IBM Champion Honour

Wow, I go offline for a few days at Glastonbury (of which more later) and completely miss out on the announcements of the IBM Champion programme.

I am hugely honoured to have been included in a list of such smart, nice and helpful people. The thing I have found with all of the people I know on the list is that they are always more than willing to help out, whether it’s organising LUGs, answering questions or just being able to put you in touch with someone who can help with a technical problem. 

The Lotus Community is a rare thing, and I’m very lucky to be involved with it.

LUG Template available on OpenNTF

At UKLUG this year, Warren announced that we would be making the template which we use to run the online elements of the LUG available on OpenNTF. Well I finally got around to making the template and uploading the bits and pieces onto OpenNTF (actually a surprisingly easy process!).

Anyway, if you’re interested then you can download the template from here: LUG Template

As Warren mentioned, we’re looking for help. At the moment there is no documentation at all, so it can be a little painful to get set up, just ask Chris, or Mitch or Stuart or any of the other people who are already using it for their own LUGs! The app itself is simple enough, but it registers people in different DA databases, integrates into other elements on your server, sends email etc etc.

So if you can help then please drop me a line and I will put together a list of elements that we need help with. Of course I’m also looking for help with bug fixing and improving various elements of the application as I’ve not been able to devote as much time as I would like to it this year.

Finally, I’d just like to give a big hand to Warren. I suspect the amount of work that he puts in to UKLUG (and ILUG) goes rather underestimated and it was him who drove the original development of the application and then made the decision for it to be given back to the Lotus community.

It’s Learn XPages Month (and I have a discount to offer)

You may have seen that June has been declared Learn XPages Month. has all of the details but I thought I would (shamelessly) highlight that XPages101 will be offering a 33% discount for the whole of June. If you use the coupon code “learnxpages” at checkout the discount will be applied for access to a whole year’s worth of XPages training content.

So head on over to XPages101 to get your subscription.

XPages Guru Webinar

I’m very honoured to have been asked by Chris Blatnick to be involved in a webinar running on 1st June where several of the “Gurus of XPages” from around the world (plus myself) will be talking about our favourite technology.

You can sign up for the event here.

The rough agenda for the hour long session looks like this:

What is XPages? – Matt White
Case Studies – Discussion database, XTalk, etc. – Bruce Elgort 
Benefits of XPages – Matt White
Why should I transition? – Tim Tripcony
Roadmap to XPages (How do I get from here to there?) – Chris Toohey
What resources are out there? – David Leedy
Q & A

How to collapse a categorized view in an XPage

If you’ve got a categorized view and you want to display it in an XPage, that bit is simple, but what if you want to add buttons which allow the user to expand and collapse the view? This is one of those things which is unnecessarily complicated in XPages, there’s no checkbox or simple command and there is a gotcha in the view design as well.

So the first step is to write the onClick code for the collapse button:

var viewPanel = getComponent(“viewPanel1”);
var = viewPanel.getDataModel();
var = model.getDominoViewDataContainer();

The same code can be used for the expand button, just replace the last line with “container.expandAll()”.

So that’s painful to write from scratch, but something which can be copied and pasted in future. But now for the problem.

If you click the collapse all button and all of the data in the view disappears then you’ll need to go into your view design, go to the third tab of the view properties and make sure that the “Don’t show empty categories” is *not* checked. This seems to be a bug which was introduced some time in the 8.5.1 / 8.5.2 timeframe. 

Lotusphere 2011 wrap-up

Well that’s it, another Lotusphere is over. I’m sat here in the Dolphin rotunda waiting for my LDC compatriots to check out, just watching the occasional yellow back pack head towards the checkout line, it’s always a sad sight. But on the other hand I am absolutely exhausted after the most hectic ‘sphere ever.

Every year i think that I can’t possibly do any more, but every year i prove myself wrong. This year for the first time in a while I actually got to attend sessions which were (with one unfortunate exception) superb, the track managers really do a great job.

With my three different work hats of Elguji, LDC and XPages101 there are many different tasks to get through, and from the point of view it was an incredibly successful week, if this week is anything to go by then 2011 is going to be a good year, budgets seem to be freeing up after a tough couple of years.

Tim Clark and I had our two sessions on Tuesday and barring some minor errors they have been well received. If you’re looking for the slide deck, then click presentations link at the top of this page. Presenting with Tim really is great fun, we seem to have a good rapport on stage so it reduces the (still almost overpowering) nerves I get before speaking to such large and well informed audiences.

<I stopped typing at the Dolphin here and flew home>

I should mention Mark Myers who not only put in a huge amount of work on preparing the LDC t-shirts which so many people seemed to like (well they were all gone by Tuesday evening anyway!). The fact that he also won the Lotus Idol competition was great news for him, I’d never been to that before and it was great fun and good to see such talented speakers coming through. The competition to speak next year has become even harder I would say.

Of course the social side of things was as manic as ever, i managed to escape with just a couple of really late nights, there’s too much to do during the day to go for a full “wild Bill” week, I simply have no idea how those guys manage it.

On the wider view of things I still need to let things mull in my head for a while. I have a feeling that we have seen a very significant shift this week. The focus of the OGS on business rather than technology was the most obvious manifestation of this change i think. I’m not entirely convinced that ignoring the really impressive tools IBM have to show is the right way to go in the long run, however if the plan is to move away from the Lotus branding and even drop the Notes / Domino name to draw a line in the sand for what is currently Notes Next then you won’t hear any complaints from me.

