Thursday, January 31, 2008

Flu Sucks

It took until Sunday evening, but I think the 'SphereFlu caught me then. The doctor confirmed it Tuesday; luckily, because it was within 48 hours, I could take Tamiflu (boy is that stuff expensive!). Finally, by Wednesday evening, I was feeling at least OK. I'm still pretty tired but at least am able to do some work (from home, luckily).

Now I just have to get healthy and keep the rest of the family healthy so we'll be ready for vacation at the end of next week.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Dude, Where's My Plane?

I was about 90 minutes late getting home from Chicago last night. Part of it was weather related (breezy and snowy so they had to de-ice; there were lots of planes to de-ice then the heater broke in the truck right as it was getting to us). But the other part of it was that someone got on the wrong plane.

We were at a gate that was able to load two regional jets at the same time. They loaded one then started loading ours. By the time I got to the turn to the other plane, the door was blocked by a rope. Apparently a fellow traveler got there early. So he probably screwed up two flights at once. No one booed him when he got on, but I really wanted to.

At least I got an enthusiastic welcome when I finally made it!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Lotusphere: Last Two Days

The days down here are very long, I'm not staying in the center of the Lotusphere universe and I don't have wireless. All of that makes it hard to do timely posts. Anyway, here is what I saw that I haven't summarized yet.

SpeedGeeking was really good. I don't know what the selection process was but Rocky may need to get some help because a couple of the presenters I talked to said they found out very late that they would be presenting. The presentations were done well but it was hard to hear and see sometimes because there was such a large number of people. Maybe small stages for the presenter tables? Or larger monitors? Or just elevate the computers? Not sure what to do about the sound though. Coming up with 12 small speaker/mic systems (even if USB-powered) could be tough but is a thought.

Andrew Davis and Brian Leonard did a nice (and humorous) session on widgets and live text. Widgets are a cool addition in the Notes client and will help make the client even more "sticky". I'm anxious to see what happens in our environment since we're behind a proxy and I have had trouble in the past configuring the client to get past it.

Messrs. Buchan and Mooney were themselves in their "Best of" Worst Practices session. At least until the end. Duffbert came up and roasted them about some of the things they did getting ready for ILUG 2007. It was obviously uncomfortable for them but they handled it well. Face it, we all know what to do but we all know there are times when we don't do what we should.

Using Web Services Features in ND8 was a little bit dull in the presentation but still had some good information, including a nice explanation of the message type and SOAP format. I'm looking forward to trying out consuming a web service.

I was hoping for so much more from the session on Bridging Customer Data into Notes 8 with Lotus Symphony. It had a lot of information on WHAT they did but I was more interested in the HOW. I'm sure that will develop over time.

Chris Blatnick and Nathan Freeman did they usual magic in Advanced UI Design Concepts. Even though I had seen about 1/3 of the ideas before, the new stuff they showed gave me a few new ideas. I love the thought of using an editable column to cause documents to be deleted and I can't wait to try it out.

I got a couple of good ideas from Bernd Hort and Thomas Bahn in their Object Oriented LotusScript session. This is a concept that is hard to teach in an hour because it is very different from traditional LS programming. And there are some "gotchas" to be aware of. I plan to download their demo and dissect it and am sure I'll get some ideas there.

The last session I went to was using XML and DXL in Notes design programming, given by Andre Guirard. He is so knowledgeable and creative but it is sometimes hard for him to bring it down to a simpler level, at least when talking (his writing is generally detailed enough). Some good ideas though and he has some tools I know I can use.

To me, nothing too earth shaking happened in the Ask the Developer session. Everyone seemed to be having a good time.

More on the closing session and an overall wrap up later.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I Miss My Family

It's great to be in Orlando at Lotusphere, don't get me wrong. But it can be hard too. I saw a guy yesterday wiping his eyes after looking at photos of his family on his PMP. I'm not at that point, but I am sorry that I missed Fathers Night at my daughter's preschool and my son's first Pinewood Derby.

As great as it is here, sometimes it really gets in the way.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Man, Am I Tired!

Here it is, Tuesday evening, and I finally have time for a Lotusphere post. There just hasn't been time during the day. Anyway, what has gone on so far?

Of the four JumpStarts I went to, the most interesting ones were related to Eclipse. Combined with what I saw in the Opening General Session and a breakout on Domino Designer 8.5, designing Notes/Domino applications will soon be much more fun. Of course, it can start even earlier if you have to develop plugins or know Java (which I don't).

