Ben Langhinrichs

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February, 2016
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Genii Weblog


Civility in critiquing the ideas of others is no vice. Rudeness in defending your own ideas is no virtue.


Wed 10 Feb 2016, 10:37 AM
Today, we released CoexLinks Fidelity 3.74 on our website via CoexLinks downloads page. The new version includes a number of rendering enhancements including more use of HTML5 and CSS3, enhancements  to support edge cases such as image resources and CD Storage attachments with stored forms, and more crash protection in startup and cleanup phases. Additionally, we have added the capability to assign "Custom Form DBs", so that documents sent from Mail In DBs or using Forms9.ntf, for example, can be rendered and sent on or viewed from mobile devices and iNotes.
 
Support for 64-bit Linux is anticipated in the next couple of months. AIX support may be returning as well, depending on customer demand.

Copyright © 2016 Genii Software Ltd.

Wed 16 Dec 2015, 09:24 AM
In between dealing with the horror that is Internet Explorer 9 and releasing new versions, I am working on a presentation on data mining in Notes rich text. With that in mind, here is my data mining thought for the day: 
 
There is implicit as well as explicit data and meta data. Explicit is there to be read, implicit is there to be discerned.
 
  1. Explicit data is the content (e.g., field in document; audio of phone call).
  2. Explicit meta data is the context (e.g., db and views where document is found; identity of callers and time of call).
  3. Implicit data is the internal implied context (e.g., words appear to be in English; caller sounds angry and agitated).
  4. Implicit meta data is the external cumulative context (e.g., occasional words in documents by this author appear to be German words which might imply native tongue; calls between person A and place of employment tend to be more agitated and frequent very late on Fridays which might imply somebody has to work weekends and is angry about it).
 
OK, back to Internet Explorer. If I am not heard from soon, send the Saint Bernard and brandy.
 

Copyright © 2015 Genii Software Ltd.

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Thu 19 Nov 2015, 12:58 PM
It's been a long time coming, but we have released Version 3.3 of AppsFidelity. Along with numerous rendering tweaks, the main features/fixes are:
 
  • Better handling of attachments when deleted via icon
  • Font face and size control of attachment icons (important for those using languages which don't render with standard 10pt Arial)
  • Better handling of image sizes (reading from image data when not specified or partially specified, plus detection of errant size data)
  • Native PNG support (while PNG images were displayed, they didn't always make it roundtrip)
  • Non-image based tabbed table and section indicators (because the images were duplicated when forwarded)
 
As usual with major versions, there may well be minor versions coming soon to wrap up loose ends that didn't make it before code freeze. If you want to try out AppsFidelity 3.3 for yourself, request an evaluation license and we'll get you set up.
 

Copyright © 2015 Genii Software Ltd.

Fri 13 Nov 2015, 02:12 PM
Back in April of 2008, I wrote a blog post called Help make sure PNG is stored natively in 8.5. The issue then, and still now in Notes 9.0.1, is that while Notes rich text stores and renders PNG graphics perfectly well, when a user actually imports a PNG graphic from the Notes client, it is converted and saved as a JPEG file. Aside from other more minor issues, this means that transparency is lost, thus wrecking many images. As a simple example, consider this logo as it appears above converted to JPG and below stored natively as PNG. 
 
Inline JPEG image
 
While it is true that Midas will handle this now (and has since 2008, btw), I am not suggesting you run out and buy Midas for this. I am suggesting the IBM fix the Import. It is easy to do, as I know because it took only a couple of hours to fix the functionality in Midas once I realized that the native format was available. It uses image segments just like the JPG and GIF files do, with the addition of an oddly undocumented but easy to discern CDPNGHEADER record. I have even included the relevant undocumented pieces needed in the same format that the C API uses.
 
/* Defining undefined ODS elements */
#define SIG_CD_PNGHEADER      (82 | BYTERECORDLENGTH)
 
#define CDIMAGETYPE_PNG   4
 
typedef struct
  {
  BSIG  Header;       /* Signature and Length */
  WORD  ImageType;    /* Type of image (e.g., PNG, etc.) */
  DWORD ImageDataSize;    /* Size (in bytes) of the image data */
  DWORD SegCount;     /* Number of CDIMAGESEGMENT records expected to follow */
  DWORD Flags;        /* Flags (currently unused) */
  DWORD Reserved;     /* Reserved for future use */
  } CDPNGHEADER;
 
 
Please, IBM, fix the import. Don't make Notes look even more antiquated, clunky and obsolete than many people already think it is. Please!
 

Copyright © 2015 Genii Software Ltd.

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Wed 11 Nov 2015, 12:03 PM
For a variety of reasons, many companies are moving or have moved to Office 365, and with it the Outlook mail client. But their Notes/Domino infrastructure doesn't disappear or their applications magically migrate with them. For that reason, we have seen a number of our Midas and AppsFidelity customers start to use CoexLinks Fidelity to handle the mail that goes out to Outlook. Not that we care much where it is going, but Outlook (both web and desktop), Gmail, Android and iOS are primary clients for us to test and validate. Both Outlook and Gmail have some serious rendering quirks, so we have had to build in very specific coding to ensure that they display as well as possible (and degrade as little as possible where necessary). An example is shown below.
 
You can read more on our CoexLinks Fidelity page, or watch a few brief videos on our CoexLinks Fidelity playlist, or try for yourself by requesting a CoexLinks Fidelity evaluation.
 
 
Inline JPEG image
 

Copyright © 2015 Genii Software Ltd.

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Wed 21 Oct 2015, 10:28 AM
Users of our AppsFidelity and Midas products will notice something new the next time we release a version (very soon). Along with each there will be an additional Assist DLL/Library. For example, along with the AppsFidelity software there will be either an AppsFidelityAssist32.dll (Windows 32-bit), AppsFidelityAssist64.dll (Windows 64-bit) or AppsFidelity32.so (Linux). It seems likely that we will introduce an AIX version again, so when we do, it will have its own Assist library. 
 
The reason for this new DLL/Library is that new functionality we are adding to our products require more modern compilers than IBM Notes/Domino supports for building extensions. From now on, when we want to take advantage of those features, the code will be added to the Assist DLL rather than the core DLL. This also allows us to separate some of the work so that core Notes changes will happen here, and some of the other work will happen in Virginia or one of our other locations.
 
Why should you care? Well, you shouldn't care much, except that this is also the first step towards separating out some of our Notes-specific functionality into support for other platforms, and also for adding support for features such as PDF generation to our Notes-specific products. We are growing and expanding, and you will see the benefits soon. For those already on our maintenance/upgrades plan, these new features will be in free upgrades, so your ROI will increase without you having to do anything but download.
 
Stay tuned for more details as they become available.

Copyright © 2015 Genii Software Ltd.