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Announcement: Sametime Awareness Simulator

So I'm finally done with version 1.0 of the Sametime Awareness Simulator (SAS) application that I hinted to during Lotusphere.

The purpose of the application is to solve the problem that all that run demos involving Sametime run into: How to get 20 users on Sametime, some available, some away etc. without running 20 concurrent Sametime Connect clients. With SAS you can simply manage all this from with one application.

From the screenshot on the right you can see the application with 3 users added. Only one is logged into Sametime and as you can see you can set the status for each individual user by right-clicking or using the menu or toolbar. There's also a preference dialog for setting the hostname of the Sametime server to use.

I need you!

I'm interested in getting some initial feedback before releasing the application into the wild so if you need something like this let me know by e-mail (mh [at] intravision.dk). I'm looking for 5 people or so to test drive the application. Please only write if you're actually going to use it and not if you just need a new toy... :-)

I will be releasing it soon enough.

Technical stuff

The application is written in Java using the Sametime Java API and using the Eclipse RCP application framework. It runs as a standalone application so you do not need Eclipse installed.

Plans for future improvement

  • Configure SAS to automatically add a predefined set of users. Now you have to manually add the users each time the application starts.
  • Add update site functionality to allow for easy updates and bug fixes.
  • Add functionality to allow users logged into Sametime using SAS to respond to chats (using predefined responses or simply echo), join group chats and accept file transfers.
  • Log into Sametime as a server application and use the LightLoginService instead of a fullblown STSession per user.

Eclipse 3.2.2

With all the IBM software built on Eclipse 3.2.2 for now (Notes 8.5 will be based on Eclipse 3.4) it's good to keep the Eclipse 3.2.2 download page at hand.

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Using Greasemonkey for Forum Friday

I read Declans post on Forum Friday as an addition to Show-and-Tell-Thursday and I think it's a good idea. There was some discussion about a similar idea (Question Wedneyday) at the blogger BOF. If I'm to respond to posts in the Notes 8 forum (my primary focus) I want a nicer default footer.

I'm already using a Greasemonkey script I blogged about a while back for the LDD6/7 forum. Unfortunately there's a difference between the HTML markup between the Notes 6/7 forum and the Notes 8 forum so the Greasemonkey script needs to take this into account.

Here's the updated script (updates in bold):

// ==UserScript==
// @name          Notes/Domino 6/7/8 Forum Signature
// @namespace     http://lekkimworld.com/greasemonkey/ldd_signature
// @description	  Inserts my LDD Forum signature
// @include       http*://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/nd6forum.nsf/*?OpenForm*
// @include       http*://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/nd8forum.nsf/*?OpenForm*
// ==/UserScript==

// get elements
var e_subject = document.getElementById("Subject");
var e_body = document.getElementById("Body");

// handle Notes 8 forum
if (null == e_subject) {
	e_subject = document.forms[0].elements[1];
	e_body = document.forms[0].elements[2];
	e_body.style.fontFamily = "Verdana";
	e_body.style.fontSize = "11px";
}

// compose signature
var signature = "\n\n/Mikkel Heisterberg\nVisit my Notes/Domino blog " + 
    "@ http://lekkimworld.com\nfor posts on Notes, Domino, Sametime " + 
    "and how to use Java in Notes/Domino...";

// set signature
e_body.value = signature;

// set focus
if (e_subject.value == "") {
   e_subject.focus();
} else {
   e_body.focus();
   e_body.setSelectionRange(0, 0); 
}
Feel free to copy the script and modify to your liking. Installation guide is in my previous post.

Caveat when converting an Eclipse Java project to a plug-in project

Based on some advise I got in the "Meet the Developers" lab at Lotusphere I converted a Java project to a plug-in project in Eclipse today. This will make it easier to manage my dependencies instead of manually having to export the model classes as a jar and including that. I tried it before but it didn't work. Today I found out why.

The conversion via right-clicking and choosing "Convert Projects to Plug-in Projects" (in the "PDE Tools" section) went fine but afterwards the classes from the plug-in wasn't found by my sidebar plug-in in Notes 8. Compilation in Eclipse went fine.

The issues turned out to be caused by Eclipse not automatically adding the compiled classes to the plug-in. To solve this I had to open the manifest (MANIFEST.MF), switch to the "Build" tab and in the "Runtime Information" section add a library named "." (yes a period) on the top left and the source code folder I wanted to include on the top right.

Once I did that everything went smoothly.

im.bleedyellow.com - say no more!

No need to have all your Notes/Domino contacts on separate IM networks anymore since bleedyellow.com also has a Sametime server. Just create an additional community for im.bleedyellow.com and you're good to go. You might want to add YellowBleeders group to your buddylist as well.

