Thursday, 31 March 2011

To the Newbies: Want to be a 'Good' developer?

[mount soapbox]

So, I have a beef.   I'll lay it out for you with a hypothetical situation.  (Perhaps only partly hypothetical...)

You develop an application for a customer in a different time zone.   Let's say a 'quite' different timezone.   While they are conducting UAT (user acceptance testing) they mention that the Date Recorded of a document doesn't seem to be in their timezone.   You look at the code and realize you are setting the field with @Now.

You implement a fix on that field to adjust @Now to their timezone.  Something like @Adjust(@Now;0;0;0;ClientTimeZone;0;0).   Simple fix and the client's happy.

Now, do you want to be a 'Good Developer'?

Then take a good look at the system, and everywhere else in the workflow that you're using @Now, adjust them too...

If you merely want to be mediocre and the subject of humiliation by your support department?   Just leave them alone.   No one will notice the time difference between GMT-5 and GMT+11, right?

[dismount soapbox]

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Water: Expectations

I'm almost certain, that if I had a therapist, I'd be told that I should talk about how I feel.

I'm upset.

I'm frustrated.

I'm stressed.

I went downstairs to the basement last night, innocently enough.   I was looking for some rain pants.

I wasn't expecting the splash.  Who expects that?   Who expects to put their foot down on the carpet and have it splash.

I wasn't expecting to see the signs of water seepage along the edges of the hardwood floor in the basement either.  Or the bubbles in the paint under the basement window.

I was expecting to find rain pants, run back up stairs, put them in the truck and head out to pickup a trailer of canoes.

I didn't expect the friendly conversation with the nice young lady that answered the phone when I called the insurance company.

I didn't expect to talk to an insurance adjuster.  (Although, he was amazingly helpful, and did a great job of walking us through the process.)   The lady from the restoration place was great too.

What it basically comes down to is that we had water enter through or around the basement window.  From all purposes, it looks as if we have no insurance coverage.  It wasn't sewer backup, it wasn't a pipe burst, it was water seepage.

We haven't heard back from the insurance agency.  Probably not until later in the week.

We did start damage control this morning.   We cut away the wet drywall, ripped up the hardwood floor (sob), and tore out the wet insulation.

At this point, I'm asking Mother Nature to go easy on us.  I have 2 exterior basement walls without insulation.  Please don't let the temperature drop too much.

While tearing out the drywall around the electrical panel, we realized we could see daylight.  Not the best thing to see from inside the basement.   We also discovered that there is no insulation around the 'headers'.   The headers are the pockets above your exterior walls made by your floor joists.

Usually, you'd want those insulated.  It tends to keep the house warmer, especially the floors.

So, in order to fix that, you need access to them.  So, we tore out the drywalled, stippled ceiling too.

We also found about 50 or so advertising flyers for Kanata Self Storage.  They were stuffed in the headers, as if they were for insulation.  Oh, and a report card from the spring semester from Sir Robert Borden High School dated 1985.  Two years after the house was built.

I've got another 150 square feet of hardwood to pull up, but it's going to wait until the morning.

Then we need to figure out the best method to fix everything.  Funny how something like this isn't built into our monthly budget.  We just don't have a line item for 'flood repair' or the like.

Monday, 7 March 2011

A Time for Free Books

I spotted this in my feed reader this morning.    It lead me here to DB2 University.

I'm aware of the DB2 push toward university students to make them aware that DB2 is an option for their use as a free SQL database.   I became aware of it a few years ago when looking for an SQL database.

I'm all in favour of it.

Of course, the question to ask is: When will other IBM technologies be given the same advantage?

Admin Notes: Make your Notes Client faster

You can make your Notes Client run smoother and load faster by increasing the memory usage.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Close your Lotus Notes Client

  2. Find the installation directory for your Lotus Notes client

  3. Navigate the following folder structure:

    1. Notes\Framework\Rcp\Deploy

  4. Find the file

  5. Change the vmar.Xmx=-Xmx256m to vmarg.Xmx=-Xmx1024m

  6. Save the file

  7. Start your Lotus Notes client back up


Friday, 4 March 2011

Admin Notes: Setting up robots.txt on your Domino server

So, you're running a Domino server, and one of your co-workers finds the Domino help databases on your server indexed through Google.

What do you do?  

The development team wants them left there so that they can be used, but they don't want to have to login to use them.

How do you get them unlisted from Google's index?

Easy, using a robots.txt file.   But you say, how do I create it, what database do I put it in?   And how do I get Google to remove the listing of my databases?

Create a Robots.txt
I like this site for creating my robots.txt files.   Simple, easy to use.   It handles 99% of my needs.

Where to put Robots.txt on a Lotus Domino server
The Robots.txt file goes in the 'domino/html/' sub-directory of the Lotus Domino data directory.  Not in a specific database.   It will get ignored if it is not in the root of your site.  (

Validating the Robots.txt file
There are lots of tools that will validate your robots.txt file.  I like this one.

Removing sites from Google
With Google, you do have the option of blocking your server with a Robots.txt and then waiting for the results to drop off the radar.

If you need it faster, you need to use the Google Site Removal tool.   It's located here:

Mastering XPages: Still only $9.99

I talked about it yesterday, Darren talked about it yesterday, Daniel talked about it yesterday.

Mastering XPages is still only $9.99 for the digital edition until midnight.

You may have missed it yesterday, but get it today...

Find it here:

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Mastering XPages for $9.99

I know other people have mentioned it, but I'm going to as well.

Available here for $9.99 USD, the Mastering XPages ebook.    Yes, that one.   The IBM Press one.

Go get it by midnight on March 3rd, 2011.

Now if only the site was built in XPages.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

The largest Domino database I've ever seen

I don't remember why I went looking at my local desktop with Domino Administrator, but I was a little shocked when I found this:

That would be about 106,809,893,190,000 or about 106 terabytes.    Can anyone beat that?