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LotusScript.doc - an update...

Please donate

Based on prior and recent recommendations I have set up a Paypal account to accept donations to finance the development of the free version of LotusScript.doc version 2. All donations will be very much appreciated and help me justify the time I put into this.

As of today the (new) XML output format of LotusScript.doc is done and I'm starting on the HTML output format on Saturday. Maybe Friday night.

Want to do Notes 8 development? Check out the Eclipse Training Series

Eclipse.org is doing a series of training series around the world for further development using the Eclipse rich client platform (RCP). They're doing introductory courses and advanced sessions so if you're looking to start developing for the Notes 8 platform check it out.

Eclipse Training Series

Lotusphere 2009: Abstracts submitted

This morning, very very early morning, I finally submitted my abstracts for Lotusphere 2009. Two sessions on plugin development and one on developing custom blackboxes for the Sametime business card system. In both plugin sessions I will demonstrate and tell what I have learned developing plugins for the Notes 8 client - both from TwitNotes and my commercial plugins for my company. The Sametime session will be an extension on the similar sessions I have held at a number of Danish user groups. It goes without saying that all three sessions should be accepted... :-)

If I could have it my way both plugin sessions should of cause be accepted and run like 101 and 201 style classes with the former being an introductory session and the latter a more in-depth session. An alternative would have been to go for a JumpStart but that seems to be more "This is how you do Java" or "This is what DWA is all about" type sessions. If you think I'm wrong please let me know and I'll write up another abstract - I'm in no way shy!

I'm crossing all I got...

Tool of the day: XPather

Simple, powerful and easy to use XPath extension for Firefox to easily work with XPath statements: XPather.

LotusScript.doc - an update...

Please donate

Based on prior and recent recommendations I have set up a Paypal account to accept donations to finance the development of the free version of LotusScript.doc version 2. All donations will be very much appreciated and help me justify the time I put into this.

As promised earlier in the week I have been spending the weekend behind the keyboard working on LotusScript.doc version 2. While the weekend started with a lot of grief and unraveling Subversion merge conflicts I am now quite a lot further. The reason the my grief was that I started working on the LotusScript.doc codebase in my Eclipse 3.2 workspace whereas the latest code was in my Eclipse 3.3 workspace. So after resolving conflicts after an update, I moved the code into Eclipse 3.3 where I'm working now. The plan was to go to Eclipse 3.4 but that has to wait.

God thing I'm using Subversion for my code!

As of now (Sunday night) I'm happy to say that the major parsing is done and the engine looks very sound. I have to spend a little more time on tags (e.g. @param, @return) that span multiple lines in comments. The good news is that inline tags is done (e.g. {@link db.form PersonForm}). I also have the XML output almost done and I have started on the HTML output using Jakarta Velocity templates to allow you to change these if need be.

If you're interested you can see the XML output I just generated here (around 1 MB).

Performance using Java is in stark contrast to parsing LotusScript. A full parse of the LotusScript.doc v.1 documentation center database (incl. the entire LotusScript.doc v.1 codebase in LotusScript) takes around 3 seconds on my laptop running the code from Eclipse. I can't remember how long it took to parse the database with LotusScript.doc v.1 but I seem to remember it was much longer. Very nice... :-)

A call to action for all non-US developers!

In my post titled "XPD - where do you live?" from the other day I discussed some problems with i18n (internationalisation) of applications developed in Java for the Notes 8+ platform using the built-in classes (java.util.Locale). Since that post I have been in dialog with IBM via the Domino NEXT Design Partner program.

It has been confirmed that this is indeed a problem and probably in the core Notes client. The problem probably stems from Lotus Expeditor.

Unfortunately not much light has been shed on the subject except IBM asking me to run a Danish Notes client which is among the worst thing I could imagine doing. I run software in English - period! I do however expect the software I run to be able to detect my computer locale as set in the operating system. As an aside it is actually quite common for non-English speaking Europeans to run English software despite the fact that a native-language edition is available.

As part of this process I have been thinking about the API's that we need to have available for i18n. It is quite clear that we need

  • the possibility to obtain the language (as a java.util.Locale) of the client itself (that is the language of the menus etc.)
  • a way to obtain the java.util.Locale the OS is configured for
  • an official API for accessing the regional settings as configured in the Preferences for the calendar display in Mail
If we had these we should be able to create the kinds of localized products and plugins customers expect and demand.

What is your take? Can you see more API's we need while we're at it?

Lotus Foundations for SMB's

Sean Burgess is running a blog on Lotus Foundations over at asnddesigns.com: Foundations for SMB

Support for Notes/Domino 6,5 extended to April 2010

"Selected IBM Lotus products and Program Services will be extended. The following product releases licensed under the IBM International Program License Agreement will be extended to April 22, 2010. The previously announced product withdrawal date was April 23, 2009."

Software withdrawal and support extension: Selected IBM Lotus Notes, Domino, and Enterprise Integrator products

LotusScript.doc - development has begun (again)

So, inspired by many kind e-mails of encouragement, I'm restarting the development of LotusScript.doc v.2 (once again). The main difference is that this time I have actually set aside some time for the development during the weeekend and sent my girl friend off to Barcelona to avoid being disturbed... :-)

Based on prior and recent recommendations I have also set up a place to donate money to finance my development of the free version of LotusScript.doc version 2. Any donations will be very much appreciated to justify the time I put into this.

Look forward to an update during the weekend.

