The December 2007 Blog
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SnTT: FieldValidator Library (Thursday, Dec 20)
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One of the fun (albeit time consuming) things about preparing for a technical Lotusphere session is putting the demo databases together. One of the sessions I'm doing next month is Features Every IBM Lotus Notes Application Should Have! with Andre Guirard. As a result, I've been looking through a lot of my old code to see what might be reusable and useful.

Side Note: just to clarify, my speaking partner is Andre Guirard, master IBM/Lotus developer. Not Andre Gurode, Pro Bowl center for the Dallas Cowboys. Allow me to illustrate:

Andre Guirard of IBM/Lotus
Andre Guirard, IBM/Lotus
Andre Gurode, Dallas Cowboys
Andre Gurode, Dallas Cowboys

Here's hoping that neither of the Andres will beat me up over the pictures...

So anyway, one of the bits of code I ran across in a few places -- I rewrote it in different ways a few times for some reason -- is a LotusScript class for handling field validations on a form. I get pretty fed up with having to write Input Validation formulas all over my forms, and then trying to track down and change the validations (or copy and paste them from field to field). I prefer to do that sort of thing in the QuerySave event.

I'll write a longer blog entry about the whole thing soon, but for now here's my code as a brand new project on OpenNTF:

I also posted screenshots of some sample code and the resulting validation, if you just want to take a quick look at what's going on.

Strangely enough, Bruce just posted a related idea to IdeaJam, completely unaware that I was working on this. Although for testing for blank fields I think I like his idea better -- I'd much rather check a box than write code. And that's saying something, because I really like to write code.

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Turning Off SnapShots (Wednesday, Dec 12)
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There's this webpage addon thing that some people put on their blogs called "Snap Shots". What it does is, when you hover over any hyperlinks on the page, a little preview of the linked website pops up so you can see a tiny thumbnail picture of the site you would go to if you happened to click that link.

I have no idea why you would want to see a thumbnail of a page before you clicked a link, and in fact I happen to despise Snap Shots. It has nothing to do with the idea or even the implementation, just that it's a technology that interferes with my browsing experience and that essentially changes the way my browser works -- without asking me.

Well today I went to the Snap Shots page and poked around a little to see if there's anything I can do about it. Turns out there is. If you go to you'll see a "Click here" link (that is not underlined and is barely distinguishable from the regular text, and ironically does NOT give you a Snap Shot when you hover over it) under the "How can I turn Snap Shots on or off" heading. Clicking this will add a cookie that globally disables Snap Shots for all web pages. Be careful though, because if you click it twice it will turn Snap Shots off and then back on again. An odd number of clicks is what you're shooting for here.

And that's your tip of the week. Go forth and reclaim your browser.

Topless Bars in Spain (Friday, Dec 7)
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Yesterday, after the View conference in Barcelona, I did some sight-seeing with a few of the other speakers who were still in town. The Cast of Characters:

So we all meet up on Thursday for a late lunch, and discuss the day. We decide to do a bus tour in the afternoon and then try to find a place in the city for a good dinner. Jamie suggests a good topless bar he went to earlier in the week.

Everyone else seems to think that's a good plan, and I'm a bit confused. Topless bar? I know it's our last day there and all, but that seemed like a pretty... racy plan. Still, no one else seemed to think anything of it, and I never read the tour books for Barcelona so I just figured there was a whole chapter on topless bars in Spain, and that's just part of local culture. When in Rome, and all that.

After the bus tour (and various naps and shopping expeditions), we all meet up near the taxis to go to dinner. Since there are five of us we'll need to split up into two cars, and Jamie's trying to give me and Paul (in taxi #1) directions. I decide to question the plan:

Everyone agreed that we should go to the topless bar for dinner, and Jamie said he had already been there twice before and it was excellent. Hmm, twice before. A little insight into the "real" Jamie I guess. All right, I'll roll with it.

Me and Paul take off first, find the appropriate alley to walk down, and start looking for a place to turn left. We end up in a small market-type area and Paul points to a nice looking restaurant down the way. "Maybe that's it," he suggests. I reply, "I don't know, it looks a little too... upscale to me. I'm thinking we should be looking for an old red door or something." Paul gives me a strange look and we keep searching. Finding nothing, we order beer and sit down outside, and Paul sends a quick message to Jamie to let him know where to find us. We talk:

And then Jamie, Warren, and Kitty showed up. It took a bit of explaining.


The Tapas bar really was very good for dinner, although not quite was I was expecting.