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Signing of from 2009 - looking back at a great year

2009 is drawing to a close and in less than 10 hours I'll be in my tuxedo and drinking champagne. What a year from a personal and a professional perspective.

On the personal front the highlight of 2009, by far, was on 22 August where I got married to my lovely wife. 4 months into our marriage we're having a blast. Not much have changed in our relationship which I take as a good thing. I'm looking forward to January and once again bringing her along for Lotusphere. I think she's growing used to staying in the Swan and the fact that return guests get some good deals at the spa... :-) Apparently some sun and warm weather (crossing my fingers) in January doesn't hurt either.

On the professional front it's been a year of both many changes and new challenges. As previously the year really got kicked of at Lotusphere and it was very nice seeing all of my "collegues" again and hooking up. I'll remember BALD, being part of the blogger program in those yellow bean bags, frost in Florida in January and the associated state-wide "panic", giving a session with good reviews though having a high fever and missing 1,5 days due to sickness as the highlights of my Lotusphere 2009. Of couse being in the US for the inauguration also made it special. Being "on location" in Florida bar for Superbowl was also a very nice experience.

The rest of the year has been filled with a lot of consulting on Notes and Domino, Lotus Connections and other related Lotus products. It's been very nice being able to share experience and consult on a wide variety of subjects. 2009 was also the year where I started doing a lot of teaching and we started doing Notes 8.5 Application Development workshops. I've been giving the workshop a number of times across Denmark during 2009 and it has always been a good experience. Of course some workshops has been better than others but I have always felt that I've given the attendees what they signed up for and all attendees have gone home amazed at the potential of the new Notes releases. If only more would take the time to learn Java - that's still the Achilles Heel of IBM Lotus...

Towards the end of 2009 I have also assumed the day to day management of some of the developers in the company. It's been a big change from billing out 40-50 hours a week to mostly managing and planning. It's also meant spending far more hours in the office which has been weird. I set a personal record this winter by having lunch in the office 12 days in a row. That's a first in my 2+ years at IntraVision. The change of role has been fun but also a big change and challenge and something that I'm finding myself enjoying very much. I'm looking forward to the new year and getting more into that role.

In 2009 I have also enjoyed still being part of the Design Partner programme with IBM. It's fun, educational and inspiring to be part of these conference calls and getting the inside story. The calls are something I look forward to attending and the debate is good and lively. Of course it's also frustrating sometimes when IBM Lotus do something that we design partners just don't get but that's part of the deal. All in all I still find it very positive that IBM Lotus listens and lotusknows it makes a difference! :-)

On the whole lotusknows thing I find it very positive that IBM Lotus finally got the message and starting being offensive. We still haven't seen much, if any, of it here in Denmark but hopefully it's coming at some point. There's still a big need for air cover.

In November this blog turned 5 years and it was a milestone that were reached. As I wrote on that day, this blog is something I cannot imagine not having today. The blog and way it connects me with the community is amazing. Of course more and more communication moves from blogs to Twitter these days but it's all good.

2009 was also the year where I finally got to finish LotusScript.doc version 2. It's been a long time coming and it was very nice finally to get the new version out there. Expect interesting stuff to be coming your way in 2009 when I start leveraging the LotusScript.doc Java API in other contexts.

In three months TwitNotes turns 2 years - wow! Has it already been that long? Besides, of course, being my Twitter client of choice it has also served as a very good example in all of my speaking gigs as one of those new applications that are possible in the "new" Notes client. TwitNotes is an application that builds on the Notes foundation but reads and writes data in the cloud. Showing it as an example always raises some eyebrows until people "get it". I used it as an example for the big IBM Software Day event here in Denmark this fall.

As 2009 draws to a close I'm doing another sidebar application that I hope will be useful for many of you out there although I'm mainly doing it for myself to increase my productivity. I hope to be able to reveal it by Lotusphere. It's again a cloud-based application that integrates into the Notes experience to showcase just what's possible with the "new" platform. Stay tuned...

Before I write too much I'll wrap it up by wishing you all a very happy new year - see you on the other side. For those of you going to Lotusphere - see you there!

Bye, bye 2009...