XPD - where do you live?

Disclaimer: I'm trying to get some info from IBM on this subject so please check back as I will update this post as more info becomes available...

Again this is one of those posts that will annoy the heck out of European developers...

Internationalisation - or i18n - is done using the java.util.Locale class in Java. When calling Locale.getDefault() the standard Locale for the JVM should be returned and should be da_DK for me (country: Denmark, language: Danish), en_US for you US guys (country: USA, language: English) and de_AT for people from Austria (Country: Austria, language: German). The Locale can be supplied to many localisation sensitive classes such as java.util.Calendar etc. to make sure it works as expected for the current user locale. Most times however you don't supply the locale explicitly which will make the platform do a Locale.getDefault() for the current locale.

Meet Lotus Notes 8+...

Per default Lotus Notes 8+ runs with a Locale of en_US which is great if you're based in the USA and speak English or simply only use the built-in functionality of Lotus Notes. If you're a plugin developer and you do any i18n work you will be sadly disappointed since Calendar and ResouceBundle will be broken. Since Locale.getDefault() returns en_US you will get back a Calendar for the US (e.g. Sunday is first day of the week) and English strings from your resource bundles.

Maybe this is why the preference has a page for locale setup (see File/Preferences/Calendar and To Do/Regional Settings) which is used by Mail.

To makes matters worse I think it's a core platform issue since you can actually change the language of your Notes client by supplying a command line argument (-nl) to the Notes client. Doing this (-nl da / -nl da_DK) changes the menu item text in my Notes client but any plugin that use Locale.getDefault() still return an incorrect result as shown on the image below.

To make it even weirder it works as expected when the Notes client is started from the Eclipse IDE using "-nl da_DK". Go figure!


(click on the image for larger version)

This behavior has been verified with Notes 8.0.1, Notes 8.0.2 and Notes 8.5 beta 2.

Engagement

So I gave up on being a lone wolf and asked my girl friend to marry me and she said "yes" - after hitting me a calling me a moron! :-) The wedding is to be next summer in August.

A couple of reasons why the update site template in Notes 8 is cool!

Here's a couple of reasons why the Eclipse Update Site template supplied with Notes 8 is a killer template and why it's preferable to use from a Notes users perspective (get the pun?):

  1. Update Site accessible over NRCP (only by Notes clients) or HTTP.
  2. Easy to host on a Domino server even without running the HTTP task.
  3. Replication to other servers.
  4. Easy to control access with ACL.
  5. Easy overview of categories, plugins and features.
  6. Easy to update the update site URL for all/selected features without rebuilding.

If you've been doing plugin/feature packaging in Eclipse you'll really appreciate item number 6.

Tags : ,

The story on Lotus Connections 2.0 and Sametime awareness

So I have been messing a bit with Sametime enabling Lotus Connections the last few days. It all started with the browser blanking out on me once I enabled Sametime Links (stlinks ie. the Javascript API for Sametime normally used to Sametime enable web pages) in the LotusConnections-config.xml (the page source only showing the stlinks HTML). After troubleshooting and fixing the stlinks the Sametime Awareness still didn't work so I opened a PMR with Lotus.

The answer from Lotus Support is however that Sametime Links is not supported in Lotus Connections 2.0. It maybe will be in Lotus Connections 2.0 but for now it's not supported. Does this mean Lotus Connections 2.0 cannot be Sametime enabled? Well no! The technology used in Lotus Connections 2.0 is however a little bit different since it uses the Sametime Web API intriduced with Sametime Connect 8.0.1. So Sametime awareness is enabled in the Profiles feature of Lotus Connections if:

  1. You have enabled Sametime awareness in the profiles-config.xml (note it's not enabled in the LotusConnections-config.xml as is stlinks).
  2. You have Sametime Connect 8.0.1 installed on the local machine.
  3. You are logged into Sametime.
Once I understood this the Sametime awareness works like a charm. Also using the Sametime Web API means that chats you start are started through the Sametime Connect client instead of the plain old stlinks web page. Very nice.

Does this mean that you only can have Sametime awareness in Lotus Connections 2.0 if using Sametime Connect 8.0.1? Well no but it requires that you get in contact with Lotus Support. They can send you a plugin for Sametime Connect 7.5.1, Sametime Connect 8.0, Lotus Notes 8.0.1 and Lotus Notes 8.0.2 (the latter two for the embedded Sametime client). Installing this plugin makes the Sametime awareness work as well.

And just to point it out. This was described in the InfoCenter (see links below) but maybe the LotusConnections-config.xml should have a comment indicating that Profiles would break if stlinks was enabled.

Further reading

Lotusphere 2009: The heat is on!

So registrations for Lotusphere 2009 opened just a few hours ago and Duffbert is all set after waiting in line for a few hours on Twitter... :-) It's amazing how Lotusphere registration is that special day when the excitement starts building. I know I'm excited and I'm looking forward to heading to Orlando.

This year is going to be a little different as I'm going as part of the Intravision team (this was also true last year but still) and we once again have a both on the showcase. It's weird not being among those clicking refresh all night and rush to it.

Once again it's also time to think about session abstracts and those of us planning to submit session have probably been fine tuning the abstracts for the last few months. I know I have and hope to get a session or two this year. I have 6-8 abstracts up my sleeve that I want to submit once the final quirks has been ironed out.

Better get to it and remember to tag your Lotusphere posts with "lotusphere2009".