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Lotusphere 2007: Finishing the presentation

Apart from reloading my laptop I'm spending a lot of time finishing of my Lotusphere 2007 presentation. It is hard to imagine that there are only 19 days until I leave for Orlando. Only the weather makes it easier to grasp as it is trying its best to be Orlando-like. We haven't seen a snow flake yet and it's 8-10 degrees celcius (50F) outside.

My presentation is done, but I'm still fiddling with the minute details of screenshots, which demos to include etc. I'm finding it a little hard to decide on the technical level for the presentation. How much can I assume the attendees know and how much do I have to explain? The crowd at Lotusphere 2006 seemed quite mixed - lot of hard core folks and some that only just knew their way around the Designer IDE. I'm leaning towards simply focusing on the subject at hand and assume that the attendees know the surrounding stuff.

It's hard...

Any pointers from the more hard core presenters?

Happy New Year

I'm sitting here reloading my laptop on the last day of the year (T minus 12,5 hours). I guess that's kind of geeky but the holidays around Christmas are normally the only days in the year where I can allow my laptop to be out of order so that's what I'm doing. Geeky or not... ;-) Reformatting the drives and reinstalling Windows plus service packs are the steps that takes longest. The rest is more a matter of remembering all the little details. Notes was of cause back up in a matter of minutes. Reinstall the old version, replace the data directory and the notes.ini and I was laughing. Took around 3 minutes total. Nice!

Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas!

Well nothing more to say really... ;-)

Is there a demo download of Lotus Expeditor?

I can't seem to find a demo download of Lotus Expeditor 6.1. The closest I get is a reference to download it from Passport Advantage but I guess you have to buy it first to have it show up there. At least in my case...

Tags :

Composite thinking

In the issue of the Lotus developerWorks newsletter that I received in my inbox today there is a link to an article on creating applications using the Property Broker of Lotus Expeditor (Creating collaborative components for IBM Lotus Expeditor Property Broker). This was kind of funny since it coincided with me receiving a Java newsletter with an article on using the PropertyChangeListener of the Java SDK.

For those not in the know, the Property Broker is the middleware which is used in the Lotus Expeditor framework to dispatch property change events between components and hence is the glue that makes the different components of a composite application work together. The Property Broker is configured either declaratively using an UI or using an API.

The approaches described in the two articles are quite similar and both describe how using a declarative approach (much like extension points in Sametime 7.5 development) allows for a much more flexible solutions that are less brittle and prone to breaking caused by API changes. An added benefit is the absence of compile time checks which means that you may develop and deploy components that doesn't need to know of any other components that acts on the property changes it fire. The alternative to declarative events is the use of the Observer design pattern and Listener-interfaces en masse e.g. like in Swing.

Reading the articles has really got me thinking about how to leverage these capabilities in new and existing applications. I see great possibilities and the possibility of having many applications work together to form a greater whole.

I think the advent of composite applications will mean that the job of the application architect will become more challenging and you need to change the point of view from which applications are designed and developed. Applications will move from being monolithic entities to being composite and hence you need to decide on which properties to expose and how to work with "client" applications. This you need to decide on at design time. Applications should be designed and built as smaller interconnected components and not as the CD-ROM AutoInstall, 7-databases-in-one, applications of today.

Sounds intriguing but challenging...

All these possibilities are exciting and it will be interesting to see how many of the Lotus Expeditor capabilities will be exposed by the Notes 8 client and how many Notes 8 customers will pick up on it.

Becoming a NOMAD

I received my new 4GB USB key today and have already loaded Notes 7.0.2 on it using Chris' excellent howto (Lotus Notes 7.0.2 - NOMAD Review). There wasn't much to it and I didn't even have to manually add admin.exe and designer.exe since I used a full Notes install image. Very nice... :-)

The USB key comes loaded with the U3 software so now I need to find an IPSEC VPN client that is U3 compatible or one that can be installed on an USB key to be on Cloud Nine. The client should work with Cisco appliances.

Looking forward to lighter roaming.

J9 Launching plug-in for Sametime 7.5 development

Since I get some questions on how to find this plugin I thought I would post the URL. The plugin can be downloaded here (link to full URL at dev.eclipse.org) or you can get it via this http://tinyurl.com/w97so as long as it works... This is even more relevant where the link posted in the Integration Guide of the Sametime 7.5 Java SDK doesn't work anymore.

