Two Articles and Some Useful Tools

As if like buses, you wait 5 months for an article and two come at once. Here's the follow-up to the XML-RPC Primer - Domino, XML-RPC and Java - An Example. The article talks about blogging (as it's also meant to act as a guide to DomBlog users who want to blog with w.bloggar) quite a bit. But this doesn't mean you shouldn't bother reading it. I try to write articles that feed the imaginations of all of us. Go on, give it a go. Who knows, you might even end up catching the blogging bug ;o)

In writing the above articles and investigating XML-RPC I have been using quite a few applications. Applications that every self-respecting Web Developer should have in their toolbox.

  • Ethereal - A Packet Sniffer. Allows you to see exactly what goes on behind the scenes when your browser talks to a Domino server. Not the slickest piece of software but it has some nice features.
  • Socket Workbench - Tool for sending and receiving data through sockets. For example, you can mimic a browser and POST your own data to a site. Useful for testing RPC calls. Again, this isn't the slickest of products. But, if you can get used to the clumsy interface it's a powerful and useful tool. You might remember I talked about using it in an article about sending mail through SMTP sockets.
  • WebFetch - Not as powerful as Socket Workbench but just the trick if you simply want to "troubleshoot HTTP connections". You can use it to POST and GET data while monitoring the throughput. Thanks to Keith Nolen for turning me on to this. A definite must have!

There are quite a few similar tools available commercially, like Ether Detect, but most seem aimed at the Network Engineer rather than the poor old developer. Some are good and some ar bad. Each has its own must-have feature. What I really want is one tool that combines the best of them all. A combination of Ethereal and WebFetch that has the same UI quality and ease of use as Nick Bradbury's software. If only I knew how to programme in Java properly.

Don't worry if you can't see the need for any of them in the first place, I have an article or two planned where I'll try and demonstrate how useful they can be. Don't think I could live without them. In the mean time, if you know any similar tools that you rely on then let us all know...


    • avatar
    • Jaap
    • Tue 10 Jun 2003 07:45

    He Jakie, I am not having R6 running...is it possible to run on R5 platform? yes I am running oldtimers here...

    • avatar
    • Jake
    • Mon 6 Oct 2003 07:55

    Jaap. Can you not get yourself a copy of the R6 client {Link} ? If so then you can copy the code from the agent in to an R5 agent in an old (v1.1.3) copy of the DomBlog template. Also, create a view called bloggerapi that contains JUST blogs, date sorted.

    If not, let me know and I will think about a skinny R5 version.

    • avatar
    • Jaap
    • Tue 10 Jun 2003 09:40

    Thanks Jake,

    Can I install the R6 client along my existing R5 client with ease?

    The last thing I want is blocking the boss PC here...

    • avatar
    • Jake
    • Mon 6 Oct 2003 09:49

    As long as you put it in a different directory to R5 you should be okay. I've got them both on this machine and it's okay. The only thing that's not so easy is getting them both running at the same time.

  1. Guys,

    I have R4 and R5 running simultaneously on a support machine here. (talk about old timers). Here's how you can get them both up at the same time on a Windows box. I can't see why it wouldn't work for R6 too.

    First, follow Jakes advice and install to separate directories.

    Second, make a copy of the notes.ini for each version in it's own folder.

    Third, create desktop or quicklaunch shortcuts for each app and append the following to the Target:

    = [drive][path]notes.ini

    So, for example, my R4 shortcut looks like this (note the space between the .exe and the = ):

    C:\notes\nlnotes.exe =c:\WINDOWS\notes.ini

    Now they wont be trying to share an ini file as registered by each installer in the windows registry (the reason simultaneaous launces fail).

    Good luck!


    • avatar
    • Jaap
    • Tue 10 Jun 2003 12:36

    Thanks Jerry, always something to learn...

  2. I like to install the program folders in a Notes folder, along side the data folder.

    i.e., the Notes folder has three sub-folders:

    - R5

    - ND6 (or R4)

    - data

    This means all clients can share the data (mailfiles, desktop.dsk, etc).


    • avatar
    • Rayan
    • Fri 13 Jun 2003 12:18

    Hi Jake,

    Have you seen the LiveHttpHeaders plugin for Mozilla and Firebrid Mozilla ({Link}

    The plugin allows you to do similar things as "socket workbench" plus it is free! Check it out when you get a chance.


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