My Thoughts on the OpenNTF XPages Development Contest

When I started to work on OpenNTF at the end of 2008 one of my goals was to host a development contest. It has certainly taken longer than I had hoped for, but we finally hosted the first development contest on OpenNTF and last Friday the nominations closed.

In summary I think the contest has been a huge success. I had hoped to get 10 submissions but the community has well overachieved. OpenNTF has received 49 submissions with 64 controls from 22 contributors.

The quality of these controls is really good. There are certainly some easier controls but even they can help new XPages developers to get started. Other controls are just great and I have heard several people stating that they really should be in the product. I’ve tested all controls and created an overview page with descriptions, screenshots and mini videos.

I have also created a 27 minutes video that shows all controls in action. However the video is really just a quick overview (without tone) and no detailed tutorial-like demonstration.

I won’t call out any controls explicitly here today since the judging needs to be done first. The final judging is planned to be done in the next Steering Committee meeting.

Maybe the best number is the amount of first time OpenNTF contributors. For 14 of the 22 participants it has been the first time they shared code on OpenNTF. I’d like to thank everyone who has participated – all new contributors Mariusz Jakubowski, Per Henrik Lausten, Serdar Basegmez, Naveen Maurya, Martin Meijer, Aidan Cooper, Fredrik Norling, Elijah Lapson, Kateryna Czerniachowska, Dennis Chen, Marco Dreher, Michael McGarel, Lars Buntrock and Rami Muurimaeki and all existing contributors and committers Ulrich Krause, Ferry Kranenburg, Frank van der Linden, Mark Hughes, Patrick Kwinten, Declan Lynch, Paul Withers and Rolf Kremer.

I also want to thank our sponsor We4IT who sponsored the iPads for the three winners.

Now that we have these nice controls it would be great if it were easier to import these controls using Designer in custom applications. We have a first version of such a tool but it requires some more work.

To my surprise 10 of the 64 controls have not been implemented as custom controls but as library controls using the 8.5.2 extensibility. The nice thing about these controls is that you can deploy them once globally and use them in your applications via drag and drop rather than having to copy design elements. Phil Riand talked about the idea to provide a tool that would help to convert custom controls into library controls making them easier to consume.

Now off to the judging – it’s gonna be really difficult. But there is one winner already – the XPages community.