views).

This approach does not deliver RWD but a separate user interface for mobile devices. At least it gives you the option to deliver a UI adapted for mobile devices in a very short time with little investment.

You can choose to make the UI of the app look like a native app for iPhone or Android. Alternatively you can choose to make the UI look in line with other IBM products (iNotes, Connections). A video that demonstrates the controls briefly you can find here: http://vimeo.com/99537780.

The WEB way

In case you do not walk the XPages path but instead you prefer the approach to deliver the application with more common web technologies like HTML, CSS, AJAX and REST services you can still install the files of your responsive web design framework of choice on the Domino server or embed them in a Notes application.

From there you can start to (re)write your ‘traditional’ Domino application as a Web project. In the latter case you use Notes only as a container for your data documents and design elements and use forms and views only as data schemes.

This approach dodges the RAD capabilities in Notes and will demand more development time. But you can apply this approach also to other platforms that you may have. You can later even debate why the data should be stored in Notes and not in a document-oriented database alternative? The layered security and replication capabilities are often good arguments.

Implementing RWD via the Extension Library option

In the following scenario we will describe the implementation of RWD with the Extension Library more in details.

  • Database enablement.
  • Application Layout.

Database enablement

Assuming you have installed the extensions for the Domino server and Domino Designer (DDE) client according the instructions in the readme.pdf file you can now enable a Notes application.

XSP properties

The XSP properties file allows you to configure parameters for the XPages framework. Open the file in DDE.

Screenshot_1

In the General tab you have now two more themes to select:

  • Bootstrap 3.2.0
  • Bootstrap 3.2.0 flat

The ‘flat’ theme delivers:

  • The resources and styling that comes with Bootstrap v3.2.0.
  • jQuery v2.1.1 resources.
  • Cleanup of specific XPages controls when using Bootstrap.
  • Glyphicon halflings.
  • dbootstrap resources, which provide Bootstrap styling for Dojo controls.

The ‘ordinary’ theme provides all of the same resources as the flat theme, and includes 3D effects to buttons and some other additional styling.

Select one of the two themes:

Screenshot_2

Application layout

The RWD plugin adds a new renderer for the Application Layout control which you normally use to structure the layout of your application. This renderer gives your application layout the Bootstrap look and feel, as well as responsive behavior. When the application is rendered on a smaller screen, such as on a mobile device, it will automatically re-organize the application contents for an optimal user experience.

The control also has new configuration options. Add the Application control on a custom control and open the All Properties tab. In the basics section you can choose now the xe:bootstrapResponsiveConfiguration option:

Screenshot_3

Note: in case you have already a configured Application Layout control you can change the configuration option directly in the Source panel to keep the rest of your configuration (e.g. xe:applicationConfiguration -> xe:bootstrapResponsiveConfiguration).

This configuration options give you several more properties:

  • collapseLeftColumn
  • collapseLeftMenuLabel
  • collapaseLeftTarget
  • fixedNavbar
  • invertedNavbar
  • pageWidth

With the first 3 properties you define how the left column should behave on smaller devices (collapsed for smaller devices, display text when collapsed, item the left menu should be attached to).

You can determine the behavior of the navbar (inverted, fixed (top or bottom)) and the width of the page e.g. fluid = use Bootstrap ‘fluid’ container (almost full width).

Wizard

When you initially drag on the Application Layout control on the custom control a two-step wizard is presented. In the first step you select one of available configurations. You can filter on responsive and non-responsive.

Screenshot_4

In the second you set the properties for the chosen configuration. In case you choose the Responsive Bootstrap option you will see the following screen:

Screenshot_5

Under configuration you can set the properties for the layout including the 6 additional properties mentioned earlier. Set also the other properties like you would normally do.

Voila! Your application is now ready for development.

Hiding elements for specific devices

The plugin provides only the resources and structure for responsive web design. In case you want to optimize the layout for devices by explicitly show or hide them you can use CSS classes.

Bootstrap provides some handful helper classes, for faster mobile-friendly development. These can be used for showing and hiding content by device via media query combined with large, small, and medium devices.