Lotusphere 2008: Batch presentation download

I was wondering this morning how long time it would take for something like this to show up. Remember to do it before 22 February where Lotusphere 2008 online closes... I'm downloading as I write this.

Stephan Wissel: Lotussphere Presentation Batch Download

Bind Eclipse debugger to Notes 8 Standard client

Very nice post by Bob Balfe on how to debug Java components (plug-ins etc.) in a production Notes client and not just when developing. Very nice. Combined with proper logging practices (I will post more on using the LoggingService this week I hope) you should be all set.

Debugging your eclipse plugins in Lotus Notes 8.x

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Sorting strings the right way in Java

Core Java Technologies Tech Tips: Sorting Strings

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Lotusphere 2008: The adventure begins! :-)

A picture tells a thousand words... See you in Orlando 18-22 January 2009.

Lotusphere 2008: And it's all over

And I'm back home in Denmark after spending Friday in Seaworld and flying back to Copenhagen. Thoughts on Lotusphere to come...

Lotusphere 2008: Kick ass appdev info!

Besides being in the showcase today I went to the "Meet the developers" lab today and spent the better part of 2 hours in there talking to various developers on the Sametime Connect client team and Sametime server team. Special thanks to Jessica Ramirez from the Connect client team for taking the time.

Besides getting some invaluable help with my own sidebar component I got exactly the info I needed on how to send richtext through the Sametime Java API - it's not straight forward, not documented and not something you figure out on your own. Suffice to say it includes knowing the right hex codes and correct data structures. Jessica actually brought up the actual source code of the Sametime Connect client to show how it's done!

What's an important lesson from this that if you need some piece of information go and ask!

Lotusphere 2008: BOF101 - startling news!

I went to BOF101 ((IBM Lotus Notes 8.5 Client Roaming) last night (Tuesday) to hear about the plans for (re)introducing roaming back into Notes 8. The BOF was moderated by Richard Wilson and John Banks. Besides these two Jeff Eisen sat in of the BOF.

The plans discussed were the plans for Notes 8.5 so I guess it's official not roaming wont be back in Notes 8.0.1 - at least for Notes 8 Standard. Roaming is supported, as it has been previously, in Notes 8 Basic. There are some nice things planned for roaming incl. a complete overhaul of the architecture. For one Lotus is planning on supporting roaming using file servers instead of Domino servers for in-office roaming. This is nice - especially for sales offices. Besides this and other good stuff there was a recognition that roaming needs work and we had a good discussion.

What was a little startling to me was that they hadn't really thought of roaming plug-ins. For me roaming means that a user can log off one machine, log into another and the eperience will be the same. Well it appears that this will not be the case. Currently the plan is to roam the "basic" Eclipse configuraton files but not the plug-ins directory which means that installed sidebar plug-ins may or may not be available on the workstation you roam to. Additionally plug-in parts of composite applications will need to be redownloaded. As the plan looks now, although Lotus was taking lots of notes (no pun intended), you will have to rely on plug-ins enforced to be installed via update sites for corporate wide mandatory sidebar plug-ins. I guess there's no "My Widgets" for roaming users as it looks now.

It sounded like Lotus is looking for design partners for roaming so if you feel you have somthing to contribute on the matter now would be a good time to raise your voice.

Decisions are made by those who show up!

Composite Applications wiki launched

The IBM Composite Applications wiki has been launched and is supposed to a one-stop-shop for information about Composite Applications. There's also a new Sametime wiki.

Lotusphere 2008: Quote of the day (Tuesday)

Konrad Lagarde at the UC2 Keynote: "Don't you know - green is the new yellow!"

Lotusphere 2008: AD204 - finally got to ask!

I went to session AD204 (Customizing the Look of IBM Lotus Notes 8: Coding Tips and UI Guidelines) by Mary Beth Raven and Matthew Hatem to hear about the just published user guidelines for Notes applications. The session was good, although a little short (just 40 minutes). After the session I got to ask two questions to Mary Beth Raven.

  1. May we as developers use the gif's and png's from the plug-ins supplied by IBM Lotus in our own applications? (try searching your Notes 8 install directory for *.png and/or *.gif to see all the nice icons).
  2. Why isn't one of the personas used throughout the Notes 8 development based in a country using the metric system and A4 letter format?

For question number 1 Mary Beth had to check back with IBM Legal so keep up with her blog for an answer. If she answers me by e-mail only I'll be sure to post about it here.

Question number 2 was popular based on the applause anyway. I have asked the question before on her blog but with no answer so it was nice to finally get an answer. The reply was that there is one persona that does have the metric system and A4 as a preference but she agreed that the priority needed to be changed. As such it was taken to note by Mary Beth and her manager sitting in the audience so that's nice. We have to keep her to it!

