So what’s your excuse?

So what’s your excuse?

(I meant to post this last week but didn’t get round to it)

It’s interesting to read the reaction to the abstract rejections for Lotusphere. I’m sure some of the rejected ideas would make great presentations. But I’m not going to go into the pros and cons of the abstract selection process, that’s been covered by many recent blog entries.

After I had my abstract rejected last year, I vowed that I’d blog about my particular area of interest, accessibility. After sitting through numerous XPage presentations, from both IBM and developers, I was concerned with the apparent lack of concern about accessibility issues XPages introduced. I came back vowing that this area was too important to wait for the next Lotusphere and vowed to blog about improving the accessibility of Domino web apps.

Guess what, I’ve done nothing about it. Yes, I have many excuses:

  • My SysAdmin won’t allow me to move our live web systems to a ‘point zero’ release. Our Domino based intranet is too heavily used for it to collapse. It’s expected to work 24/7, so upgrade windows are limited. A server crashing when there are hundreds of assignments due in, tends to create support issues, both technical and academic. So, so far, I haven’t designed an Xpage ‘in anger’.
  • ‘I’ve been busy’ – If I’ve got time to write a blog entry, it means I’ve got time to be adding extra functionality!
  • Like many, we’ve been going through a restructuring. I’m now one member of my team short and another is leaving at the end of January (so unless my BOF is selected, it’s looking very unlikely that I’ll be allowed to go to Lotusphere). So my focus has naturally been on surviving the upheaval
  • etc

But the reality is, I obviously didn’t think my point of view was important enough to waste my own time on it, and if I don’t think it’s important why should I expect other people who are paying good money to be interested in my sessions?

Working for a University and having started out on the research side, there’s an expectation that you present at the conferences . I still find it uncomfortable when I’m not ‘paying my way’ by presenting, especially for an expensive overseas conference. But this year I didn’t submit an abstract for the main session. I have to admit I hadn’t realised that presenters get their fees paid, otherwise, I would have.┬áBut re-reading my abstract from last year, it was obvious I knocked it together in a rush and although I think a presentation on the subject is needed, I think I need to blog about it first before getting annoyed that no one is interested.

(I did submit a BOF. Since they’re selected by attendees, I figured that if it is selected, then there’s a obviously some people interested – and that might be a good way of starting some sort of informal network to build towards a presentation in 2011)

The ‘in crowd’

It’s easy for people who’ve been to more than one Lotusphere, to look at the return presenters as the ‘in crowd’ and forget that most are there because they have been consistently good. So I thought I’d look back at the photos of my first Lotusphere in 2008. I remember capturing a few of ‘the stars’ of my first Lotusphere. At the time, the only Lotus related websites I was aware off, were Notes.Net, CodeStore and OpenNTF. So I was unaware who I should see as ‘stars’. So who stood out? (Other than the violinist at the opening session)

Stars of 2008

Bob Balaban was also in my photo collection but didn’t make it due to the fact that he was wearing one of his shirts that confuses cameras. It’s interesting looking back, how many ‘high profile’ people, impessed without me knowing they should!



Would be interested to hear your thoughts on accessibility in XPages if you’d like to contact me.

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