My next two favorite features of 8.5.3

Oct 5, 2011 8:07 AM

Tags: domino

Since 8.5.3 has been out for about 24 hours now, I naturally rolled it out on both my development and production servers. Fortunately, my irresponsibility was greatly rewarded: the largest problems I've had so far were a change in the way Java classes are accessed in JavaScript (I could no longer just call methods on non-public classes defined in the same file as a public one, so I had to split them out into their own files... which is what you're supposed to do anyway) and a minor CSS change where the top borders of my Dojo tabbed tables are now back to a light grey color, so I need to find the new CSS rule to change them back to brown.

I'm rather happy so far about two minor things in particular: CSS/JavaScript aggregation and OSGi auto-loading.

The CSS/JavaScript aggregation is almost a freebie: once you have Designer 8.5.3, you get a new option in the database properties sheet to turn this on and then 8.5.3 servers will happily obey it. I immediately noticed a decent load-speed increase of about 1/3 and one non-technical guild member said that the odd problem of dog-slowness that they (and not other people) had has been fixed. My favorite aspect of this is that it's a smart feature: due to the way you define Dojo modules in an XPage as <xp:dojoModule/> elements and not just text on a page like normal HTML, Domino knows ahead of time what you're using and can thus feel free to optimize it in transparent ways like this. It feels good seeing the same code go from one form to a more efficient one just by virtue of done the "right thing" when writing it to begin with.

The OSGi plugin auto-loading was mentioned briefly on Dec's Dom Blog back in June and I hadn't seen much reference to it since, so I was afraid it wouldn't necessarily make it in. Fortunately, it has: I created a new Update Site with the template from an 8.5.3 server, imported the latest Extension Library, ran the "Sign All" agent, and set the notes.ini parameter to look there. And lo and behold: it properly loads up the extensions from the NSF, so I was finally able to delete the filesystem versions that were previously necessary. This makes managing the Extension Library much smoother and it's one less potential gotcha when I upgrade my dev server first and then want to deploy it - since the Update Site has a replica on both servers, the upgrade is handled with the normal replication process and I don't have to remember to copy any files over from server to server. And the fact that it's an NSF theoretically gives you all kinds of other, more complicated deployment options, like server-based Reader field control or partial replication to control which servers see which plugins if you're so inclined. Very cool - I approve, IBM.

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