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How much functionality before a TwitNotes v2 beta release?

As I hinted to on twitter earlier I'm wondering how much functionality I need to add before releasing a beta of the new TwitNotes v2 (follow @lotustwitnotes to stay in the loop). Below you can see a screenshot of how TwitNotes looks as of now (7 pm Friday night). I did change the blue color to make it slightly easier on the eye. The current code takes a tweetdeck like approach and allows you to switch between tweets from friends, mentions, favorites and direct messages. You may also add columns for certain users and I'm going to add search support (add a column for a search) before releasing. Of course you can also tweet.

What I want to know is how much more to do before releasing a beta install. Let me know if you have an opinion by commenting below or tweeting me.

The Next Release of Java: Java JDK 7, out mid-2011

News from JavaOne:

Mark Reinhold confirmed that "Plan B" is now the plan of record for the next release of Java, with JDK 7 scheduled for mid-2011, with support for other languages on the JVM (InvokeDynamic) and many small improvements (parts of Project Coin). Things that don't make it into JDK 7 are planned for JDK 8, including Project Lambda and Project Jigsaw, scheduled for late 2012. Markus Eisele, software architect, provides details about Java SE 7 and Java SE 8.

Janice J. Heiss: Plan B Wins

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Save the date: XPages Documentation Discussion

I found this via the LotusUserGroup.org newsletter and I found it worth passing along.

On Monday, November 8th, give a shout out to the documentation team for Lotus Domino Designer. The team is looking to get your feedback on how helpful you find the Domino Designer User Guide (XPages) Help and will be moderating a forum on the topic at LotusUserGroup.org/forum for you to shout out your comments And observations.

The XPages Help provides information that is necessary for developing web applications using the new XPages technology available in Domino Designer. Do you like the newly added controls and properties reference sections? Have some feedback orsuggestions on the usability of the documentation - content that works well, content that needs improvement? This is your chance to really impact the XPages documentation content.

So mark your calendar. Bob Harwood, the Information Development (ID) Lead for Domino Designer, the Domino Designer ID team, and Cara Viktorov, ID Usability Feedback Lead, will be moderating the forum, live, the week of November 8, 2010. Plan to join in and ask questions, share experiences, and collaborate about Domino Designer Help.

Date: November 8, 2010 Forum: http://www.LotusUserGroup.org/forum

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Lotusphere 2011: Why go to Lotusphere?

If you haven't registered yet I strongly suggest you do. The below quote from Willie Sutton illustrates it very well.

Q: "Willie, why do you rob banks?"
A: "Cause that's where the money is."

Why go to Lotusphere? Cause that's where the Lotus is!! :-)

What is new in 8.5.2 for XPages

Lotus Notes/Domino 8.5.2 is out and the other day I was hosting an XPages training session so I thought a little bit about what's new with XPages. Of course XPage ninjas like Matt has already written about it (Matt White: What's new with XPages in 8.5.2) but as I was reading up I found some links I wanted to highlight. Most info may be found on the IBM wiki.

  • onClientLoad Event. Its now possible to add scripts in the events to be executed when the page is submitted or this panel or some containing panel is partial updated.
  • Extensions API
  • Two new Global Objects for Server Side JavaScript, sessionAsSigner (open a session using the signer rights) and sessionAsSignerWithFullAccess(open a session using the signer rights, while giving it full access to the data)
    • sessionAsSigner - Assigns credentials based on the signer of the of XPages design element. The session is restricted by the application's ACL and the security tab of the server's Domino Directory entry.
    • sessionAsSignerWithFullAccess - Assigns credentials based on the signer of the of XPages design element and allows full administrative access to the application's data. The signer must have the right to such access or the session is not created.
  • New resource xp:headTag - this allow you in an easy way to put stuff into the header of a XPage
  • XPages ECL to Permissions updated to include more Java Permissions
    In V851 of XPages, security for executing Java code in XPages in the Notes Client was very restricted. For XPages V852, the Java Permissions managed by the XPages ECL settings have been broadened to be similar to the set of Java Permissions allowed by Java Agents and to bring a level of equivalence between Java Permissions allowed for XPages on Domino Server (Unrestricted) and XPages in the Notes Client. For example, in V851 the ECL Network permission only covered the Java SocketPermission, now it covers NetPermission and other related Java network permissions.
  • Referencing a Managed Bean from JavaScript now supported in XPiNC. This fixes a bug where a Managed Bean, first referenced in JavaScript (which triggered the creation of the Bean) caused a security exception. The workaround was to first have this Managed Bean referenced and created as a DataSource (referencing the Bean from then on was fine). This bug is now fixed.

New functionality was added in Notes 8.5.1 to make MyWidgets more dynamic

In Lotus Notes 8.5.1 a small, but very useful, addition was made made to the MyWidgets funtionality. From Notes 8.5.1 the preferences that you specify for your widgets may be computed by the platform instead of being mapped to something you specify via LiveText or text selection. Below is a small snippet from an extension.ml file showing how a value is normally mapped to a parameter (in this case "Mikkel Flindt Heisterberg" is mapped to the "name" parameter).

<preference name="name">
<value>Mikkel Flindt Heisterberg</value>
So what if you want to use the current username or the current date? Well up to now you were at a loss or you had to incorporate the functionality into the service you linked to. But since this isn't always possible IBM added the option of specifying it in the widget itself.

