Thursday, December 20, 2007

linux adoption within IBM

I've got this article in my feed pool: http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=7386

It's about the linux adoption rate within IBM, which seems to be rather slow, according to the author. Also, one commenter said IBM should donate OS/2 to the open-source community.

While donating the OS/2 to the community seems like an interesting idea for me, guess what: I am considering migrating to linux as well, as the business desktop for me.

There are a couple of factors I need to consider before I do this:
1. Time. I need time to play with it and not disrupt my usual activities which relates to current projects I'm involved.
2. While I'm migrated to Fedora at home's desktop, since I've joined IBM, my Fedora desktop acts as gateway for Internet connectivity and I'm stuck on Win XP on my laptop :) So there's a factor of familiarity using the Linux OS inside-out.
3. The rate of probability for something not working on Linux is still higher than WinXP, and for me, fixing things on XP is easier than fixing on Linux. This is translated in tame wasted on collateral activities.

So, the strategy I might adopt for moving towards Linux could be to run things in parralel for at least 6 months.

But I'm getting there. Slowly ? yes. So what ? As long as I can get my job done, me and everyone not directly involved with Linux has other priorities than migrating to it just for fun.

The discussion of Linux adoption is useful for other contexts, where tax payer's money are wasted on MS licenses with no additional benefit. In such context, as my personal one, it's a matter of support and being able to manage/fix things quickly.

For the larger community of IBMers, those who are tech savvy enough with Linux, they've already migrated. The other part is using Win all other the place, you cannot enforce a policy of migrating towards Linux.

But hear me out, next year I will give it a try on the business laptop, I'll let you know the outcome.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

want to contact an IBMer ? could not be simpler ...

than sending an e-mail, of course :) But, just for the sake of it, you can Sametime IBMers. I found this today, though it might be old news for more experienced users/partners. There's an older article (2006) written by Chris Pepin as to how to proceed if you want to contact an IBM employee, if your organization uses Sametime internally, and of course if your employees have valid IBM accounts, which btw are free to create. Read the description here

As I've discovered today, there's no need to have the Sametime client within your organization, it's enough to access http://extst.ibm.com/, authenticate with your IBM account and you'll recognize the standard Sametime default HTTP interface. There, you can just follow the "Launch sametime connect" link, which will launch the Java Sametime client, then just add the SMTP email address of the person within IBM you wish to contact.

If that person is online with the extst.ibm.com community, you can have a chat. As I've managed to join this community at my Sametime client startup, if you'd like to get in touch, I'm available on this method as well :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

YellowSphere

no comments for this one, check YellowSphere

Lotus/WebSphere/SOA related content from IBM delivered into one spot.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

openoffice scrolling on thinkpad

In my 'change how I do things' way of life, past days I gave OpenOffice a try when I needed to create a guideline document, more than 50 pages, with screenshots.

Big Blue gave me a ThinkPad T60 for work. I noticed that the scrolling with the little red button they call it TrackPoint is not working in OpenOffice. Then I searched the net and found some ideas on forums that a driver update for this TrackPoint is required.

Guess what, it WAS required. What I did was to go to Lenovo support, install a System Update software which would search for updates on Lenovo for the T60, then installed a Think ... Driver (cannot remember the exact name). After that, OpenOffice can be scrollable, at last ....

Saturday, December 01, 2007

another notes 8 video. and some comments on my side.

here's a newly discovered video via the domino blogosphere. This got me thinking: can anybody evaluate the impact it will have on the market ?

At this moment, I think it will be huge, because:
- it now contains free office editors.
- it's redesigned, approaching the interface for the current mail clients - talking about Thunderbird, what did you think ? :)
- it leverage the Composite Applications buzz word which seems to be Eclipse-Java-RCP all the way. (I still need to find the time and get into the Expeditor, in order to better understand what's going on).

My idea is that probably 2008 and 2009 (two years frame) will demonstrate if IBM's strategy was right. I personally think it was, looking at how it is adopted.

When seen on my laptop, many colleagues are saying: wow. And several asked me: how do I upgrade, I want this. And they have it now. Of course we're IBM, but I've seen this reaction at customers as well. So, all and all, I think the adoption rate will be much higher than for the previous releases. And probably the conversion rate as well :)

Back to the clip, to improve this conversion rate:

Sunday, November 25, 2007

trends from IBM

here's an interesting presentation on slideshare (author: Roo Reynolds), which shows some of the interesting features I'm seeing on IBM's intranet, each day. One thing caught my attention within this presentation, basically saying 'Software as Service', which seems to be a new thing for the future.

Up to that moment you can have a look on w4 which is loaded with AJAX within a Portal environment, I kinda like this.

btw, Roo seems to be working at IBM Hursley, I've been there for a week, pretty impressive location, I'd return tomorrow if possible :)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

installing vista ...

here are how-to instructions for installing vista :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

tip: meet some experts

No, this post isn't about experts I met :)
This is a tip about searching on www.ibm.com/developerworks.
Get there and search for 'meet the experts'. You'll get back more than 2000 articles with technical stuff, mostly interviews and questions answered by the experts of various topics.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

spread the buzz

via Ed Brill's blog I caught an YouTube clip about Lotus Symphony. I liked it, so you'll find it down below. Seems that IBM's contribution to the free software world pays off, as I am seeing more and more people around me (customers in particular) being acknowledgeable about ODF, OpenOffice, Lotus 8 with ODF editors and recently Lotus Symphony.

Aside the subject you may have noticed that my posts are no longer Domino development related, though most of them are Domino related somehow. I am known in the department as 'the lotus guy', any question Lotus related comes to me, I wonder why :)

My learning focus is targeted around the Portal, DB2, learning how to become a true IT Architect (a subject I will write a different topic, I see too many CV's claiming to be either Software Architect or IT Architect ... doh !).

