My Notes Client Setup

After building my new Macbook Pro as well as rebuilding my main rig on its new Intel X25 SSD I wanted to briefly document my client setups for Visual Studio and Lotus Notes/Domino. So to get started, here’s the Notes/Domino post.

Firstly.. I install the client! I’m currently using 8.5.1, but ideally would be running 8.5.1 with 8.0.2 basic installed concurrently. Why? 8.5.1 is an utter pig for making quick design changes over slow remote connections – and this is how I do a lot of work for my clients. Setting the project to build automatically often means making a trivial change to a view column can take 10 minutes. Turning off build automatically is an obvious solution, but yeah, 8.0.2 for trivial/reactive changes would be ideal. Running a VM on my MBP isn’t an option due to the size of the SSD, so if you’ve got any hints on installing these 2 clients side by side please post them in the comments.

Add Remote Console icon to the toolbar – I very rarely run Domino Administrator. If you want to send a quick one off command to a server or view the console output while running an agent then this is the quickest way to do it. Simply add a new icon with the formula of @Command([AdminRemoteConsole]). Incidentally, the list of previous servers that appears in here has always seemed a little random – I’d love to know how to add/remove entries here.

Add Debug Lotusscript icon to the toolbar – I add the standard toggle debugging icon to the Universal toolbar for quick access.

Add Chad Smiley’s Edit Document Fields – very handy for fixing corrupt fields. Latest version here, change history here.

Apply the Eclipse RAM tweak - documented here, it really does make the Eclipse client feel snappier. If you don’t want to follow the link, the quick version for 8.5.1 is: browse to {NotesProgramDirectory}\framework\rcp\deploy\ and find the “jvm.properties” file. Look for the line “vmarg.Xmx=-Xmx256m” and change this to a suitable value such as “vmarg.Xmx=-Xmx1024m” (depending on how much RAM you have).

Decrease delays for LotusScript autocomplete and hover - documented here at DominoGuru.com, this little fix really helps my sanity while coding. The default values are simply a little too slow for my liking.

Create a shortcut to my Notes Data directory in my user folder – I could add it to my Windows 7 favourites or to a jumplist, but I prefer it with the shortcut. I don’t go there too often, but when you want to paste in a template or something like that it just speeds things up.

Add a NotesDBS.dir file to the data directory – to store any large databases off the SSD.

Set some colours/fonts for the LotusScript/Java editors – A few personal tweaks to get it as close to my Visual Studio setup without spending too much time on it. I set the font to Consolas 10, and remove the bold/italics (which just looks silly in my humble opinion) and make a few other minor changes.

(Optional) Install BCC_ClientGenie - I'm running this on my desktop but not my laptop yet. I’m a sucker for skinning apps and making them shiny, and lets face it the Workspace is long overdue for an overhaul. I’m quite surprised that there aren’t more people making skins available for this thing, I’m sure there must be someone out there with some PhotoShop skills who’d like to make their Notes client look shiny (I’m looking at you Daniel).

Other stuff – things I’m not running, but have looked at. I did some work trialling SWING Software’s PDF conversion tools for a client (well, 2 clients actually). Both of them went in other directions for those projects, but SWING’s tools were really impressive. If I had a need for Notes/Domino PDF conversion then I’d definitely look to use those tools.

I’ve played with a few developer based Sidebar widgets (File Nav, Snippets, and a couple of others), but none of them really seemed to improve my development experience. I see people talking about various Widgets, but haven’t really found many which have made me go “Wow” – what am I missing?

A while back I mentioned I was looking for Notes/Domino refactoring/analysis tools, and despite the wealth of options supplied in my comments I’ve ended up using a manual but free and effective solution for the searching side of things, which I’ve documented here. I’m sure there’s some Eclipse plugins coming soon to make this process a little slicker.

So that’s my current setup. If you’ve got a tweak, widget, or setting change which you wouldn’t be without then please tell me about it in the comments below - I’m very keen to refine my list and I’m sure there’s some great Widgets out there which I haven’t come across yet.

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Posted on Thursday, February 11, 2010 12:07 PM | Notes/Domino

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