Notes Net Forums xPages Design Update


I was looking through the forums last night and it occurred to me that they badly need a design update. So I went to ideajam and searched to make sure that nobody had already created an idea about this, it turns out someone had, so I promoted the idea and I urge everyone that uses the forums to do the same. I’m a bit surprised as to why IBM hasn’t already updated the design of the forums to the new xPages design, I mean it seems like the logical thing to do since it shows off the cool stuff you can do with the new version of domino. I mean what better way is there to show off xPages? The forums are used daily by hundreds of users yellowbleeders, newbies, and most importantly people that don’t like notes/domino but are forced to work with it where they work. Who knows maybe these last people will start to like notes/domino a bit more once they see the new cool stuff that can be done with xPages.

Head over to ideajam and promote the idea if you haven’t already–> Improve forums

Code That Makes You Say… Huh? #1


Photo By Andyrob

Most of the work I do at my current job is maintenance to existing applications within my team.  A while ago I found an interesting line of code within a lotusscript library.

TStamp = Evaluate(“@Text(@Now)”)

It seems the developer that did this doesn’t know that there is a Now function in lotusscript.

I have found this same line in most of the applications that I maintain and I’ve also seen it in applications that I don’t maintain.  Worst of all, most of these applications are used globally and this line is used to capture the date and write it to an audit trail.  What’s wrong with this you ask?  Well you don’t have a consistent audit trail, for example the date format in the UK is not the same as in the US.

Two solutions to fix this would be:

  1. Make the audit trail date field a multi value date field and use the Now function to append the date value to the field.  With this approach you can use the field properties to adjust the format for displaying the dates.  This allows you to display the dates in the users local format or choose a specific format.
  2. Use the Format function in combination with the Now function to get the same date format everytime.  With this approach you ensure a consistent date format within the audit trail, but you loose the ability to display the dates in the users local format.

Have you found code that makes you say Huh in applications you maintain?

P.S. I’ve tried telling the developer that maintains the other applications to modify the code, but that’s another story…

Better Lotus Notes DB Icons


If you haven’t done so, please head over to the Notes Design blog and ideajam and give your input.  We have been asking for application icons to allow more colors for as long as I can remember.  The application icon is the first thing the user sees and let’s face it, 16 color icons does make the application look like legacy software.  So anyways just head over to ideajam and promote the ideas the more votes it has the more likely it will be done.

Allow Notes Database icon to have 24-bit (=16.7 million) colors
Allow .png and .svg image resources

Lotus Notes DB User Activity


Last week I was asked to provide some stats from an existing application which didn’t have logging built into it.  After extensively searching on google and other search engines the only method I found was to use the NotesUserActivity class from the Lotus Sandbox.  This class uses the C api to get at the user activity data of a lotus notes database.

I know the user activity is in no way a replacement for building logging into the application, but this is an existing application which didn’t have logging.  The issue I ran into was that the user activity in a notes database only holds 1400 records, so this means that if the database is used heavily you might only get a few hours of usage data.  Luckily the application I’m reporting on isn’t used that heavily so I got about a month worth of usage data, but I was asked to provide stats since the release of the application.  So I was just wondering if there another way to get usage data from a lotus notes application that doesn’t have logging built into it?

Embbeded Docs in Form

I ran into a strange situation the other day in a lotus notes application I have to maintain at work. When I edited the main form the first time and saved it, it took over 5 minutes to save!! When I looked at the size of the template is was over 90MB, it didn’t have any data in it, and the % utilized was 99%. So first thing I tried was to delete all design elements except for the form and compacted the template, that didn’t help. Next I decided to export the form using DXL, since opening it in the designer didn’t show anything out of the ordenary.

What I found was very interesting, at the end of the form element there seemed to be over 5 MS word documents “attached”. I also found some weird fields that seem to be stuff attached to the form also. Using the technique described in Make a Notes view list design elements I created an agent to create a view to show the form element, then I created an action to delete the weird fields from the form.  As soon as I ran that action and compacted the template it went down to 30MB.

I for one have never seen this situation before, have any of you ran into something similar?  What was the cause?