Debugging JavaScript in IE (Sunday, May 13)

Now, I know that the be-all-end-all of JavaScript debuggers these days is Firebug, but sometimes I have to use Internet Explorer for my testing (like intranet pages with VBScript or ActiveX controls). I’ve always used the old Microsoft Script Debugger for such things — which isn’t even in the same league as Firebug, but at least it allows you to step through code and change variables and execute expressions on the fly.

In the last week or so, I’ve seen links to two very interesting other ways of debugging JavaScript in IE:

So, new toys to try…

UPDATE: I got some great suggestions in the comments so far, including:

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SnTT: Fetching URLs With LotusScript (Thursday, May 10)

Someone asked me how to fetch a URL using LotusScript today. It’s pretty easy, but if you need some code here’s an old test agent I dug up:

Sub Initialize '** this will give you the whole web page, not including the HTTP Headers, '** as raw HTML/XML text Dim XmlHttpRequest As Variant Dim response As String Set XmlHttpRequest = CreateObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP") Call XmlHttpRequest.Open("GET", "", False) Call XmlHttpRequest.Send() response = XmlHttpRequest.responseText '** this will give you the body of the web page, translated to NotesRichText '** (the HTTP headers are available as individual fields -- one for each header '** name -- on the document) Dim session As New NotesSession Dim db As NotesDatabase Dim doc As NotesDocument Dim pageBody As String Set db = session.CurrentDatabase Set doc = db.GetDocumentByURL("", True) pageBody = doc.GetItemValue("Body")(0) Call doc.Remove(True) End Sub

If you run this on a server, make sure you have the “Runtime Security Level” set to at least “2”, since you’re doing network operations.

Also, the GetDocumentByURL method uses the Web Navigator database somehow (perweb.nsf on the client, or web.nsf plus the WEB service on a server), so make sure that’s all set up properly. That database can get kind of funky sometimes and cause problems, as John Roling can tell you. On the other hand, the XmlHttpRequest method only works on Windows, so choose your poison.

BONUS: Thomas Adrian has a good quick reference on his site too.

UPDATE: Markus Koller mentioned in the comments that ServerXmlHttp might be a better option than XmlHttp for this — and he linked to a very good Microsoft Knowledgebase article describing the difference between the two. Looks like ServerXmlHttp allows you to set up some proxy settings, which could be very handy. Thanks Markus!

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A Warren Of Rabbits (Wednesday, May 9)

We saw a couple of rabbits in the back yard the other day, and since there was more than one I told the kids that there are probably a whole bunch of them out in the woods somewhere — or will be soon, they being rabbits and all…

However, I knew that “bunch” wasn’t the correct word for a group of rabbits. I know that cows are in herds, birds are in flocks, and even that frogs are in armies. But I had no idea what the collective name for rabbits was.

Go Google, go! After one or two searches and a few clicked links, I found two excellent references:

The page is a little more complete, but the San Diego Zoo site has some great links with more information about the animals themselves. I think my favorites on the list were a plague of locusts, and a shiver of sharks. A parliament of owls and a scourge or mosquitoes were probably close seconds.

Oh, and rabbits come in “warrens” (there were a few other names, but that seemed the most common in other references).

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Notes 8 Wallpaper

Cool new Notes 8 wallpaper now available

Blog Spam Is Annoying!

I’ve just deleted 37,000+ blog spam comments. Thankfully, the Domino Blog template ensures you don’t see any of these. However, I am worried that occasionally I may delete a “real” comment. If you ever get an error when posting a response, please email me and I will make sure it gets fixed.

A Dog Named Poop (Wednesday, May 2)

This weekend we got a dog. A puppy actually. From the Humane Society, so she’s nice and “rescued”. Here’s a picture:

Julian and the dog: feel the love

You can just feel the love right there, can’t you?

She’s actually a really good dog, except for the fact that she’s not quite housebroken yet. We’re still trying out different names on her. I’m currently leaning toward the name: “It Shits All Over The House” — that would be “Isaoth” for short, but it doesn’t have a good ring to it. We’ll see.