I am also catching up and improving my *nix skills, at some time in the past I used to manage it pretty well (enough I could handle my Domino *nix tasks), past 4 years I seem to have forgotten quite a bit.

All in all, following weeks I will share some of the stuff one can find useful, from my new experiences.

Coming back to the subject, try Lotus Symphony and see if you like it. Personally I think there's room for improvement, the only reason for Symphony that I am aware of is that you can open SmartSuite documents, which you obviously cannot do with OpenOffice. I prefer OpenOffice and I am trying to make it the my default office editor, specially because of the speed. Loads a lot faster than Symphony and it's the latest version, which you'd think it's the best. Not always, still this is the common perception. Mine too, in this area ...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

yet another beautiful site

I just found through the internal IBM network, an external site which looks pretty good: http://ideajam.net/ideaexchange/ie.nsf

Exchange ideas for Lotus/Domino. I found it ironic the word "exchange" appears both in the URL and within the purpose of the site :)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

IBM Support Assistant

Those of you working with IBM software/hardware and not aware of Support Assistant, take note of this post and better go and download it here.
You need to login with your IBM account which I bet you already have if you need related technical info.
I'm sure you'll quickly understand that you need to install plugins for the platforms you're interested in, just see the Updater link on the top-right interface of your Support Assistant installation.

Very useful for searching for information on different pieces, including Domino :)

It manages to search different resources (redbooks, developerworks support and infocenters) which makes it a must have tool within your toolbox.

I've started using it 3 months ago, though it might have been available much longer, just that as a Domino developer I was not aware of it - bad marketing, perhaps:)

So here it's my contribution to advertising this tool to the public.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

revelation - openoffice draw

Sometimes I rediscover things. Things (usually FOSS programs) I once wanted to use to get some tasks done and for some reason or another I wasn't so happy with.

This time I rediscovered the OpenOffice suite, which let me tell you it actually rocks. As fan of open-source paradigm, 3-4 years ago I gave it a whirl. I wasn't happy. At all.

But couple of days ago, a colleague of mine told me the Draw component can be used as alternative to 'Microfost' Visio. Hmm, I thought, could these passed 3-4 years be so productive for the OpenOffice suite, did they managed to improve it so much ?! To compare Draw with Visio ?! Let's see ...

There are a small number of things I like at Microsoft which I consider to be useful. One is Active Directory (the concept itself). The other one is Visio. All other is crap, including Exchange and Sharepoint :)

So I thought how could someone say there's a good alternative to Visio ?

Turns out that for non-professionals users of Visio, like myself, OpenOffice Draw IS an alternative. Usually I would use Visio to create some diagrams. Nothing fancy, nothing complex or complicated. Diagrams representing logical components, architecture servers and so on.

Draw can be used to do such things. Give it a try.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

new lotus symphony

yeah, right, not what you'd expect, I didn't turned into music because I don't have the skills. Instead, check this out:

http://symphony.lotus.com/software/lotus/symphony/home.jspa

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

now running notes 8

finally !! as expected, notes 8 is a kick arse application installed on my laptop.

Starting a bit slower than notes 7, running faster though, all within 1GB of RAM. Cool stuff, I really like it.

I read somewhere someone complaining why IBMers are using Word and PowerPoint. Answer: because we do have a lot of clients using them as well, exchanging documents could be a pain if we'd build them ODF with OpenOffice and they'd be opening using Word.

BUT, here me out, times are changing. Once OpenOffice is delivered with Notes 8, more and more users will like it (read use it). Thus the war against Office has another supporter, that is Notes 8 with a potential of millions of installations (should all Notes 4,5,6,7 would upgrade, sure they won't, not all of them :)

One last thing: upgrade from Notes 7 is flawless. Good job fellows and thanks.

update: though I like it, you'd need at least 2GB of RAM to use it (read: to leave it open, create another ODF document and so on). I wonder what tricks can be applied to lower the memory footprint. In the meantime, I'll be using NotesMinder or the classic notes.exe shortcut which will open the basic client, 'non-eclipse'

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

new draft redbook on notes/domino 8

though my current job/position no longer involves me into the development details of the Domino platform, I still point out to my blog the new stuff related to it. So here's a piece of news: IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 8 Deployment Guide Go get it :)

Friday, July 20, 2007

thank you Rolling Stones !!

I was lucky enough to see the Rolling Stones performing live in Bucharest on 17th July.

I grew up listening to Beatles and Pink Floyd in the communist era, when my parents had BASF tapes running on an old Grundig player.

I also heard about Rolling Stones at that time, I knew they were part of a music we would never be able to see live.

Yet, after 25 (?!) years (I was like 8-10 years old), I saw the Rolling Stones performing in Bucharest.

It is more than music: it's attitude, it's history, it's legend, it's passion.

They came from an era when I was just a little kid listening to tapes, frightened to talk with my schoolmates about the music I am listening at home, because it was not allowed .... If you were listening to contra-revolutionary music you were also most likely planning to do something against the communist government ...

So, I do thank you Rolling Stones for your music and your passion.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

heads up ! Notes 8 is comming !

new (for me) announcement caught through Sean's blog

seems that Notes 8 is to be delivered in august. This is great news, can't wait to start using it. While I wasn't eager to install and test the beta 3 on my 'production' environment, I am eager to start using the new toy when it's officially delivered. Testing on my fedora install with beta 2 wasn't so good because I did not had the patience to install a beta server as well, so the client is just standing there and doing nothing in particular. I played with the OpenOffice installation of Notes 8 beta 2 but that's about it. Soon after I got caught in the process of changing my job so the focus got lost somehow on the new Notes client.

