Ben Langhinrichs

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E-mail address - Ben Langhinrichs






November, 2003
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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.


Mon 10 Nov 2003, 11:06 PM
Bruce Elgort and his family are in my prayers tonight as he goes through some very, very difficult times (see his note).

Copyright © 2003 Genii Software Ltd.

Mon 10 Nov 2003, 02:28 PM
Beyond hypothetical carrots
For those regular readers of this blog (and I am sure there must be a support group out there for you), you may remember my post titled Hypothetical Carrots in which I write about my teenage daughter and the hypothetical carrots she packs in her lunch.

It is possible that some of you might think me an idealistic, but rather less than ideal, dad for letting my daughter go to school without a healthy lunch.  I must confess that I am not so idealistic.  Instead of sacrificing her health upon the alter of my principles, I pack the carrots myself.  She doesn't talk about it, and I don't talk about it, but the carrots are taken.  (Whether they are eaten is something I'll probably never know.)  I know that someday she will be ready to pack and eat her own carrots, but until then, I'll do what I must.

Beyond hypothetical standards
After a great deal of noise and grandstanding about standards based systems and how Websphere was the way things should be done, IBM is showing signs of a similarly reluctant but pragmatic stance with regards to Lotus Workplace and the role Notes/Domino will play in that initiative.   In time, contextual collaboration with J2EE will be mature and RAD development with Websphere will be where they want it to be, but in the meantime, customers need something that works.  Therefore, without a lot of explicit changes in direction, IBM has recently come out with several strategy papers (listed below) and soothing phrases such as "Domino 8" and "high value client" and "Domino application server will be around for the next decade", which really mean they are packing the Notes/Domino carrots again, but don't quite want to make too big a deal about it.  In particular, the white paper called Protect and enrich your Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino investments is like a snack bag full of carrots with a loving parental note tucked inside.  Way to go, DadIBM!

Strategy papers from IBM (courtesy of Alan Lepofsky)
Domino Applications and the Lotus Workplace technical strategy
This paper will provide developers, CTOs and other IT decision-makers with information on the tools and technologies used to support Lotus Workplace. This includes information about the application server platforms available for use with Lotus Workplace; a section on application platform considerations to assist with selecting the appropriate platform for your application; information on how to leverage your investment in Domino; and a brief overview of the future of rapid application development.

Protect and enrich your Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino investments within a collaborative platform to drive productivity. 
IBM is committed to supporting and advancing the Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino messaging server and application-development and deployment platform for years to come. So you can feel confident that your Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino investments are protected.   When you’re ready, IBM can help you expand the collaborative capabilities of your Lotus investments by integrating them into Lotus Workplace. There you can continue to leverage Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino solutions—along with the value of integrated collaboration. You can customize your collaborative work environment with only the Lotus solutions necessary to meet your organization’s unique requirements. Increase user productivity. And cut unnecessary spending. All these benefits help to reduce your total cost of ownership.

Copyright © 2003 Genii Software Ltd.

Mon 10 Nov 2003, 11:57 AM
"Imitation is the sincerest flattery." - C. C. Colton

One very cool feature in  Internet Explorer is the ability to save a web page with images and all intact into a single file.  It is very handy if you want to send information to which the recipient does not have full access, or if you want to save a whole page in case later changes to the website invalidate links or images.  Recently, I had a customer say, "Wouldn't it be cool if you could do that with a Notes document so that you could send the whole document with images and everything together to someone who doesn't have Notes?  Of course, you can do something similar with e-mail, but it doesn't preserve the integrity of the whole Notes document."

Well, like many good ideas, this one has been thought of before.  We actually added the ability to create *.mht files back in our Midas Rich Text LSX Version 2.50 in July 2002, but clearly not everybody knows about it, so here is a simple script that will take all selected documents and save them as *.mht files.  You can send these files to someone who doesn't have notes, and they can view them as if they were seeing the original Notes documents.

Sub Initialize
   ' *** Domino classes
   Dim s As New NotesSession
   Dim db As NotesDatabase
   Dim coll As NotesDocumentCollection
   Dim doc As NotesDocument
   
   ' *** Midas classes
   Dim rtitem As New GeniiRTItem
   
   Set db = s.CurrentDatabase
   Set coll = db.UnprocessedDocuments
   Set doc = coll.GetFirstDocument
   While Not (doc Is Nothing)
      Call rtitem.ConnectBackend(doc.Handle, "Body", True)
      Call rtitem.ExportToMIME("a:\" & doc.NoteID & ".mht","","","")
      Set doc = coll.GetNextDocument(doc)
   Wend 
End Sub


As usual with Midas, there are lots of options about how exactly you store the data, whether borders should be rendered as in Notes, etc.  As an example, with just a bit more code, you can save these as a collection, meaning that doclinks between the documents will continue to work between the *.mht files, giving you a set you can save on a CD or treat as an off-line data store with data integrity.  Let me know if you would like to see what you would need to add to make such a collection.

Copyright © 2003 Genii Software Ltd.