Lotusphere 2010: OGS predictions

  • Some demos done on Mac and/or Linux
  • Floating the idea of a DDE without Legacy editors on Ubuntu
  • XPages rendering engines for mobile devices based on user-agent
  • Continued emphasis on Notes as a platform instead of an e-mail client and emphasis on it being an open platform that encourages developers to move to the platform
  • Announcement of stronger 3rd party integrations such as other major ERP system providers and web 2.0 services such as Facebook
  • Much focus on lotusknows, twittering and social computing
  • Revealing what's in store for Notes 9 on a concrete basis
  • XPages, XPages, XPages...

Also had "A lot of focus on XPages in the client as the next development paradigm for the Notes client - forms/views only maintained for "backwards" compability" but this has already somewhat been delivered for Notes 8.5.1 (despite saying that forms/views will be deprecated at some point).

Lotusphere 2010: My BOF - time and place

Received word over the weekend that the BOF I'm hosting (Let's talk Notes/Sametime/Expeditor plugin development!) is now officially called BOF211. The BOF was however scheduled in the same time slot as BOF206 (Application Architecture Based on Composite Application Technology) which I thought would have much of the same audience as "mine" so I wrote to the planners. My BOF (BOF211) has therefore been moved and is now not conflicting with BOF206. Sweet!

"My" BOF is now going to be on Wednesday at 7AM in Swan Heron. See you there.

Hide the Getting started page

If you don't want to show the Gettting Started page for new client installations you may set the following property using plugin_customization.ini or using policies:

com.ibm.rcp.jfaceex/overrideAutoStart=
     com.ibm.rcp.gettingstarted.GettingstartPerspective

Lotusphere 2010: BALD!?

I haven't heard/read any other bloggers mention it so I might as well do it - the Bloggers Anual Lotusphere Dinner aka BALD. As has been the case the previous years I assume we'll meet up at the Brewery on the boardwalk on Saturday before Lotusphere around 5 PM for a pint or 5...

I'm flying in Friday to make sure I'm there! :-)

Lotusphere 2010: Thinking of a plugin unconference

As mentioned a few days ago I'm hosting a BOF at Lotusphere 2010 dealing with plugin development. As part of this I'm thinking about how to best do it. I really want to get a good discussion going but as part of this I also want to start a community for those of us with a special interest in plugin development for the Notes platform. I'm already in regular contact with many of the business partners and customers developing plugins for the platform but I think we need a more formal way to hook up at Lotusphere.

I'm also thinking of a sort of unconference on plugin development for the Notes platform. What do you think?

I think that many of us doing plugin development probably are not going to JumpStart sessions anyway so maybe we should do it on Sunday. When should we do it?

TwitNotes 1.0.13 available - retweet and SSL support

TwitNotes 1.0.13 is now available and adds some features I myself have been missing for a long time. Most noticeable is retweet support and that  hashtags highlighted and that you can easily search for  hashtags by simply clicking it. All operations are also over SSL now. Below is a list of changes.

Changes

  • Added retweet support by dragging tweet from the list to the input field
  • Allow drag'n'drop of text to the input field to easily tweet
  • Allow drag'n'drop of text from the input field to any other site accepting text drop
  • Detection of  hashtags in tweets
  • Allow you to click a  hashtag to search for it on the "Twitter Search"-tab
  • Changed behavior when clicking an author name - now a search is performed on the "Twitter Search"-tab instead of filtering the list
  • All operations are now done using SSL

To update TwitNotes either

  • drag the widget descriptor onto your MyWidgets sidebar panel or...
  • do an update installed features operation (for those who know about updates sites etc. this is by far the easiest way to upgrade)

As with previous releases I wish to thank those who kindly reminded me of this problem - nice to see people using it.

Presentation from Eclipse Demo Camp Copenhagen

Here's the presentation from Eclipse Demo Camp 2009 in Copenhagen on 10 December 2009. It was fun showing of Notes 8+ to Eclipse fans - hope I opened a few eyes to the fact that Notes 8+ isn't your grandfathers Notes client...

