Accidental Form Aliases

Earlier this month I linked to a review of the usability of the Notes client. Despite agreeing at the time to let it lie, I've specnt some time since compiling a list of my peeves with the Domino designer client. I have to use it for the majority of my working day so even the littlest of things can soon have me banging my desk in fury. I'll start with a small one that is not really as much an annoyance as it is an example of poor consistency within the product.

Consider how you specify the Name and Alias properties of a view.

View Property Box

And how it then appears in the list of views.

View List

Now consider what happens when I enter the Name and Alias for a form.

Form Property Box

And how this appears in the list of forms.

Form List

Obviously I've been a complete moron and entered the form's Alias in its Comment box. Am I really a moron though? I like to think not. Just somebody who's expecting to be able to follow convention. Whilst this particular example has me tutting more than screaming it's a good example of what will probably become a regular feature here ;o) Feel free to let me know your own niggles...


    • avatar
    • Chris Melikian
    • Tue 12 Mar 2002 09:15

    When you open a view design, the properties box is launched automatically. No other design element (that I use!) does this! If I'm on a charge, I tend to click the SmartIcon ASAP after the view design shows to open the properties box only to find that I just closed it. Grrrr....!

    • avatar
    • Ben
    • Tue 12 Mar 2002 09:19

    Being a Canadian, I know for a fact that you are not a moron (see http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2002/11/21/moron021121 for all the details).


    • avatar
    • Jack Taylor
    • Tue 12 Mar 2002 09:28

    Within the notes mail file when you delete a document from the sent items folder you get a different message box than you get from any other folder.

    • avatar
    • Dan
    • Tue 12 Mar 2002 09:48

    The most annoying this is no automatic horizontal scroll bar. There isn't one unless you turn it on manually.

    • avatar
    • Manuel
    • Tue 12 Mar 2002 10:05

    I hate that is not posible to copy all the actions at once!!. It became very anoying when you have to copy a lot of actions!!!


    • avatar
    • Esther
    • Tue 12 Mar 2002 10:27

    Not being able to batch change view colors; not being able to create shared action bars, instead of just shared actions - I have 20 views; 10 of them need the same actions - why do I have to add them individually?

    • avatar
    • Jorge
    • Tue 12 Mar 2002 11:01

    How about not being able to remove multiple bookmarks from the designer simultaneously?

    • avatar
    • Barry
    • Tue 12 Mar 2002 11:06

    having no column sort for "last modified" in the agents view...

  1. And another premier one: Why doesn't the column width setup for design elements stick when switching between e.g. the Forms view and the Views view? With R6, users can even customize the order of their view columns, but designers are still forced to readjust the width of the columns whenever they look at a certain type of design element. Extremely annoying when you're working with multiple aliases or long view names.

  2. Jorge,

    You *can* remove mutiple bookmarks from the designer client... it's just a hack!

    -Open the bookmark.nsf

    -Hold down Ctrl+Shift and click View\Go To...

    -Select ($Design) {which will expand} and select MRU

    The ($Design)\MRU view contains all of the bookmarks used for the Designer client. You can delete these bookmarks like you would delete any document in a view!!!



    http://wwww.dominoguru.com (shameless plug)

    • avatar
    • Fabrice
    • Tue 12 Mar 2002 11:56

    1/ I hate R5 because I am always moving this ##### pane !

    2/ I hate R5 because with my 1024*768, only 17 forms can be displayed in the form list. In R4.6, you could have 30 forms, they were all displayed at the screen.

    3/ I hate R5 because lot of "new" features or functions are useless, because there is always this "little" bug who need 1 workaround to be solved. But the workaround create another trouble/bug so you have to create another workaround, etc.

    Bottom line : it takes twice more time to develop in R5 than in R4.6. (my opinion)

    4/ In R6, you can alternate row color on the Web ! Great ! But there is only one alternate color both for Web and Notes !!!! So if you were in R5 and use a view both for Notes and Web, with alternate color for Notes, the Web view had no background color. With upgrade to R6 server, now the view display alternate color ! Cool : all your Web Design is broken !

    I have now to create 2 views for each views. One for Notes, with alternate color, other for Web, with no alternate color. The database is twice bigger... No comment.


    Ok I prefer to stop my rant here.