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Drive Cancelled (Tuesday, May 1)

What better way to pull me out of an unofficial one month blogging break than for Fox Broadcasting to cancel my new favorite show: Drive.

Drive: the TV Show on Fox

Produced by Tim Minear (producer/co-writer of Firefly and Angel) and starring Nathan Fillion (star of Firefly), it was a show that Joss Whedon fans at least had to try — I tried it and liked it. A lot.

After only four episodes, it got pulled off the air. Rumor has it that it got poor ratings and it was also lowering ratings for ’24’.

However, that just doesn’t sound right to me. There are plenty of truly lousy shows that last WAY more than 4 episodes. And if it was a ratings issue for ’24’, they could have just moved it to another night. There’s got to be something else going on there. Here are my conspiracy theories:

  • Funding problems
  • Major personality problems, either within the show or between the show and Fox
  • Fox/Minear is trying to build up Firefly-like underground enthusiasm for the show, and it will be back in full force this summer

I’m pretty fond of the last theory, even if it’s kind of far-fetched. Firefly was hugely successful AFTER it got cancelled by Fox, and has sold a whole lot of DVD box sets. The success was largely a word-of-mouth and Internet grassroots effort. Fox will supposedly air the LAST two episodes of the show this summer, but I’m wondering if they might continue on where they left off if there’s enough “underground” interest — especially because there would be much less competition from other popular shows over the summer.

Maybe it’s just wishful thinking on my part too…

Oh, and if you missed the show, now’s a good time to watch the first 4 episodes. You can buy the episodes for $1.99 each at the official BitTorrent site, or I’ve heard that the torrents are also available for download on “other” servers. I’m not sure if a Google search for “drive fox torrent” would help there or not.

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Lotus Museum

Former Lotus employee Judi Lazerus has started a web site called the Lotus Museum that you might find entertaining. ? I have dozens of items I should donate, I’ll have to find the time! 😉

Image:Lotus Museum

I found the navigation a little awkward. ? If you click on one of the main headings, like “Clothing” you end up at a blank page. ?Instead, you need to choose a specific item from the drop down list. ? I imagine that will get hard to maintain if the list of items gets long. ?I’d rather see a “gallery” of image thumbnails in each section, and then click on them for larger photos. ?But heck, Judi is doing this in her spare time so who am I to complain!

Lotus Starter Packs

Today Lotus announced two new software bundles to help small companies purchase a combined offering of Notes/Domino and Sametime.
Image:Lotus Starter Packs

Designed for organizations with less than 1,000 employees, they are available in 10-user licence packs and are built on IBM Lotus Domino Express 7.0.2 and IBM Lotus Sametime 7.5.1.

IBM Lotus Complete Messaging Express Starter Pack makes it faster, easier and less expensive to deploy secure and reliable e-mail, calendaring and scheduling, document libraries, blogs, VoIP, instant messaging, point-to-point video and Web conferencing. ?10-user license packs start at $1,320 USD SRP per pack.

IBM Lotus Complete Collaboration Express Starter Pack provides support for thousands of third-party Lotus Domino applications to run your business and delivers secure and reliable e-mail, calendaring and scheduling, document libraries, teamrooms, blogs, VoIP, instant messaging, point-to-point video and Web conferencing. ?10-user license packs start at $1,710 USD SRP per pack.

What should software help you with?

Today is one of the posts where rather than sharing tips, I am requesting your help and expertise. ? I have a simple question, but one that has many different answers!

What business processes do you want software to help you with?

Think about the things you need to get done during the course of your day, week, month, year, or maybe during a specific project. ? Now how does software help you, and more importantly what are today’s tools not helping you with?

I am looking for things like:

  • I need to author, revise, and share a set of slides with people located around the world.
  • I need software to help facilitate the process of gathering customer requirements for our new product, and follow the steps to get that product made.
  • I need to book people calendars, meeting rooms, and my flights, hotels, and car for an upcoming trip to 3 customers, in 2 different cities.
  • I need to create a marketing campaign, working back and forth with our advertising agency, and get the finished material published in time for third quarter.
  • I need to create a product catalog, using images uploaded from my digital camera.
  • I need to find the highest value sales leads in my region, and communicate our company’s value proposition with these potential new customers.

