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Sametime business card data cache

The Sametime client has a cache of the information it has fetched from the business card (aka blackbox) system on a per user basis. This is both the textual data and the image data. In case your Sametime client displays stale data you can do one of two things:

  1. Right-click the contact and select "Refresh Person Info". This will make Sametime refetch the data from the Sametime server.
  2. Clear the cache from disk.
In some cases option 1 wont work although it's far far the easiest. I have seen this when changing the person image format (e.g. from jpg til gif). In this case you may need to clear the cache from disk.

So where is this cache? Well if you open the "workspace\.metadata\.plugins\com.ibm.collaboration.realtime.people.impl\PersonCache" directory beneath your Notes data directory you'll see a directory per Sametime community you're connected to. In each of these directories you'll find

  • an .index file containing a list of the known users
  • an XML file per user with person info
  • a picture, if any, of the user
If you want to purge the cache for a community you can close the Notes client, clear the contents of the .index file (you may be able to delete the file altogether but I haven't tried) and delete the xml and image files. When you restart Notes and hover over a Sametime contact the client will refetch the business card data.

Easy.

Active Directory error messages - useful for LDAP access

Found this nice summary of the error messages Active Directory can return when trying to connect using LDAP (e.g. from Java using JNDI).

Active Directory LDAP Errors

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LMAO - Air cover as provided by leading software companies

In an anonymous comment to my post yesterday (Lotus: We'll give you the air cover you need! Humbug, I say! Humbug!) a person who calls himself/herself "Hindenburg" (lol) linked to the following image which cracked me up. Why? Because it really hits the nail on the head.

Lotus: We'll give you the air cover you need! Humbug, I say! Humbug!

I agree - this is a rant but I'm frustrated - deeply frustrated.

So I was at the Lotusphere 2009 and was happy to hear Kristen Lauria, VP Lotus Marketing, on stage talking about the renewed commitment from IBM Lotus to marketing and about the new SmarterPlanet campaign. IBM was going to provide the air cover we as partners needed. IBM was going to be visible and aggressive. IBM was going to get into to fight. They were shattering windows for God sake!

I was thrilled. The crowd was thrilled. There was a big applause and I think I even heard someone shout. At the blogger executive Q&A I asked Kristen whether this initiative would be coming to Europe and she said yes so I was even more thrilled. It would even be coming to Denmark. Wow.

It's now been about 5 months and I have seen nothing. Absolutely nothing. IBM Lotus is still as absent from the media as they ever has been. Nothing has changed.

"We'll give you the air cover you need!" Humbug, I say! Humbug!

As I said I'm frustrated. IBM Lotus has some of the best technology out there and probably the best and most competitive client in the market. Notes 8.5 is arguably the best and most capable Notes client ever. With Notes 8.5 we're back to Notes being a true platform. Unfortunately customers don't know it. As business partners we are still on our own and we have to mature and nurture the market our self.

It's a real shame. I think we would be a lot stronger if IBM sent some air cover and dispatched that air strike we have been crying for for so long... Well - maybe next year.

Sametime blackboxes and CommonField tag - keep your eyes open!

I have written quite a couple of posts about Sametime blackboxes over time on how to write your own and how to configure multiple blackboxes to fetch business card data from multiple sources. I wrote some articles in THE VIEW on the matter and I wrote the backbox used on the Bleedyellow site to fetch business card from Lotus Connections.

One of the critical pieces in the Sametime blackbox puzzle is the <CommonField CommonFieldName="fieldname"/> tag from the userinfoconfig.xml (the file used to configure the blackbox system). This tag is used to indicate to the blackbox subsystem which field from the primary blackbox should be used to identify the user being queried in subsequent blackboxes. Unfortunately I have seen over the last couple of implementations I have done that this tag cannot be relied upon anymore.

In the last two implementations I have done I'm seeing that the UID from the context being sent to the secondary (and tertiary) blackbox is the distinguished name (i.e. the LDAP DN or Notes DN) rather than the e-mail address is specified in userinfoconfig.xml. These implementations are primarily based on Domino 8.0.2 and Sametime 8.0.1. In these implementations I have had to write code to "re-lookup" the e-mail address in LDAP based on the DN.

I'm trying to get IBM to react to this fact but no luck so far. I'll keep you posted...

Generating unique id's for Notes widgets

If you write code to automatically generate widget descriptors (aka extension.xml) for users you have to ensure that the widget id is unique. A nice exxample of this can be found here. One caveat is that the widget id is used to distinguish the widgets hence has to be unique. To easiest way to generate a unique id in Java is to use the java.util.UUID class. Generating a unique, random, id with this class is easy.

String id = java.util.UUID.randomUUID().toString();

Will Notes be supported on Windows 7?

