Saturday, February 24, 2007

Nomad Rocks

Finally I have been able to catch a breath. I have been very busy for the past few weeks trying to get ready for the Lotusphere Comes To You. New versions our IBF products are being rolled out and will be demoed at the show. Taishan Works is exhibiting here in Chicago plus also at Toronto. So if you are attending any of these two LCTY stop by.

We had a very good GRANITE user group meeting a couple of weeks ago. I would like to thank Teamstudio for sponsoring our meeting. We also like to thank Ron Shoults for demonstrating how to install Nomad.

I finally took the time to install Nomad for myself since we do a lot of development and need to check if the products works on both Notes 6.5 and Notes 7. This is very handy for moving back and forward between versions. There does not seem to be much differences between versions, but I must tell you when it comes to UI development there are a number of things that will catch you by surprise. At a later time, I will provide a list of these differences we have encountered.

After installing Nomad onto my USB drive, I took the time to review the files and compared it with a normal installation. Since I had a number of 256 Mbyte USB drives and they are now dirt cheap, I was wondering if it was possible to run Nomad on a USB drive with only 256 Mbytes. And the answer is YES. I never noticed but there are a significant number of files that are really not necessary for the Lotus Notes client to work. So far I have brought the Notes client down from 380 Mbytes to about 190 Mbytes. I will have to do extensive testing to determine if I did not eliminate something important. But so far so good. I will let everyone know.

One issue that I have with Nomad is that if you use the USB drive in different computers that have different number of drives on the computer, Lotus Notes will not autorun when you plug in the USB drive since the autorun.ini will not have the right drive letter. It would be nice if the USB drive will autorun and detect what drive it is and then run Lotus Notes. Besides that Nomad is great. I hope this feature is available in Notes 8.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Thanks Nathan

It was very nice of Nathan Freeman to post our window launching in a view technique that we developed. He did a nice job in enhancing our technique and using it as part of a help system. Thanks Nathan.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

-25 Wind Chill, 4" of Snow and Flat Tire

Yesterday was an ordeal. After leave the office and getting to my van, I notice that my tire was flat. Changing a tire in the dark with a wind chill of -25 F and with 4" of snow and ice is frustrating. The jack kept slipping because of all the ice and twisted out of shaped. It was so cold that the jack kit was frozen and I had to turn on the heat in the car to thaw it out. A 15 minutes job became 1.5 hours. Thankfully, my wife was off work and I was able to change the tire. Nothing like Chicago weather. Now more bad new, need new tires. Can not figure out what I ran over.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Launching a Window from a View

Nathan T. Freeman and Chris Blatnick was planning on presenting an UI technique that we developed for our Integrated Business Framework products at their presentation at Lotusphere 2007 but unfortunately there was not enough time. Nathan and Chris did a great job in demonstrating the importance of UI design. So I am posting it here. Below is a description of how it works and a sample database that demos it. Link It has been tested in Notes 6, 6.5, and Notes 7. Credit to this technique should be given to Robert Burton from our development team.

Though Lotus Notes had the tab window concept way before Firefox and Microsoft IE, we dislike how it works because you can open window after window and pretty soon you might have a dozen windows open. If you open a document in a view same thing happens. The user can start losing track of their task. Instead, we wanted the user to focus on the task in hand. You could have launched it in a different frame, but screen real estate is limited especially at a resolution of 1024 x 768. So we developed this technique for opening a document, form, or frameset in a separate window. This technique also works for opening a document or form in a dialog box.

In this technique, when you double click to open a document in a view, the document will open in a new Notes window that is separate from the existing Notes tab window. How does this work? First, we create a frameset with two frames. The view is display in one frame and the other frame we display a blank form or page and we make this frame very small.

This technique utilizes the ability of a view to open a document using a different form through form formulas. What we do is place the information about the form we want to launch in the form formula of the view and store it in the Notes.ini during the double click target event of the view. This information includes the document ID and name of the form that you would like to display. The information is passed to a launching form through environment variables when you double click on the document in the view. The view opens a launching form instead using the form formula and it opens up in frame that you can make very small (I-frame Web analogy). Contained in the launching form is code to launch a dialog box or a javascript window. The onload process of the launching form reads the environment variable that you set when you double clicked on the document in the view and determines the document and form to use for display. For a javascript window we create a Notes URL from the information to launch the new window and for a dialog box we use the document ID and form to get a handle to the document and open the dialog box.

In the demo, launch the frameset and double click on the document in the view.

GRANITE Lotus Notes User Group Meeting, February 12

We finally completed the agenda for the GRANITE User Group Meeting. The meeting will include Lotusphere 2007 wrap up, Lotus Notes 7 Nomad, presentations from TeamStudio, and a hold bunch of other goodies. So come to the meeting if you are in the area.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Cold and getting colder

It has been a week since I came back from Lotusphere and I already miss it. It is getting colder and colder here in Chicago. It is going to be down to -10F tonight with a wind chill of -30F. It happens ever year when I get back from Lotusphere, the temperature drops.

Welcome

I finally decided to create my own blog. This site is dedicated to Lotus Notes and Domino, the development of Notes UI, Domino Web development, the use of Lotus Notes and Domino for small businesses, the marketing of Lotus Notes and Domino to small businesses, and whatever I would like to talk about.