There was once a time when I was a single man with more spare time than I knew what to do with. Never having been one to sit idle I used to busy myself with learning new stuff and generally playing with things I thought might one day be a useful tool in my career as an IT geek.
Those times are gone now. Probably forever. Unless something terrible happens like a nasty divorce followed by a stint in a bed-sit, but let's not go there though. As a family man and home owner I have precious little spare time and find myself having to think about how best to spend what I do have.
From what I've learnt here over the last week or so I can see that learning XPages is without doubt a worthy use of my spare time; I just keep getting distracted from spending anything more than 5 minutes here and there on it. Like last night when I had my attention grabbed by Google Gears and spent some time looking in to that.
I think the trouble is that XPages just isn't floating my boat. It's just not tickling my fancy.
The user (read developer) experience just isn't that hot either. It's cumbersome in the way Notes development always has been. The code editor's syntax highlighting and auto-completion don't help matters. In the time I have spent playing with XPages I've just not found it intuitive.
Contrast this with Flex. Flex Builder is an absolute joy to use. It's exactly what - to me at least - a development IDE should be like. I get a nice feeling when I use it. Sometimes, when I don't even need to use it, I launch it anyway. Just to look round and play. Building Flex apps is intuitive, well documented and helped by the fact there's so much stuff posted about the internet.
With Flex I found I went from complete novice to being able to produce real solutions for real customer needs in no time at all. I can't tell you how much I love Flex!
The thing with Gears and Flex is that I began looking at both as possible solutions to problems presented to me by customers. As yet I've not had a problem which has made me think XPages is the solution. Although this could be because I don't know exactly what they can solve. A bit of a Catch 22 situation I guess.
Maybe I need to wait until either a) a customer of mine moves to Domino 8.5 and/or b) I'm presented with a technical requirement for which XPages presents the only solution. When this happens I'll have no choice but to get stuck in and no doubt I'll love it and wonder how I ever managed without it. Until then I just can't see how I'm going to give it the time it deserves.
The other thing that's not helping is the fact that Notes 8.5 is on my Vista Parallels "PC" on the Mac mini in the office, so I have to be in there to use it. If it were on my laptop I might be able to play with it of a night time while watching TV. Although I don't even get time to do that now either...
Anybody know a reason I shouldn't move my laptop to Notes 8.5? Do dual installs work with Notes 7 & 8?