A trip to Manchester for UKLUG

Sunday morning started with an early run up the M40/M6 to Manchester for the set up of UKLUG (United Kingdom Lotus User Group). I say early because 8am is not a time I normally witness most Sundays, well for now anyway. I was surprised at the amount of Red Kites that I saw all looking for prey along the M40 corridor from High Wycombe up to Banbury. They are close to the endangered list so it was good to count about 50 of them up the motorway. Arriving in Manchester I made my way to the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) and found some of the team in full swing preparing the various rooms with sound/projection/lights, all the normal stuff that needs doing for a conference like this. I got to work setting up the wifi access points and running 25m ethernet cables in the ceiling space to the 2 access points we had. This is seemed to work fine so we moved on to taking a few pictures around the place while the rest of set up was happening. The bag stuffers were in full swing collecting all the bits of marketing material for each of the conference bags. It takes quite a while to put 20 bits of 'stuff' into 250 bags.

With the set up done in a really good amount of time we all set off for our hotels by about 6pm. The speaker dinner event was happening later that evening with a canal boat tour on the Manchester ship canal. It was a great evening and quite a few drinks were consumed.

Monday morning came around and we were there early to await the arrival of the guests. Everything was as smooth as silk, apart from the wifi that I set up. It turns out that Netgear in it's infinite wisdom would only allow 50 DHCP addresses to be assigned through it's tiny little wifi router. Grrrrrr. Luckily one of the sponsors had a Linksys router that would allow us 220 addresses so we set that up instead and cut down the lease time to about 3 minutes. Luckily for me, Warren Elsmore and Chris Miller helped me sort this out and work out what the best time was. We are also looking at ways to make this work in a much more stable way in future.

Tuesday was fun and we managed to attend sessions and get everything sorted for the XPages taster morning before everyone came in. The wifi needed rebooting again mid-morning so we really know that it's something we have to fix before the next event.

The closing session was the usual prize-fest from the sponsors, and as usual, those who didn't stay until the end didn't get their prizes.

All in all it was an outstanding event. Great attendees, awesome sponsors and a fantastic venue. The only thing that makes all this work is the volunteers who run it and the speakers who spend coutnless hours distilling their knowledge into consumable chunks in the form of presentations. I for one am very grateful to Kitty and Warren for organising it and to the speakers who turn up, unpaid, to impart their wisdom.

Reflections from the Sphere

I survived "The Sphere", again!

Last week was the annual yellow wash in Orlando called Lotusphere 2011. It's always a great event and I particularly liked this years event. A whole bunch of reason, but mostly because the labs worked really well and all our planning meant we were not working at stupid o'clock to make stuff work for 10am on Monday morning. Thank you to all the team who helped make that happen.

Saturday night was dinner out night, so I'm glad I had brought a decent shirt with me. I also got my hands on this years Completely Unofficial Lotusphere Tshirt from the Penumbra Group. Thanks for the dinner and the shirt folks, as always the evening was a blast.

Sunday morning was a bit of a blast for me as Paul Mooney and Bill Buchan invited me to have a ride of their Harleys that they had rented. Evidenced in this blog post and photo that Paul promised he would never publish. I should have known better.

My next big thing at this year's Lotusphere was that Matt White and I presented two sessions, a show and tell about getting started with XPages and a best practises session about 30 top tips for XPages. I have the best presenting partner in Matt as we compliment each other and get on really well. It helps to get on with Matt as the long hours going through our material would be a real chore.

I met up with some old friends, teams I have worked with and various LUG crews from around the planet. I also made some new ones too, Mat Newman, Paul Calhoun..... I also managed this year to pluck up the courage to say "Hi" to some folks that I knew but didn't know if they knew me. One way or another they had heard about me and had some nice things to say about me too. Always very flattering but I find it almost embarrassing and never know what to say in return. I have now worked out that "Thank You" is enough.

Another highlight of this years Lotusphere was meeting up with Paul Withers and David Leedy, my co-presenters on the X Cast. We never did get to use the microphone that David lugged all the way there, sorry David. But we are recording a new podcast this week with our highlights from the conference.

Once all the work was done it was just left to a few hardy soles to brave the R-rated nature of the Fantasia Mini Golf course for the beer drinking, innuendo spluttering and general craziness that is the Blogger Open. We had a great time and didn't mind at all that our team had the highest score and won the "Worst Team" prize.

