Richard Pajerski Software development and consulting

Entries tagged [notes]

LS2J as an applet replacement

by Richard Pajerski


Posted on Thursday May 30, 2024 at 10:50PM in Technology


I'm currently reviewing LS2J as an alternative for replacing a number of custom Notes applets I've deployed over the years.  The applets have been very reliable and effective in areas where Notes is typically not that strong such as displaying and editing tabular data.  But with applets' deprecation in Java and their "broken" status in Notes 64-bit versions, I need a viable transition to something that can preserve the existing functionality/investment as much as possible.

Although I don't see any obvious way to embed top-level Java windows (JFrame, JDialog) in the same manner as applets (which can be placed on a form like most other widgets), with LS2J I've found I can call them from behind a simple button and in the case of JDialog, even block the Notes client without breaking things too badly.  I can also call a JFrame from LS2J but the window can quickly lose focus -- in the same way it does when called from a Java agent.  I believe this is due to it being launched on a separate thread.

Below is a contrived example with JDialog but so far so good;  I'm able to replace a form-based applet with a simple button that calls a JDialog, blocks for user input and then transfers the text back to Notes:


This is actually simpler than applets which require Javascript when transferring to/from Notes UI documents (not pleasant).

Our button code (Options):

Click function:

And our associated Script Library:

The JDialog class is a bit more involved but not important in the context of this post.  The important part consists of returning the contents of a JTextArea when "OK" is clicked:

public String getFieldData() {
    return jTextArea1.getText();

 }

And that's it!


Notes/Domino 14 FP1

by Richard Pajerski


Posted on Tuesday April 16, 2024 at 05:17PM in Technology


Fixpack 1 for both Notes 14 client and Domino 14 server are now available: https://my.hcltechsw.com/downloads

Release notes: https://support.hcltechsw.com/csm?id=kb_article&sysparm_article=KB0112431



Three easy-to-use Java 17 features in Notes/Domino 14

by Richard Pajerski


Posted on Tuesday December 19, 2023 at 03:14PM in Technology


As I mentioned previously, having Java 17 available with the latest release of Notes/Domino has brought welcome changes for Java developers.  Just to scratch the surface a bit, here are three language-level niceties that we can immediately benefit from:


1.  Simplified access to file contents
2.  Local-variable type inference (var identifier)
3.  Text blocks


1.  Simplified access to file contents
Java has been (in)famous for offering a number of ways to open/read and write/close files.  As of Java 11, perhaps the simplest way to get text out of a file is:

Files.readString(Path p);



A two-liner in a local Java agent on a Windows 11 client:


import java.nio.file.Files;
import java.nio.file.Path;
import java.nio.file.Paths;

import lotus.domino.*;

public class JavaAgent extends AgentBase {

    public void NotesMain() {

      try {

          Path p = Paths.get("C:\\Windows\\System32\\drivers\\etc\\hosts");
          System.out.println(Files.readString(p)); 
      } catch(Exception e) {
          e.printStackTrace();
      }
   }
}

Javadoc:  https://docs.oracle.com/en/java/javase/17/docs/api/java.base/java/nio/file/Files.html#readString(java.nio.file.Path)


2.  Local-variable type inference (var identifier)

The var type identifier has been available since Java 10 and is intended to help reduce "boilerplate" code:

import lotus.domino.*;

public class JavaAgent extends AgentBase {

    public void NotesMain() {

      try {

         var s = getSession();
         var db = s.getCurrentDatabase();
         System.out.println("Db title: " + db.getTitle());

                /* Contrast:
                     Session s = getSession();
                     Database db = s.getCurrentDatabase();
                   */

      } catch(Exception e) {
          e.printStackTrace();
      }
   }
}

More: Using the Var Type Identifier


3.  Text blocks
In Java 15, Text Blocks were introduced.  In a more developed application, it's probably a better idea to store strings and text outside of source code, especially if they need to be regularly modified.  But using text blocks can be a time saver for quick testing, demos, etc. and provide improved source readability.

import lotus.domino.*;

public class JavaAgent extends AgentBase {

    public void NotesMain() {

      try {

         var textBlock = """

                Using text blocks in Java source

                code simplifies text formatting

                and improves readability!

                """;


         System.out.println(textBlock);


      } catch(Exception e) {
          e.printStackTrace();
      }
   }
}


Note: To use these features, remember to adjust your compiler levels appropriately:


New context-specific Notes 14 client preferences options -- nice touch!

by Richard Pajerski


Posted on Thursday December 07, 2023 at 01:13PM in Technology


Notes 14 is now GA and an improved listing of the Notes "Additional options" (File > Preferences > Basic Notes Client Configuration) is an unexpected but very welcome feature!

Previously, all options were in one long list and so the context where each one applied was not always clear.  Now a categorical description precedes each option entry:




Nice touch, HCL and thank you!