I'm very happy to announce that LotusScript.doc v.2 is finally done

I'm very happy to announce that LotusScript.doc v.2 is done - finally! The official point-zero release is available for immediate download. It's been a looooooooooong process and it's taken a very long time but it's finally done. You may download it here (lsdoc_200.zip).

Thanks to all those who have supported and encouraged me during the development. A very special thanks goes out to the people who donated - thank you!

Part of this release is also the website which I'm working on. The website is currently available at blog.lsdoc.org. Once everything is done it will be moved over and replace the current www.lsdoc.org. As I've mentioned before version 2 is written in Java and you may actually use the LotusScript.doc code as a general LotusScript code parser if you wish. Quite easy actually - for a sneak peek as to how to use the API see the Using the LotusScript.doc API page.

Comments as always welcome here on the blog or by e-mail to lekkim [at] lsdoc [dot] org.

Lotusphere 2010: I'm hosting a BOF

Got word today that the BOF I submitted for Lotusphere 2010 (Let's talk Notes/Sametime/Expeditor plugin development!) has been voted in by my fellow attendees :-) Thank you. Don't know the time yet but stay tuned for more information...

Open Office / Lotus Symphony will be in trouble

Oh no! Microsoft have realized that free is a very good price and when Office 2010 is released in June of 2010 Office 2010 Starter Edition will be free. Zero cost. Finally every computer sold will be able be have a valid, licensed, version of Microsoft Office. The Starter Edition will be add supported. Just how many adds and how these will be displayed I don't know.

Office 2010 Starter Edition will be released simultaneously with the rest of the Office 2010 suite, Sharepoint 2010 Server, Office 2010 Web Edition and Office 2010 for Windows Mobile.

I see this as a very wise ploy by Microsoft and Starter Edition will be a treat to the free productivity suites that are currently free. The release looks like a very interesting release and will pose a great and real threat to Google Apps on the web and Open Office and Lotus Symphony as the productivity suite. Of course one could put the opposite spin on the story and see it like Microsoft is reacting to the success of the open source and free counterparts.

For more information on Office 2010 Starter Edition listen to Windows Weekly 133: A Fish Called Windows.

TwitNotes 1.0.12 available - finally working on Notes 8.5.1

Ever since the first beta release of Notes 8.5.1 I have been aware that TwitNotes didn't work on this release of Notes. TwitNotes was able to display and search for tweets just fine but you were unable to submit new status updates. I have been asked numerous times to update the plugin but I just didn't have the time.

Today I finally took the time to try and solve the problem. And what a problem. It took all of 3 minutes to solve. Another 5 minutes to upload the code to the update site. If only I had taken the timer sooner... Oh well!

So to update TwitNotes either

  • drag the widget descriptor onto your MyWidgets sidebar panel or...
  • do an update installed features operation (for those who know about updates sites etc. this is by far the easiest way to upgrade)

As with previous releases I wish to thank those who kindly reminded me of this problem - nice to see people using it.

DDE keybindings and preferences

Domino Designer on Eclipse (DDE) is a huge leap in the right direction for our IDE of choice. I agree there is room for improvement but be sure that IBM Lotus knows this as well. Having DDE is a big help in my day-to-day work and with the right key-combinations and the right tweaks to the preferences it can become even better. Below are some of the nice keybindings I find myself using all the time and the preference tweaks I always do.

  • Ctrl-F6
    Switch view - allows me to easily switch between editors using the keyboard
  • Alt-<arrow back>
    Back in history, not within same editor (i.e. when jumping lines) but between editors
  • Alt-<arrow forward>
    Forward in history, same as above
  • Ctrl-Alt-L
    Goto correct Erl() line
The last one is probably one of the most important functions you should know when making the transition to DDE. Many developers have discovered that the error line number reported by the Erl function in Notes isn't necessarily the correct line when trying to locate the line in DDE. Is problem stems from the way the new LotusScript editor calculates line numbers. This is a *MAJOR* flaw IMHO as line numbering is so basic to an IDE that it should just work! This is however not the case but luckily IBM Lotus has provided us with the next best thing namely a function to convert the Erl() line number to an actual line number in DDE. Knowing the key combination to invoke it makes it less of a hazzle.

