See here for a document that describes some of our initial ideas on how to enhance the template, the proposed project schedule, community contributions. etc.:$File/DiscussionNTFNextGenInitialIdeas090731.pdf

Update January 13th 2010:

XPages Interface Update

Update 09/11/10:

New release: User profiles from other NSFs


Update 09/11/04:

Prototype how to improve web user experience:

Update 09/11/03:

New release: Configurable email notifications


Update 10/26/09:

New release: Discussion Add Ons to copy Notes docs in discussion apps:

Update 10/21/09:

We've released a new version containing the thread viewer for the rich client that we had demonstrated earlier:!OpenDocument

This release is a sidepack only. We'd like to ask everyone to provide feedback to make our decision easier whether or not to include this in the main stream.

Here is how it has been implemented:

Update 10/16/09:

New prototype showing how to add easily Notes documents to discussion applications:

Update 10/12/09:

First release available with improved rich client user interface:!OpenDocument

Please provide feedback as usual via the Defects or Discuss tabs.

Update 09/24/09:

Rich client improvements in first release:

Update 09/18/09:

New version of prototype with improved thread navigator:

Update 09/17/09:

New prototype from Peter showing some advanced functionality:

Update 09/08/09:

New Java Views/Comp Apps/XPages prototype:

Update 09/07/09:

Classic app dev rich client prototype from Peter Presnell:

Update 09/03/09:

There is another prototype for the rich client user interfaces which uses Java Views:

Please provide feedback here:!OpenDocument

Update 09/01/09:

There is a new prototype 'wide screen rich client UI':

Please provide feedback as response to this document:!OpenDocument

Update 07/31/09:

We have created 36 ideas in ideajam based on the feedback we received so far. Starting today (08/03) we ask everyone to vote and provide comments on the existing ideas:

We suggest to read the pdf document that describes this project first to get some context. However if you don't have the time just use the descriptions of the features in IdeaJam. We tried to use descriptive names and short explanations. In most cases you shouldn't even have to open single ideas but can directly vote from the list of ideas.

In addition to vote ideas we also appreciate comments on ideas. Additionally you can create your own ideas in the ideaspace 'Discussion Next Gen'. We'll keep an eye on new ideas and mark them as redundant if necessary.

We have not defined yet a schedule until when you can vote and add ideas but you have at least until the mid of August. Probably we'll also do more votings on another level of granularity and/or for different iterations later again.

To provide general feedback, please use the 'Discuss' tab of this project. If for some reason you don't want to share your input publically you can also send a mail to Steve and Niklas directly (niklas_heidloff at de dot ibm dot com and steve.castledine at uk dot ibm dot com).

Update 07/17/09:

IBM Lotus Notes/Domino has provided a discussion template since version 1. It is a sample application that demonstrates the value proposition of Notes/Domino. It shows how customers can use Notes/Domino as an application development platform and how users can use Notes/Domino to collaborate by creating documents and responses which can contain arbitrary content (semi-structured data) including file attachments.

Since version 1 the discussion template has been extended several times to make use of some of the latest Notes/Domino application development features. The most recent significant extension was done in 8.5 when the web user interface was refreshed using the new XPages capabilities. While this delivered a new user interface for the web, the Notes client experience has not been updated and certain feature enhancement requests have not been addressed.

Discussion template as open source

The Domino developer community has been extending the discussion template for almost two decades. IBM believes that open sourcing the discussion template on OpenNTF will tap the creative potential and ensure the next generation discussion template meets the communities needs.

This approach has also other benefits:

1.People (customers, ISVs, all other developers) can influence better the direction of this template by helping in different ways including coding;

2.Updates to the discussion template can be made available sooner than having to wait for the next Notes/Domino release;

3.Anyone may freely use the template as a base for their own similar applications subject only to the restrictions of the Apache license version 2.

Option for IBM to take extensions into product

IBM will evaluate contributions made to the open source discussion template and consider adding them to the version of the template shipped with Lotus Notes and Domino. Some customers need a fully supported version of this template since they want to continue to base their production applications on it. The new OpenNTF Alliance provides a good IP model based on the Apache license (ALv2) that allows IBM or other companies to take the code and incorporate it into their commercially shipping products.

Value proposition

One of the goals is to build the next generation of the discussion template so it can serve as THE Notes/Domino application development sample. For example, good coding practices should be used from which other developers can learn. Also developers should be able to use the new generation of the discussion template as starting point for their own applications by just removing pieces they don't need and adding other functions. In addition to this, the next generation should be built as a list of re-usable XPages controls so that certain controls can easily be reused in custom applications.

As other Notes/Domino applications as well the discussion will continue to have both a web user interfaces and rich client user interface including offline capabilities. An important value proposition of Notes/Domino applications is to support both a web and rich client interface including offline capabilities. The goal is to update the rich client user interface and provide functions that showcase the capabilities of the Notes client (e.g. add mails to discussion).

Furthermore new functions should be provided that many customers have asked for, e.g. different states of topics (draft, expired, archived, locked, etc.), categories of discussion topics, etc.


In Domino 8.5.1 there will be a couple of improvements in the discussion template. The idea is to make the 8.5.1 version of the template available as open source. Our goal is to produce a good build that could be demonstrated at Lotusphere 2010. This date determines a lot of milestones such as when other contributors need to be involved, how many iterations can be done before this, etc.