Why I am so down-beat about Domino

I was hoping Friday would wrap up the whole Rich Text thing. Not so. New week, same problem. For a moment it looked rosey, when it was suggested I tried calling the field "HTML" and it appeared to work. But it didn't. Sure, if you call a field "HTML", all its contents are sent to the browser as HTML. But that's all that's sent. Just the field contents and none of the form. What is the point of that? No, really! What is the point?

So where does it leave me? Having to choose between the lesser of the evils that are the hacks needed to get this simple requirement to work. Have you ever wondered why I seem to have such a negative opinion of the software from which I make a living? This is one of the many reasons why!

Anyway, I'm going to forget it for now. I've got a lot of interesting and useful things in my head that I want to tell you about. Hacks aren't one of them. Let's forget about this mess for now...


  1. That kind of makes me feel better. I ran into all of the problems you ran into a couple of years ago. I finally gave up and decided to make either all web or all Notes client applications. The reality is it's too hard to have the best of both worlds with any development tool, not just Notes. (I don't count ActiveX components as being both fat client and web browser.) You gave it a good go. Now back to some talk about Macs!

    • avatar
    • Jake
    • Mon 15 Dec 2003 10:30

    I've already given up on the client Michael. This is a web only problem. You'd think it would be easy wouldn't you...

    The only talking about Macs I'll be doing in the near future is when I ask if anybody wants to buy my iBook. Do you?

  2. Jake,

    Did you try and hide the RT field (using display:none) which contains the HTML and use a computed value for displaying the contents (with pass thru around it)


    • avatar
    • Yaron
    • Mon 15 Dec 2003 14:02

    I ran into exactly this problem, and then some, because the text in my RT field would wrap at screwy points, and screw up the HTML 'randomly'. Eventually, I just said, 'screw the whole thing', put my HTML in a CLOB in Oracle, and summary doc data in Domino. The HTML in Oracle loaded 'at the same time' the Domino doc loaded—>problem solved! Of course, if you can't do that, the other thing to do—ala Rube G.—is to store your HTML data as a file attached to a document. Not fun; but, if you're limited to Domino only, it may be the only reasonable solution.



  3. My major annoyance with Domino in the past has been its inability to do "candy striping" of views through the browser. And don't tell me about some hack to write javascript with each row or run an onload to set styles, because those are the most awful hacks I've ever seen and refuse to put them anywhere near my apps :)

    My solution, and it doesn't seem too bad performance wise, is a WebQueryOpen agent (shh) that writes it's own HTML for a view. Obviously it's not as fast as a raw Notes view, but it's fast enough.

    Of course if only they could make @DocNumber an actual number you could use in a formula, we wouldn't have to resort to hacks to do this simple thing.

    • avatar
    • Bruce
    • Mon 15 Dec 2003 16:37

    Every language or application has it's shitty bits. Domino is just another one of them. If you knew PHP as well as you do Domino you would no doubt have a day or two you would rather forget; or raise a web stink about the flaw that makes something hard that should be easy. Me, I hate the shitty bits too but I am so glad at the other times when Domino just rocks and makes the hard thing (in other languages and apps) just too easy. Oh and by the way Jake, thanks for all the help over years. Legend.

    • avatar
    • Jake
    • Mon 15 Dec 2003 17:46

    Bruce. I have to disagree with you on that one. I know that every system has its shortcomings but this is one hell of a shit as far as Domino is concerned. What it boils down to is that we can't store HTML. Imagine telling a PHP devloper that. "Well, yeah, in Domino we *can* store HTML but only if you enter it using a Java Applet and you are limited to 32kb!". Can you imaging their reaction. They'd probably wouldn't believe it.

  4. Jake, I understand where you're coming from. The source of the problem is, of course, that Domino is, at its heart, a means of getting Notes applications onto the web -- and Notes applications do not consist of storing or displaying reams of handcrafted HTML. The fact that you've led the charge to treat it as just another web platform doesn't change the basic premise of the system.

    By the way, when did 32K of HTML at one go become acceptable? When I was your age, we got our HTML over 1200 baud connections on a good day, and we were thankful for it. Most of the time, we got the letters one at a time by semaphore from the top of the nearest mountain, and after we had parsed it and hand-written the pages with quill and ink, our fathers would beat us and send us to bed without supper.

    As for alternating colours in the views (Marcin) -- the JavaScript onload is many, many times faster than the WQO option, and there's no comparison at all in terms of server hit. Using an agent to write the content of a view verbatim is unconscionable. Oh, and @DocNumber CAN'T be a "real number" -- it's just an incrementing service-time placeholder, and can conceivably be different on a given document for every single user of the database.

  5. ... and different for the same user every time the view is accessed.

    • avatar
    • Craig
    • Mon 15 Dec 2003 20:14

    Stan - that is one of the funniest things I've read for ages re: 32k! As for @DocNumber - if you were only using it for view "striping", it would be handy to be able to convert it to a number, but we're digressing.

    Jake - have you tried a pass-thru-html-computed-text with a formula of something like :

    @Abstract( [Rule1]; 64994; ""; "Body" );

    It think this is still subject to a 64k limit, but might do the job.


  6. Actually, taking the value of a single, humungous textarea and splitting it (or, rather, conditionally substring()ing it) into 4 to 8 Domino multivalue text fields might be the way to go. There'd still be a hard upper limit, but a couple hundred kay is really starting to reach the edge of HTML sensibility. Throw in a stylesheet and a few images, and you'd pretty much have to restrict yourself to in-building intranets to make a go of multi-user access.

    • avatar
    • Jake
    • Tue 16 Dec 2003 05:23

    Good ol' Stan. That's what I needed. Some humour. Although I was hoping for a solution as well....

  7. Hey, I've got enough trouble manually repainting my graph screens in C# right now -- I don't need any RT stuff polluting my brain....

    • avatar
    • mt69clp
    • Thu 18 Dec 2003 03:58

    Did you ever had to program VBA and Excel? That really is mega shit !!!!!!!!

    You have to indent the code by yourself (I always thouth the designer would be a prehistoric IDE) and thousands of useful commands like Fulltrim on arrays etc are not there. And you cannot do Evaluate(@Command) :-)

    I am really looking forward to code some lotusscript again.

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