Domino/Notes 14 and Java in the client

by Richard Pajerski


Posted on Wednesday July 26, 2023 at 01:25PM in Technology


Those who have been programming with Java in Notes/Domino over the years will be pleased to learn of the move from Java 8.x to Java 17 which is planned for the next release of ND 14 at the end of the year.  The version gap is rather stark and indeed a lot has changed.  One nice summary of the changes between the two version can be found at The Java Almanac here:  https://javaalmanac.io/jdk/17/apidiff/8/.

I've yet to explore the impact to the ND world in any detail but will try to cover that in some future posts.  A particular area of interest for me that's still "unresolved" is how HCL intends to treat Java applets.  Here I mean applets embedded in Notes client applications, not for use in web browsers.  Applets were deprecated for removal in Java 17 and of course have long been out of use in web browsers.  But will HCL continue to support their use in the Notes client and if so, for how long?


Java applets in Notes 64-bit client not loading

by Richard Pajerski


Posted on Wednesday December 21, 2022 at 07:17PM in Technology


[February 2023 update: DOTS follow-up, SPR for applet bug]

For the first time in the history of Notes, HCL last month released a fully supported 64-bit version of the Notes standard, Domino Designer and Domino Administrator clients with release 12.0.2.  Overall I've found it to be more stable and certainly faster than its 32-bit counterpart and so I now use it regularly.  However, it's not without its issues with reports popping up here and here.  And I have another to add: Java applets won't load in the 12.0.2 64-bit client.  I submitted a ticket to HCL and they could reproduce this so they're preparing an SPR.

A notable aspect of this bug is that there are no error logs (that I could find) to indicate something's wrong.  Nothing in the Java Debug console, the IBM_TECHNICAL_SUPPORT folder, log.nsf, etc.  You will see the Java coffee cup but I think most end users will not immediately interpret it as a problem:



This issue is probably not an inconvenience for most deployments since Java applets were never widely implemented in Notes (in my experience).  But where applets are used, they can bring quite a bit of power (e.g. custom interfaces for any third-party system with a Java API -- databases, message queues and so on).  The good news is that applets do still work in 32-bit Notes 12.0.2 and will likely be supported in Notes as long as Java 8 remains the default runtime.



Notes client pegs one logical processor at 15%

by Richard Pajerski


Posted on Friday June 18, 2021 at 03:38PM in Technology


Having recently installed a Notes/Designer/Admin 12 client on Windows 8.1 Pro on an aging Intel i7 Quad-Core (with eight logical processors), I was surprised to see that after startup, Notes was consistently grabbing one logical processor and pegging it at around 15%.  Windows Task Manager showed that nlnotes.exe was the process and it wouldn't let go of that processor until Notes was closed:



Notes, Designer and Admin clients all worked fine and interaction with local- and server-based applications was normal.  Without giving it too much thought, I tried a few things like removing cache.ndk, stopping a couple Notes-related services and making sure the preference "Enable scheduled local agents" was disabled.

But none of that worked and strangely, Disk and Network utilization were both at 0%:



The client was set up in the normal way by connecting to a Domino server with an existing mail file on the server.  However, this workstation needed to use a Location that sends and receives mail from a POP3 server instead of Domino.  For that purpose I used an existing names.nsf that already had Account and Locations documents in place.  All of that connectivity worked and the mail flowed normally.

The next step was internet search but nothing obvious jumped out and most references to similar problems ended with Notes client crashes which I was not experiencing.

The Location document for this POP3 configuration kicks off replication and runs it every 10 minutes.  I noticed that after starting the client, there was a gap of a few seconds where the nlnotes.exe process was at 0% and didn't go up to 15% until replication started (and then stayed there).  Thinking the culprit was the Replicator, I disabled replication and restarted Notes... but nlnotes.exe was back to 15%!

But this time I could clearly see that process spiked when "Notes configuration settings have been refreshed" scrolled across the Status bar:


Based on that message and the fact that a POP3 configuration like this is not commonly used, I kept pursuing the Location document as the source of the problem.  And the problem was indeed there.

When you configure the Notes client for POP3 mail retrieval, only the "Mail" tab of the Location document needs to be filled out:



The "Servers" tab can remain empty -- and that was the problem!  At a minimum, the "Home/mail server" field MUST have some value in it to calm down the processor:

It doesn't matter if the server is down or the value entered isn't even a Domino server -- nlnotes.exe will report that the server is not responding but it leaves the processor alone after that:



Ok, problem solved, back to work.  :-)


Congratulations Ray Ozzie - 2021 Computer History Museum Fellow Award

by Richard Pajerski


Posted on Saturday March 20, 2021 at 11:16PM in Technology


Ray Ozzie is among the 2021 Computer History Awards honorees recognized "For a lifetime of work in collaborative software and software entrepreneurship".

https://computerhistory.org/press-releases/chm-honors-tech-legends-for-lifetime-of-contributions-and-impact-on-humanity/

A virtual event took place to honor Ray on March 18, 2021 and will be generally available in the coming days.  Thank you, Mr. Ozzie for your contribution to computer history!