Don't get me wrong: I may have switched the profession from developer (more or less) to IT Architect, but the first love is never forgotten. While I am now using Notes as the regular e-mail client (IBM's standard, go figure :), I would love to see the new client Notes 8 in action dealing with my business mail.

Friday, July 06, 2007

google reader ? what the f....

well well, here is my first post in a month or so and I apologize for this, did not even had the time to sleep ...

As I found some time to update myself with the blogosphere's latest articles, I found that Google Reader is very unresponsive. It took about 5 minutes for the Reader to even open the first page. I agree there are lots of sources (about 100 feeds I subscribed to) and articles one month old I didn't catch up with.

However I found this performance issue very annoying. What the app is doing (just a rough guess) is that it actually connejavascript:void(0)
Save Nowcts and loads all the new articles. And the performance is affected ....

Friday, June 15, 2007

how am I doing ? ..... not enough time :)

just dropped by on my blog to let you know I'm still alive, just that I have way too much things to learn and get acquainted with.

hope to be back into blogging stuff soon enough..... now, let's get back to the things I'm supposed to know ;)

Monday, June 04, 2007

smart card is not full-proof

here's an interesting issue discovered by some clever fellows: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7pjUIxKoEc

long story made short: watch your card, you might not know when it'll empty without you ever know it :)

via HackerStrasse Blog

Thursday, May 31, 2007

new endeavour/challenge

you know, when trains come into someone's life, he/she'd better be aware and take them. This is what happened to me almost one month ago, when I get a call saying if I'm interested in joining IBM.

Since then, I had some discussions, some meetings, and as of tomorrow I'll be joining IBM Romania. I am leaving a great company, Kepler-Rominfo, where I got the chance to work with great people. I could not imagine a better place to work here in Romania.

But the train came for me and I jumped in. I expect lots (and I mean it) of work ahead of me, and lots of stuff to learn.

This also means that development might be something of past for me but I'll be targeting the architecture of systems, which is something I'm build for.

I will also try to keep this blog rolling, around same ideas you already found here.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

good article about Domino vs Exchange

I´ve got this via Steve´s blog and I think its true.

Not trying to start discussions here, just present the facts to your management: Domino is better than Exchange. Read this loud in your office room so that everybody learns: Domino is better than Exchange. When they will ask why, download and show them this pdf article

I agree, it´s written by an ibmer. So what, you still need to install a plethora of MS products in order to compare with Domino.

One last thing I´ve learned these past 8 years: both do messaging, BUT:
- with Exchange, you need to ask: how the hell can I develop anything related to collaboration ?
- with Domino, you need to ask: how the hell the Designer works, what are all these forms, views, documents, ACL, pages, agents ? doh ... can I write Java agents ? yes you can. ok ok, I´ll get back later, so what are the forms and documents ?

The Domino enterprises considering the migration to Exchange are bad managed. The effort does not worth it. The gain is zero, as in null.

If new companies currently running FOSS messaging consider choosing between the two, I have to say that a small shop Exchange (up to 200 users) might beat Domino. Because MS´s politics is: so, you bought Windoze. Get this Exchange as well, it´s free, came with that Windows server you´ve bought.

Happy reading, say it again: Domino is better than Exchange :)

surface

finally, something cool from microsoft : http://www.microsoft.com/surface/

Check out their videos, pretty interesting and promising stuff. I wonder if they break any patents with that 30" wide touch-screen (considering the latest FUD launched by MS against the open-source community)

Hmmm, how about a blue screen of death on that screen ? will it lock or reboot if we'll touch the screen on the "dump memory" message ? :)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

collection of web 2.0 apps ...

this is how I describe the following site: http://www.webware.com/

I found there many and interesting sites, some of which I've never heard before. There's also a voting session opened for "best of best" in several categories.

Discovered this site via meebo blogging, I'm keeping track of it here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

finally ... my domino blogroll

I finally took the time to identify and compose the list of domino related blogs most useful to me. I preffered to identify a blog by it's author/owner instead of it's title. This is because sometimes titles don't say much - like this blog's title, for example, not very immaginative :) - while a person's name does.

If I've got something wrong in the list please let me know, it'll get changed asp.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Friday, May 18, 2007

going back in time ....

way back ..... :) What was I doing in 1991 ?! I think I was doing ... high-school, while the battle between IBM and MS raged. Funny enough, Windows NT was to appear in one-two years :)

Check out this article, written by mr. Andrew Pollack, well known to me, actually, through his Vision for Hire blog/brand

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

curious how things sometimes ties together ...

I was just having a conversation yesterday about Outlook vs. Notes. My friend Florin (best unix/linux/windoze security/networking expert there is) argued that:

- "oh my, in Outlook I just have a button which makes it work offline".
- me: "well yes, in Notes you can make a local replica just as easy"
- "replication ... doh, way too complicated, I just have a button in Outlook which makes it work offline and thats it. No need to know where my .nsf in on server, then create the local replica ..... "

Don't even know when MS introduced the offline working for Outlook (local *.pst file, actually) and I no longer care, I'm using Thunderbird :-P

However, interesting enough, seems that Outlook interface is the standard for messaging these days (even Thunderbird looks pretty much like Outlook instead of Notes) and IBM was listening/designing/recovering the gap on this, with the Notes 8 client.

Via Mary Beth's blog, here's your button for "Notes offline access": it's called Make available offline

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Domino 8 ODS - can this be true ?

Today I joined a Domino 8 server to a Domino 6 existing one and I discovered it uses the same ODS (43) as Domino 6.

