After an eventless flight we arrived at Orlando yesterday, just in time to register for Lotusphere but a little too late for the Turtle's ESPN get-together. So we just grabbed some junk-food at the Caribbean Beach food court and had some sleep. Which is good since we will need it .
We have just been to the jumpstart session JMP302 IBM Workplace Designer 101. Excellent stuff. The Workplace Designer really has grown up since last year. Unfortunately I was not able to play around with it in the past year so I was glad to see that the developers have done a good job at it. For a Domino developer (with a thorough knowledge of web development) it is really simple to develop portlets for Workplace using the Workplace Designer.
The presentation was pretty good, loads of information for the experienced Domino developer/Workplace Designer newbie. As always the time was just too short to show everything Martha and Eugene wanted to show. The major part of the session were demos which is good since it showed the real potential of Workplace Designer. I was also impressed by the speed of the tool (and also the deployment process. The Workplace server allegedly ran on Eugene's laptop and everything was pretty fast.
Hans-Peter suggested to Eugene Louie (who did the presentation together with Martha S. Hoyt) to rename the "document" to avoid this confusion. Eugene suggested "workplacedocument". I am not sure if I am happy with that long name but I definitely think that renaming it is a good idea.
Another thing I don't know yet is how I can write portlets which are pretty. That means not specifying a lot of in-line formatting in the forms (as it has been done in Notes applications) but to use Cascading Stylesheets and to simply apply CSS classes to the elements in the form (and of course the form itself. I have seen some controls which might let you use existing style sheets and classes but I have not yet seen where to store the CSS files in my Workplace application. I will hopefully learn more about that later since this is a key element in the separation of layout and content (and of course accessibility).
After talking to Philippe Riand after his session I have learned a bit more about that. Currently you can use the CSS classes defined in the standard Workplace CSS files. You may alter and expand them and the added classes should be available in Workplace Designer. In the next release (3.0) of Workplace Designer you will be able to have CSS files als shared resources (just like in Domino Designer) to further extend the standard portal stylesheets for your application. Obviously the styles defined in the additional CSS files should match with the standard portal styles for a consistent look & feel.
Technorati tags: Lotusphere2006, Workplace