Usability - Productivity - Business - The web - Singapore & Twins

By Date: September 2006

I belong in Fall, so why I'm living in the Tropics?

You Belong in Fall
Intelligent, introspective, and quite expressive at times...
You appreciate the changes in color, climate, and mood that fall brings
Whether you're carving wacky pumpkins or taking long drives, autumn is a favorite time of year for you

Posted by on 30 September 2006 | Comments (0) | categories: After hours

Singapore and the US get closer (again)

In 1963 Singapore inherited the Internal Security Act (ISA) from Malaysia which had inherited this legislation from British rule. Under the ISA (Chapter II Section 8 - 1.) any Singaporean can be detained at will by the government. Singapore has been slammed for this piece of legislation repeatedly (e.g. 2004, 2005, 2006). Nevertheless the US seems to have taken a clue from us when you follow the current legislative initiative. While our ISA at least requires a renewal of a detention order every two years and features a review board, the Military Commissions Act does away with these minimal checks and balances and even revokes 900 years of legal history voiding the " habeas corpus" practise. What is happening to the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Posted by on 30 September 2006 | Comments (2) | categories: After hours

Force Domino directory replication to all servers

When cleaning up a domain and reconfiguring servers, domains and routes one critical success factor is the distribution of changes to all servers. In a well maintained domain the replicator task will take care of that. However that might take hours and if the domain you are working on is well maintained, there is little need for a clean-up in the first place .
To be independent from replication schedules and other quirks I got an agent at hand that helps me there. You can copy that agent to your Domino Directory and take a few easy steps:
  1. Create a local replica of the Domino directory
  2. Copy the agent into it
  3. Make sure you have a Notes client that can reach ALL servers
  4. Make sure you have enough otherwise to do (or run this agent from a VMWare)
The code is pretty simple.

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Posted by on 27 September 2006 | Comments (5) | categories: Show-N-Tell Thursday

Laptops for USD 10.00

Travelling from Pune back to Mumbai I took the train. Train rides are much more social that taking a rental car or a plane. Sooner or later you talk to your fellow travellers. One of them pointed out a story in " The Times of India". According to this article the Indian IT establishments plans to develop mobile computers, that can cost as little as ten US Dollars. Seems like Negroponte's project is triggering quite some innovation. Once that becomes reality prices for access and textbooks need to come down too. Luckily there are a few initiatives addressing this both commercially and in the public domain.

Posted by on 25 September 2006 | Comments (0) | categories: Technology

Pune impressions and: What makes a good composite application?

When you mention Pune (or Poona), India to people of my age and cultural background immediately this gentleman springs to mind. I visited Pune Friday and Saturday to have a look. After previous experiences I'm tempted to go there for a retreat. The Ashram however wasn't the primary reason for my trip to Pune after my speaking engagement at the IBM Software Universe in Mumbai. Pune is home to a large software lab. This lab is one of the three labs where the upcoming version 8.0 of Lotus Notes is taking shape.
The team and I had a good session sharing their ideas and experiences and feeding back customer expectations and wishlists. It seems to me that developing software comes with the genuine and instrinct desire to excel in your field (so if something is screws up it likely happens outside the labs).
The Pune lab is the team behind Maureen's masterpiece and I first-hand could play with it. The team is really up to make Domino Designer a good Eclipse citizen. The Designer family of products (Domino Designer, Lotus Designer, Workplace Forms Designer, Rational Application Developer and Portlet Factory) is converging into a single platform and code stream. This will allow you choose the plug-in that suites your needs and skills. It is an exiting prospect and still a long way to go.
A good part of our discussion evolved around composite applications. Notes will be able to expose view and document properties to external callers and will be able to act on external input (with new design elements). Conceptually it is similar to what COM and Notes/FX are doing but implemented with open standards to make Notes and Domino a good SOA citizen. My tip: beef up your knowledge of web services and WSDL in specific. While wizards will do the generation/interpretation for you it makes a lot of sense to understand the base model. The WSDL is used to wire components together.
One very good question popped up: Where to slice and dice existing applications into components. While the how is pretty clear, the where seems to be as much art as it is science. Search and notification components seem to be good candidates. Lookups with more sophisticated interfaces seem suitable too. So what would be your components?

Posted by on 22 September 2006 | Comments (0) | categories: IBM - Lotus

IBM Software Universe in Mumbai

IBM's Software Universe India took place on 19/20 September. I was speaking about Hannover on the second day. Since I arrived only on the 19th in the evening I missed the presentation of Guy Kawasaki which I really regretted (but as you know: customers first!). In my presentation I covered the productivity improvements in Notes 8.0 from a users, administrators and developers perspective. For developers I introduced the concept behind Lotus Expeditor. Since the official IBM chart looks way too busy I introduced my own version.

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Posted by on 19 September 2006 | Comments (0) | categories: IBM - Lotus

Customer Round Table in Chennai

I'm in India for the first time and have a good discussion with our customers there about the future of Lotus Notes and Domino. Most of the Indian firms face a problem US firms would envy them for: they are growing rapidly. Quite a few expected to double their staff strength within 18 month or less. This rapid growth puts a lot of strain on the labour market. Good people are headhunted and wooed with more and more perks. A HR manager put it simply: "With this breakneck speed of growth we can't groom people anymore and if we groom them, they turn around and work elsewhere for double the pay leaving us with just the cost of training them". No we are wondering how to build a new base of experienced Notes people.

Posted by on 18 September 2006 | Comments (0) | categories: IBM - Lotus