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:

  • GeneralEditorsText Editors
    Show lines numbers
  • Domino DesignerLotusScript EditorFonts and Colors
    Minor tweaks to the default color setup to make code easier to read.
  • Domino DesignerLotusScript EditorRemove 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.