If you think about it, Domino 4,5,6 have had different ODS (On Disk Structure).
Domino 6,7 and 8 are using *.nsf/*.ntf with the same ODS. This makes it way better in terms of using multiple servers versions in the same org. This makes migration easier, since a Domino 6 server won't complain "invalid on disk structure" if an admin makes a copy of a db designed with Domino 8 Designer.

So, indeed, this is true, Domino still has a lot to offer, migration process just got a little bit easier. For those of you involved 5 years ago into R4 to R5 migrations, you'll know what I mean.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Notes 8 with Notes 7 (and/or 6 ? ) on the same workstation

I think I've complained before that I used to be able to run on the same workstation, Notes clients v4 with v5, then v5 with v6. Suddenly I was not able to run Notes 6 and Notes 7 as separate installations. Notes 7 kept upgrading my 6 install ...
This was a big step back for adopting Notes 7 for my current work.

Although technically new stuff (see this), Notes 8 will in fact upgrade your Notes 7 install (and probably my Notes 6 install) by default. Unless you do what they say in the 'readms_beta2.pdf' file which can be downloaded from IBM:

"
Notes 8 Beta and Notes 7.x coexistence

..... With that understanding, follow the steps below to install Lotus Notes 8 Beta on a machine that also has Lotus Notes 7.x installed: ...
"

and the procedure is just the same I used to do when installing R5 beside R4, then R6 beside R5 .... Basically, break the current Notes install by renaming your binaries and data folder. Then, do a install of the new version. Check this pdf if you want to take this track, I am just signaling that this is possible. Again. Hurray !

Friday, April 27, 2007

cute technique for decrease loading time of web pages with multiple images

This post is really to highlight the following article which describes a clever (read CSS magic) way to download one image and display multiple ones.

This news maybe old for some, but I'm keeping track of it, I'm sure I'll make use of it.

So, what's all about: if you have 30 images (small ones, like icons) to display in the page, what to do: create one big image out of them, then use the background attribute of the img tag to specify the same image and assign CSS class of each of the img tag which will split the big image and get what you want.

Clever, though it is best suited for icons. But it will for sure decrease the loading time of such pages. The first thing it came to my mind when seeing this is that the idea could be well appllied to the online editors (FCKEditor, my currently favorite).

Monday, April 23, 2007

tons of passwords to remember ? here is my password manager of choice ...

Folks, it's been some time since I've last posted to my blog. This was caused by my schedule, a one week vacation and some delivery date approaching.

We're all abused by many many usernames/passwords combinations used in our life: intranets, internet accounts, corporate accounts, applications X, Y, Z .... damn ! While SSO (Single Sign On) is something else to talk about, I found a FOSS application which recently I find it's of major usefullness for my memory: I only have to remember one password to be able to recover/remember my login details to whatever account I have.

The name is keepass and is good. In fact, for me, is "THE" Password Manager of choice these days. The beauty of it is that I carry all these passwords with me wherever I go. This is because it gets installed on my external 80GB removable. Available there are version(s) for Mac/Linux, though I did not play with these.
update: the portable version of keepass (which I currently use) can be found here: http://portableapps.com/apps/utilities/keepass_portable


Talking about Password Managers, I accidentally run across https://www.passpack.com (I read about it somewhere, sorry for not remembering where). Worth mentioning it, an online Password Manager, if you prefer this alternative.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

small tribute

Here's my tribute to the domino blogosphere. Instead of creating a blogroll list which is already a creepy process (nothing automatic, no import/export of OPLM file, write/maintain the list by hand), I am dynamically posting 10 latest posts from my public 'domino' feed from Google Reader.

I've tried in the past creating my blogroll and quickly drop the idea. Like I didn't had enough things to maintain by hand ...

So, turns out this Google Reader isn't a bad thing afterall, at least for this purpose.
Please let me know if you don't want your posts to appear here on this site, I hope you don't mind that :)

println 8192 chars limitation

I came across this strange (or not) limitation when writing a Domino Java agent.

Did I mentioned about json+jquery+domino new loving combination ?

So, I was designing a Java agent which is using my json.jar archive (compiled for Java 1.3 used by Domino 6 server). This agent would have the sole purpose of receiving a querystring parameter, hit a database, grab a view, grab the collection of all viewentries with a getAllEntriesByKey and returning a json string, all this part of a $.ajax call (google for jQuery).

The returned string (looked internally with Fiddler, then analysed with JuJuEdit) contained the non printable 'Enter' char each 8129 characters, thus breaking the meaning of my json String returned to the browser.

Lesson learned: do not return more than 8129 chars when designing Domino Java agent in one println statement.

sketch code before:

JSONArray jsonArray = new JSONArray();
while (viewEntry != null) {
....
JSONObject jsonObject = new JSONObject();
jsonObject.put("objAttr", objValue);
......
jsonArray.put(jsonObject);
jsonObject = null;
viewEntry = viewCollection.getNextEntry(viewEntry);
}
PrintWriter toBrowser.println (jsonArray)


as you see, I'm builing an array of jSon objects (jsonArray), which is thrown away in one println statement outside of the loop. Ntz, not good. If jsonArray contains more than the limit, the meaning of it is breaking.

Instead, I am now doing this:


toBrowser.println("["); //open the array by hand, drop jsonArray variable
while (viewEntry != null) {
....
JSONObject jsonObject = new JSONObject();
jsonObject.put("objAttr", objValue);
......
toBrowser.println(jsonObject + ",");
jsonObject = null;
viewEntry = viewCollection.getNextEntry(viewEntry);
}
toBrowser.println("]");


Now it's more like it: I am throwing back to browser each of the jsonObject, making sure to respect the jSon syntax (add a comma in the string).

