Domino Designer 8.5.1 Is Much, Much Better Than 8.5

At the end of last month I tweeted:

Unless Notes Designer 8.5.1 is much better than 8.5 I'm going to have to go back to 7.0.2

Such was my disappointment in the 8.5 IDE! It's hard to put my finger on exactly what I found so annoying, but it was definitely flakey. Am I the only one who thought that? Slow too. To the point where I could tell I was being less productive than when I used 7.0.2.

Well, I'm happy to report that after only five minutes using 8.5.1 that this is no longer the case. It feels solid and polished. No flickering and jumping here and there while I wait and wait for it to load the list of Forms. Design element lists (and the elements themselves) open as quickly as they did in 7.0.2 rather than waiting for an age, as I felt I was doing in 8.5.

Now, get this. I actually got excited by Domino Designer. Don't think that's happened since version 5.

I need to play more but so far my favourite feature has to be the new LotusScript editor. Oooh, colour coding!

Best of all it now has type-ahead coding. Not only that but it also works on my own classes. Here it is offering suggestions on teh "web" object which is based on my "WebSession" class, which any of you familiar with the demo DBs on here will recognise and which I use all the time.


Off to play some more...


    • avatar
    • Nick
    • Tue 13 Oct 2009 05:58 AM

    I have been using Domino for over 10 years...and .NET in the past 4. This shows my frustration with Domino. Why did it took this long to put these type of things into place? Good to see they FINALLY have this in place.

  1. Wooooooottt .. this is the best news today. Man this is big :-)

    • avatar
    • CJ
    • Tue 13 Oct 2009 06:49 AM

    I upgraded to 8.5 a little while back out of interest to see what it was like. I soon also downgraded back to 8, which doesn't use the Eclipse(?) bits for designer.

    I think the main gripe for me was that I didn't like the layout of it. I've never used the Eclipse framework so maybe I just wasn't used to it, but the thing that narked me the most was that in versions (4.5 to?) 6 to 8 you can make the databases/ design elements on the left of the screen collapse and then expand by hovering over it. Not being able to do that really irritated me taking up my screen real-estate.

    I'll have to get my hands on a 8.5.1 version and give it a go to see if that or other things make it more appealing.

    • avatar
    • Peter LaComb
    • Tue 13 Oct 2009 06:58 AM

    I too had serious issues with the 8.5 designer. Haven't had a chance to check out the new designer, but the new client is finely polished.

    • avatar
    • Mike McP
    • Tue 13 Oct 2009 08:38 AM

    I bailed on 8.5 designer after about an hour of playing with it and went back to R8...it was a nightmare to use. I remain cautiously optimistic over 8.5.1, and hope to try it out next week.

  2. The difference between 8.5.0 Designer (and client) and 8.5.1 is like night and day. It's a pleasure to use it.

  3. I too had the same frustrations with the 8.5 Designer client. I only used it if I absolutely had no choice.

    Now I am a very happy camper!

    • avatar
    • Indy
    • Tue 13 Oct 2009 02:02 PM

    Definitely way way better. And they even removed the most idiot and dangerous feature I've ever seen: "The delete database check box when removing a bookmark in the designer"

    • avatar
    • Erik Brooks
    • Tue 13 Oct 2009 02:18 PM

    You're not alone, Jake. I was in the 8.5.0 Public Beta and DDE was flat-out unusable if you needed to use it more than 10 minutes a day. When I heard that 8.5.0 Gold was just as bad, and the 8.5.0 Server crashed all over the place due to other bugs, I just bailed on it.

    8.5.1 seems like the way things *should* be. I'm just as excited as you are.

    Now maybe you'll give XPages a chance. ;-)

  4. Love 8.5.1 IDE (agreed it's, about 2.5.1 releases late). Two gotchas so far.

    1) To find the line for ERL you must start from the very top. If you select a custom class the line numbers are different.

    2) Is there a way to turn back on auto-justification on compile?

    • avatar
    • Giulio
    • Tue 13 Oct 2009 05:52 PM


    8.5.0 was reported as the "Windows vista" of notes. 8.5.1 has been reported as the Windows 7 of Notes. IBM like MS seemed to be date driven, not results.

    I don't know why it's so hard to understand that if you pump out crap on time, no one is going to use it anyway, so you may as well not have gone to the trouble of deployment anyway. Quality vs Time. And that it takes time to produce good quality.

  5. I really like DDE 8.5.1, it's everything that 8.5.0 should have been imho - will never go back again. Writing java code in DDE is totaly different (in a positive way) and I'm way more productive. There are still things to improve further (js editors content assist, workingsets...), but it's still a great release.

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