This is another reason to come to Lotusphere!

Lotusphere 2008: I see many more people asleep in couches!

Compared to yesterday the number of people sleeping in couches has increased. Definitely! For me this can be the result of

  1. too much drinking last night,
  2. simply being tired from too much walking or
  3. lots of new content to take in.
I choose to believe it's the latter. I see it as a sign that lots of material is being presented and a lots of new stuff needs to be absorbed. I think it's great!

Lotusphere 2008: Jam-packed day for me

Due to technical issues at our booth I didn't get to go to any sessions yesterday. Today however I managed to get someone else from my company (thanks Martin!) to fill in for me so I can go to sessions. I have the entire day lined up and started out bright and early with a BOF and will continue into in the night before going to an IBM dinner arrangement. Here is my plan for the day:

  • 07:00-08:00 - BOF on composite application development
  • 08:30-09:30 - UC2 Keynote
  • 10:00-11:00 - AD113 (plug-in deep dive)
  • 11:15-12:15 - AD202 (view extensibility)
  • 13:30-14:30 - AD103 (Eclipse based components)
  • 15:00-16:00 - AD204 (UI guidelines)
  • 16:15-17:15 - ID208 (what's new in Domino security)
  • 17:45-18:45 - BOF101 or BOF102/li>
  • 19:30-??:?? - IBM DP Dinner
Whew! That's one full day worth of stuff!

Lotusphere 2008: Expeditor and Notes dependencies

I went to the "Meet the Developers" lab to discuss some Expeditor issues I have been having and got a few questions answered. For one it turns out that Expeditor 6.1 isn't supported on Windows 2003 due to "strange errors". This means that the 6 hours I have spent today getting my demo environment on Windows 2003 to work have been in vain.

Apart from that I was told that Notes 8.5 will be based on the upcoming Expeditor 6.2 (out later in the year) which again is based on Eclipse 3.4. This means that Lotus will skip Eclipse 3.3 (Europa) altogether. I was also told that IBM will never remove libraries even though they have been deprecated in Eclipse.

Lotusphere 2008: I'm going to miss HND301

Arrrhhhh.... I'm going to miss HND301 due to technical problems at our booth... :-(

Sametime Awareness Simulator - part 2

Well I discussed the SAS with Nathan last night at the Welcome Reception and it seems like it struck a nerve and it's something that's usable for a lot of the guys in the showcase. I cleared everything out last night so I will probably be sharing the application during the day (Monday).

I have many plans for future enhancements. For now it only simulates awareness but a logical extension would be for it to be able to accept file transfers, join group chats and reply to 1-on-1 chats. One should be able to specify a prerecorded chat script for individual users.

More to follow...

Sametime Awareness Simulator

As part of the preparations for some of the stuff we (IntraVision) will be showing off at Lotusphere 2008 I have developed a Sametime Awareness Simulator. The simulator is used to simulate Sametime users in a demo environment without having to run multiple Sametime Connect clients when all you need is to simulate awareness (that is some users being available, some away etc.). The application will let you manually add username/password combinations or read the usernames and passwords from a configuration file at startup. It will also automatically set the awareness status as specified in the file (available, away, in a meeting, do not disturb).

Below is a screenshot of the application which you can see is written using the Eclipse RCP framework and the Sametime Java SDK. I hope I will be able to let you all to download the application for use in your own demos.

Now I'm off to the beach... :-)

Lotusphere 2008: And we're off

Well Lotusphere 2008 has (un)officially started and already we're hearing exciting stuff about the upcoming Lotus Foundations and the intention by IBM to acquire Net Integrations. Sounds promising and I'm looking forward to hearing more about these areas.

SWT @ Notes 8: Notes 8 design guidelines

This is the first post of what I plan to make a returning series of posts on using the SWT widget library in Notes 8 that is writing plug-ins, sidebar applications etc. I will als include posts on Java issues you need to consider. It's always good to do a soft start so I will start by pointing to another post. Mary Beth Raven just published a link to the user experience design guidelines for Notes.

"This white paper describes user-interface design and 
interaction guidelines for designers and developers who 
are building IBM® Lotus® Notes® applications, IBM Lotus 
Sametime® V7.5 or later plug-ins, IBM Lotus Symphony™ 
plug-ins, IBM Lotus Expeditor plug-ins, or composite 
applications (assembling any mixture of plug-ins, Lotus 
Notes applications, and components built with IBM Lotus 
Component Designer)."

There are a lot of gems such as programmers should refrain from using Question and Confirm dialog boxes and how to capitalize sentences. It sounds like small things but it's important if we want a consistent interface.