One quick catch: last useful object in this string will contain a ',' which means in fact last jSon Object is null. So make sure in the browser, after the eval() compilation, when you loop the results, make the loop as:
for (var i=0 ; i < resultsObj.length-1 ; i ++)

If any guru will be reading this I'm hoping to hear more details about this limit. Is it of Java println ? Is it of Domino Java ? Am I too stupid for not knowing this before hand ?

Monday, March 26, 2007

this is way to funny not to mention ...

Though I've only declared to my friends, I think it won't hurt it for everybody to know: I will not work with Vista. Period. I don't want to learn anything about it, I don't want to install it on my working computers, I don't want to know about it. The same 'strategy' is true for the new Office version. At least for my common day-to-day tasks and work. Win XP and the current Office version are enough. More than enough. For diversity I'm digging Linux and OpenOffice. And Domino. And Java.

If by accident I will be hired by MS (which I doubt), I'll have to live with it. But they will have to pay me THE big bucks for me to work with Vista :)

Is this a bad decision ? Maybe so, maybe not ...

And here it is, maybe not ... reading Ed Brill's log regularly, this article came into my path: Dear Bill Gates (again)

Take the time and patience to read them (also the comments), worth the time spend. And probably you'll make you think twice before 'upgrading' to Vista and the next Office version.

difference about quotes and non-quotes in HTML select

I usually use a computed value with a dbcolumn to display values in a combo (the select HTML tag)
Suppose your returned HTML source looks like this:


<select id="mySelect" >

<option value=value 1>entry 1</option>

<option value=value 2>entry 2</option>

<option value=value 3>entry 3</option>

</select>



This bad ... the value attribute of should always be surrounded by quotes. Otherwise, jQuery will return only 'value' in IE (read that this is acceptable for FireFoxie, didn't verify, though)

So, always add an extra \" into my computed values, so that I will get:

<select id="mySelect" >

<option value="value 1">entry 1</option>

<option value="value 2">entry 2</option>

<option value="value 3">entry 3</option>

</select>


hmm, talk about little difference which wasted an hour of my time ... doh

Sunday, March 25, 2007

firefox 2 -> 2.0.0.2 upgrade on fedora 6 64bit proc.

having fun with linux ? me too, specially when things finally works.

I upgraded my firefox installation from 2.0 to 2.0.0.2, using :
yum -y -t –enable=development update firefox
(via this)

then imagine what, I found that java plugin was no longer working. While I fixed this when I first installed Fedora Core 6, I have forgotten that running 64bit Firefox will break any 32bit plugin, including Java and Flash.

So, I found myself having the two versions of Firefox (32 and 64bit):

> sudo yum list installed | grep firefox
firefox.x86_64 2.0.0.2-2.fc7 installed
firefox.i386 2.0.0.2-2.fc7 installed

good, it means that by default the 64bit is launched, I needed to launch the 32bit version instead.
What to do ? this article , while shows a how-to for Firefox 1.5, provided the idea: I've made a copy of /usr/bin/firefox and rename it as /usr/bin/firefox-32.sh; then, I've edited the renamed script. I found below declarations and the simple and fast track was to remove the '64' string, so that this firefox-32.sh script would only use /usr/lib instead of /usr/lib64.

##
## Variables
##
MOZ_ARCH=$(uname -m)
case $MOZ_ARCH in
x86_64 | ia64 | s390 )
MOZ_LIB_DIR="/usr/lib64"
SECONDARY_LIB_DIR="/usr/lib"
;;
* )
MOZ_LIB_DIR="/usr/lib"
SECONDARY_LIB_DIR="/usr/lib64"
;;
esac


I'm sure there are more elegant solutions, this one was simple enough and did the trick. Since I used to have all the fancy plugins working (in the 2.0 version), I didn't need to do anything else. It just worked, plain and simple.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

notes/domino ibmers

My feed reader of choice is the Google Reader.

At this moment, my domino-related blogosphere contains 30 feeds. Some of them are ibmers. Which ones ? Let's see: Domino IBMers

Cool list ... keep it growing

Thursday, March 15, 2007

quick one about why firefox does not load images

This is for Firefox 2.x on Windows. To me its the preffered browser, however it didn't load all the images. If you browse this blog and cannot see in Firefox the beautiful thumb of the screenshot in my previous article, check this:
- type about:config in your browser's URL, hit enter.
- filter and find permissions.default.image and change the value (double click the entry) to 1.

found this info via: mozillazine

how about this ?!



What can I say ? WOW !! So we really have a linux client for Domino 8 !! I didn't belived it truly until I've installed it on my home Fedora box. And it really installed, even with my low linux knowledge. After downloading the *.tar, launched the setup.bin, few clicks, need to disable XGL effects (something for eclipse as well on linux) and it basically installed itself. It even kept the well known /domino and /domino/data paths which I love (I always know where to look for binaries and/or data)

Now, where's the Designer and Admin client on linux ? not yet ? no problems, I can wait :) Then windoze will be bye bye at home :)

Monday, March 12, 2007

I feel like starting over ....

Is this good ? Is this bad ? 5+ years of Domino drilling down the drain ... this is my feeling after finished downloading and sparringly looking into the *.pdfs which came with the Lotus 8 Public Beta 2

I public declared I'm not interested in Domino 7, I was expecting Domino 8. And now it came... and I sincerely have the feeling that my PCLP is close to useless :) Have to start all over again ... in terms of learning the Domino environment. Not that I've ever stopped, it's just that I could install a Domino server with my eyes closed (at least on windoze), not sure this would be possible anymore.

linux for an entire sunday

While my fellow blogger Ferdy switched to Ubuntu - called him a 'traitor' as I'm on Fedora, hope he doesn't mind that :) - I'm gonna share with you what I managed to do the entire Sunday.