What brilliant person decided to publish a document with link pointing directly into CVS with specifying the revision? I would say that a short redirection link via ibm.com would make much more sense!

IBM Workplace Designer mentioned in Eclipse Magazine

IBM Workplace Designer is mentioned and used as an example on how to leverage Eclipse as a foundation for rich-client applications. Too bad Expeditor, Sametime or Notes 8 isn't mentioned...

Eclipse Power in IBM Workplace/Domino
"Eclipse is a robust functional platform that IBM Workplace/Domino developers can put to full use in their current and future projects. In this article, we focus on the benefits of Eclipse as a client foundation that has a cross platform, rich UI widget set that is based on native widgets, a rich UI framework, pre-defined dialog basis: Wizards, Preferences, Properties, and other UI: Perspectives, Views, Editors, Workbench (as a base), ActiveX support in SWT on Win32 (platform integration), and a good Help system. Eclipse as a client foundation is an extensible platform that features a plug-in extensibility model, shared programming model with tools development, education that is already developed for tools offerings, core services, extension points, core frameworks, production quality platform with two major releases in the market, and an Open Source code base. "

Eclipse Magazine, Issue 5, December 2006.

Doclinks in Sametime 7.5

Don't know it you tried this, but when you paste a Notes doclink into the chat window of Sametime 7.5 the link is automatically converted to a notes:// URL - well that is document and view links are. For some reason database links aren't converted...


Playing around with Notes 8

As mentioned previously I have a couple of friends who work at IBM and while at a social Christmas gathering last night one of them showed me the build of Notes 8 he is running on his work laptop (Notes 8, M3). It was quite funny to actually see the product and I think I have to pay him a visit later in the week to play a little more with the client.

I only played with it briefly but first impression is that it looks nice and more Windows-like (in a positive way!). It sure still looks and feels like Notes but with a touch of Expeditor/Eclipse RCP. The most noticeable differences are that the bookmark bar on the left is gone, there is a Start-style launcher button on the top left and a bar with miniapps (Sametime, RSS feeds, todays calendar etc.) on the right. Other than that the old-style preferences has been replaced with standard Eclipse style preference pages but other than that I looks like you would expect. I don't think most users will have any problems getting used to it.

I'm sure there's tons more, but that's my first impressions. Funny to actually see the client we've been hearing about for months now from Mary-Beth Raven and Ed Brill.

I have been doing a lot of Sametime 7.5 plugin development over the last couple of weeks so I can really see the benefit of the miniapp-sidebar. I think miniapps and the concept of the sidebar is going to be a really valuable addition to the application portfolio. I need to look more into this as I explore the client and see how the miniapps are wired into the client and how to make them respond to events in the client such as opening new applications etc.

As an aside I really hope we get to share miniapps between Sametime and Notes 8 without having to recompile... I have my doubts of this though, as the extension point used in Sametime 7.5 for miniapps looks and sounds quite Sametime 7.5 specific but I hope I'm wrong.

Is the security of the Notes/Domino Java implementation questionable? (security vulnerability in the Notes/Domino Java API)

During some security research into the Notes/Domino Java API I stumbled upon what I cannot judge to be anything but a major flaw in the Java implementation of Notes/Domino. The flaw allows me to circumvent the restricted/unrestricted operations security model for agents as well as all security measures put in place by the SecurityManager installed by IBM. The research was done on Notes/Domino 7.0.1 but I cannot see why it shouldn't be applicable to prior releases. I have been working with the IBM Security Response Team to assess the implications and technote #1248025 (SPR# KLYH6NSJD2) has the official IBM response.


Fighting comment SPAM

Comment SPAM has been an increasing problem on lekkimworld.com for the last couple of months. Today I implemented a simple mod_rewrite trick to ignore all HTTP POSTs without a referer and it seems to work beautifully. Some still get through but the numbers has dramatically decreased.

Writing log messages in Sametime 7.5 plugins

A rather long Friday-post with some information on how one should go about writing log messages while developing and debugging Sametime 7.5 plugins. Some information that for some reason isn't in the Sametime SDK. Oh - and happy 1 December! :-)