Curse Of The Layout Regions

Following your warnings from yesterday I have removed the Layout Region I was using in my dialog box and used a table instead. Looks like this might have been a little too late though. Layouts seems to have gotten in, infected the system and are refusing to leave. When I try and open some documents now I get the following message:

The documents that won't open have nothing to do with the subform I added a Layout to in the first place. There's no Layout in site any more.



  1. When you add design elements to a form, they create a couple of hidden fields that never go away even after deleting the field from the form design. You have to actually call a remove through script on these hidden, odly named, undocumented fields.

    Recreate the design element that had the layout region in it from scratch and the problem should go away. Or, you can try searching the IBM website for their NTF cleaner, but It may not be there anymore. The author of the cleaner was Shekar G Mahajan.

    • avatar
    • Jake Howlett
    • Fri 21 Oct 2005 12:17 PM

    Jerry. The Form in question never had a Layout Region on it.

    • avatar
    • Rich
    • Fri 21 Oct 2005 01:12 PM

    The way _I_ get around this (YMWV) is by creating a clean blank database, creating a blank form , and then scraping/copying the contents of the old form onto a new form in the new database. Then, paste the new form into the old database and continue from there. Of course it gets complex if the form has subforms and the like, but you can get there eventually....

    <PersonalSuperstition>Often, I will perform the above on a completely different machine that has never seen any of the databases before, but then I can't claim it works any better than dressing up as Vincent Vega to write notes code (what? I'm the only one? Sheesh...) </PersonalSuperstition>

    This does happen a lot, share your pain, Jake. It feels like that horrible form caching thing that notes has done since r4 was released is behind it. Shrug...

  2. Layout Regions?

    What are they???

  3. As Rich is suggesting, if it wasn't an that form, you may have copied something from the form that idi contain the layout region (maybe a table or other element) to the form that is now having problems.

    When Notes started flaking on me, I usually did the following (after cursing)

    - delete the desktop cache file

    - compress the ntf you're working with

    - run fixup on it (put it on a server to do this if you want to try it, sametimes corrects file corruption issues)

    - perhaps curse a bit more for dramatic flare

    - rebuild the whole stinking thing as Rich suggests

    Best of luck, Jake. By virtue of the trouble you are having, you are begining to stretch Notes, which is good. :-)

  4. The nfixup task is available on the client as well, no need to put the db on a server. Just open a command prompt to the clients executable directoy and run nfixup directly from there. Like

    nfixup data\mydb.nsf

    I would stop all clients before doing that.

    Maybe, to check, if the trouble is caused by the form or by the actual document, you might use a test view with a bespoke form formula?

    • avatar
    • Karen
    • Fri 21 Oct 2005 03:26 PM

    Just think, Jake... at the end of this project, you might have a whole slew of "Curse of..."'s!

    Now in paperback - the Domino Designer Designing for Notes Mystery series! They'll scare the living daylight out of you!

    "Curse of the Tabbed Table" is my all-time favorite in that (would be) series.

  5. Jerry, another option--one I employ often--is threatening to kick the database. It seems databases, like many of us, don't like being kicked & will do anything to avoid it.

  6. You need to use the proper terminology Jennifer; it's called percussive maintenance.

  7. Don't say we didn't warn you.

  8. Jeff-

    I always forget that one; I even got it wrong on the CLP exams!

    • avatar
    • Jerry Carter
    • Sat 22 Oct 2005 05:24 PM

    I perform percussive maintenance on a lot of things. You should see the television arial in the garage attic. Seemes to work better after having the ever-living-crap percussively maintained out of it. :-)

    @ harkpabst_meliantrop: nice tip! Thanks!

  9. That's right Jen, the pfixup task is one that few have heard of. I would expect most people to miss it on the exams ;)

  10. DXL to the rescue...

    I cleaned quite a number of databases by exporting the design stuff to DXL. Have a look at it and remove stange ITEMS in Design elements (XSLT does wonder there). Then stuff them back into a new empty DB. Only grieviance so far: custom twisties get lost.


    :-) stw

  11. @Stephan: I have started to see more and more use of DXL by developers in the case of odd design behavior. I wonder if there would be value in a simple utility that exports a specified design element, allows the designer to edit, and then re-imports.

    • avatar
    • ursus
    • Sun 23 Oct 2005 09:55 AM


    you bet your arse there would ;o)

    I have been procrastinating about creating a tool that would allow you to copy the design of one view to the rest of the views in a DB. Know what I mean? You setup one view exactly how you like it, then copy that design to the other views.

    If I wasn't such a lazy bum I would have done it a long time ago ;o)

    Would be a good openntf project as well... maybe I should give it a try...

    just my 2 cents worth!


  12. Beat me, if I'm wrong, but there IS a simple utility to export one design element. It's in Tools -> DXL Utilities -> Exporter. You just have to write your own code to re-import it. Or am I missing something?

    Personally I assume, that one day (maybe even with R8?) there will be an Eclipsed based Domino Designer doing just that: Editing DXL files and export them into a nsf.

  13. @Harp, that is the piece that is missing. Also a piece to attempt to validate the DXL before the import, and a UI of some sort.

  14. I don't know about layout regions, but that is one freaky animation.

  15. @ursus, I'd love to see that as an openntf project... I have a number of databases that are owned by people who keep changing their minds, and unfortunately I'm not in a position to tell them no when they want to redesign the color scheme of the entire database. Being able to apply a view's design to other existing views would be my idea of a killer utility.

  16. Did you make it out of Bermuda before the weather started in? Things are starting to get pretty wet and windy here in Florida.

    • avatar
    • Jake Howlett
    • Mon 24 Oct 2005 09:57 AM

    I'm here until 8pm Tuesday Joel. By which time the weather is predicted to be here but "non tropical" by that time, which means nothing to me, but sounds reassuring.

    Here's praying,


    • avatar
    • Fritz
    • Mon 24 Oct 2005 10:33 AM

    Back to topic:

    Seems like a caching problem. If you use preview from designer the form will be shown correct, changing to database will show the old form.

    Don't work on the database, only use templates with designer. Notes will check the timestamp of the element when you update your test-database design from template and will use the updated element.

    Good Luck

    • avatar
    • ursus
    • Tue 25 Oct 2005 02:00 AM

    @Esther - yes, same problem here - maybe I'll give it a go (and ask Stephan for some help with the XML stuff ;o)

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