In terms of the technical content (from which we were untroubled in the OGS) this really was the year that XPages came to the fore. The number of people who attended my sessions and every other XPages session I went to, plus the sales of the book really show that there is genuine interest in this technology. This is “A Good Thing”™ not just from a personal point of view with the last two years of my life beginning to pay off, but also from a Notes Domino view bringing app dev up to a level that it can reasonably compete with the other platforms out there.

And now to take some advice from the best t-shirt of the week…




It’s a small Lotus world raffle results

Last night we had the fabulous UK Night drinks event run by Warren Elsmore. He very graciously allowed us to do the drawing of our raffle which we’ve been blathering on about for the last few weeks. I thought I would let you know the interim results.

In the end we had eight prizes to give away thanks to the huge generosity and talent of messrs Steve McDonagh and Carl Tyler as well as Mark Myers for organising the original image that started this whole thing off in the first place. I should also thank Paul Mooney who spent the whole of UK Night doing a wonderful job of lightening peoples wallets in return for raffle tickets, he has missed his calling as a salesman.

So the winners were…

Sarah Wise
Kevin Marshall
Ron Ruggles
Keith Smillie
John Head
Deb Latter
Ray Gannes
Gaby Spastewski

If you won and have not yet picked up your prize then contact me and we will work out the logistics of getting the prize to you.

We haven’t yet done the final tally for the money raised for the Childrens Cancer Association charity, but the initial count puts us as having collected $3,500. That is an amazing amount for which we thank every single person who bought a raffle ticket or helped in any way.

The Lotus community can really do some amazing things when everyone unites behind a good cause. I guess with the theme of this week being “getting social” we have proved it can work.

XPages101 LS11 discount

As the annual pilgrimage to Florida for Lotusphere begins, I thought it would be worth mentioning a discount for XPages101 which I’ll be offering for the next 3 weeks.

Use the coupon code “ls11” at checkout and get a 33% discount!

It’s coming up to a year since I first launched the site and in that time I’ve uploaded 37 lessons which run to more than 7 hours of content and well over 2gb of movies. There are many more lessons planned over the coming weeks and months.

So if you feel like it’s time to get into XPages, or you’re just looking for a bit of a helping hand with some of the more complex tasks in Domino Designer then hopefully my videos will be able to help you. Check them out.

Using Android as a media player

I’ve been using an Android phone for around 18 months now and, generally, I have to say I like it. I suspect I may well get tempted back to the Apple side of the fence in the summer just because one element of its day to day use is just not quite there yet.

I wrote back in 2005 what I wanted in a phone and we are so very nearly there. The limiting factor is still the integration of media with the phone. One of the questions I get asked relatively regularly by new Android users is what my setup is to get content onto my phone. The main difference between the Nexus One (my current phone) and iPhone is that for the vast majority of things you don’t need to plug it into your computer, emails, contacts etc all sync over the air using your Google account. But music and podcasts are a different matter.

I listen to a lot of podcasts so will need to sync probably once a day. So at the moment, I have Winamp for Android as my player on the phone itself. It also has the advantage of syncing over WiFi but to be honest I don’t use that much. Instead, I use Salling Media Sync which is a program for the Mac which basically syncs music and podcasts from iTunes onto the phone when it’s plugged in.

In general this setup works well, but there are a few caveats. If you watch a lot of video podcasts, I would exclude them from the automatic sync and manually copy them to a different area of the phone as the scanning time on the media player on the phone becomes truly ridiculous (upwards of an hour sometimes).

So, overall, you can take this as yet more proof that Android is still aimed for the geeky user, or at least the “normal” user is not going to be able to get the best out of it. As I say I suspect I’ll end up switching back to the iPhone 5 when it’s announced and my contract expires, but hopefully this is useful for any new Android users out there.

UKLUG 2011 Development Track

Last week Warren announced that registration for UKLUG 2011 is open. This year we’re doing two days of great technical content, for free as ever, in Manchester at the end of May. It will be a lot of fun and you’ll learn a lot.

But of course to make sure the days are worthwhile for everyone we need great content and great speakers, and this is where you come in. If you’re a developer involved with Lotus technologies (not just Notes and Domino, but Sametime, Connections, Quickr etc etc) and you want to speak then now is the time to throw your hat into the ring.

As ever with the User Groups there’s likely to be lots of competition for speaking slots, so when you’re writing your abstract make sure you try and sell the session as much as possible… what will you be talking about, why should someone come to your session?

We’re also going to try something new this year with some sessions set aside as introductions to Lotus technologies. So in the dev track this will be walking the audience through the basics. For example, I’m a Domino developer who knows nothing about Connections. What are my development options on that platform?

So if you want to get into public speaking, or maybe want some practice before trying to speak at some of the bigger conferences like Lotusphere then this is the perfect place to start. We are always looking for new people to come along to our events.

If you’ve not registered already then go to and fill in the registration form. If you are already registered and want to submit a session abstract then you can log into the site, go to your profile and click the “Propose Session” button.

Either way I’m looking forward to seeing you in Manchester in May.