On the way home I manage to catch up with Matt, Paul, Mark, Jullian and a few other folks in the bar at Orlando airport. They all started calling me "stud" and I had no idea what was going on, until Matt showed me some of the comments from the session reviews. I had to laugh, what else could I do. But really, stud? Here is a small sample of the comments that people left about our sessions.

Excellent presentation. Great content. Explained so we could understand. Well done.

I always try to catch Matt White's sessions because he's so good, and Tim Clark was the best IBM speaker that I saw. It's obvious they both enjoy presenting and both enjoy using XPages.

Great session.  And yay for providing the sample db!

Tim is a stud. For me ... The laurel and hardy presentation wins the best of Lotusphere 2011 ....

I'd watch these guys complete their tax returns....they're THAT interesting.  Great presence, good speaking, and nice content.

Excellent session. Clearly a huge amount of work went into preparing it.

To all of you who completed your session evaluations for our, or any, sessions please accept my sincere thanks. Without your comments it's like talking at a brick wall, and we do enough of that in preparation to present. If you have not yet completed evaluations for the presentations that you attended, please spare a thought for the presenters who spend hours putting together the content of their sessions, tell them what you thought of it, good and bad.

So all in all it was another rousing success and I'm sure everyone there had a great time.

The X Cast is shocked back into life. ;o)

I have just published episode 4 of the X Cast over at http://thexcast.net and it's been a great podcast to record and publish. Mainly because I have two new friends helping me out with it and they are offering all sorts of advice and opinions, which is great news. This means that they will pester me to do some more with it and keep it going. Long may it continue. As a side note, for anyone who read my last post about atrial fibrillation, a date has been set for my electro-cardioversion (electric shock) to reset my heart rhythm. It's the 26th of January and only 2 days before I fly to the USA to present at Lotusphere 2011. Let's hope it works.

TLA day, BMW + GTD

Using the iPhone application AppBox Lite I've managed to calculate that it is 80 days since my BMW 320d touring went bang. I was called on Friday last week and informed by the company replacing the engine that they have a replacement engine that has done less than 10,000 miles and that my car should be ready later this week. I'm not holding my breathe as I'd be blue by now. On the GTD front I have managed to get to an empty inbox today. YIPEEEEEE. This momentous event occurred on a flight from LHR (London Heathrow, UK) to CPH (Copenhagen, Denmark) this morning. I am in Denmark to present, what might be my last, XPages workshop. So now I have finally finished the collection phase, it's time to start on the action phase. Time to start calling people back and using this eProductivity mail template for really GTD (Getting Things Done). I have a huge list of stuff to do so I'd better get on with it. ;o)

SHOW 112 - resources and file download (Revised content)

SHOW112 - How to build an XPages application from start to finish The file resources that you would need to create the LOANr application yourself in your own time can be found here. (This has been edited and a corrected .pdf included 27-Jan-10)

Included files are:

show112.pdf - the presentation that becomes your manual on how to create the LOANr XPages application. scriptsnippets.txt - this is all the code that you are going to need to type in to make it work, but we have typed it in already numerous times so figured that we'd save you the effort. LOANr-Start.nsf - The database that started from with just the ordinary Notes resources in it. e.g. forms, views, pages and image resources. LOANr-Final.nsf - Is what the database should look like if you follow the instructions all the way to the end.

We hope you enjoyed the breakout session and if you have not already done so, please complete your evaluation for the session.

Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments here.

Making one combo box take notice of another one in XPages

Someone asked me yesterday if I could send them an example of how to have one combo box influence what appears in another combo box on the XPage. As I've been asked this before (several times) I thought I should write it up. In this example I'm picking up values from lookup documents in a lookup view. They could be anything but I have used simple  two field Notes form.

In your custom control or XPage drag two combo boxes onto the page.

Combo Boxes on Custom Control
Combo Boxes on Custom Control

In the first combo box I have bound it to the form that I want to store the data in. In this case it's comoboboxtest with two fields on it. For the Values I have used the following @formula


(note the capitalisation and commas)

 Lookup Formula

Lookup Formula

For the Events of this comobo box you need to click the onChange event (ServerSide) and then select partial refresh. In the dialog pick the other comob box that you dragged onto the page. Also you need to select the "Do not update or validate date" check box.

