Thursday, April 7, 2011

The fun of Developing in Xpages

Time once again for one of my, what was he thinking..he doesn't code! posts.

Well it is that time of year again where the LCTY, er I mean Social Roadshow comes to town that we sponsor, yes it is at the Golf course again, and I dutifully update the server pages and forms in as minimal way as possible.

Somehow it is never quite so simple or minimal.

As you may have seen on Twitter I had posted a few issues.

First, I was unable to copy pieces of code/pages from one nsf to another.
Turns out my PC just needs more RAM or to shut down the multiple feeds running on it. What I saw was if I waited about 10 seconds the cursor would change and then come back, then I could go to the new db and paste it. Of course there was also the link to a piece of code that I hadn't moved yet

Second, My agent would not email the person who registered. Again, my fault. Syntax was incorrect, someone I know mistyped the correct field instead of using the drop down. Have I mentioned why I dropped programming back in 1992?

Third, after testing it all and verifying the URL is correct, I receive 2 of each email from my agent notifier. The email to the individual registering was sent once. Luckily this is where friends come in and after reviewing my settings decided that maybe I should not have the agent run on save or edit. Instead let it run every 15 minutes and give the server time to catch up to itself. This of course also means that 386 that runs the website may have to get upgraded. You may experience a resending of all the emails, just warning you.

So what did I learn this time about XPages?

1) That flying blind works, if you can troubleshoot your way to success.
2) The Designer client provides not just error messages and notifications but takes you to the point of failure. Which you then need to understand what you are looking at to fix it. When in doubt, ask!
3) There is probably a help file, but I still have not used it. I know RTFM, but if I knew how to explain what I was doing I would. I speak admin, not developer. I also have the Mastering XPages tome on my desk.
4) When you get it to work, it is a thing of beauty.
5) The Agent form where I put my Simple Action to email people brings up a text window to enter text, one problem is every time I pressed Enter to get a new line, it saved it and reverted back to the Designer agent list. To get around this I figured out pressing CTRL-Enter would get me a new line. Sometimes it does help to think out of the box.

As always, don't code like I do, unless you are an admin then in that case I feel for you and hope your development skills are more inline with modern times.