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Example of the focus on consistency

Tue 7 Mar 2006, 10:47 PM



by Ben Langhinrichs
Earlier today, I blogged about focusing on not changing things .  I thought I'd give an example.  I swiped copied Alan Lepofsky's cool new signature block that he likes to use on posts in the Notes forums, and I put it through the test.  By the way, Alan's Lotus Notes Tips and Tricks Blog is an excellent source of tips and tricks of his own.  I highly recommend it!

I have a test database called To MIME and Back Again, so I put his signature block in a sample document there and then ran it through the conversion to MIME (using Notes 6.5.3) and then the conversion to rich text (you can see by the subject).  I then tried taking the same signature block and, in a separate test database, created a form with the Store contents as HTML and MIME checked for the body field, then simply saved, closed the document and re-opened.  This effectively does the same conversion to MIME and back as I did, except without the Midas engine to assist.  Here are the results:

Original signature block as it appears in Notes:

Original signature block

Signature block after being converted to MIME and Back Again with Midas:

Signature block after conversion by Midas

The results are not perfect (yet).  The table borders, font size and text alignment are all correct, but there should be a space after the end of the hotspot and before the word Blog.  More work to be done.  But let's compare with the standard Notes conversion and rendering.

Signature block after being converted to MIME and Back Again with Notes engine:

Signature block after conversion by Notes
Actually, I had to cheat and shrink the size of my window to make this look even this good, as the RT to MIME to RT conversion lost the fixed widths along with messing up the borders and the font size, so this extends to the full width of the available document, which is too wide for this blog.  Not quite as cool now, I'm afraid.

But I am not done playing with Alan's table.  Later, or maybe tomorrow, I'll show how you this renders on the web, and how to make it render better... without using Midas or any other third party products.

Copyright 2006 Genii Software Ltd.

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