As previously mentioned I upgraded to Sametime 7.5.1 yesterday to follow along but also because of the update to the screen capture utility which I use a lot. Although the new functionality is nice it falls short of actually replacing manually using SnagIt! that I otherwise use for screen capture. I know that SnagIt! does a lot more, but when I need to capture some part of my screen and send it off I almost always need to highlight or annotate it in some way before sending it off. That being said I like the ability to automatically send the screen capture to chat partner(s) from the annotation window.
I would think that the basic required annotation tools would be:
- Ability to draw basic geometric shapes (circle, square, line) apart from freehand
- Ability to use different colors based on color picker
- Ability to add text
- Ability to add arrows
- Ability to adjust line thinkness
I guess that the above can be consider a feature request… 🙂
I upgraded to Sametime Connect 7.5.1 this morning to test it out and to take advantage of the new features. I’m especially looking forward to screen capture annotations – the new tabbed chat interface will also be nice.
The upgrade process itself went smoothly, but unfortunately there was an issue which makes it a no-go for us for the time being. The sametime.ini file was replaced and since we have made customizations to that an out-of-the-box installation is a problem for us. Whether modifying the sametime.ini is supported at all I do not know but it doesn’t change the fact that sametime.ini was replaced… 😦
Another issue is that the UI has been slightly modified. Apart from the general color scheme and that the “Primary Contacts” miniApp has been added per default at least one menu item has been moved. The one I’m looking at is the action for managing plug-ins which used to be at “File -> Manage Updates -> Configure…” but in Sametime 7.5.1 is at “Tools -> Plug-Ins -> Manage Plug-Ins…”.
This isn’t too bad – I actually prefer the new location. The problem is that my next/newest article for THE VIEW just went off to the press and the article contains numerous screen shots – some of the functionality for managing plug-ins. I smell an Sametime 7.5.1 errata coming up… 🙂
Sametime 7.5 and Lotus Expeditor are mentioned (again) in the February issue of Eclipse Magazine. Although it requires registration the magazine is free to download and read. A brief except from the introduction has been reproduced below:
"The first innovative and major instant messaging collaborative client was built on the Eclipse framework. By leveraging Eclipse, IBM Lotus Sametime users could access new plug-in capabilities such as audio/video extensions, location-oriented or mapping applications. and corporate calendar integration."
The article goes on to talk about Sametime and Expeditor although they call it by the former name of Websphere Everyplace Deployment. From a Notes-community perspective the interesting thing is that they show how easy it is to develop plug-ins for the platform and hence invite new ISV’s to contribute plug-ins.
The gauntlet has been thrown – Notes developers read up on Java and get going in Eclipse development to stay ahead… 🙂
As you probably know Sametime 7.5 will automatically discover which location you are at when you run Sametime and display it in the top right corner. As previously described (Central repository of known locations for Sametime 7.5) this information is kept in the locprofile-config.xml file which stores the location information indexed by the network address (e.g. 192.168.100.0) and the MAC address of the gateway.
I am however starting to doubt whether Sametime actually uses the MAC address information at all. I am currently on a network with the same network characteristics as my home network and Sametime is showing that I am at home which in fact I’m not…
Time to call support I guess unless someone knows the answer…
While IM’ing with a colleague in Sametime 7.5 this morning I discovered a neat little trick. When the cursor is in the text area you can press Ctrl-(up arrow) to circle through the previous messages you have sent in that chat session. Please note that any text you have already entered in the text area will be replaced.
Cool and very handy.
As mentioned the other day (Lotusphere 2007: Sametime 7.5 and Notes 8 sidebar compability) you’ll have to change how you do miniApps once Sametime 7.5.1 is released. I went and talked to Dave Schlesinger in the Developers Lab today since he’s in charge (or actually wrote) the Sametime client toolkit. It turns out that the com.ibm.collaboration.realtime.miniApp extension point will be kept for backwards compatibility but you should start writing miniApp plug-ins as ViewParts instead. This will also be the case for “miniApps” destined for the side-shelf in Notes 8.
Apart from discussing extension points we also talked about how one should go about discovering the active environment. We had a good talk about this since we as partners or ISV’s will need to be able to discover whether we are running in Sametime, Notes 8 or simply Expeditor. This discovery should be possible without having to link against or include specific libraries since not all libraries (e.g. notes.jar) will be available on all platforms. We kind of agreed that a system property would the simplest way to go.
I also asked him to please document the extension point schemas better… 🙂
Unfortunately we’ll have to manually upgrade Sametime 7.5 to Sametime 7.5.1 using an installer – no provisioning via an Update Site is possible. Using an Update Site from 7.5.1 onwards should be possible though.
After INV107 I talked to Kevin Cavanaugh since I wanted to hear if the the extension point (com.ibm.collaboration.realtime.imhub.miniApps) we currently use for miniApps in Sametime 7.5 will be the same as we should use in Notes 8 sidebar applications.
It turns out that the extension point name will be changed with the Sametime 7.5.1 release. From thereon it will be frozen and the extension point name will be the same for Sametime 7.5.x miniApps and Notes 8 sidebar applications.
A small detail worth noticing…