Speaking of the OGS, hearing the Orlando Symphony Orchestra play Led Zeppelin's Kashmir was awesome! Bob Costas was the guest speaker and had a few good stories. I didn't think much about it at the time, but a couple of people said later his stories about baseball and football didn't connect with non-Americans. Makes sense as I look back. It was a VERY full session, and very long. There were a couple of kind of awkward moments, where things seemed really forced, like before the big announcement of Lotus Foundations (or was it Bluehouse?).

Lotusalon was interesting. Three people involved in what I guess you'd call "web 2.0 culture" presented their thoughts on where the online culture is heading. I think it may need a little fine tuning but I thought it was a good idea, just in the sense of helping to think "out of the box".

Andre Guirard and Julian Robichaux gave a good presentation on Features Every Application Should Have. I know mine don't have all of them, so I have things to check out already! Check out the tools on their sites.

John Head and Alex Kassabov did a presentation on Notes 8 and Expeditor for LotusScript Developers. They illustrated what you need to get your new development environment running and how to do it. Coupled with Mary Beth Raven and Matt Hatem's session on customizing the Notes 8 client, they showed we'll be able to do a lot to the client but it will take some work to do it (not a LOT, but more than just changing a couple of text files).

I also went to a session that Rocky Oliver did on formula and LotusScript tricks. I learned a couple of new tricks (check out the @ToNumber and @Nothing functions) and more about DXL. Yes, more things to try out.

SpeedGeeking was tonight as well. It was much bigger this year than last year but was just as good. More about that later, I think.

So far, it's been a good week. Tomorrow will be another long day but I am looking forward to the sessions I've planned to go to. Too bad there are a couple of time slots that have two sessions I want to attend!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Lotusphere Session Evaluations Done Online

I just saw this at Chris Miller's site:
Session evaluations will be completed electronically this year - no more paper forms in the conference notebooks! Attendees will be able to access all evaluations forms by selecting the evaluation icon on any Lotusphere Online laptop, their own laptop or handheld device through a special URL.

As I posted there, this will undoubtedly make it easier to compile the results and will be helpful to those who have their laptops operating in the sessions. But those of us without wireless on our machines (I know: that is SOOO 20th century) will now have to find time to fight the crowds to get on one of the LSOnline machines. Not to mention find the time to do it.

I hope I can get my iPaq to connect - maybe I can do mine that way. <sigh>

Monday, January 7, 2008

Thursday Night Dinner @ Lotusphere 2008

I'm sure anyone who sees this will have already seen it on one of the other blogs, but what the heck. John Head is organizing a dinner for the community on Thursday after Lotusphere ends. Go here to give him a heads up if you'll be joining in. Add your comments on John's blog.

So is this another B.A.L.D? Bloggers After Lotusphere Dinner?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Lotus-related Stuff

I have been pretty neglectful of posting here over the last few months. Part of it is not having much that I felt I could share, and part of it is not wanting to spend a lot of time putting together detailed posts for the few readers I suspect I have.

At any rate, I have spent a lot of time developing a database to gather statistics from our application databases. For example, the number of documents that are waiting for signoff by a particular role and the average number of days between signoffs of two different levels. It is created in such a way that statistics can be created by completing a form (look, Ma, no programming required!). Pretty cool, plus it includes things like doc linking back to the source documents (if you want) and a "heat map" to indicate the importance of the returned value. Not the stuff of an SNTT post though.

I also created a simple composite application in Notes 8. This is a neat concept but I hope they continue to improve it because there are some rough spots. Create an action button containing LotusScript code to define an event handler? It should be much simpler than that. But there is a lot of potential there.

Finally, I get to go back to Lotusphere! This will be a different experience because, due to increased attendance and late registration, I am not staying at the Swan or Dolphin. More planning will be required this year, for sure, since I won't be able to get to and from my room as quickly. I am looking forward to seeing a lot of the people I have met the last two years, and (of course) getting lots of ideas to come back and implement. This past year was a lot of new user interface ideas and I hope to get even more of those plus some other unexpected goodies.

Happy New Year!

Firefox Live Chat

I used the new Firefox Live Chat yesterday to resolve a problem I was having with CNN video. There were a couple of hiccups when I had to switch browsers so I could change the Firefox setup. The person I was chatting with was knowledgable and friendly. In the end, she just pointed out a troubleshooting process that I should have known to do in the first place, but sometimes that's just what you need.

Oh, the coComment extension kills the CNN video. I don't know (and don't care to find out) if it is due to a combination of that extension with one of the others I am running, or if it is just because of coComment. I did see other people reporting problems with coComment on AJAX sites so I suspect the extension is just not very well behaved.