Learning some PHP


Photo By CalEvans

During the last few weeks I decided to learn some PHP since I’ve had some requests to work with joomla.  For those that don’t know joomla is a opensource CMS built on PHP.  Also PHP seems to be a big deal now a days, most of the jobs on freelance sites require you to know PHP and it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about another technology.  So first thing I did was setup my dev environment.  I downloaded XAMPP which is an all in one Apache distribution containing MySQL, PHP and Perl.  Next since I’m a fan of eclipse I downloaded the eclipse PDT (PHP Development Tools Project).  After that I found this very helpful article of how to configure the eclipse PDT and XAMPP as to have a working development environment on my PC.  After having the development environment setup I searched for some PHP tutorials to go through and found w3schools.com had a very simple walkthrough of examples for PHP (PHP Tutorial).  In the end I got a very good feel of what can be done with PHP and I feel comfortable digging into some more advanced code.

WASCE Datasource in Portlet Factory


Photo By MorBCN

This weekend I was messing around with Websphere portlet factory 6.1.2 and trying to set up a datasource to the included WebSphere Application Server Community Edition proved to be more of a challenge than I had anticipated.  I found Development WAS CE Deployment Scenario in the Portlet Factory wiki which helped, but it seems to need a fix for the new version of Portlet Factory.  In the datasource creation section it describes changes to two files, one is within your Portlet Factory project (WEB-INFbindeploymentwasce.web.xml) and the other is supposed to be within one of the folders of the Portlet Factory designer installation (WPFDesignerFeatureSetsWeb-App_6.0.2DeploymentantscriptstemplatesWEB-INFgeronimo-web.xml).  It seems this was the case for Portlet Factory 6.0.2, but for 6.1.2 I couldn’t find the second file in the specified location.  After searching all over the Portlet factory designer installation files I decided to search the workspace since it was the only other logical place to search, and BINGO!  The geronimo-web.xml is now included in the same directory as the wasce.web.xml.

IBM Offering to Move People to India


Photo By atterhorn

I read an interesting article on the InformationWeek site today, where IBM explains that it has a new program called “Project Match” that consists of helping laid off workers move to new jobs in developing markets like India, China, and Brazil.

So let me get this straight, they not only offshore jobs, but now they want to offshore people too?  Isn’t the off shoring one of the mayor reasons the economy is the way it is?  Sorry but I’m just against the off shoring.  The experiences some of my clients have gone through with off shoring have proved that it is not all that it is made out to be.  Anyway read the article to get all the details on IBM’s “Project Match”.

Lotusphere 2009


Photo By thomas-lang

Wow!  I had five great days of sessions and fun at Lotusphere 2009.  The Blue Man Group was the entertainment for the opening general session and the guess speaker was Dan Aykroyd.  Like all other years I had a hard time selecting the sessions to go to since there were so many great sessions to choose from.  For the closing session we got to listen to a great speech by Bejamin Zander.  He even got all the lotus geeks in the closing session to sing “Ode to Joy” in German.  This was the best closing session I’ve been to so far at Lotusphere.

After the closing session I went to the Blogger Open for some mini golf fun.  Thanks CuriousMitch for organizing this event, it was fun and a great way to meet others from the community.

I will definitely be back for Lotusphere 2010.

See you all there!

Lotusphere 2009 A Bit Late But Made It

Well I made it to the Dolphin 20 minutes before registration closed.  I wanted to make it to B.A.L.D. but didn’t make it on time.  I have a very busy schedule with all the sessions I plan to attend, but I’m looking forward to meeting some of the other bloggers in person.  I will also be blogging all the cool stuff I see this week so stay tuned.

Lotus Notes 8.5 First Impressions


Photo By ineal

Well I finally got around to upgrading my Lotus Notes 8.5 Beta installations on my iMac and on my Thinkpad at home yesterday.  I’m happy to say that performance is way better than that of the beta and also of the 8.0.2 client, specially loading time.  I also noticed that memory usage is also less on 8.5.  I plan on upgrading my development server later today so I will post a follow up on my impressions on that.

Great job IBM!

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?

Trim Down Windows XP for Your Virtual Machines


Photo By nebelcarrillo

This article from lifehacker explains how to remove unnecessary components of your WinXP installation cd.  This allows you to install WinXP on older hardware or virtual machines where resources are sometimes lacking.  They also mention an application to trim down existing installations of WinXP.  I’m trying it out on one of my existing virtual machines and will blog later on my findings.

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?