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Taking the plunge - going all MP3s

I finally got so tired of changing CDs that I took the plunge and ordered a Squeezebox 3 from Slim Devices so I'm ripping most of my CDs to MP3 and tagging them with ID3 tags. In that connection I needed an ID3 editor and found a nice free one called ID3-TagIT written using .NET that allows me to do bulk changes to genre, artist etc. I don't know if it's the .NET framework or whatever but unfortunately the application runs very slowly.

For the server part of the setup I'm using the server software from Slim Devices called SlimServer which you can actually use without a Squeezebox. The server puts out a MP3 stream at http://some.address:9000/stream.mp3 that any player can connect to. Nice.

If you simply need a streaming server at your house you could also look into using the Shoutcast server.

Talk about putting your money where your mouth is...

"IBM announced a new Eclipse innovation award program, under which the company will reward Eclipse innovators with US$10,000 to $30,000 for cool new projects. IBM also announced the availability of its new instant help plug-in system. The system is built on Eclipse, but developers can integrate it into their projects to provide both online and offline user support within their applications."

Full article @ sdtimes.com: EclipseCon Bursting at Seams

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Robert Cringely: Apple must replace Microsoft Office and buy Adobe

As a Friday read I highly suggest Robert Cringelys newest post called "Killer Apps: For Apple's Windows Strategy to Work, It Must Replace Microsoft Office and Buy Adobe Systems". It's an interesting take on what Apple is planning in relation to an office suite.

"...what's missing is an Apple application strategy to go with this operating system strategy, because Microsoft's true power lies not in Windows, but in Microsoft Office. Fortunately for Apple, I believe there is an application plan in the works, and I will describe it here."

A RSS feed I would like to see from IBM...

What if there was a RSS feed in the Notes/Domino 6 and 7 Forum that let you keep track of responses to threads you are actively participating in. It would make it much easier to help other developers by letting you know when they added that crucial piece of information that you requested in order to help them.

I guess it could be done automatically if the backend was DB2. Wouldn't it be a great showcase for Domino on DB2 and the kinds of joining possible with a relational backend? I think there was a demo of this kind of functionality in the Domino on DB2 session at Lotusphere.

An alternative is a "Add responses to my feed" functionality that you manually activate when responding.

I know there is an e-mail notification functionality but they are only sent once a day, I have to manage the list of posts being watched (only 25 posts allowed), plus I really hate e-mail... :-)

Gana On The Net (a fellow Notes/Domino Java blogger)

As a followup of my recent posts on Java in Notes/Domino I would like to highlight a fellow blogger: Ganapathiram Natarajan. Gana and I have been commenting/e-mailing a bit back and forth recently and I really think he would be a valuable addition to your blogroll if you're already into Java or starting to get so... (and you really should!)

Ganas two latest posts explains how to use Apache log4j in Notes/Domino agents (log4j with JavaAgent - Part 1) and how to use the Java PolicyTool (PolicyTool ). Check them out!

The latter is really nice if you are messing around with Java security:

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developerWorks article: Compare Informix Dynamic editions

You know these situations where you're thinking: "Wouldn't it be nice if I could find an article on this or that subject?" Well the Information Management RSS feed on developerWorks came to the rescue today. I have been looking for articles about Informix since we are looking into it for a new project and there it was: Compare Informix Dynamic editions.

It's really nice to see that the table fragment support is available in the Express version since this is one of the reasons we are looking into IDS.

Nice. I'm one happy camper!

Comment SPAM

Aaaarrrhhhhhh!!! I'm once again being flooded with comment SPAM - what's in it for these guys? The good thing is that most SPAM is being caught by my blogging software but for some reason some of the comments are subverting the comment approval setup which is in effect. Very strange. Changed my admin. password last night to make sure it wasn't that but there was a new comment this morning which I didn't approve.

So if you're using Pebble and have seen this issue before please let me know.

Ben Poole on String lengths in Java

"Put bluntly, there’s a right way and a wrong way to extract the complete content of a field full of text in excess of 32KB - 64KB."

Show ’n’ tell VIII: String lengths & Java via benpoole.com.

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IBM Support Assistant v3

"The IBM® Support Assistant is a free cross-product client application that increases your capacity for self-help by making it easier to access support resources and to manage problems you may be having with IBM products.

The IBM Support Assistant provides quick access to support-related information along with serviceability tools for problem determination."

IBM Support Assistant via the Lotus Domino Support RSS feed.

Java in Notes/Domino Explained: Security 201

As posted previously Java use the concept of a SecurityManager to control access to restricted operations. This post goes a bit deeper by explaining the different Java security files present in your Notes/Domino installation and how you can use them to set custom security for third-party libraries.