    I am CLPP, and I have worked on Lotus Notes for 3 years, but there is so much things in this product that makes me sick !

    Please go back to R4.63 when the database was small, the programmation quick and the client Notes don't hang 4 times a day.

    Cheese ! :-)

    Regards from France,

    Fabrice :-)

    • avatar
    • Ed Falcon
    • Tue 12 Mar 2002 14:11

    I'd like to compose an email one day, and just be able to click the attach "smart"icon without it "telling" me that my cursor should be in the BODY! Shouldn't the "smart"icon just know!?

    Yes, long ago I became accustomed to....ALT+F+A

    • avatar
    • Stan Rogers
    • Tue 12 Mar 2002 14:18

    Go back to R4.6x ... and give up @Sort? Not on yer Nelly! Restarting -- even rebooting -- is a lot faster than writing routines to simulate what D6 brings to the table natively.

    That being said, there are a lot of UI issues that I think we can all safely say we have in common. My personal pet peeve is having to cram all of my LS class code into the declarations area. A class may be a data type of sorts, but dammit, methods are CODE! LS may not be Java, but can't we have at least this one nod to OOP?

    Enough ranting. I have to go back to my English-Sun/Sun-English acronym translation ref...

    • avatar
    • Jorge
    • Tue 12 Mar 2002 15:10

    Okay ... try this one. Open the bookmarks.nsf database in designer and then try removing the bookmark.

    Good luck.

    • avatar
    • PaulP
    • Tue 12 Mar 2002 15:47

    Apart from the things that are clearly bugs like the sticky properties box my two pet peeves are: - The domino team's tendency to find different names for the same thing in different situtations - eg @DocumentUniqueID but doc.UniversalID and OpenDocument&ParentUNID=

    and their tendency to put things in strange places, for instance finding the 'Run as web User' option for an agent can be a lot of fun if you don't know where to look.

    However I love the fact that you can change a field from checkbox to dialog list or picklist at the click of a mouse without changing any formula or script code. And you can even move from a free text field to a selection from a set of options without changing code.

    This is one case where Lotus has been much more succesful than the rest of the web community in separating content and function from appearance.

    • avatar
    • ChrisHudson
    • Tue 12 Mar 2002 17:12

    Try switching from the Designer client to the Notes Client with a properties box open. Easy... Now try switching back to the Designer client. You can't do it without closing the properties box first.

    • avatar
    • Jon LeDrew
    • Tue 12 Mar 2002 17:48

    My biggest peeve is the mix up with the Newfoundland Time Zone at the server level. (Not related directly to this thread as it's a server issue.) Most of you will never see this as it's strictly geographical. If I receive a message or meeting request from another Domino server outside my organization the time stamp on the message or the meeting request is EST. About an hour and a half earlier than NST.

    We've been promised this fix for some time now from Lotus. I can't find any reference to this bug even though city hall and various other organizations in Newfoundland have reported it to Lotus Support. Maybe Domino 6 will do a better job of identifying "all" the time zones.

    And what about multi-threaded clients? Is that ever going to happen?

    • avatar
    • ChrisHudson
    • Tue 12 Mar 2002 18:46

    I just discovered that my pet peeve re the properties box mentioned above has been fixed in R6.

    We have a similar geographical problem with time zones. The GMT +10 timezone has a problem where freetime displays an hour out during daylight savings period. Does not happen in any other timezone. Why? Lotus only knows.

    NB The R6 Notes client is multithreaded. Start an agent, then continue to use the client to do other work while it runs. Detach a squillion megabyte attachment and continue on and do something else while it detaches. A beautiful thing to behold.

    • avatar
    • purple
    • Tue 12 Mar 2002 19:46

    Hi! To specify a form alias,

    type in the form name following with a '|' and then the alias. E.g Long File Name | FormAlias. Anyway, they should have the similar InfoBox UI for both view and form!

    When you compose a mail(R5) and save it as draft. Then you open up the same mail, made some amendments and send it. The problem is, when your receiver open your mail, it is in EDIT MODE !! OK, then if the receiver wants to reply your mail, he/she needs to go to Create - Mail menu. If she/he wants to forward the mail, he/she needs to go to Actions menu! They separate 2 similar functions in 2 different menu!