Check out technote 1385293: Lotus Notes support of Microsoft Windows version 7. Although the technote doesn't clarify anything it's nice to know that Lotus is aware of this upcoming OS release and is monitoring the situation and working with Microsoft as we would expect.

Don't install Notes in the default location if doing Notes plug-in development

A little while back I was contacted by a fellow Yellow-head who had some issues with some plug-in development for Notes 8. Unfortunately I wasn't able to help him at the time but when he some head scratching time later found the answer he was kind enough to share it. I thought I would share it here in case it can help someone.

From the offset the issue looked simple as it had to do with the good old nlsxbe which is normally caused by the binary Notes directory not being on the path. The issue was however a bit twisted as the error raised complained about the filename or extension being too long.

java.lang.UnsatisfiedLinkError: nlsxbe 
   (The filename or extension is too long. )

What our good Yellow-head found out was that the issue was caused by his install location of the Notes client. Specifically he had installed his client in "C:\Archivos de programa\IBM\Lotus\Notes" which is the default location for his OS. This however means that the path to the notes.jar for plug-ins becomes "C:\Archivos de programa\IBM\Lotus\Notes\framework\rcp\eclipse\plugins\com.ibm.rcp.j2se.win32.x86_1.5.0.SR4-200707311521\jre\lib\Notes.jar" which is too long a path (longer than 128 characters). Installing Notes in "C:\program files\IBM\Lotus\Notes" solved the issue.

So if you run into weird issues like this check your install path or choose an English copy of Windows! :-)

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Wireless presenting

I'm doing more and more presenting work and being tied to the keyboard to change slides just doesn't cut it so I have been in the market for a cordless presenter device of some sort. Finally I decided on the Logitech 2.4 GHz Cordless Presenter. Besides the name which is somewhat of a mouthful it's just stellar! It does exactly what it sets out to do - nothing more, nothing less. It's a great addition to my arsenal... :-)

Having freetime for projects

It's no secret that I haven't had the time I really wanted to play around with my pet projects over the last months. I start more projects than I have the time to finish, or at least work with, and besides work and family I just don't have the time. It's actually quite an interesting thing how one can get stressed over free stuff you put out there and feel like you just got to update and maintain. Maybe there's a better way to do it...

At some point I had an arrangement with my fiancee that I had every Tuesday for geeking out but for some reason we got away for that. We discussed it again yesterday and it seems like we have a deal! :-) That would be nice. I know it's just as much my own fault but it sure would be nice to have some time to finish some of my geek-out projects.

IBM url's in marketing - oh my!

Received one of the longest IBM links I have ever received the other day: http://w3-03.ibm.com/sales/supporVShowDoc.wss?docid=l0781 06015634U22&infotype=SK&infosubtype=P0&node=doctype,P0~doctype,0PR~brands,B9300~brmds,B0T00&appname~C C-CFSS

Wow! You guys heard of tinyurl.com?

Google Maps Widget Generator - come grab your own!

One of the coolest and most powerful features of Notes 8 is the MyWidgets sidebar and the ability to link widgets to text selection actions and/or LiveText.

The only thorn in the side is that not all users are capable of doing their own widgets and some widgets cannot be sent to them because they contain custom data. Take a widget that generate directions for instance. Normally the starting address and you choose the destination address but since the starting address it set it makes the widget difficult to share. What to do?

The solution is of cause to generate the widget on an ad hoc basic. Meet the Google Maps Widget Generator. The widget generator works as follows.

You point your browser at the Google Maps Widget Generator. From this page you follow the short instructions and drag the extension.xml to your MyWidgets sidebar. This installs the widget into your client.

To generate a directions widget you right click the widget and choose to open it in the sidebar (it isn't visible by default).

Now specify the title you would like to see when right clicking text in the client in the top field (e.g. Google Maps from the office) and the source address in the bottom field (e.g. 1500 Epcot Resorts Blvd, Lake Buena Vista, FL‎). Then click "Go!"

From the resulting page simply drag the extension.xml link to your MyWidgets sidebar to install the Google Maps widget.

Now your new Google Maps widget is available in your Notes client. To generate another widget click the "Generate another widget"-button and simply right click the widget header and choose "Close" to close it. You may always reopen it to generate new widgets.

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Blog moved

The move of my blog has been completed and the performance is already much improved and it's now actually possible to perform a search. Nice. If you do experience any problems please let me know. Thanks.

Grown tired of my blog provider

So I've finally grown tired of my blog provider. It's just too restrictive, performance is very bad and the memory limitations means that I cannot even perform a search on my own blog. Very bad. I'm currently taking steps to move my blog to my own server and I hope to have it up and running very soon.