Saturday, April 04, 2009

Notes 8.5 widgets catalog out in the air

Continuing my last night saga, I wanted to get back some widgets I had with some Notes 8.5 themes. Looking into the internal widget database, drag'n drop a widget, and briefly saw it's connecting to www.noteswidgets.com

I said: WOW ! They released the IBM internal widget catalog to the public !! Cool stuff. But when did I missed the announcement ? I think this should have been marketed a little bit more, because it really contains useful stuff for the Notes 8.x users / customers.

For instance: there's a CSS Inspector Tool which allows one former power Domino user like me to change the Notes 8 theme on the fly, in the Lotus 8.x Client.

I'm not much of a fan for widgets connecting from the Lotus Client to different web sites. For instance, I don't need Gmail in my Lotus Client, which is business oriented. But this CSS Inspector Tool made my life easier. Because I no longer need mocking the notes.css file, as seen in the previous post.

recover from Notes 8.5 Eclipse breakdown

Don't do what I did. If it works, don't break it. And if you happen to not read this and you broke it, then you might find this tip useful. You might have a chance by deleting / renaming the \workspace folder. When you next 'reboot' your Notes client, it just might work.

And here is my story: I was not happy with the looks of my Notes 8.5 eclipse client. Since I already new about the com.ibm.notes.branding.xxx.jar file, together with its notes.css file, I started to mock with it. Because I was bored, like I didn't had anything else better to do ... Guess what, the Notes Eclipse client didn't started they way it used to, at some point. I was presented with an almost empty window of Lotus Expeditor stuff, throwing Java exceptions.

On the other side, the Notes basic client (good old Notes C instance, always reliable) was flawlessly working.

After about two hours of wasted time trying to get the Notes Eclipse back on its feet, the answer came in the form of the comments of Matt White, at this URL. So, Matt, if you're reading this, many thanks :)

The other things I learned today (as an retired Domino developer, please excuse the old news):

- It figures. Eclipse is working with workspaces. Folders on disk where you store projects. Notes-Eclipse client cannot be without it. Its default location is \workspace. Makes sense.
- Widgets. You know, composite applications, portal, and all this Notes-Eclipse stuff. When you add / install an widget, all data will go in the same workspace location.
- Finally, I also found the easier way to mock the notes.css file. The method is based on the Java jar utility, described here. Yes, I know, any decent Java developer knows about it. But I didn't, and I am not an Java developer. And all the other Domino addicted are not necessary Java developers.

Fine. Now let's get some sleep.

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