For a linux security expert like my friend Florin which is handling the www.riss.ro this would have taken 20 minutes ... it took me the entire day. doh ...! But finally I'm quite proud of myself for finally not requesting any help and doing it my own way (google is my friend)

So, here the story goes: my wife (as always, women cause all the trouble ...) choose to add to the house a second computer.

All good for me as I will no longer have to let her share my computer, you say :) Well, yes, that too. But I had to make this second computer share the single IP on my computer, as the provider will not allow two home computers without extra payment. Since I am not going to extra pay for my wife's browsing, I needed to digg into NAT'ing and iptables of my Fedora Core 6 installation.

This is what I did:
- I installed a second network card on my computer and connected with a crossover cable to the second machine. So I have eth0 device with external IP given by the provider, and the eth1 device with 192.168.1.1/24 statically asigned. My wife's computer got the 192.168.1.2/24. This was the easiest part :)
- Testing connection between the two computers, everything works.
- It took me the entire day googling and reading to finally end up with the following /etc/rc.local file:

# add a static route to the internal host (not sure why it didn't worked without it)
/sbin/route add -host 192.168.1.2 dev eth1

#load the NAT module of iptables
modprobe iptable_nat

#tell the system we want to route
echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward

#mangle with the TTL on eth0. The provider thought that setting TTL=1 would stop me :)
/sbin/iptables -t mangle -A PREROUTING -i eth0 -j TTL --ttl-set 64
/sbin/iptables -t mangle -A OUTPUT -j TTL --ttl-set 64

#enable masquerading (or NAT) between external eth0 and the internal network
iptables -A POSTROUTING -t nat -o eth0 -s 192.168.1.0/24 -d 0/0 -j MASQUERADE
iptables -A FORWARD -t filter -o eth0 -m state --state NEW,ESTABLISHED,RELATED -j ACCEPT
iptables -A FORWARD -t filter -i eth0 -m state --state ESTABLISHED,RELATED -j ACCEPT

#finally, allow DNS queries from internal network
iptables -A OUTPUT -p udp -o eth1 --dport 53 --sport 1024:65535 -j ACCEPT
iptables -A INPUT -p udp -i eth1 --sport 53 --dport 1024:65535 -j ACCEPT

above instructions would be better in another file which could be loaded by /etc/rc.local. However, this did the trick, now I can have the computer for myself :)

I would also evaluate switching to Ubuntu (Ferdy's article triggered the curiosity), however I've done some things on my fedora which would be rather annoying to remember and do again on ubuntu. Then, what is the fun with linux if not digging with google how to do certain things ? If Ubuntu works kind of 'out of the box', I would miss the entire fun of discovering new things :)

For instance, the next challenge on my fedora is to discover how to configure udev and hal to perform automounting and gnome linking of an external usb hdd (80gb) which I've been recently using. Manually mounting works beautifully, but it won't automount. If this would work in Ubuntu, I wouldn't learn about udev and hal, would I ?

Thursday, March 08, 2007

phone rintones

does free ringtones enter the FOSS (free and open source software) category on this blog ? I choose to define it so, because I've just run on a cool site providing free ringtones: http://www.ringtonesoup.com

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

json with domino servlets

I have a domino servlet which basically receive a GET like: http://myserver/servlet/displayfolder?fld=name_of_folder

and should return that folder's server databases with couple of information: pathfile,database title,template name of the database.

Before discovering JSON, I've created my own convension for this string of parameters. The response to the browser was parsed by custom JS code, respecting my chosen syntax. This was not good, this was not standard but it worked.

Starting my JSON discovery (every day we learn something new), I've also learned that my required information about a server's folder can be put in a JSON string as following:

[{path:folder1\aaa.nsf,title:title_aaa,template:template_aaa},
{path:folder1\bbb.nsf,title:title_bbb,template:template_bbb},
{path:folder1\ccc.nsf,title:title_ccc,template:template_ccc}]

Above string is an JSON Array containing three JSON Objects, each with the path,title,template attributes (read http://json.org for more details about the syntax)

Now comes the big question: how to generate above from within my Domino servlet ? Fortunatelly, there are some JSON Java classes which comes to help.

In fact there are several frameworks for working with JSON under Java. For me as Domino dev, the first choice does the trick, as I'm gonna show you.

So, my objective was to add support for JSON into the Domino server JVM, available for my servlet.
- From the mentioned page I've downloaded the json.zip archive which contains all the *.org.json classes as source code.
- Next, I've added these classes to my eclipse project where I play with the Domino servlets - no, I'm not gonna tell you how to work with eclipse+domino, there are plenty of good articles already written :)
- build the eclipse project so that I could get the .class of the json libraries.
- archived the compiled classes into a json.jar archive
- upload the json.jar into domino\jvm\lib\ext on the server, so that they're available to other servlets I will be playing with (now jQuery/JSON is for me a standard when I talk about domino-ajax apps)
- give the server a restart and rethink the servlet, which now has the following code on the doGet function:


...
import org.json.JSONArray;
import org.json.JSONException;
import org.json.JSONObject;
import lotus.domino.Database;
import lotus.domino.DbDirectory;
import lotus.domino.NotesException;
import lotus.domino.NotesFactory;
import lotus.domino.NotesThread;
import lotus.domino.Session;
...

public void doGet(HttpServletRequest req,HttpServletResponse res)
throws ServletException,IOException {

try {
res.setContentType("text");
PrintWriter toBrowser = res.getWriter();

NotesThread.sinitThread();
Session session = NotesFactory.createSession();

