Name Picker Rough Cut Available

The third Rough Cut went up last night. This latest one is called Domino Name Picker Revisited.

Since I started with this method of writing articles (what I call things that aren't blog entries, even though you guys insist on referring to blog entries as articles) I've not actually finished one, but at least I'm getting the content out to you in a more timely fashion. Hopefully, while rough, they contain enough information to get you up and running. At least they contain the demo, which is what I imagine most of you are after.

If you have any suggestions on how to make the name picker more re-usable in your projects, please let me know. While I admit that adding it to your forms isn't the simplest of tasks I've tried to keep it modular, reusable and most importantly simple. As developers it's easy for us to develop solutions for ourselves. It's better to develop for the user and this invariably means calling on the KISS strategy.

My plans for the name picker include:

  • Making it draggable
  • Making it resizable
  • Add JSON option for fetching entries - more accurate results and better formatting options.
  • Next/previous links to display extra matches.
  • Make more things configurable options to allow easy re-use.

Let me know how you get on with it.


  1. One feature I'd like to see in your name picker:

    User can write first 2-3 letters in the text field and system can return first result, similar to Names field type in Notes Client.

    • avatar
    • Jake Howlett
    • Tue 27 Jun 2006 04:45 AM

    Hi Egor. This "type ahead" functionality is hard to perfect on the web. I've seen it done but it's too quirky to rely on in my opinion.

  2. Agree with Jake. I have implemented this in name pickers before but the method I used relied on running an agent in a hidden iframe to fetch the results as a view entry collection each time a letter was typed. This was great on a fast network and big servers but when other users in the company were coming in on slower links it became a right mess with JS errors everywhere.

    In the end I found it was more reliable to let the users type in the first couple of letters then click a search button. Only involved one extra click so they were still happy!

    • avatar
    • Ayhan
    • Tue 27 Jun 2006 04:37 PM

    Hi Pete,

    i did the same solution as yours, but instead of an agent i used notes-native functions like a webview with "restricttocategory" parameter. it worked well even on small networks.

    But let me now check the demo from jake :-))

  3. @pete - and that doesn't break with the current name popup too much, except there you start typing, the search box appears, and you hit enter insted of click. Perfectly fine.

    I do like the google suggest aspect of it, which is close enough to the "type to search" that I doubt many users would actually complain. I mean c'mon, they're getting a name picker in their web app! Something that for years has been a royal PIB to do right in Domino.

    Further annointings of 'good on you' Jake. Nicely done (though I don't think "funky", unless that's brit-slang for functional?) ;-)

  4. This is really cool!

    I'm thinking of using it to make selections from an organizational chart database. Is it possible to get

    other field data from the document you select? I'm

    just learning this XML AJAX web stuff.

    • avatar
    • Jake Howlett
    • Fri 14 Jul 2006 09:06 AM

    Anthony, you can get whatever field you like, if you're willing to play with the code.

    • avatar
    • George Dunlop
    • Wed 31 Jan 2007 02:45 PM

    Great code Jake, as always. However I have come across a strange issue. Try typing the initial letters of an entry that is within the count=x parameter - e.g. a name that is 5th from last when you are returning 10 results. It doesn't seem to work. Tried it using your online example and the results seem a little strange. I can't figure out why this would happen.

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Written by Jake Howlett on Tue 27 Jun 2006

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