    • avatar
    • Rob
    • Tue 12 Mar 2002 19:55

    When printing lotusscript code, the & symbol does not print.

    Nice one!

  3. Create an agent with underscore in it (ex: test_agent)and see how it is displayed

  4. Allright. Here is something I found while working on Notes client. Basically, when you clear your ID (File -> Tools -> Lock ID), you can still change the read/unread marks on any open databases by using the INSERT key.

    • avatar
    • Peter Abatan
    • Fri 12 Apr 2002 02:06

    What peeves me off is the fact that IBM could care less whether all these niggly issues are of importance to us at all.

  5. Whoa!!! Can of worms there, Jake!

    Well, here's my 'a'penny's worth:

    Local Replica databases & the Designer Client - why can't you swap between a server and a local version of a database without having a separate bookmark (as in the normal client)?

    Working on a project while travelling is a NIGHTMARE...



    • avatar
    • Manuel
    • Fri 12 Apr 2002 07:14

    ChrisHudson totally according with you!!...that problem with the properties box it is very very anoying!!!.

  6. ... and just be able to click the attach "smart"icon without it "telling" me that my cursor should be in the BODY!

    While this is one of the top rated Notes issues, things are not that easy. Very different from other mail clients, Notes allows you to put your attachments (or pics or embedded objects) anywhere in your mail body. So how could the smart(?) icon be smart enough to know where exactly to put it?

    However, in R6 the (now so called) Text Properties Toolbar is context sensitive plus you can finally drag and drop attachments from your desktop.

    Not that important, but I just felt like defending Notes today ...

    • avatar
    • Ant
    • Fri 12 Apr 2002 09:50

    I don't see one comment praising the designer client. One of the reasons Notes is so successful and long lived are its RAD capabilities. I truly believe Designer Client is one of the best IDE's there is. Thanks, Lotus\IBM for giving me the ability to create fully functioning, collabrative, easy to use, attractive applications, single handed in a couple of hours.

    • avatar
    • Jake
    • Fri 12 Apr 2002 10:16

    Ant. If it were a blog in which I asked people to share reasons they liked Domino Designer then you might expect to see a bit more praise. It was in fact a blog in which I asked people to share what it is that annoys them. So why you chose to tell me what you *like* about I don't know... save it for when I write the blog about how great Domino Designer is....

    • avatar
    • Stan Rogers
    • Fri 12 Apr 2002 17:00

    Jon -- all you need to do is set your server(s) to AST and make sure that al of your db designs carry the disclaimer "Half an hour later in Newfoundland".

    (For those not from Canada, or who never listen to or watch the CBC, that is how the wonderful people of Newfoundland and Labrador have been getting their scheduled broadcast times since 1949 at least. One very old television skit had a prophet of doom carrying a sign that read, "The world will end at midnight -- 12:30 in Newfoundland")

    • avatar
    • Darin
    • Fri 12 Apr 2002 22:21

    Jake - Referring to your response to Ants comment. I am not sure from your recent remarks on this website, that you would start a blog on what is great about Notes. It makes me a VERY good living and I agree with Ant (thanks Ant for speaking up). I have not seen any other platform that comes close. I could not develop any application for business use as fast and efficient in any other development platform. Thanks

    • avatar
    • Tone
    • Sun 12 May 2002 05:02

    Wow. Comments, eh? Gotta love 'em. Let's all have a drink/smoke/lie down/snog (no, not me) - and relax.

    In fairness, this comments thread WAS spawned about ANNOYANCES, so that's what we should expect!

    • avatar
    • Bernd
    • Thu 12 Sep 2002 12:13

    Found the following Comment in the Who is online-Button:

    //This Javascript hack of working around the header footer focusing problem

    //will probably not work in future releases

    • avatar
    • Jerry
    • Wed 21 May 2003 01:46

    Other R5's annoyances :

    1. When you run Notes client and Designer together, and suppose for some reason, one of them hangs, then you'll freezed forever. Killing one of them will shut down the other too. What a mess !

    Or, see this milder scenario :

    You have Notes client & Designer running together. Then in the Notes session you execute an application that access something which takes long time to complete. What happen to your Designer? It will also 'stuck' until the process in the Notes client is completed.