String query = req.getQueryString();
String searchFolder = parseQueryString (query);
if (searchFolder == null ) {
throw (new ServletException ("servlet should receive a query param like &fld=")); }

DbDirectory dir = session.getDbDirectory(null);
String server = session.getServerName();
Database db = dir.getFirstDatabase(DbDirectory.DATABASE);

//create the JSON Array which will hold all other objects
JSONArray jsonArray = new JSONArray();

//loop though all server databases
while (db != null) {
String fp = db.getFilePath();
StringTokenizer fpTokens = new StringTokenizer (fp, "\\") ;
while (fpTokens.hasMoreTokens()){
String token = fpTokens.nextToken().toLowerCase();
// System.out.println(token);
if (token.equals(searchFolder.toLowerCase())){
JSONObject jsonObject = new JSONObject();
String file = fp ;
String title = db.getTitle();
String template= db.getDesignTemplateName();

jsonObject.put("file", file);
jsonObject.put("title", title);
jsonObject.put("template", template);
jsonArray.put(jsonObject);
jsonObject = null ;
}
}

db = dir.getNextDatabase();
}
toBrowser.print(jsonArray) ;
session.recycle();
}
catch (JSONException e) {
e.printStackTrace();
}

catch (NotesException e) {
e.printStackTrace();
}
catch (ServletException e) {
e.printStackTrace();
}
finally {
NotesThread.stermThread();

}
}


please criticize me for the Java code, i'm kind of a newbie, I'm sure this can be improved :)

If you code Java agents instead of servlets, I'm sure you can get the same Java source classes and add them directly into your agent. I think it will grow its size, though ... Or you can pack the compiled classes into a similar json.jar and import it into the Java agent.

What I was surprised about was that no compilation errors were thrown, which makes JSON available in Domino Java agents or servlets starting at least with Domino 6.5.x which is my current server version.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

how many JS Ajax frameworks ?

My guess is that Domino developers are interested in Ajax frameworks for JavaScript. While there are other server-based frameworks, guess how many Ajax JS frameworks you have to choose from (some open-source, as my newly beloved jQuery, others commercial). So, take a rough guess: 5 ? 10 ? Ntz. A wiki like site gives the answer: 36. You can see this on http://ajaxpatterns.org/Javascript_Multipurpose_Frameworks

This is something I was astonished about, then I came to think this is normal. JavaScript is blamed for it's lack of debugging but it's so versatile that I could also start my own framework. I'm not so clever though; then why bother if others took the lead and gave the world jQuery ?

when Domino meets jQuery ...

The result is what I wanted: to have a minimum of files (read one file) which needs to be included into an existing application (read nsf database).

Past one-two years there have been a rise in the Ajax acronym used together with the Domino environment. While IBM seems to have bet on Dojo and I personally liked and used YUI, I also thought what could be the best way to include a framework like these into Domino applications.

Generally speaking, having JS resources available in one place in a Domino app can be accomplished in at least 4 ways, depending on how you organize your app.

When we want to integrate Dojo or YUI, I can count for only three methods:
1. put the folder structure of the Ajax framework into the domino\html folder on your server.
2. archive the Ajax framework into a zip file. On deployment, run some agent on the server which accomplish the result at 1.
3. have WebDav enabled on the Domino server and copy the folder structure of the chosen Ajax framework as file-resources in some template or database. Then, you simply copy those file-resources around, where you need them.

All above methods require more or less effort, but they didn't address my need: to handle Ajax calls and goodies without using them :) When we start a new application, choosing between Dojo or YUI is a process which can find its answer, then we'd need to know what above method to choose in order to handle the chosen framework.

I needed something simpler: to have a light JS library which can handle Ajax calls so that I will further standardize the work I'm performing to the existing set of templates. No more 'xmlHttp = new XMLHttpRequest()' for me.

Meet jQuery. Import your jquery-latest.pack.js as only one file-resource. Then import the location of the file as 'script src' and have fun with $.ajax

Light, simple, brilliant. It does not have all the other goodies of the Dojo or YUI. But it will have the goodies of the yui-ext soon. Check their vision. Add it to your existing Domino apps.

update: seems to me that when I discovered for myself the jQuery library, our fellow Domino blogger Jake is also playing with the ext library. His work is much more appreciated than my thoughts, though :)

Friday, January 26, 2007

another killer app from .... google

I was a long opponent of brower toolbars. My browser never installed toolbars. Never. Because of performance issues when loading a new window, because of pottential issues with JS and so on.

That was until today, when I discovered Google Toolbar. What it does so beautiful that I fell for it ?

It allows me to finally keep my bookmarks in sync, be it IE, Firefox, Windoze or Linux. And this is solving one of my business needs: to find information I once bookmarked. I do not remember site names (I'm not a cyborg, not yet). When I have something interesting I know I will need to follow-up, I set a bookmark. Going home on my recently installed Fedora 6, I had no idea how to retrieve that interesting article I stumbled upon. Until today.

Firefox users, for the Bookmarks within Google Toolbar to work, you need to install the Toolbar beta, from here

talk about world dominance, I kinda like Google's dominance instead of Microsoft's :)

a little addition to this blog

I gave up of the feedburner feed aggregator on the right side of the site, as it totally sucked on Firefox - and it showed only 3 subscribers :)

Instead, I added my del.icio.us tag clouds. I quickly hit on my firefox del.icio.us buttons when I find something interesting to read or when I want to refresh my memory where I've read something interesting.

Five Things You May Not Have Known About Me

I was tagged by William Beh

This is fun, so here you have it:

1. I am the kind of sports-person who cannot find time anymore to practice his favorites sports. I've been playing tennis for about 15 years (starting at the age of 5). This is my "pro" sport, hardly can find a partner to compete :)
Also did/like cycling, basketball, karate shotokan (only 2 years, almost got my orange belt when I dropped it).

