TwitNotes – why it doesn’t run in Notes 8.5 beta and why IBM should care

After getting my Eclipse IDE to work with Notes 8.5 I nailed why TwitNotes doesn’t work with Notes 8.5 beta yesterday. For long I was told that the main culprit was me using my own copy of org.apache.commons.httpclient but rather the version of org.apache.commons.lang that IBM supply as part of the platform was the problem.

To get TwitNotes working with Notes 8.5 I had to use both the IBM version of org.apache.commons.lang and org.apache.commons.httpclient and not my own versions. This is fine since they, among other things, provide transparent HTTP proxy support but my code wouldn’t compile using the IBM plugins. The IBM version of the org.apache.commons.lang plugin is wrongly packaged though which was the source of the problems. I actually had to repackage and replace the org.apache.commons.lang plugin supplied by IBM. When I say replace I mean actually deleting the IBM version and replacing it with my patched version.

I really hope that IBM will patch the plug-in before releasing Expeditor 6.2 and Notes 8.5.

Getting technical the problem is the Export-Package directive in the MANIFEST.MF of the org.apache.commons.lang plugin. The IBM-supplied version only export the root-package (org.apache.commons.lang) whereas they should export all the packages. This is a utility library after all.

The issue was easy to solve but unless the patched version makes it into the core platform it wont help me as I will be unable to supply a new version of a platform plugin with the same plugin version. Cross your fingers.

Oh and IBM does care – I have actually been talking to quite a lot of IBM’ers about this and only post here to Google’ize it in case others run into the same issue. Whether the patch makes it into Expeditor 6.2/Notes 8.5 still remains to be seen though…

Configure Eclipse 3.4 for Notes 8.5 plug-in development

So ever since I got one of the first drops of Notes 8.5 and with increasing effort since the public beta of Notes 8.5 came out I have been trying to get my Eclipse IDE ready for Notes 8.5 plug-in development no without success. Shout outs to IBM have been unsuccessful… 😦

Notes 8.5 is built on Expeditor 6.2 which in turn is based on Eclipse 3.4 (codenamed Ganymede). I couldn’t get my Eclipse 3.2/Expeditor 6.1 toolkit combo to work with Notes 8.5 and without an Expeditor toolkit for Expeditor 6.2 I couldn’t get my Eclipse 3.3/3.4 to work.

Finally today I managed to get my Eclipse IDE configured by piecing together different pieces of information found via Google. Below is a description on how to configure the latest build of Eclipse Ganymede (3.4 RC2) for Notes 8.5 plug-in development and debugging. Only caveat I have discovered so far is that I manually have to update the classpath for SWT libraries (e.g. org.eclipse.ui.swt) every time I restart Eclipse.

Once you have gone through the steps in the description (see link below) you should be able to run plug-in projects in Eclipse 3.4 using Notes 8.5.

Good luck!! 🙂

Configure Eclipse 3.4 RC2 for Notes 8.5 public beta

Notes 8.5 AppDev woes

I’m trying to get Notes 8.5 to play nice with my Eclipse IDE but without any luck. This means I can’t compile anything for the Notes 8.5 beta client. I started with Eclipse 3.3 since Notes 8.5 is based on Expeditor 6.2 which is based on Eclipse 3.3 but without success as it wont install on that platform. No luck in my Eclipse 3.2 / Expeditor toolkit combo either as I either have the Notes client plug-ins avaiable (e.g. Sametime) or the Eclipse platform (org.eclipse.ui) available. Can’t seem to get both working! 😦

Will post in the beta forum now…

Possibly a fantastic tool for Notes 8 education

Last night I stumbled over an amazing article on the developerWorks site and it’s just fantastic. Not that the articles normally aren’t good but this article introduce a Lotus Expeditor tool that could prove invaluable for many Notes 8 shops for use in Notes 8 training or for use in Notes 8 plug-in development. Although the tool was written for Lotus Expeditor it installs just fine under Notes 8.0.1 without any problems at all.

The tool is called the Personal Wizard plug-in and is, from what I can see, developed by Vittorio Castelli from IBM. The tool allows you to record user interface interactions in the Lotus Expeditor/Notes 8 client and play the interactions back. Either by you or by another person you send the procedure. You can also save/load procedures to/from the filesystem.

In this way the tool can be used to automate test procedures and as a way to create end-user education. The tool allows you to step through a procedure (useful for education) or run it as a macro which is useful for development/testing. The tool is a little rough around the edges but it is definitely worth a look.

Using the Personal Wizards plug-in in IBM Lotus Expeditor

Re: Lotus Expeditor samples

So where are the samples you ask? When you have installed the Lotus Expeditor toolkit into your Eclipse environment search the plugins directory for two plugins called com.ibm.rcp.tools.samplegallery_6.1.1.20070731 and com.ibm.rcp.tools.samplegallery2_6.1.1.20070731. Each of these two directories have an archive directory where you’ll find the samples.

TwitNotes update

TwitNotes is ready for distribution and I have the update site all lined up. Only problem holding me back releasing it is an issue I have with conflicting components from my sidebar plug-in and the Lotus Expeditor platform. My plug-in needs ship with Apache Commons HttpClient v. 3.1 and Apache Commons Lang v. 2.3. For some reason my versions of the components wont deploy to Notes 8 since the components conflict with the versions supplied with Lotus Expeditor. The funny thing is that it works perfectly when launching Notes from the Eclipse IDE.

If anyone has any ideas why this might be so please let me know. Maybe a feature patch? Other ideas?

Apache Directory Studio

I’m currently on a Lotus Connections project and needed a LDAP browser to test authentication and searching. Previously I have been using a Java LDAP browser with a UI that really was lacking. Today I discovered Apache Directory Studio which is built on the Eclipse platform. The application is free and a really good LDAP browser. It also contains a LDIF editor.

The application is a full fletched LDAP browser and is made up of a couple of Eclipse features. You can download the application as a standalone RCP (rich client platform) application, as features for your existing Eclipse IDE but should actually just as well be able to use the LDAP browser directly from Notes 8 Standard. The LDAP browser ships with a perspective so it should be doable.

If it ran inside of Notes 8 it would be a killer admin. tool and easily distributable inside your organization.

I tried to install the perspective in Notes 8 but it isn’t possible since the features depend on the org.eclipse.search feature which isn’t shipped with Notes 8. org.eclipse.search is however supplied with the standard Eclipse 3.2.1 which is the same version as Expeditor 6.1.1 builds upon so it should be possible to download the Directory Studio source code and repackage the perspective to do a perspective which is installable in Notes 8.

For now however I have to run the application in Eclipse or as standalone.