Lotusphere 2008: Kick ass appdev info!

Besides being in the showcase today I went to the “Meet the developers” lab today and spent the better part of 2 hours in there talking to various developers on the Sametime Connect client team and Sametime server team. Special thanks to Jessica Ramirez from the Connect client team for taking the time.

Besides getting some invaluable help with my own sidebar component I got exactly the info I needed on how to send richtext through the Sametime Java API – it’s not straight forward, not documented and not something you figure out on your own. Suffice to say it includes knowing the right hex codes and correct data structures. Jessica actually brought up the actual source code of the Sametime Connect client to show how it’s done!

What’s an important lesson from this that if you need some piece of information go and ask!

Lotusphere 2008: BOF101 – startling news!

I went to BOF101 ((IBM Lotus Notes 8.5 Client Roaming) last night (Tuesday) to hear about the plans for (re)introducing roaming back into Notes 8. The BOF was moderated by Richard Wilson and John Banks. Besides these two Jeff Eisen sat in of the BOF.

The plans discussed were the plans for Notes 8.5 so I guess it’s official not roaming wont be back in Notes 8.0.1 – at least for Notes 8 Standard. Roaming is supported, as it has been previously, in Notes 8 Basic. There are some nice things planned for roaming incl. a complete overhaul of the architecture. For one Lotus is planning on supporting roaming using file servers instead of Domino servers for in-office roaming. This is nice – especially for sales offices. Besides this and other good stuff there was a recognition that roaming needs work and we had a good discussion.

What was a little startling to me was that they hadn’t really thought of roaming plug-ins. For me roaming means that a user can log off one machine, log into another and the eperience will be the same. Well it appears that this will not be the case. Currently the plan is to roam the “basic” Eclipse configuraton files but not the plug-ins directory which means that installed sidebar plug-ins may or may not be available on the workstation you roam to. Additionally plug-in parts of composite applications will need to be redownloaded. As the plan looks now, although Lotus was taking lots of notes (no pun intended), you will have to rely on plug-ins enforced to be installed via update sites for corporate wide mandatory sidebar plug-ins. I guess there’s no “My Widgets” for roaming users as it looks now.

It sounded like Lotus is looking for design partners for roaming so if you feel you have somthing to contribute on the matter now would be a good time to raise your voice.

Decisions are made by those who show up!

Lotusphere 2008: AD204 – finally got to ask!

I went to session AD204 (Customizing the Look of IBM Lotus Notes 8: Coding Tips and UI Guidelines) by Mary Beth Raven and Matthew Hatem to hear about the just published user guidelines for Notes applications. The session was good, although a little short (just 40 minutes). After the session I got to ask two questions to Mary Beth Raven.

  1. May we as developers use the gif’s and png’s from the plug-ins supplied by IBM Lotus in our own applications? (try searching your Notes 8 install directory for *.png and/or *.gif to see all the nice icons).
  2. Why isn’t one of the personas used throughout the Notes 8 development based in a country using the metric system and A4 letter format?

For question number 1 Mary Beth had to check back with IBM Legal so keep up with her blog for an answer. If she answers me by e-mail only I’ll be sure to post about it here.

Question number 2 was popular based on the applause anyway. I have asked the question before on her blog but with no answer so it was nice to finally get an answer. The reply was that there is one persona that does have the metric system and A4 as a preference but she agreed that the priority needed to be changed. As such it was taken to note by Mary Beth and her manager sitting in the audience so that’s nice. We have to keep her to it!

This is another reason to come to Lotusphere!

Lotusphere 2008: I see many more people asleep in couches!

Compared to yesterday the number of people sleeping in couches has increased. Definitely! For me this can be the result of

  1. too much drinking last night,
  2. simply being tired from too much walking or
  3. lots of new content to take in.

I choose to believe it’s the latter. I see it as a sign that lots of material is being presented and a lots of new stuff needs to be absorbed. I think it’s great!