    What a waste of time!

    2. Try to open Notes client and Designer together using your own ID. In Designer, open a NSF/NTF. Then, in Notes client, switch to other ID who has no access to the NSF/NTF opened in the Designer's session. (up to this point, things are still ok ---)

    After that, switch back to your own ID.

    Go to Designer and try to open the NSF/NTF again, and it will say "You're not authorised". Stupid ! Why don't the Notes' & Designer's sessions be synch-ed right away ?

    3. Try to build an application which have different access rights for different users. If you only have 1 PC, how would you test it ? Answer : Switching back and forth between all the IDs / roles. Wouldn't it be nicer and obviously more efficient, if we could launch several Notes clients simultanously, each with different user-ID. With this, we can test different combination of cases without having to switch IDs.

    Okay, that's it for the time being.

    Cheers :)

    • avatar
    • Duc
    • Mon 6 Oct 2003 01:41

    I want sort Document use LotusScript, for example

    dim coll as notesDocumentCollection

    set db=session.CurrentDatabase

    set coll=db.Search("Select form='Test' & Date='01/01/2003'")

    and (coll.count=10)

    but 10 document not sort

    can you help me the method sort these Document

  7. In reply to Fabrice's comment on 12 March 2002 relating to version 6 insisting that alternate row colours in Notes be shown in Domino.

    You can place <div> tags around an embedded view and use CSS that references the id of the <div> tag to stop alternating colors.

    On a $$ViewTemplate... form

    in HTMLHeadContent or $$HTMLHead field

    <style> #viewNoRow tr {background-color : white} </style>

    In body of form

    <div id = viewNoRow>

    <<embedded view>>


    • avatar
    • Florin Jurcovici
    • Fri 4 Feb 2005 11:35

    From a Notes programmer's point of view, not than from the point of view of a normal client user:

    We make plans for a long time now to write a book "How to crash Notes from LotusScript in 1001 different ways". Problem is, we keep discovering new ways before we get to documenting the old ones.

    Once I was able to crash NSD, while it was running after a Notes crash. Nice debugger!

    Using applets in the client causes memory losses proportional to the quantity of data transfered as arguments to/from Java to LotusScript (when using LS2J), which basically prevents the usage of Java applets in the client. Workarounds exist, but tend to be tedious to implement and slow at runtime.

    The code browser is indeed the worst I have ever seen - a small lexer/parser based on regular expression could extract all that's need tor showing at least a decent outline of classes, members, methods, global vars and global functions, but they simply are too lazy to do it.

    The editor is so bad! Its autocompletion is often getting into the way of writing code. It doesn't keep a parse database in mem to understand types you enter - although it does some parsing of this type for the syntax checking already. It doesn't grasp changes in script lib A used by script lib B if B was opened before A was changed.

    All product object collections are freaking ugly to iterate.

    Why can't I call servlets from LS from within the client?

    Why can't I call code from a script lib situated in another database? All typical Notes applications consist of more than one database, you have to carry along script libraries of utility functions in all places.

    Try copying a shared action from another database over in place of an existing shared action with the same name, after deleting the old one. The old shared action will still remain in all forms views, pages, whatever but won't be a shared action anymore. Not quite what you intended, probably. Same sh..t if you import shared actions from XML, or copy the items of the shared actions document from another such document in code.

    Running code from a script lib after deleting one of the script libs it uses won't properly say something like "Script lib ... was deleted", but complain about circular references.

    No "protected" for class members and methods. "private" is actually protected, there's no real private in LS classes.

    Why the heck didn't Lotus/IBM implement a mechanism to bind LS code to web elements? We did it, so it shoulnd't have been such a difficulty for Lotus/IBM to provide a readymade, probably much nicer solution, since it could have been integrated at the server level rather than application level.

    Extremely important for acceptance of the browser-based model in enterprise environments: why isn't it possible to authenticate against the Notes ID from the web?

    Why can't they add some relational features natively? It would be easy: dialog lists using views for picks should get a property to update their content whenever the document from which they picked was changed, and provide an exotic property in the form of a Notes rich text link.

    Why doesn't Formula's GetDocField work across databases? It can still be faked using DbLookups with field name instead of column number against views containing all documents.

    (and so on for a long time)

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