DDE on Mac & Linux? Nope.

The whole Designer-on-Mac / Linux thing has cropped up again of late, and there’s been a flurry of activity around the associated IdeaJam posts too. Bill Malchisky’s post has a very eloquent take on it all.

Some of us have been clamouring for Domino Designer back on the Mac since it was pulled in release five. The Mac OS landscape (and mindshare of course) has changed dramatically since the R5 days, and then IBM came along and added fuel to the fire by using Eclipse as the base for new versions of Designer.

Fire? How so? I hear you ask… Well, inadvertently or not, in using Eclipse for your IDE you’re screaming that your environment will work on more than a Windows box. In the heady days of dreamy possibility represented by Hannover, one of the vaunted plus points for using Eclipse was its expandability, but also the fact that Eclipse is cross-platform.

Sooner or later, if Notes apps are to continue, the aged Windows-based C code underlying the standard Notes client has to be re-written, and then DDE has the wherewithal to become a true cross-platform Eclipse-based IDE of some heft.

But that won’t happen. Why? XPages. Drop the Notes cruft, go with the JSF-based XPages platform. If you have that, and only that, for your Domino apps, you stand a fighting chance of getting a cross-platform IDE*. Until then, you’re pissing in the wind.

Let me be clear: I don’t mean this as a criticism (which may surprise some readers given my long-standing fondness for Macs). IBM have to pick their battles, and funds have to be apportioned: they’re not going to spend $$$ making layout regions work in Designer on Ubuntu.

* that said, I still wouldn’t hold your breath if I were you. The Rational / Websphere tooling doesn’t have all this cruft, and that doesn’t work on OS X either.


  1. Let's not forget that even the Eclipse side, on Mac, is far from beeing a stable beast. And the recent reluctance of Apple to support a native JVM on OSX does not seem to go in the good direction for java on Mac, at least for UI intensive apps…

    According to me, having DDE on Mac should be a question of evaluating the effort to be made to get it. If having DDE on Mac in Domino Next timeframe means near 0 enhancement to DDE, I would personally vote no…

    But I'm not a Mac fan so, I'm biaised ;-)Michael Bourak#
  2. I'm with Ben. It is a nice to have. But on what planet do IBM "drive shareholder value" (a phrase used several times at LS11) with a DDE on Mac? None.

    Does the great Yellow submarine really think moving DDE to Mac will entice more developers? Really? Or maybe it will keep said submarine quiet for a week or two…..humm….maybe that is the selling point ;)Darren Duke#
  3. @1 Eclipse on the Mac is fine for me, always has been. As for the JVM business, there’s a lot of FUD around the Apple decision. Whilst it’s true that they will no longer build the OS X JVM, that doesn’t mean there won’t be one.

    And really, beyond Eclipse, I have very little time for Java desktop apps ;-)Ben Poole#
  4. Oh gosh, logic does spoil an argument.

    I love Ubuntu. I would LOVE to be able to work in Designer without having to run Windows in a VM. But the reality is that every company where I've worked since Win 3.1 was using Windows on almost all machines. I'm confident that requests for exports to Excel are extremely common.

    And the developers *I* know who are graduating ALL are using Windows machines. Some might be doing .NET, some Java, etc, but Windows does still seem quite pervasive.

    I can *wish*, but business decisions have to be based on money.Joe Litton#
  5. @2 DDE on the Mac won’t entice new blood, no. We Mac guys have plenty of dev. environments already. And some of them load up in, like, seconds ;-)Ben Poole#
  6. I see little value in a Mac/Linux designer. I saw plenty of VMs running designer various OS versions at LSphere. It's a nice to have, but it's kinda like asking Americans if they'd like better highways and healthcare. Sure, those things sound great, until you need to fund them!

    I'd prefer IBM concentrate their limited resources on other areas of Lotus where we'll see more bang/buck.Mike McP#
  7. I wish IBM would not have wasted the last 8 years developing db2nsf and Eclipse-based bloatware.

    Imagine where we could be now if IBM had made good decisions. Now we sit back and see Amazon SimpleDB, Google app engine, mongodb, Couchdb, Cassandra, redis, Handlersocket, etc. And think... That's an .NSF. John#

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