First of all, there is no doubt that the followers of the Notes/Domino platform are very passionate about the platform, where it is and where it is going. This is a good thing. We saw evidence of this at Lotusphere as well. That being said I think that the discussion in the thread on Eds blog has probably ventured somewhat off-topic into a discussion on development platforms and a discussion on strongly vs. loosely typed programming languages. Probably a discussion best left in another forum… 🙂
Worse though is the fact that some just refuse to accept the change that is inevitable in this industry. The move to Java, or another new programming language, in the future is inevitable. However no one, certainly not myself, dispute the fact that LotusScript is the de facto programming language of the Notes/Domino platform. We all know IBM makes mistakes once in a while but I certainly do not think they would saw of the branch they are sitting on by deprecating the LotusScript language. As I wrote in the original post: “LotusScript will probably be supported from now to the demise of the platform.”
I think Ed explains it very well and clearly in one of his comments (@61) to the discussion thread:
"So yes, the userbase wants to keep Lotuscript as the default language. And to be clear, Lotuscript doesn't go away, change, or deprecate in the Notes "Hannover" release. And some of the ideas here on how to extend the value of a Lotuscript skillset are interesting and make sense. But a view of the larger IT market indicates that the need to incorporate other languages -- AND development tools -- with the Notes environment of today is an even better bet."
We, as the ever-passionate Notes/Domino community, have to overcome our fear of change and accept that application development has, and continues to move away, from the proprietary, all-in-one-NSF, single-platform development style that has been prevalent for so many years. This doesn’t mean that you have to move away from this type of development and a lot of applications will continue to benefit from the RAD (oops – I said it!) environment of Notes/Domino.
It is just that the majority of new applications being developed, or existing ones getting a tune-up, needs to look outside the Notes/Domino platform for information. Whether this be a simple lookup in a RDBMS, a call to a web service or a series of complicated calls to an ERP system doesn’t really matter. The can of worms is open and to think that the complexities of system integration will disappear in the foreseeable future is just mad. Having a non-proprietary programming language with widespread industry adoption makes this kind of system integration a lot easier and the benefits should be clear. For one we can avoid the proliferance of custom LSX modules wrapping C/C++ API code to provide access to system X, Y and Z.
The shift towards composite applications, including the kind you can build in Hannover, will be all about system integration – this is why Java adoption is a necessity. Not for the traditional kind of applications but for the new stuff.
Instead of bitching and moaning I think we, as a community, should be thrilled and instead focus on the fact that IBM has seen this shift coming, and that Notes/Domino with the Hannover client is embracing the future and providing the tooling to leverage existing investments in other platforms. Lets embrace the future not hide away from it refusing to accept the change that is coming.
The need as a developer to skill-up by embracing Java might seem unjust and a burden but the alternative would be even worse. You, and the customer you serve (whether the customer be internal or external), would be left behind with a dead, proprietary, used-to-be-great platform. Instead you are getting a heads-up while there is time.
Happy coding… 🙂