Wednesday, December 1, 1999

Learn JavaScript with a little TLCC

PRODUCT REVIEW

By Dan Velasco

It was two years ago this month that I heard JavaScript was going to be big in Lotus Notes and Domino development. I was taking a Lotus System Administration class and the instructor was talking about how one day, in the not-so-distant future, we'd all be using JavaScript on a daily basis when developing our Domino Web applications.

Well, that instructor was right. JavaScript has become an important skill for any Lotus Notes and Domino developer to acquire in order to be worth his or her proverbial salt. And the time to master JavaScript is now.

One of the best ways I've found to learn JavaScript development in Domino is by taking a distance-learning course called R5 Beginner JavaScript for Domino from The Learning Continuum Corporation (TLCC). Despite the word "Beginner" in the course name, the best student for this course is a somewhat seasoned developer who is really intent on expanding his or her skills to meet the new programmability features of Lotus Notes and Domino.

Best of all, this course will help prepare you for the Using JavaScript section in the Domino R5 Applications exam (#191-513), which is currently in beta. And, even better, Lotus is now offering this exam free of charge, along with three other Lotus beta exams. Lotus' goal is to get more people to take these beta exams in order to more quickly move them from beta to gold status. For more information about the free beta exams offered by Lotus, go to the Certification home page at http://www.lotus.com/certification.

The "d" in distance learning stands for discipline

The toughest hurdle to get over when taking a distance-learning course like the R5 Beginner JavaScript in Domino course from TLCC is inertia. Once you get the course in your hands, you really have to discipline yourself to spend the amount of time necessary to help you succeed. TLCC helps a lot in this regard by telling you how long the course will take you at a minimum. The minimum time suggested for the JavaScript course is the equivalent to two classroom days, or roughly about 14 hours.

The R5 Beginner JavaScript in Domino course is comprised of one installation database that creates four course databases, which you can see in Figure A. The main database is the Course Schedule database, which contains all of the lessons and activities broken up into four separate modules. Each of the four modules of this course gives you an estimate of the time it'll take you to complete that module, which ranges from two to five hours.

FIGURE A

Here's the installation database and the four course databases. (click for larger image)