There are a million other examples, and that is what I am hoping you can help me with. ?What tools do you use today? ?Email , teamspaces, web conferencing, photo editing software, office productivity suite, blogs, screen capture software? ???? ?What do they not do well? ? What tools do you wish existed that currently does not?

Be as creative as you would like. ?There are no rules. ?There are no wrong answers. ?

I am hoping this thread generates a lot of responses, so please pass it on to anyone you’d like, Lotus Notes user or not! ?The more diverse the set of respondents, the more interesting this could be. ? Let’s see what type of patterns emerge.

What?s Your Password?

I don’t have time to write a long entry tonight, so I’m going to break from my series explaining how to make a local mail replica for this entry.

Your password is a very important part of the security of Lotus Notes. ? I know sometimes they can be annoying, but so can having to use the key to get into the front door of your house. ? Security is necessary sometimes. ?I read a great tip today in the Lotus Business Partner forum about passwords that I thought I’d share with you.

Your Lotus Notes password does not have to be a single word, it can be a sentence.

So instead of some complicated combination of letters and numbers, which you just end up writing down somewhere anyway, choose something important to you. ?For example, “I love playing tennis”, or “I hate having to remember passwords”. ? These will be difficult for someone to guess, but still easy for you to remember.

Size Really Does Matter

In the tip Size Matters, I showed you how to find the size of a database (application). ? In the comments for that blog entry, it was pointed out that the”% used” for a database is important to know when creating a new database. ? Today I’ll explain what that means.

Looking at the size of my mail file in the image below on the left, you can see that it is 393 MB. ?However, when I push the “% used” button, Notes tells me that the percentage of that 393 MB currently in use in only 82.6%. ?That means that when determining the disk space needed to make a new replica of the database, a closer approximation would be 0.826 X 393 MB, or 325 MB. ?The image on the right is of a new replica, showing that to indeed be the case. ?This difference of about 70 MB might not be much, but on a larger mail file it could make a big difference!

?Image:Size Really Does Matter

So why is a database not 100% in use? ? The simplest explanation is that when new documents are added, the size of the database increases. ? When you delete documents, the space those documents previously occupied is not always automatically used by the next document. ?On the server your Administrators take care of “cleaning this up” for you, but in a future tip I’ll explain what you can do to reduce the size of local databases on your computer.

A second item to think about with respect to the size of a local database is how large the Full Text Index (FTI) might be. ?The FTI is what allows you to search for words or phrases in Notes database. ? Using the Database Properties Box again, this time clicking on the second to last tab on the right, you can see the size of the index is 27 MB. ? This is in addition to the number above.

Image:Size Really Does Matter

By combining these two sizes, 328 MB + 27 MB, I can calculate that my mail file will require about 350 MB of space on my computer. ? Of course, it is always safer to round up, so in my case I’d make sure I had about 500 MB free before making a local replica, which is what I will explain in the next tip.

Advanced Reading. ? So what makes up the size of a database any way?

Image:Size Really Does Matter

There are 3 main items which contribute to the size of a database: ?the design elements, the view indexes, and the documents themselves (plus the white space from deleted documents).

The size of the design elements can be approximated by the size of the database’s template. ? For mail files this is normally between 20-25 MB. ?

The size of the views can be found using the Domino Administration client. ?(if you have it installed). ? Highlight the database in the Files Tab, and choose Database – Manage Views. ? Below you can see the view indexs for my mail file around 40MB.

Image:Size Really Does Matter

So that means my mail file has approximately 328-25-40=263 MB of documents.

Ego boost

I had a nice surprise today when Ed Brill posted the Lotusphere 2007 session ratings, based on quality and relevance of information. ? My session (link below) was ranked 6th! ? Thank you to everyone who attended and filled out the surveys. ? I’m still really sick today, so this helped lift my mood.

Congratulations to all the other speakers, including those not on the list… the quality of everyone’s work this year helped contribute to one of the best Lotuspheres ever.