Classes Devices
.visible-xs Extra small (less than 768px) visible
.visible-sm Small (up to 768 px) visible
.visible-md Medium (768 px to 991 px) visible
.visible-lg Larger (992 px and above) visible
.hidden-xs Extra small (less than 768px) hidden
.hidden-sm Small (up to 768 px) hidden
.hidden-md Medium (768 px to 991 px) hidden
.hidden-lg Larger (992 px and above) hidden

Note that the elements that you hide are still being loaded, but simply not being displayed.

Data View control

Probably a typical use case is the display of table columns or lists. On a desktop you may want to show more columns than on a smaller devices.

Typical you use the Data View control from the extension library to display lists of documents. The information you want to display as a link is defined in the summaryColumn property.

Screenshot_6

Additional columns that are displayed on the right of the summaryColumn will be displayed via the extraColumns property. Each additional column is defined in a viewExtraColumn item which contains properties for styleClass and headerStyleClass. For example you could set these as followed:

<xe:this.extraColumns>

<xe:viewExtraColumn columnName=”Date” columnTitle=”Date” style=”width: 100px”  styleClass=” hidden-xs hidden-sm ” headerStyleClass=” hidden-xs hidden-sm“></xe:viewExtraColumn>

</xe:this.extraColumns>

This will show the extra column only for medium and larger devices since they will be hidden for (extra) small devices.

Screenshot_7

Wrap up

Delivering responsive web design on your Notes applications has never been as easy as it is nowadays with the RWD plugin in the extension library. It also respects the rapid application (web) development mantra of XPages.

In case you do decide to follow this path remember you need to check what information you want to show or hide for specific devices.

So what is keeping you from getting a bigger bang for the buck by delivering optimized user experiences for mobile, tablet and desktops for your Notes applications?

 

Certified Application Developer Notes 9

Today I passed the second exam for my certification for IBM Application Developer Notes and Domino 9. My last certification dated from the Notes 7 era so I was forced to take the two core exams as explained in the image below:

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This second exam was much more focused on development with XPages, using the Extension Library and the Mobile controls. I guess according what you would expect in modern Domino development. There were the ooccasional LotusScript and @Formula questions, but the majority of the questions were XPages related. Personally I find the setup a bit odd. I Hardly use @Formula or LotusScript in new projects. I wonder why IBM is not defining exams within each technical area seperately e.g. XPages, @Formula & Functions, LotusScript, Java and Extension Library if you wish.

Overall I liked the second exam better, no odd questions about Notes client installation, parameters in the client, more practical development questions. But also expect questions on JSF, XSP configuration etcetera.

A tip I could give is to take a look at the API documentation:

XPages configuration file format

I have not considered to upgrade my certification to the ‘Advanced’ level since I have not worked with administration so intensively lately. I expect though that the XPages mobile advanced topics would be a “piece of cake”. What are your experiences? After all it is also a financial question because the exams are not free. Maybe there will be the option to take an exam on IBM ConnectED 2015?

 

Demo of the Single Page Application Wizard control

You can bring a IBM Notes application without much work to the web browser via the Notes Browser plugin. But since Mobile is the standard nowadays that plugin seems to be obsolete almost. So what other options do you have for your enterprise apps?

  • You can introduce a mobile application platform, if you have the time and the money.
  • You can migrate your whole collaboration platform in exchange for something less, similar or not similar at all. And prey for mobile tools on that platform.
  • You can rewrite your apps and deliver them with the help of frameworks as mobile web application or in between solution.

Or… you save yourself the time & bucks and install the Extension Library version that contains the Single Page Application wizard from OpenNTF.

I have made a video in which I demonstrate how to mobilize the fakenames application in a couple of minutes. First I will describe the wizard and how the process for mobilizing an app looks like. Then I demonstrate the actual development which will take about 8 1/2 minutes.

Update – watch on Vimeo

Video on Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/99537780 in case you experience the message ‘This video is not available in your country’.

Youtube

Enjoy the video!

In case you want to contact me on mobilizing your Notes app, just send me an email.