Monday, May 23, 2016

Eternal fustrations with IBM "Help" - - this time trying to give them money

So I find I need to purchase a Domino license again, this happens for independent developers. I make my selection and get taken to what IBM is now calling the "Marketplace" to check out. However the option to enter a credit card to actually pay for my purchase is greyed out. So I call in. There is a wait and a lady answers. She asks the typical questions and then for me to send them an email with a screen shot. I ask for a ticket number so I can track this request (my reopened ticket for Bluemix is still sitting there unanswered after several days). She tells me they can't open tickets. I tell her I need one to follow this issue. Three times so far she's put me on hold to come back with the same thing - send in an email. I still want a ticket number.

Four times now....(I'm writing this while being on hold)....Five times. Finally I got a ticket number. It's a bit different from the ones I'm used to from IBM, but here we go.

The lady did actually give me her full name (which is rare), but you have to wonder what customer service expert came up with the idea that people want to be forever told to go elsewhere.


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Simple Example: Bootstrap

The Bootstrap library is a great way to do responsive design, and it's been incorporated into the Extension Library so you can use it "out of the box". The problem I've found is that the samples provided are pretty complex. Not too helpful if you are starting out since you have to try to figure out callbacks and a lot of other stuff to get to the points you want.

I think overly complex starter examples are a waste. They let the creator think they have provided something without actually helping the new person find their way. If you wanted the BootStrap Navbar, for example, it's hard to find that element in a way you can just use it and figure out how to get fancy later.

I've been taking a course that includes Bootstrap, and it's helped me figure out how it works. So I decided to so create a database showing some of the basics so someone moving to Bootstrap (especially from traditional Notes or non-Bootstrap XPage work). It's not designed to show everything, but to help out in showing some of the basics. I think once someone gets these under their belt, the rest will come more easily.

Here is what is in this example, all in separate XPages so you can see just that.

  1. NavBar: the useful top. This one includes some links that collapse to the burger menu when on a mobile device. Also I've included a glyph in the upper right which is common and looks good. 
  2. Jumbotron: The big top on a lot of websites, and with a button to go somewhere. It also shows how to use the Bootstrap styling of a button "btn btn-primary", you can put in "btn btn-success" for the green one, for example. 
  3. Well/InputForm: This is my most complex entry here. This gives the nice appearance where there is  grey box (the "well") with labels and fields and a nice button. 
    1. Put everything in a container, there there is a div for the well, then a div for the form group. These combine for the appearance desired.
    2. I use the a "Display Errors" control and style it with the "alert alert-danger" for the expected Bootstrap validation.
    3. I put in a combobox so you can see how it styles as well
  4. ContexturalBackgrounds: these show the colors behind a paragraph or other elements. I have a variety of them. 
  5. Lists: Also showing different colors for list items, list groups, and divs where you can put other elements.
  6. Offset columns: Bootstrap uses a grid system, and I have a page sampling the width and offset. Offset lets you specify the number of columns on either side of the 'populated' column. These allow the resizing needed going from desktops to mobile devices. 
 In the database, change theme to one of the Bootstrap ones provided, like Bootstrap3.2.0.

If you need to use Themes in your application, you can incorporate this one like this:

<theme extends="Bootstrap3.2.0" xmlns:xsi=""
        <!-- jQuery -->
....(other resources)

It's the first node, "theme extends" that does it, incorporating the Bootstrap theme from the Extension library into the theme you need.

It is my hope that this will be easier for someone to see how Bootstrap works in XPages

Here is the database.