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>
<displayName>name</displayName>
<enumValues/>
<enumDisplayValues/>
<datatype></datatype>
<isEnum>false</isEnum>
<isRequired>true</isRequired>
<isHidden>false</isHidden>
</preference>

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:

${command:parameter}

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">
<value>${name:cn}</value>
<displayName>name</displayName>
<enumValues/>
<enumDisplayValues/>
<datatype></datatype>
<isEnum>false</isEnum>
<isRequired>true</isRequired>
<isHidden>false</isHidden>
</preference>

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

Properly signed XTAF dictionaries now available for Notes 8.5.x

The wait has been long but I just got word (via Christian Henseler) that IBM yesterday released properly signed XTAF dictionaries for Notes 8.5.1. In case you’re wondering “XTAF dictionaries” are the common dictionaries shared by Lotus Notes, Lotus Sametime and Lotus Symphony. Additional language dictionaries has been available for a while but the Eclipse feature wasn’t signed so it was troublesome to install on client machines. The Eclipse features are now properly signed and they are easy to add to an update site and roll out using a widget catalog.

The bundle you need to grab from PartnerWorld or Passport Advantage is “IBM Lotus Notes XTAF Dictionaries 8.5.1 for Windows and Linux Multilingual (CZHE3ML)”.

Java class line numbers for plugin developers

If you’ve been tasked with developing and/or debugging Java extensions for the Notes 8 client you know that line numbers has been missing from the stacktraces produced by Notes. This can be a real problem when trying to debug stuff in a production client. There has been some discussion among the ones of us developing these extensions on how to enable these line numbers. The other day this information was provided by Srinivas Rao of IBM and I wanted to publish it here for all to read.

Line numbers are removed from the classes added to the shared class cache to reduce the memory needed for the memory mapped classes. To re-enable the line numbers, one needs to edit the <notes>frameworkrcpdeployjvm.properties file and add comment out the ignorelinenumbers vm argument. However, if the classes have already been added to the JVM shared class cache, then they will have been added without line numbers. Either comment out the shared class cache (which will dramatically affect performance at startup) for temporary work, or shutdown notes and remove the shared class cache so that it can be repopulated with classes with line numbers. Of course, this will also affect the startup performance, but not so much as not having a cache

These are two of the key lines … to comment them out, add a # to the front of the line

vmarg.Xnolinenumbers=-Xnolinenumbers
vmarg.Dshare=-Xshareclasses:name=xpdplat_.jvm, **line cont**
   controlDir=${prop.jvm.shareclasses.loc}, **line cont**
   groupAccess,keep,singleJVM,nonfatal
jvm.shareclasses.loc=${rcp.data}/.config/org.eclipse.osgi

The shared class cache is typically located in the data/workspace/.config/org.eclipse.osgi

IBM Developer Kit-In-A-Box – Composite Application

I want to bring your attention to a blog entry by Bob Balfe called Labs for “Eclipse, extensions, composites and XPages!” are now available! The site he points to is really cool and has some very nice hands-on exercises on how to do composite applications incl. XPage components and Eclipse components. If you’re new to Composite Applications or want to brush up this is for you.

Ribbon IDE for Lotus Notes?

As you know Lotus Notes is built on Eclipse so following Eclipse plugins and projects makes a lot of sense from a platform point of view. Surfing the other day I stumbled over an Eclipse project that provides a Ribbon IDE for the Eclipse platform. It makes your mind wander to Microsoft centric but it might make sense for other applications incl. Lotus Notes.

For more info see “Eclipse plug-in sightseeing: Ribbon IDE / Eclipse”. There’s also a PDF showing it off.

Fix your calendars week numbering with Notes 8.5.1 FP2

For us in Europe using the ISO standard for week numbering one of the fixes delivered in Notes 8.5.1 FP2 has been a long time coming. Previously when using the calendar regional setting of “Use my operating system regional setting” Notes would still get the week number wrong. Of course the solution was simply to specify “Always use the ISO standard” though it didn’t feel right.

Now with Notes 8.5.1 FP2 there is a fix for this issue and Notes will now behave correctly (at least it does so on my client).

“SPR# FPAI7X7KL3 – There is a preference for how week numbering is handled in the Notes calendar. There are 3 choices for the preference: “Use my operating system regional setting”, “Always use the ISO standard”, and “Custom week numbers”. Prior to this fix, the choice of “Use my operating system regional setting” was not working properly for those users who had their OS regional setting set for a country/language that used the ISO standard. It should be noted that this fix does not make an inspection of the registry settings (on windows platforms). Instead, the fix uses the Java JVM’s settings for week numbering based on the country/language the user’s OS is running in at the time the Notes client is started.