In the preferences I normally tweak are the following:

  • General\Editors\Text Editors
    Show lines numbers
  • Domino Designer\LotusScript Editor\Fonts and Colors
    Minor tweaks to the default color setup to make code easier to read.
  • Domino Designer\LotusScript Editor\Remove existing object code when saving with errors
    In DDE you may save LotusScript code with errors but then what should happen to the compiled object code (the code actually being run). Should it be removed or kept in place?

Besides all of the above a thing to remember is that DDE is a brand new beast and simply sitting down in front of it and using it without investing any time in getting to know it is pretty arrogant and probably also a little stupid. I really suggest spending some time getting to know it and making sure it looks, acts and feels like you want it to.

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Eclipse Demo Camp Copenhagen - it is on Thursday!

So the Eclipse Demo Camp Copenhagen will take place on Thursday in the IBM offices in Copenhagen. Checkout the wiki page for more information. The lineup looks quite promising.

Tonny Madsen, RCP Kompagniet
What exactly is the new e4 

Jesper Steen Møller, NineConsult A/S
XPath2, XML Catalog and XSLT tooling 

Bent Agervold Jensen, ReportSoft, 
BIRT 

Mikkel Heisterberg, Intravision
Signed plugins and how these works end-to-end in Lotus Notes 

Jakob Lyng Petersen, Maconomy
Building a Generic Client for Business Professionals 
using Eclipse RCP 

Ekkart Kindler, DTU
Model-based Software Engineering with the Eclipse 
Modeling Framework 

Steen Brahe, Danske Bank, Use of the Graphical Modeling 
Framework in Danske Bank 

Jan Schoubo, LEJLN platformen
Linux-Eclipse-Java-LEGO NXT - For absolute beginners 

Looking forward to seeing you there.

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Using Abdera XPath on the Lotus Connections service document

As always namespaces and XPath/XSLT is "funny" to play around with. Tonight I have been messing a little with the ATOM feeds available in Lotus Connections and needed to use XPath to extract a URL from the service document instead of the object model in Abdera. I didn't find it all together easy to figure out so I'll post it here in case it helps anyone. The key is to specify a java.util.Map with the two namespaces in use (atom, app) when doing the XPath (the "ns" variable) and remembering to use the correct namespaces in the actual XPath string.

Document<Service> doc = ...;
XPath x = Abdera.getNewXPath();
Map ns = new HashMap();
ns.put("atom", "http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom");
ns.put("app", "http://www.w3.org/2007/app");

String link = x.valueOf("/app:service/app:workspace" + 
   "/atom:link[@rel='http://www.ibm.com/xmlns/prod/sn" + 
   "/mv/theboard']/@href", service, ns));
System.out.println("Link: " + link);

Lotusphere 2010: Must be ready!

I was lying awake around 4am this morning thinking about Lotusphere 2010 so I must be ready. It will be an interesting conference as I'm not speaking and we're not exhibiting so I'm free to roam around. Looking forward to heading to Orlando.

LinkedIn vs. Facebook

Ever since I joined Facebook just a few months back I have been in a constant dilemma about friend requests from colleagues, business partners and other people that I work with or have worked with. The reason it took me so long to join Facebook to begin with was that I knew that I eventually had to decide on how to treat this, for me, new social network. Joining Facebook didn't make it easier for me - quite the opposite. I now have a long list of friend requests from people that I work with or may get to work with at some point. I want and need to deal with these in some fashion.

The way I have chosen to deal with these friend requests is to disregard any friend request on Facebook from people that I work with or might, no matter how slim the possibility, get to work it. I don't do this to be mean or anything. I simply want a social network where I can share information with my wife, family and "real" friends. Not that I don't consider many of the people I work with friends - they're just in that other category of friends. I would like to have a place where I can post comments and pictures where those not in the know, or with other points of view, might get the wrong idea. I would like a place where I can be myself.

Making this decision about Facebook also made me look more carefully into LinkedIn. It means that I will now use Linkedin for all those business connections. Much as I have in the past. I will of course also continue to use the various Lotus Conenctions sites available out these as well. So if you want to hook up with me with catch me on LinkedIn.

I would love to hear how you have decided to deal with the proliferation of social networks and where you draw the line between your personal and professional life.