Monday, December 12, 2011

No, Virginia, you DO NOT have to learn Java for XPage development

(With apologies to Francis Pharcellus Church)

"DEAR EDITOR: I am a Domino Developer. 
"Some of my little friends say I have to learn Java to do XPages. 
"Papa says, 'If you see it on XPAGETIPS.COM it's so.' 
"Please tell me the truth;
do I really have to learn Java to create XPages?


DEVELOPER, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they read on blogs. They think that nothing can be which is not achieved through liberal use of Java.  All Java, Developer, written by you or known to you is 100% optional. In this great product of ours Java is merely a tool, another option to use if you wish, an addition to the boundless potential of @Functions, Server-Side JavaScript and Client-side JavaScript.

Yes, DEVELOPER, you can create XPage applications without learning any Java.  XPages built without Java knowledge exist as certainly as Data Table Controls and View Controls and Panel Controls exist, and you know that they abound and give to your applications their highest performance and functionality. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were only Java. It would be as dreary as if there were no DEVELOPERs. There would be no @If() then, no @TextToTime(), no @UserName() to make tolerable this existence. We should have no deployed applications, except with casting and extending. The eternal light with which Domino fills the world would be extinguished.

Have to use Java to build an XPage application! You might as well not believe in IBM Lotus Domino! You might get your manager to hire people to watch all the Domino servers to see if anyone made an XPsge application without learning Java, but what would that prove? It all becomes Java, but that is no sign there is Developer-written Java used. The most real things in our world are applications that can be run in a Notes client or a web browser.  Neither users nor managers can see. Did you ever see the Java behind the Repeat Control? You may have, but that's no proof that you have to use or know Java yourself. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable behind XPage controls.

You may tear apart the Discussion Template and see what makes it work, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the smartest developer, nor even the united strength of all the smartest developers that ever lived, could tear apart. Only rapid application development, security, reusability, cross-browser compatibility, low TCO, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory of improved productivity and complete social network integration. Is it all real? Ah, DEVELOPER, in this economy there is nothing else real and abiding.

No XPages without writing Java! Thank God! Domino lives, and Domino lives forever. A thousand applications from now, Developer, nay, ten times ten thousand applications from now, XPages will continue to make glad the heart of developerhood without a single line of Java from you.