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Language peer sets for LotusScript:


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Lotus articulates complex LotusScript
InfoWorld; Framingham; Nov 16, 1998; Ted Smalley Bowen;

Volume:  20
Issue:  46
Start Page:  59
ISSN:  01996649
Subject Terms:  Groupware
Programming languages

Companies:  Lotus Development Corp

Lotus Development Corp's Lotus Notes/Domino Release 5 will expand options available to developers. Expanded language support has led to rumors about the phasing out of LotusScript in favor of JavaScript.

Full Text:
Copyright InfoWorld Publications, Inc. Nov 16, 1998

THE FORTHCOMING rollout of Lotus Notes/Domino Release 5 will significantly expand the options available to developers, prompting the question of which language best suits the needs of a given project.

While Lotus' emphasis will be on promoting popular industry-standard languages such as Java, support for old standbys such as LotusScript is not dropping by the wayside.

Expanded Notes/Domino language support has prompted rumors about the phasing-out of LotusScript in favor of JavaScript.

"The Notes macrolanguage gave way to LotusScript and now it's JavaScript" says one thirdparty developer."Lotus Script has its drawbacks. It's pretty much vanilla Basic with some idiosyncrasies"

Languages with broader applicability have the most appeal, according to Tim Sloane, an analyst at the Aberdeen Group, in Boston. "If you've got to learn something new, you want applicability both in and outside of the Notes/Domino installed base he says.

"The question of LotusScript's future comes up all the time,' says Paul Castiglione, product marketing manager for Domino Designer, the Notes/Domino development tool. However, Castiglione says LotusScript is not going anywhere anytime soon.

Release 5, slated for delivery by year's end, makes use of a wide range of Web technologies and industry standards in both its client and server elements.

On the client side, developers can pair the Domino server with either the Notes client or a standard Web browser front end, and in either case can use JavaScript HTML scripting language. The Notes client developer can also use LotusScript, or the well-known @functions, explains Chris Reckling, Domino Designer product manager.

Both Notes and Web browser clients can run Java applets. For Domino server development, the options include Java, C/C++, LotusScript, and @functions.

"I tend to think of [the language choice] as a skills-based issue," Reckling says."For [Visual Basic]type users, that would map to LotusScript, and for Java programmers, that maps to Java."

Architectural considerations also influence the choice. LotusScript offers support of Microsoft's Component Object Model (COM), whereas Java does not, Reckling notes. "If you need to interact with COM objects, LotusScript is your language;' he says. "If you need to interact with other Java programs or JavaBeans, you use Java."

Lotus' C and C++ APIs expose more objects and functions in the Domino server, Reckling adds.

Both Castiglione and Reckling say exposing the object model is more important than the language you use to access it.

Lotus Development Corp., in Cambridge, Mass., can be reached at www.lotus.com.

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