Archive for the ‘IT’ Category

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The Adventures of a Notes Developer In The World Of ColdFusion I

January 28, 2009

My readers might remember that a few months back, I moved from my previous position as a Notes Developer to a different role with a different, more general name – Application Developer.

Now one of the perks of this new role, is that in fact our team develops in many different programming languages, so I get to learn new things and still have the chance to work on Lotus Notes, aka my “comfort zone”.  In the past few weeks I’ve fought my way into the lovely world of SQL and Stored Procedures (in Microsoft SQL Server, unfortunately), but this week I found this totally new cup of tea called ColdFusion.

“Isn’t ColdFusion dead?” I hear some voices asking. Yeah I probably asked the same a couple years back, and shame on me, since I hate it when I am asked “Isn’t Notes dead?”. ColdFusion is actually in the hands of the much able Adobe, so it is definitely pretty much alive and kicking.

Back to the topic at hand: even though a good programmer should be able to assimilate a different programming language with no issues, there’s clearly a period of “adaptation”, or “learning” if you so prefer, in which barriers are found every 5 minutes and solutions every other 5. And of course, is there anything that feels better, development-wise, than those “Ah so that’s how this works!” moments?

So I decided to share this journey with you (thanks for the encouragement Simon!). I don’t want to make this extremely technical or extremely detailed, as I don’t want to make it amusing for experienced ColdFusion developers, or frustrating for Notes developers who never tried ColdFusion. I want however to share the experiences/frustrations/gotchas as I go along and hope that, besides the potentially interesting reading, some other developers, Notes or not, might actually benefit from my musings if they ever find themselves in shoes similar to mine.

Now please excuse me while I go hammer the CFEclipse configuration a bit more…

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What have I been up to?

December 24, 2008

I know I haven’t written anything in a long time (about 3 months to be more precise!) so it’s time for at least an update:

–> Reading – I’m rereading Steven Erikson‘s “Malazan Book of the Fallen” series, for which I hope to write a review some time soon.

–> Boardgaming – it’s a bit quiet on the boardgaming front, even though in the last few days we’ve picked up our pace with a few games of Carcassonne, Alhambra, Marrakesh, Saboteur and Uno. Also, some inside information from the North Pole leads me to believe that a few Xmas gifts will increase our boardgame collection 😉

–> Gaming – World of Warcraft has replaced Guild Wars as my MMO of choice, and has been the game I’ve been playing lately

–> Blogging – I’ve somewhat “replaced” my regular (?!) blogging with Twitter, a microblogging service. You can follow me on the Twitter sidebar or on http://twitter.com/pedrorq

–> Work – My new job is going great and busy, thus taking time away from blogging – oh well, priorities! 😉

I promise I’ll try to blog more often. In the meantime, merry Xmas everyone!

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A new chapter

September 25, 2008

I thought of many different ways of writing this post but, in the end, I decided to just get to the point.

Many of you who attended ILUG 2007 and 2008 might remember seeing me with fellow co-worker Sean Donohue. Even though we both lead teams of Notes Developers for the same company, we work in different organizations. And even though we often exchanged ideas and questions, we never really worked together before.

That’s changing soon, as I have accepted a position as a Senior Application Developer on Sean’s team. I am looking forward to this for many reasons (not all of them relevant to this blog) so you may see me smiling more often now 😉

On a sidenote, this position used to belong to famous Notes Developer John Coolidge. So I’m sure the expectations are high, and I hope to live up to them!

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I’m part of the GONAD

August 3, 2008

It is with great joy and with a voice trembling of emotion, that I announce that I am now a member of the  GONAD – Geeky Order of Notes Admins and Developers:

I’m guessing I’m probably the only user registered on the Galway/Ireland/GONAD domain! 😉

Thanks Steve for this great idea and the fantastic certificate!

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Mozilla Firefox Download day!

June 17, 2008

Mozilla is hoping to get a Guinness World Record today for the most downloaded software in 24 hours.

The software is none other than the most recent version of the open standards Firefox browser. So if you’re still stuck with Internet Explorer, do yourself a favor and get Firefox 3 today.

http://www.spreadfirefox.com/en-US/worldrecord

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ILUG 2008

June 10, 2008

Last week I was at the Irish Lotus User Group! Besides the magnificent sessions, it was great to meet some great people I already knew, and some others that I didn’t.

The organizers were, as usual, fantastic. I don’t know how they make it. Thanks folks!

I’ll also add a few notes as they spring to mind:

Ed says IBM still won’t invest on TV advertisements for Notes. Disappointing.

– Another great session by Rob, the Dojo techniques were amazing (no I didn’t drink my free beer 😉 )

– As Steve already mentioned on his blog, hats off to Ben and Mark for their great Eclipse session

– I got a LS2008 staff shirt from Mary-Beth. Thank you!

– Despite the green hair, Bill is still a fantastic speaker 😉

– Found yet another Notes and Ubuntu fan

– (… possibly more to come after I wake up properly and my memory returns!)

Cya all next year!

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Dynamically loading subforms

April 17, 2008

I’m sure many Notes developers have gone through this problem before: “I want to load a different subform after the form is loaded”. Unfortunately, Notes doesn’t let you do that, and so ways have to be found around this… layers, hide/whens, sections, programmatic tables, etc.

But let’s say you reeeeaallllyyy want to dynamically load a subform, for example, when the user selects a value from a dropdown box. Here’s a way of doing it, supposing the default subform is “sfm_Default” and the subform you want to load comes from that dropdown box.

1. Make your computed subform take the value of whatever’s on a computed field (called for example fld_WhichSubform)

2. Put the following code on a button that should be called (via JS for example) when the dropdown box (called for example fld_DropDown) value changes:

@SetProfileField( “fm_FakeProfile”; “fld_PSubForm”; fld_DropDown; @UserName );
@Command( [ViewSwitchForm] ; Form )

(Any unique key that will correctly identify the document will do for the @SetProfileField. @Username is but a suggestion, @text( @DocumentUniqueID ) could be used as well)

3. Give the following formula to your fld_WhichSubform computed field:

x := @GetProfileField( “fm_FakeProfile” ; “fld_PSubform”; @text( @DocumentUniqueID ) );
@If( @IsError( x ) | x = “” ; “sfm_Default”; x )

This is but a simple example, and more interesting/complex things can be done with it.

Note: for this method to work, the document has to be saved. A @Command( [FileSave] ) before the ViewSwitchForm might be necessary in some circumstances.