Lotusphere 2008: Predictions for OGS topics

Following the recent talk of Notes coming to the iPhone I have been wondering about what other exciting stuff may be announced at Lotusphere 2008. Ed Brill mentions eight announcements for Notes/Domino! Below are a couple of my guesses/wishes for the OGS:

  • Universal client - Notes 8.x as a "native" frontend to Microsoft Exchange server using the CSI Java view engine making Notes *the* client of choice for the enterprise
  • Mac/Linux - GA dates of Notes 8.x incl. Domino Designer on Mac and Linux making them first class citizens in Notes-land
  • Traveler for iPhone - Official announcement Notes Traveler for iPhone (and Symbian OS to include in Nokia users)
  • NMFR - Even firmer roadmap for Notes+ and a GA date for what Bob Balaban calls NMFR also unofficially known as 8.5 incl. running Notes without an ID-file and using other LDAP directories (e.g. AD) as the directory
  • Roaming/NOMAD - Notes 8 in NOMAD-mode aka Notes-on-a-stick to solve the lack of roaming in Notes 8 Standard
  • Lotus Symphony - Endorsement of the IBM Lotus Symphony initiative by major industry players to form a real alliance against the Microsoft Office dominance and expand Symbian support to the Mac
  • Lotus Connections for Domino - integration to Domino that allows customers to use Domino Directory as the source for the Profiles component instead of having to pump data to DB2 thus making it easier to deploy Lotus Connections
  • Lotus Expeditor - a clear strategy for the Lotus Expeditor platform incl. how/if IBM will keep up with the Eclipse platform and how Expeditor progress in relation to Notes and Sametime
  • Java - Duke making an appearance to make it clear that Java is in the Notes client to stay and that developers and customers should "skill up"
There is a fair chance that I will need to update/revise the list after the OGS on Monday... :-)

Lotusphere 2008: Profile

Be sure to update your Lotusphere Online profile including a picture. It's a nice way to find people.

Lotusphere 2008: Lotusphere online is on Domino 8.0.1

I was pleasantly surprised to see Lotusphere Online is running on Domino 8.0.1 Servers. How can I tell? Well there is a Lite version of Domino Web Access for the mail. This is a *very* nice addition both due to the required load time but also because I hardly need anything else for my Lotusphere Online account. It's good to see that Lotus is betting that 8.0.1 is production ready out of the box.

5 days to go! :-)

Conference call from the beach?

Today was my first conference call from a beach more exactly sitting on the beach in Key West, Florida. Nice... ;-) Seriously it was the "compromise" I had to agree to with my girl friend to let me "work" during our holiday. Well it wasn't too bad a compromise I think.

Weather report from the Florida Keys aka Key West

Sun is shining and it's about 75-80 degrees.... :-)

Weather report from Florida

Arrived in Orlando yesterday Friday and I'm happy to report that the weather is very pleasant. Today, Saturday, it was around 76 F and partly cloudy. I'm in shorts and sandals so be sure to bring short sleeved shirts for the conference... :-)

Orlando baby!

I'm starting to get really excited. Tomorrow morning, Friday, I'm leaving for Florida. First a week of vacationing, relaxation and sight-seeing and then a week on top notch geek-out at Lotusphere! I'm really excited. I think it's gonna be one best Lotusphere I have attended.

I'm off to see the wizards(s)...

Lotusphere 2008: Hands-on session enrollment

This year at Lotusphere you can pre-enroll for hands-on sessions which I think is great since it really helps you to plan out your schedule. I have already registered for mine and really suggest you hurry and do the same.

Remember that seats are limited and registration is on first-come-first served basis.

FeedDemon is now free!

The mother of all RSS readers are now completely free and can be downloaded from Newsgator free of charge. I have been using FeedDemon for many years as my feed reader and it is - hands down - the best tool, and the tool that provided best value for money, I have ever bought. All this and now it's free! Go grap a copy at once.

P.S.: Did I mention that it's free now?

FREE Demon? Yes, FeedDemon is Now Free!

Re: Re: Ugly regression in Notes 7.0.2

Just discovered that the LotusScript regression mentioned previously is also present in Notes 8.0.

Technote 1260778: Regression: Performance issue assigning array objects to List variables in LotusScript

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Lotusphere 2008: Welcome reception

The following is from lotusphere.com:

Welcome reception
Attendees will gather poolside at the WALT DISNEY WORLD SWAN and DOLPHIN Resort on Sunday night for the annual Lotusphere welcome reception. This year the theme is Beach Blast—you're invited to put on your most colorful tropical shirt and join us for a Beach Blast of massive proportions as we celebrate our 15th year of coming together at the premier event for the Lotus software community. Seriously, pack your flowered tropical shirt and wear it on Sunday night.