The way to do it is by using a "name" or "date" command in place of the static text ("Mikkel Flindt Heisterberg" in the example above). The syntax is as follows:

The following two commands are available:
  • name
  • date
As you might be to format the date or specify the part of the username you need (common name, organization etc.) you use "parameter" part to further instruct the command. Below is some documentation on each of the commands.
  • ${name:nameType}
    For example: ${name:cn}/${name:ou}/${name:o} will resolve to "CommonName/OrganizationlUnit/Organization." For example: ${name:dn} will resolve to the user's full distinguished name.
  • ${date:dateformat}
    For example: ${date:yyyy MM DD} will resolve to the current date (in this example "2009 03 20"). The "dateFormat" should be a valid Java date format string.

Using the "name" command the above XML snippet becomes:

<preference name="name">

Information is available in the infocenter (Using a widget property to filter a current user name or date)

Lotus Expeditor Toolkit 6.2.2 now available as a ZIP-file

Lotus Expeditor Toolkit 6.2.2 is now available as a ZIP-file download from the below link. Previously it only available as an ISO-file. Will download and try out.

Lotus Expeditor Toolkit 6.2.2

Lotus Traveler saves real money!

This morning at IBM Software Dag I have been talking to a number of customers already. One exciting story to start of the day was a company who have completed the switch from an existing, for-pay, mobile mail provider to fully embrace Lotus Traveler 8.5.2. They now only provide mobile mail using Apple iPhones and the Lotus Traveler they are entitled to as part of licensing Lotus Notes.

Now the choice of mobile mail provider isn't really all that exciting so why blog about it? The reason is that the switch has saved them 60.000 USD in licensing! And that's only the savings on the mobile mail software. No costs from decommissioning servers, savings from supports and/or maintenance is included in the above number. And this is a relatively small company (around 500 employees).

So why haven't they switched to Lotus Traveler before? Well they have been waiting for Lotus Traveler 8.5.2 to utilize the support for HTTP/HTTPS as they rely on reverse proxy servers to channel the traffic through the various layers of firewall. They use Apache HTTP server and mod_proxy to channel the traffic through. Again free and open.

Great story to start the day.

Bob Balfe: plugin_customization.ini and Eclipse preferences

Bob has, once again, written a very nice post on his blog. This time it's on plugin preferences and how the plugin_customization.ini file fits in and where Eclipse preferences are stored. As this is common cause of concern and questions from plugin developers and admins I wanted to point to the post.

Bob Balfe: plugin_customization.ini and Eclipse preferences

TwitNotes v2 and a little info on OAuthrViewPart

Ever since Twitter turned of support for basic authentication about a month ago TwitNotes hasn't been working. Unfortunately I've been head down with work and unable to put out a new release that uses OAuth so I (and others) have been TwitNotes less. Bummer! But between some travel and a little weekend/evening time I've had enough time to work on it. And believe it or not! Below is a real screenshot from real code of TwitNotes v.2 running in my Notes 8.5.2 client. Did I mention it was real? :-)

Of course the actions needs to be tweet aware (I'm afraid I cannot delete other peoples tweets) and there needs to be an input field for tweeting but the infrastructure is there already. It just needs to be hooked up. This will also be the first sidebar plugin to use my new abstract OAuthrViewPart class.

The abstract base class handles all the OAuth stuff for the developer. He/she simply extend the class, feed it an API secret and an API key and it will handle the rest incl. detecting if the initial OAuth handshake has been done, if network is available etc. before letting over control to the developer to show the "real"content. More information on the sidebar will follow in another post.

I'm planning to release the OAuthrViewPart as open source on OpenNTF.

As to TwitNotes v2 stay tuned - expect a beta out soon...

Announcing the Lotus XPages Cup Competition

Visit the Virtual Innovation Center (VIC) to learn about the "Lotus Building Collaborative Applications with XPages Cup Competition" running from 27 September to 29 October, 2010. Take this opportunity to learn about the latest XPages enhancements built on the breakthrough innovation started in Lotus Notes 8 and Lotus Domino 8. The competition is open to all IBM Business Partners and there is no charge to participate.

Register for the competition

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An update on the RedWiki

The writing on the wiki is almost done and all chapters are of to review. I think IBM is shooting for a release by mid October. As to the code examples it has been decided that all code goes on OpenNTF for easy download and hosting using the recently announced SVN capabilities. This will also make it easier to control additions to the code base as the wiki hopefully continues to evolve.

Technorati State of the Blogosphere 2010

Just completed the Technorati State of the Blogosphere 2010 survey per request via e-mail (and you're welcome to do the same). I normally have quite mixed opinions about these kinds of surveys but I decided to give it a go and I was quite surprised over my answers. The survey is rather lengthy and goes into a lot of topics which aren't really relevant for me such as adds, monetizing the blog, measuring traffic and hot topics from 2010 such as the Mexican Oil Spill. The survey also touches on other topics which was more interesting to me such as the amount of blogging, why I blog and stuff like that.

The survey has a whole section on Twitter, whether one uses it and what the purpose is. It also goes right to the heart of microblogging vs. blogging namely that it makes me blog less. Looking at my blogging stats it's very obvious that microblogging has made me blog less. But when I do blog it's generally longer than before microblogging. It was quite an eye opener and something that will probably take a little while to digest.

One thing is certain - blogging has become a very prominent way of getting news no matter who niche it may be. Whether it's about super local politics, whether it's about what to do for Lotusphere or what the new cloud initiative from IBM is all about. Blogging has changed the way information is delivered and consumed and it's a better World because of it.