Sunday, July 18, 2010

Lotus Knows? … Not all the time!

I’ve been using IBM Lotus Domino Designer a lot recently, after quite a few months of irregular use.

I often wonder what IBM’s usability specialists are doing with their time when they allow certain things to go feral and linger on to cause us continuing pain.

Perhaps a lot of the IBM/Lotus people who, over the decades, have developed Notes don’t actually use it much in the manner that we practitioners out in the field do. They do it in spades for Notes Mail and the like, but seem to have forgotten to do so for the Domino Designer product.

I’m got a toothache today, and am not happy about having to visit the dentist again! I had hoped that last month’s visit was the last time I’d have to see the insides of a dental surgery for a good while. So maybe that’s the reason behind my rant today, I’m usually much more affable!

Anyhow, I’ve been using the application “Refresh Design” function quite a lot of late, perhaps dozens of times per day, and I’m getting totally annoyed by the following dialog and extremely tired of having to click on the Yes button time after time:

imageWhat is patently missing is the “Don’t show this again” or “I know what I’m doing” option that I’ve suggested, highlighted in yellow. This option is a common feature of similar dialogs in all sorts of software, even in other parts of Lotus Notes, so I’m not asking for too much am I?

And of course I’m asking the Notes design team to make this available in Domino Designer as soon as possible, and to systematically review other dialogs that we weary end users are presented with many times per day, and ensure that the same option is present in them.

IBM continues to invest in Lotus Notes, they assure us, so why not divert a very modest amount of time and people resource to do this streamlining? I’m pretty sure it will generate a big payback and a ton of appreciation from us!

Please add your own similar requests below, for IBM’s consideration …

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

TIP – Another way to recover from Lotus Notes 8.5.1 replicator failure (“Unable to invoke program”)

I was just cruising along, using Lotus Notes 8.5.1 for development, and wanted to replicate a database with a client’s server.

Rather than business-as-usual replication, out spurted the error “Unable to invoke program” …

Image:Badkey Corner - Unable to invoke program and Lotus Notes

A bit of searching around the IBM support knowledgebase, various Lotus-related forums and community web sites led me nowhere.

Thee were some pretty drastic solutions, including uninstalling and re-installing Notes client, which I didn’t want to have to do. Others like this that talked about disabling the Multi-user Cleanup service (in Windows) but this didn’t apply in my case because I’m running a single-user Notes installation.

The folks at Badkey Corner had the following post: Unable to invoke program and Lotus Notes which included the advice: “Re-running client setup to generate a new names.nsf, desktop6.ndk, and bookmark.nsf resolved the issue.”

Rather than doing this (it’s a pain to delete the desktop8.ndk file because then you have to spend ages setting up your Notes Workspace again, which has lots and lots of database icons for all the applications that I work on).

It was my birthday yesterday -- and let me tell you that I’m two or three times older than many of you – but there must be a few parts of my burnt-out grey matter still working, because I got the inspiration to delete the Cache.NDK file and to my pleasure this solved the problem, as I had guessed that it might. Replication was back to normal again.

The beauty of this solution is that (a) it’s quick, and (b) you don’t lose as much as you would if you followed other suggestions. I hope that this tip works as well for you some day and saves you some sweat and tears!