Why Notes’ default templates should get an update

Notes 8.5 introduces an all-new standard discussion template using XPages and other elements of UI goodness. Great stuff. But as if we needed any more argument for why the out-of-the-box Notes templates should be given a make-over, Jeff Atwood clarifies (as ever) in a post about Windows:

Don’t bother improving your product unless it results in visible changes the user can see, find, and hopefully appreciate.

Amen to that. Jeff Atwood: If You Don’t Change the UI, Nobody Notices.


  1. Oddly enough, back in May or so, the IBM facility in Dublin - the internationalisaton place - was looking for a domino developer to basically overhaul all the templates. Of course, they wanted to do it on the cheap - far cheaper than any of us could have done it (and successfully lived in Dublin - as its hugely expensive).

    So I'm guessing they got some local chap, and so far we have little visible evidence of anything at all. Which is a bit of a shame, especially with the xPages push.

    I'm of a mind to be far more brutal to customers from now on. You want this ? Upgrade to 8.5. ;-)

    I'm sick of supporting every bleeding release right back to v4.5 (seriously). And I'm bleeding sick of them all looking exactly like they did back in v4.5 times - over 10 years ago.

    ---* BillBill#
  2. Dublin place hasn't been the internationalisation place for years now. Certainly not before everyone moved to the campus.

    It is now Dublin Software Lab (DSL) which is what you are referring to. They work on a number of products and features in there.

    I doubt the overhaul though took a long time as in the Dublin workshop one of the developers created the discussion template basics in a matter of minutes as an example. Simon O'Doherty#
  3. Two words…A-MEN! Chris Blatnick#
  4. Shocking! I thought they might have even put an XPages face on to the blog template…nope :(Colin Williams#
  5. Is there any reason why we cannot do what IBM hasn't done as yet?

    Surely there are enuff of us dev types that we could so a collaborative venture in smartening up the "out of the boxes"

    I could give a couple of hours a week to tweaking a template and if 5 or 6 of us were to get our heads together we could prob do the blog template in a relatively short time.

    Serve a couple of goals .. show folk how easy it is to do with the new tools without any IBM interference which is generally how most Notes apps get written and show that we as collaborative engineers can actually collaborate ;-)

    Hey I might even have get real geeky blogs out of it!

    If Chris is game he could get his low fat prototype crayons out after LS and give us something to shoot at.

    Anyone up for it?Steve McDonagh#
  6. Indeed.
    Agree? Vote for it: Wiseman#
  7. The internationalisaton place is in China, the task of refreshing all the templates in Dublin is a doubtful story (but you never know in a big company), and the discussion template most certainly did not take minutes.

    But anyway - is there a need for an XPages blog template when it works just fine (and on every server version) and is the most up to date template at this point (client and web)? Not saying there will not be an XPages version - but are there not bigger/more important fish here?.

    The other templates - well they are a different story and I probably bore people daily about them. But fear not and see what comes out of Lotusphere :)Steve Castledine#
  8. Steve I agree, if there’s a target app for refreshing, it’s not DominoBlog! The “community” taking on this task has been discussed before. On one hand I think “yeah, why not” but on the other I get somewhat curmudgeonly about IBM’s commitment to its product and think “why should we”? :-) Ben Poole#
  9. I am always interested in actually which templates need updating? With discussion already going down that road, personal journal was done in 8.5 (and renamed Notebook), blog is pretty up to date, mail has had a little bit of work done on it in recent releases :) - which other templates that are actually used need an update? Also what new templates are required?Steve Castledine#
  10. The new discussion template doesn't look the same in my 8.5 client and with a browser, something wrong? ;-) JesperH#
  11. An updated document library template to compete with the default Windows SharePoint Services library or Google Apps is several years overdue.Scott Stewart#
  12. @9 As Scott says, a doc library is a shoo-in.

    What else… some kind of Team Room update for when Quickr is overkill. Maybe a wiki. A web CMS (although blog template works there too I guess). One or more basic workflow apps—expenses, holiday requests, that sort of thing. Helpdesk app. Time management app (project tracking / timesheets). Plenty of scope!Ben Poole#
  13. Well I think the blog template could do with an XPages refresh -- if nothing else as a reference application for budding developers AND as a showcase of the technology. We're being told by IBM that XPages is the way forward and what do they deliver? A lonely Discussion template. Talk about a sandwich with no meat -- it looks good until I take a bite.

    Anyway, as others have suggested, I want to see more and it should offer some out of the box parity with SharePoint AND showcase what's possible. If thats a Doc Library or Knowledge data store then bloody brilliant!Colin Williams#
  14. :-) Ok perhaps not the blog then and I did share Ben's "why should we" sentiment but have come to the conclusion "if now we .. who?" ;-)
    and i like the idea of the simplicity of the holiday request app as an example.Not to many trees to obscure the view for people to take to bits and put back together again.

    Steve McDonagh#
  15. I understand why IBM don’t want to invest time and money in the standard templates—they’re a support burden and no-one uses them in their “vanilla” form anyway—but they are important. So I think there’s a definite gap here, and maybe it can / should be filled by BP-types.

    Whoever fills this gap needs to do it properly and that takes an investment of time and money, both from that partner and from IBM. The nearest I think we get to this? (a) the composite apps components catalogue on OpenNTF (Composite Apps? Eh? OK, stop that sniggering in the back) and (b) the excellent Quickr template work from SNAPPS.

    So there’s a precedent. Just need the will I suppose.Ben Poole#
  16. My two cents here is that the parity between SharePoint and IBM/Lotus technologies is ALWAYS brought up when dealing with Executive management and the argument to keep Lotus or move to MS. There is ALWAYS a MS "kid" in house that argues he can throw up a SharePoint site in "minutes" that will provide the organization with this, this and this… There is very little defense to this outside of the old tired "cost of ownership" which is very difficult to sell. If we (believers in Lotus technology) could show the out of the box project application/template parity or if we even had one really killer app it would help. I think SharePoint comes with dozens of templates… We have maybe 6 and none of them are very feature rich. For example the QProject template could actually replace an inhouse project tracking application we use that is very old and tired but the QProject template lacks one thing. The ability to track time spent on tasks.
    Probably to long a post for most people to read but that's what I think.Anthony Miller#

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