Java in Notes/Domino Explained: Security 101

As you might know Java was built with security in mind which means that most Java code runs inside a sandbox with an auditor, a socalled SecurityManager, deciding which operations are appropriate and which aren't. This post will explain the concept of the Java SecurityManager and it applies to Notes/Domino agents.


Looking into IBM Informix

As posted previously we're researching a storage intensive relational database project at the office. I talked with the DB2 guys at IBM today and they asked me to look into Informix instead of DB2 since Informix has a BLOB (Binary Large OBject) support superior to DB2. In additional the fragment support for tables sounds like it's something we could use to help "partition" the tables in date segments.

Anyone who has some "getting started" information for Informix? I figured the "dbaccess" command out but it would be nice with a tutorial or similar to get started.

The small differences between Notes and COM sometimes matters

Had an example of this today when porting some LotusScript in Notes to VBA using COM to access Notes. In Notes the GetAllDocmentsByKey function of the NotesView class can take an array of parameters, the array being of any datatype (String, Integer etc.). It turns out that this isn't the case for COM access where the array must be a Variant array as shown below. If you supply a String array you'll get an error at runtime.

// declarations
Dim session NotesSession
Dim db As NotesDatabase
Dim view As NotesView
Dim dc As NotesDocumentCollection
Dim v(1) As Variant

// get session, database, views etc.
Set db = session.GetDatabase("server", "path")
Set view = db.GetView("someview")

// populate key array
v(0) = "key1"
v(1) = "key2"

// get by key
Set dc = view.GetAllDocumentsByKey(v, True)
Msgbox dc.Count
Being fair the difference is noted in the Designer help database.

Restrict access to Tomcat URL to select IP addresses

An example of using mod_rewrite under Apache HTTPD to restrict access to parts of a web application to certain IP addresses.


Check out the new issue of JavaPro

The new issue of JavaPro is available for free download and has articles on AJAX and leveraging Open Source Java libraries in your development. Haven't read the articles yet but they look promising.

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Beware of changing Domino Directory ACL

Be aware when changing the ACL of the Domino Directory since it may affect your users and the deployment of policies. Pay special attention when messing with the PolicyCreator and PolicyModifier roles or you may encounter the "The signer of the note must have Editor access and the PolicyCreator or PolicyModifier role to the Domino Directory" error message.

More information: SPR #TBOO5QNNDM.

Go vote for black ThinkPads!

Go vote for black ThinkPads on whichsideareyouon.com (via The Inside Lotus weblog).

DWA working in Firefox (was: "Domino Web Access broken in Firefox 1.5?")

As previously reported Domino Web Access seemed to have some problems running under Firefox 1.5 and I was not alone in having the issue. I just tried again today using Firefox (the newest version from Mozilla) against Domino 7.0.1 (on Win32) and it was just fine. Don't know if it's the Firefox version or after upgradering from Domino 7.0 to Domino 7.0.1.

Anyone else experiencing the same thing?

Java in Notes/Domino Explained: Casting 101

Casting is a central concept when programming in an object oriented language such as Java. This post describes what it is all about.


Java in Notes/Domino Explained: The difference between a class, an abstract class and an interface

Java has three distinct types of "class" constructs you use when programming. This post will explain the difference between them.


Re: Helping out a fellow blogger getting the actual bytes of an image resource - a lesson in the intricacies of DXL representation

And there you have it... Ben Langhinrichs of Genii Software, CoexEdit and the Midas RichText LSX fame has posted a comment that explains my findings about the structure of an image resource in DXL.

Thanks Ben.

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Joel on Software: The Development Abstraction Layer

As always the posts by Joel Spolsky are insightful, funny and with an edge that makes you keep reading. The newest post (The Development Abstraction Layer) is about why programmers can't run a business by themselves, but what it takes to make them think they can.

"Management's primary responsibility to create the illusion that a software company can be run by writing code, because that's what programmers do. And while it would be great to have programmers who are also great at sales, graphic design, system administration, and cooking, it's unrealistic. Like teaching a pig to sing, it wastes your time and it annoys the pig."

As a (self-employed) programmer I can only say: "sad but true..." :-)

Re: Re: How are roaming id-files encrypted?

I forgot to post this... As promised some time ago I received a response from Lotus Support regarding my question about roaming id-file encryption in the personal name and address book. It's me who's late at posting the response - Lotus Support got back to me within the promised timeframe.


Possibility to complain about a blog post - interesting twist in "corporate blogging"

The BBC Blog Network has an interesting twist on blog comments that might be applicable in corporate blogging.


Java in Notes/Domino Explained: Java Collection API for LotusScript programmers

The Java Collection API can be a little overwhelming to get started with when moving to Java from LotusScript. This post shows you how to do the array/List equivalents of LotusScript using the Collection API.


