In a recent blog post Ed Brill poses the following question:
In a world where the majority of new applications are being built in Java (and associated languages) and .NET, what approach could IBM use today to attract hoardes of new developers to learn Lotusscript? Isn't this the whole reason that Notes get labelled "proprietary" (in the tone of voice where proprietary = bad)?
"Hannover" will deliver the best of both in that the existing model will continue and be enhanced, yet the client will be open to new Java-based development methods. Thus the inflection point I mentioned earlier.
I don't want to suggest that there's no new Notes developers or development going on -- I get to hear about cool new projects every day -- but clearly it's a different market dynamic for developers today than it was when Notes became mainstream.
It's a tough question, and not one that can be answered without being a bit harsh. The short answer is you can't attract new LotusScript developers. It's a limited-use language with no future. LotusScript is a one trick pony, if you use it you're locking yourself into doing only Notes development, and the future of Notes by no means guaranteed. Using a general-purpose language such as Java or C# gives the developer more marketability.
It seems that IBM is forcing Notes developers into Java. That's fine, it's IBM's decision to make. I find it disheartening, but not unexpected. Notes and Domino are at critical inflection points. I appreciate that IBM and Lotus are trying to walk the fine line of delivering future-focused products while not alienating their existing customer base. I also appreciate people such as Ed asking these questions and not shying away from the scrutiny.