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Ever get the feeling that your server just isn't adequate?

How about worrying about Java garbage collection times on a machine dealing with 26gb of memory to support Very large heaps and caches? If nothing else it is always funny to read about what others are doing out in the Real World.

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Lotusphere 2007: What a sad morning...

I just deleted my Lotusphere 2007 Wi-Fi profile... :-(

Say again! Was it 21 January 2008 in Orlando?

Installing Domino 7.0.2 on Ubuntu 6.06 LTS

I have been trying to get Domino 7.0.2 running on Ubuntu 6.06 LTS but without success. Based on miscellaneous postings on the web I manage to work out a partial solution.

The process has been as follows:

  1. Install Ubuntu
  2. No SSH support out of the box (apt-get install openssh-server)
  3. Unable to complete install due to missing C-library (apt-get install libstdc++5, ldconfig)
  4. Configure server using remote install
  5. Launch server only to see funky nsd.sh errors on the console but it was solved using approach found on notes.net.
    • apt-get install gawk <-- did not work
    • edit line 86 /opt/ibm/lotus/notes/70020/linux/nsd.sh = "Linux) Awk=$(where gawk);;" --> "Linux) Awk=$(where awk);;"
    • <restart domino server>
The above process got Domino to start successful but now I'm seeing an error on HTTP task startup (java.lang.UnstatisfiedLinkError: libawt.so) which I have been unable to solve. I found a possible solution on notes.net but since there's no deprecated X11 package that I could find for Ubunto I'm at a loss.

Gotta hit Google unless anyone has some clever ideas...

Should we create a new internet?

Robert Cringely has an interesting post on creating a new internet called INet.

"We have trouble. After 40 years of development and almost 20 years of commercial use, the Internet is getting clogged up. We have more spam than legitimate e-mail, more advertising than content, and a few not very well-behaved protocols making trouble for all of us (more on this part next week), with the result that real utility is beginning to drop for many Internet users, who have to buy more and more bandwidth in order to effectively keep the same service level. Yes, we have trouble, and it is compounded by the current popularity of Internet video, which has knocked Moore's Law on its ear through the willingness of whole cascades of companies to lose money to show us dogs dancing and children falling off bikes."

Link to full post: Just Say No: David Harrison wants to replace your Internet.

I wouldn't want to start doing Notes now...

Well actually I would - I love the product but this morning after seeing a developerWorks article titled "Using and understanding Reader Names fields in IBM Lotus Notes and Domino" I caught myself thinking: "Who actually reads something as basic as this?"

I only just finished the thought before realizing that although I have been with the product for a LONG time and consider most of the features well known, many new developers are coming to Notes each year. I wouldn't want to start now because where do you start?

When I started with Notes I think there were about 3 different courses available with nested @If's and understanding the difference between @DbColumn abd @DbLookup being some of the most advanced topics. I haven't counted but my guess is that there are a hell of a lot more courses now! :-) Where do new developers begin? Is the scope of the product now such that the developers who will become the "jack-off-all-Domino-trades" are gone? Will new developers have to specialize to actually grasp the product and be productive? How long will it take before they are actually able to contribute to a decent size project? With quality design elements that is... Not just forms with a couple of fields or views, designed in a way that would make Nathan Freeman and Chris Blatnick scream! Quality stuff ready for prime time...

It's a whole different ball game now. New technologies. Different platforms. Different languages. Different vocabulary; Notes, Domino, Eclipse, RCP, Expeditor, Form, View, Script Library, PostOpen, WebQuerySave, Design Synopsis, Principal field, Amgr task, Composite application, web service.... Considering that I already used Notes and Domino interchangeably above, although the words mean totally different things, doesn't make it easier.

When were the last time you started a new junior developer off in Notes/Domino development? How long did it take before he/she was productive on his own? My guess is that it took a long time. I'm not saying that it is impossible, but I find it very hard to get new developers going in Notes. There is just so much stuff you simply have to know before you can produce anything that is off value to the customer (whether he be internal or external to the company).

I guess you have to start with the basics and just accept that it takes time.

Simply having to know a lot of stuff and starting with the basics concludes the rant and takes me back to the article on reader/author fields. Good thing these articles are still being written - where would we be without them... :-)

JDK (1.6.0) not recognized in Firefox

After reloading my machine and installing all the JDK's I use (1.3, 1.4, 1.6) the latest JDK wasn't recognized in Firefox 2 though it was found and worked in IE. The Java control panel was set correctly and displayed JDK 1.6 as being active for IE and Firefox. The solution (based on this post) was to close Firefox, rename npoji600.dll to xxx_npoji600.dll (in C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\plugins) and restart Firefox. Problem solved.

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Dinosaur report

As mentioned during the Lotusphere 2007 blogging BOF it can be hard to keep up with all the blogs. One thing you could do is use FeedDemon (as I do) and look forward to the next release which include "Dinosaur Reports" that is reports that show the blogs that hasn't been updated in a while. Nice.

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AJAX and character sets

Being from a country that uses characters outside the ASCII range we are often times struggling with character set issues and today was no different. Well it was... Today I found the solution that has been eluding me for a long time.

We have been having issues with national characters in content being returned in AJAX calls for documents sent using the text/plain MIME-type (e.g. JSON). Apparently the XMLHTTPRequest used on most platforms assumes that the content it receives is in UTF-8 so if you're having issues with encoding check the charset. Changing the character set in the servlet generating the data (Content-Type: text/plain;charset=UTF-8) and on the page (using a meta-tag) solved the issue.