Java in Notes/Domino Explained: Handling arrays

A source of fustration for LotusScript programmers moving to Java is the difference with which arrays are handled. This posts clarifies and shows you how to work with arrays in Java.


Java in Notes/Domino Explained: The story on recycle()

When using the Java objects for Notes/Domino you should know why the recycle() method is there. However for small agents it's probably not even necessary to call the method. This post will explain the presence of the recycle() method and when to use it.


Java in Notes/Domino Explained: Stack, heap and references

When programming in Java it is essential that you know the difference between an object and a reference to an object and that you distinguish between what's on the heap and what's on the stack. Let me explain the difference.


Java in Notes/Domino Explained: Tricks in the Java Debug Console

The Java Debug Console is your friend - especially if you know which buttons to push...


Re: Loving policies - especially mail settings

Well the honeymoon was short... After having used mail settings to deploy a specific calendar settings to our users we are discovering that the setting isn't correctly applied to the mail databases. Guess it's time to call Lotus Support.


A challenging DB2 project coming

At the office we have been contacted by a customer who wants help designing and implementing a (relational) database but it's not just any database. We are talking a database that will grow anywhere from 60 to 240GB per month!! How's that for requiring scalability? Being in bed with IBM we have of cause already been in contact with the DB2 guys at IBM here in Denmark to get some help. I think we need to think this project through before starting of... :-)

Does anyone know of any storage related restrictions on the DB2 products?

Java in Notes/Domino Explained: Creating your own packages

The main purpose for creating your own packages is to create a namespace for your classes to avoid classname collisions, which can be very useful when dwelving deeper into Java development. This post shows you how.


Show 'n Tell Thursday: Allow deletion of reservations in the RnR database (6 April 2006)

Only a short post for this weeks Show 'n Tell Thursday about how to allow users to delete reservations in the RnR database.

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Technote: Changing the IP address of a server

While changing the IP address of a server may not be a common thing to do it still happens. If one of those junior administrators did use the IP address instead of the hostname to create connection documents it might be nice to know how to "unlearn" those IP addresses from the Domino server. This technote shows you how (it also works for connection documents in the local NAB).

Technote 1231458: Changing the IP address of a server

Java in Notes/Domino Explained: Dynamic class loading

Dynamic class loading in Java is a real powerful concept and can be used to write very flexible and easily configurable Java agents/classes. This post will hopefully explain the subject.


That's one wierd programming contest

The Underhanded C Contest started yesterday. The objective of this wierd programming contest is as follows (my highlighting):

"We hereby announce our second annual contest to write innocent-looking C code implementing malicious behavior. In many ways this is the exact opposite of the Obfuscated C Code Contest: in this contest you must write code that is as readable, clear, innocent and straightforward as possible, and yet it must fail to perform at its apparent function. To be more specific, it should do something subtly evil."

I guess we now know who writes all those backdoors into the operating systems... ;-)

Java in Notes/Domino Explained: More in depth on classloaders

Classloaders are somewhat of an advanced area in Java development but it can be very handy to know how they work and how to write your own. This post will hopefully shed some light on the subject.


The Good In Email

Via Slashdot I found a blog post called The Good In Email (or Why Email Is Still The Most Adopted Collaboration Tool). The post discusses why e-mail, dispite all the shortcomings, still is preferred collaboration platform.

Worth a read - if nothing else to see the collaboration space in the eyes of someone outside the Notes/Domino community.

Java in Notes/Domino Explained: Classloading

When new to Java development you normally encounter a lot of new words in the litterature - one of these words is "classloading". This post will hopefully explain the subject.


Anyone who attended AD212 (Introduction to DXL) at Lotusphere?

While reading through the presentation from the "Introduction to DXL"-session (AD212) by Dick Annicchiarico from Lotusphere 2005 I saw the below screenshot.

Am I the only one not having the "Viewer" or "Transformer" menuitems in my "Tools...\DXL" menu in Domino Designer? I only have the "Exporter" menuitem... :-(

Just wondered if anyone who sat in on the presentation knows whether you have to install "something extra" to see the menuitems.

Java in Notes/Domino Explained: Packages

To try and further the adoption of Java in the Notes/Domino community I'm starting a new series of posts on Java development. I'll start with packages and move on from there into handling arrays, classloading, security etc. If you have any specific ideas/requests for subjects let me know.

Since packages are so fundamental to Java development I'll start there.


Article: Customizing the look and feel of Domino Web Access 6.5

While searching for the article on customizing forms etc. in Domino Web Access that was mentioned during one of the sessions at Lotusphere I found an article on customizing the look and feel of DWA. Just posting so I know where to find it...

Lotus developerWorks: Customizing the look and feel of Domino Web Access 6.5

Update (3 April 2006): I finally found the article (Manipulating data in Domino Web Access).