BP311 — The Great Code Giveaway — Web 2.0 edition Rob Novak and Viktor Krantz, SNAPPS
HND207 — WebSphere Portal and Lotus Domino: Getting them talking… Kathleen McGivney, IBM and Paul Mooney, Bluewave
BP404 — Virtual approaches to development using VMWare Carl Tyler, Instant Technologies
JMP205 — Sametime 7.5 Wes Morgan, IBM
BP104 — Worst Practices in Lotus Domino environments Bill Buchan, HADSL and Paul Mooney, Bluewave
ID109 — Lotus Notes hints, tips, and tricks Alan Lepofsky, IBM
HND105 — The ultimate makeover of a Lotus Domino site using CSS Scott Good and Henry Newberry, Teamwork Solutions
JMP301 — JavaScript and AJAX JumpStart Scott Good, Teamwork Solutions
AD108 ?– Best Practices for Creating Portlets with IBM WebSphere Portlet Factory Ruth Seltzer, IBM
HND104 — AJAX for IBM Lotus Domino Hands-on Scott Good, Teamwork Solutions

I am still here

Sorry, I’ve not written a Notes tip this week. ?I promise I will be continuing the series on setting up local mail. ? I was away last week, and I’ve been doing a lot of catching up. ?Work wise I’m deeply entrenched in project focused on the Application Development strategy for Lotus, I think you’ll all be excited! ? I’ve suddenly come down with a horrible cold, so that has not helped my productivity! ? Tonight I am off to the Great Big Sea concert at the Orpheum theatre in Boston, hopefully I won’t fall asleep! ?Anyway, enough excuses, I just wanted you to know I’ve not forgotten about you!

PS: I’ve gotten hooked on Facebook, so if you are on there, send me a Friend request.

Lotusphere Comes to You Online

Take part in scheduled chats and conferences with executives, developers and other experts.

Lotusphere Comes to You Online

IBM Lotus Sametime – April 11, 2007, 11:00 am EST
IBM Lotus Notes – April 18, 2007, 11:00 am EST

Local Mail – Part 2 – Size Matters

Before you start the process of replicating your mail file to your computer (local), you should check to make sure you have enough free space on your hard drive. ?To check the size of your mail (actually, of any Notes database) you use the Properties Box. ? You can open the Properties Box by either pressing ALT+ENTER on your keyboard, choosing File – Database – Properties from the menus, or clicking the ?Image:Local Mail - Part 2 - Size Matters toolbar icon.

With the Properties Box open, switch to the second tab “i” for Information. ? There you can see the size of your mail file.
Image:Local Mail - Part 2 - Size Matters

Local Mail – Part 1

Do you access your Lotus Notes mail on a server or on your local machine?

I bet many Lotus Notes users don’t know the answer, or even what that question means. ? I intend to use the next few tips to show you how to set up Lotus Notes to access your mail on your local machine, resulting in much faster response times, thus a more productive and enjoyable experience.

Today we’ll start with a simple overview. ?In the picture below, we see a user reading their email. ?In this case Lotus Notes is configured to open their mail file on their Domino server.

Image:Local Mail - Part 1

Now in this second picture, Lotus Notes is configured to open the person’s mail file directly from their own computer. ?Typically this is much faster, since the information does not have to travel over the network to be displayed.
Image:Local Mail - Part 1

This second scenario is called using a local replica, and over the next few tips I’ll show you how to set this up.

If you would like to read a little more background information on this, see these two blog entries:Replication and Local-replication.

Bob Balaban Begins Blogging

Perhaps a new acronym BBBB? ? For those of you readers that are also application developers, today is a good day! ? ?My IBM colleague Bob Balaban was finally started his own blog. (using Domino of course!) ?Bob’s job title is “Programming Services Architect”. ? To give you a clear understanding of what that means, here is how Bob describes his mission…

” I want to make Notes and Domino a kick-ass appdev platform again”


Please join me in welcoming Bob to the blogsphere.


Click for more details…


Who Are Your Celebrity Look-Alikes

Sorry, no Notes post today, crazy busy… but here is some Friday fun.

Image:Who Are Your Celebrity Look-Alikes