 Event setting for Combo Box 1

Event setting for Combo Box 1

Then in the second combo box bind it to the other field in your destination document. For the values you need to add another formula.

var combo1 = getComponent("comboBox1").getSubmittedValue(); @DbLookup(@DbName(),"vwLookup",combo1,2);

This sets the variable combo1 to the value that you have picked in the first combo box and then uses combo1 to lookup the values in your view. (Your view must be sorted for this to work and what you are looking up must be the first column)

 values formula for Combo Box 2

values formula for Combo Box 2

The other important thing here is that you need to set this script to run dynamically instead of at page load.

And that's it.

Download a small sample here. XPagesTesting

My thanks for Paul Hannan for helping me bug fix this with thousands of other things running through my head this morning.

Lotusphere 2010 - SHOW112 How to build an XPages application from start to finish.

So Matt and I are all ready to present on Sunday 17th Jan at Lotusphere in Orlando, Florida. The session is finished and we get just one chance to show you all what you can do with XPages. So if you want to come see the show that has taken Matt and I several days to create, then I suggest you grab one of the seats in the Swan Osprey room really quick. I hope it's going to be a good lively session. We have far too much content for just 2 hours, so it's going to be a race against time. We might even find some time for questions at the end, and I know that Matt has a great surprise for you all at the end too. ;o) SHOW112 - How to build an XPages application from start to finish. Find more details here.

SOTM and The X Cast

I have appeared on the "Someone Once Told Me" website in this entry. This is a great daily inspiration site where Mario takes pictures or gets them from his flickr group and posts them. They are all black and white and all have something that the person in the photograph has been told by someone. Simple idea and very well executed. It was a pleasure being "shot" for this even if it was bitterly cold, dark and nearly raining. I intend to shoot some of these for Mario at Lotusphere, so if you see me walking around with my camera and have something that you might want to share with the world, then please stop me and ask. The next big announcement is that I have published my podcast called "The X Cast". This is all to do with XPages and can be found here. We are waiting for Apple to come back with an iTunes subscription so I will tell everyone when that happens. In the mean time you can listen from the website or download the MP3 file.

Please tell me what you think about both topics.

I will be speaking at Lotusphere 2010

WOW, I still can't really believe that my session has been selected to be part of Lotusphere 2010 in Orlando, FL. Out of over 1000 session abstracts that were submitted Matt White and myself have had ours selected.Can you guess what it's going to be about? If you can't then where have you been for the last 18 months?

Here is my abstract.

How to build an XPages Application from start to finish Join us as we take you step by step and click by click through building an XPages application. Learn the basics and then grow the complexity as you expand the application. Including; XPages, Custom Controls, server side JavaScript, single UI methodology, using existing Notes data and adding unlisted dojo objects. Watch the application being built live on stage with everything you need to know condensed into 2 hours.

Elguji are at it again.

So Bruce, Gayle and Matt at Elguji have taken another idea and managed to shoehorn it into the JAM format. IQJam is a great looking tool that will allow you to create a question and answer forum. As is synonymous with IdeaJam the community can vote on the questions and the person who asked can mark the question answered. Add to all this that Bruce has decided to openly publish iqjam.net for the benefit of the Lotus community, just like they have with ideajam.net. Another XPages application from the Elguji stud that looks to be as good as the rest of the stable. It will only run on a Domino 8.5.1 server so we have a little while to wait to try it for ourselves. I'm sure the wait will be worth it.

It's very rewarding for me to be involved with Elguji and see them working with the new technologies Lotus is creating. Watching the products go from ideas to alpha testing, beta testing and then on release to the market is extremely interesting. I can't wait to see this product and try it out for myself.

UKLUG agenda has been released

So the folks running the UKLUG must have been drinking some pretty hard stuff recently. They have put out the agenda and I'm on it. I mean come on. I know they weren't hard up for session abstracts. I guess I had better get on with writing something to show now. ;o)I have been writing something anyway and I did know that they accepted my submission. I'm working on a small XPages application that I can build in front of everyone and explain it as I go along. The target is 45 minutes for the demo and 10 minutes for intro and questions. The other plan is to get a whole bunch of screen shots or a screen video of some kind that I can post after the session. Here are the things that I will hoping to show.

  • Simple data binding to a notes doc and notes view
  • Creating a single UI to use again and again
  • Using an unlisted dojo control in an XPage (dojox.image.Lightbox)
  • Taking all that and showing it in the Notes client
  • Incorporating that into a Composite Application and wiring it to a Google search gadget

So if you think you like the sound of that session then come find me on day 1 of UKLUG (8-Oct-09) 3pm-4pm in room #4. The rest of the agenda can be found HERE