JSONMap class

I'm starting off with converting some inhouse developed AJAX stuff to using DOJO and for that reason I needed to convert my XML responses to JSON. Using the JSON Java classes this was pretty straight forward but I really needed an easier way to convert a java.util.Map instance to JSON. Extending JSONArray this was easy. Provided here for those who might need similar code...

package org.json;

import java.util.Iterator;
import java.util.Map;

public class JSONMap extends JSONArray {
   public JSONMap(Map m) {
      for (Iterator ite=m.keySet().iterator(); ite.hasNext(); ) {
         String key = (String)ite.next();
         String value = m.get(key).toString();
         JSONArray a = new JSONArray();
         a.put(value);
         a.put(key);
         this.put(a);
      }
   }
}

Code like this

Map m = new HashMap();
m.put("AL", "Alabama");
m.put("AK", "Alaska");
m.put("AR", "Arkansas");
JSONMap jm = new JSONMap(m);
System.out.println(jm.toString());
will output the following JSON
[
    [ "Alabama", "AL" ],
    [ "Alaska", "AK" ],
    [ "Arkansas", "AR" ]
]

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Sametime 7.5 / Expeditor again mentioned in Eclipse Magazine

Sametime 7.5 and Lotus Expeditor are mentioned (again) in the February issue of Eclipse Magazine. Although it requires registration the magazine is free to download and read. A brief except from the introduction has been reproduced below:

"The first innovative and major instant messaging collaborative client was built on the Eclipse framework. By leveraging Eclipse, IBM Lotus Sametime users could access new plug-in capabilities such as audio/video extensions, location-oriented or mapping applications. and corporate calendar integration."
The article goes on to talk about Sametime and Expeditor although they call it by the former name of Websphere Everyplace Deployment. From a Notes-community perspective the interesting thing is that they show how easy it is to develop plug-ins for the platform and hence invite new ISV's to contribute plug-ins.

The gauntlet has been thrown - Notes developers read up on Java and get going in Eclipse development to stay ahead... :-)

Location identification in Sametime 7.5 - working as designed?

As you probably know Sametime 7.5 will automatically discover which location you are at when you run Sametime and display it in the top right corner. As previously described (Central repository of known locations for Sametime 7.5) this information is kept in the locprofile-config.xml file which stores the location information indexed by the network address (e.g. 192.168.100.0) and the MAC address of the gateway.

I am however starting to doubt whether Sametime actually uses the MAC address information at all. I am currently on a network with the same network characteristics as my home network and Sametime is showing that I am at home which in fact I'm not...

Time to call support I guess unless someone knows the answer...

Sametime tip of the day!

While IM'ing with a colleague in Sametime 7.5 this morning I discovered a neat little trick. When the cursor is in the text area you can press Ctrl-(up arrow) to circle through the previous messages you have sent in that chat session. Please note that any text you have already entered in the text area will be replaced.

Cool and very handy.

Sharepoint stuck in the 90's?

Sharepoint is still stuck in the 90ís - donít get stuck there too. @ atlassian.com. Timely with the announcement of Lotus Connections...

Sign the petition for Domino Designer on Eclipse!!

Read all about it on Stephans blog... Direct linkt to the petetion: http://www.lotususers.org/dde

Hmmmm... Would it be considered bad form to post the code for an agent that read through your Domino Directory and did an HTTP POST request for each of the users there? ;-) I mean - doesn't all users want applications written using best-of-breed tools?

Should I? Well using HTTPClient it wouldn't take long... Let's go... No I better not! Well just maybe... Arrggghhh!! ;-)

POST /DDE/petition?CreateDocument HTTP/1.1
Host: http://www.lotususers.org
User-Agent: Mozilla/4.0
Content-Length: 36
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded

name=John+Doe&email=jdoe@example.com

P.S.: I know the above wont work - there is a trick!! You didn't really think I would post the correct code did you? :-D

Junk mail handling in Notes 8

In November of last year I wrote about the junk mail handling in Notes 7 but it just hit me that I forgot to ask the developers about this at Lotusphere. I would like to know what they are planning to do for Notes 8. The issue is basically that Notes 7 junk mail handling is broken and I would like to know how junk mail filtering is done in the Notes 8 mail template.

Does anyone know or does anyone have an e-mail address to one of the Notes 8 "mail experience" developers?

Lotusphere 2007: lekkimworld.com at the General Closing Session

Imagine my surprise when a post from lekkimworld.com showed up at the General Closing Session at Lotusphere!!

No trial of Portlet Factory?

I talked to a couple of the Websphere folks at Lotusphere 2007 regarding trying out Portlet Factory before buying the product. We have a web application where I can really see the development benefit in moving it to Portal though I have to build a business case for it to justify the spending. To speed up the migration I would like to use Portlet Factory.

Unfortunately there isn't a trial version available for download and it appears that it would have to be made available to you by someone in the sales organization which doesn't seem likely in our case. Unfortunately we do not have the PartnerWorld Value Pack either so I cannot simply download the product from there. So much for trying that product out... :-(

It sure looks promising though...

I'm back...

After Lotusphere I spent a little more than a week in New York City simply vacationing. That was nice. Now I'm back and ready to get going - I guess I'll have to start digesting everything that was said and shown at Lotusphere. Regular blogging to resume any day now...