2. When I'll be 40 (now I have 32) I plan to get myself a powerful ride, something around 500Cc with two wheels. If it happens sooner, so be it :)

3. School was never among my preferences, nor was I an brilliant student. During the years I've learned that lack of brain can(somehow) be compensated with hard work and passion for what you do. But the passion is not always good. I've also learned that it's better to first listen than speak (leave the passion out), so I usually tend to keep quiet.

4. My first car was an ancient Dacia 1300 since 1982 (I think). Never heard of Dacia ? Then I owned a VW Golf II Diesel for three years. I have some adventures to tell about my old cars, this is why last year I've bought a brand new Ford Fiesta 2006, facelift model. No more car related problems and adventures, I get in and drive and that's it.

5. I always wanted to speak English with that specific accent of UK's people. I consider myself quite fluent with English (passed the Toefel exam, btw) but the brit accent is something I cannot learn. I suppose I have to live in UK for this to happen, or start reading Shakespeare not translated in my own language :)

Not sure if the following fellows have already been tagged, not having the time to fully check, but I now tag Andrei Kouvchinnikov and Ferdy Christant

Happy tagging :)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

what I want from Notes 8

These days the Lotusphere is ending. While I haven't got the opportunity to attend it, I did had the opportunity to read from others the new and improved about Notes 8.

And here comes what I'd like to have with Notes 8: I want a FAST email client which should store all my mails locally into a nsf database. I want it faster than my current Thunderbird, in terms of application load and grabbing mails (be it Notes server, POP3, IMAP, whatever). This email client would run as a instance of its own, allowing me to quick Alt-tab and see what new mails arrived.

Then, a second instance of Notes 8 would be my usual development environment, allowing me to open the designer, admin and the client, swithing ID's and scratching my head into the development area.

Notes 8 should allow me to:
- start a 'small' client, having only mails, calendaring and IM - with the speed of light. Perhaps I would need to create a shortcut like 'notes.exe -smallAndFast'
- allow running multiple instances of Notes8 on the same machine.

hmmm...not sure if Notes 8 will be totally Eclipse RCP, but I can start multiple Eclipse instances .... so ... maybe I will be able to do it.

Remember when I said: "forget Notes 7, let it be Notes 8 ?" :)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Domino forms and the Back button of the browser

Suppose you have a sequence of application steps as following:
UNID?EditDocument -> user change -> document is saved and redirect user to UNID?OpenDocument

More than that, suppose it's an application already working, which performs a JS sumbit(), then the WQS agent kicks in, create the document, then the same agent does :
Print "[/" & web_db_name & "/(someView)/" & docSaved.UniversalID & "?OpenDocument]"
which is basically the redirection.

Where does the Back button fit this picture ? from OpenDocument resulting page, if the user performs Right Click/Back, it ends up in the same EditDocument page and you don't want that. What to do ?

The simplest solution to avoid this:
Instead of printing the redirection URL directly, print the HTML code of a page which performs the redirection on the onload event. The code would look like this:


Sub Initialize

... set doc context, perform some rocket science

Dim sLocation As String

sLocation= "/" + UtilEscapePath (db.FilePath) + "/(someView)/" & docSaved.UniversalID & "!OpenDocument"

WebReturnUrl (sLocation)

End Sub


The UtilEscapePath and WebReturnUrl are two subroutines which you can find in the names.nsf of your server (WebLSUtil library, for Domino 6). Thanks IBM for that, good idea ! It is sometimes useful to have a look into the design of Domino default templates, specific the system names.nsf :)
UtilEscapePath basically changes \ with / so it will comply with URL format. Most interesting is WebReturnUrl:


Sub WebReturnUrl(sLocation As String)

Print _

|content-type:text/html

<html>

<body onLoad="window.location = '| + sLocation & |'"></body>

</html>

|

End Sub


There you have it, the first 'level' of Back will no longer open the document in Edit mode. This is not a full-proof solution as selecting browser's drop-down and going back two 'levels' will of course break this. However for the 'right-click/back' it works and may be sufficient for your application.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

what happens if temp folders are not accessible

until I figure the pictures issue with this blog, let me share something with you.

I discovered the first thing that breaks for a Domino server if it does not have access to the system's temp folders: you cannot upload any file using the HTTP stack. I also suspect uploading files with the Lotus Client also break, though I have not tested.

The temp folders are defined by the system environment variables TEMP and TMP on Windows. In my case these were c:\winnt\temp and c:\winnt\tmp

I have a Domino server with tons of web apps which used to work fine, specially uploading files. After a movement on a newer hardware, I accidentally discovered no file could ever be uploaded to the server. No error msgs in the console, no nothing. Applications looked to be running fine, except this tiny detail :)

Then I started the server as "regular application" and guess what: file uploads were working !

Finally, after three days of alternate searching/working on other stuff and scratching my head, it struck me:
- when I start the server as a service, the LocalSystem account uses above temporary folders.
- when I start the server as "regular application", the server is started in the context of the logged user, thus using other temporary folders.

So, remembering that when uploading files, Domino makes use of the temporary folders to store them until it moves them to the database, it was clear to me that something was wrong with the temp folders for LocalSystem account.

And sure it was !

blogger's uploaded pictures not showing in firefox ?

you may have noticed I am playing with my blog's design a little bit. I would not have done that if I could see my uploaded pictures in Firefox. But I don't. I can only see them in IE. Firefox not working. Why, I have no idea at this time, I need to keep digging a little bit.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

This is my first post this year, I wish all of you a Happy New Year !

Is this picture supposed to worry me already ? :)



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