Five years ago I posted an open source utility called “Mail Rule Utilities” on OpenNTF. I designed this utility when I was on the Lotus product development team. The primary function of the utility was to be able to run mail rules locally on your database. Using the same rules you created in the interface, the utility could run locally without a server involved. This made Notes usable for multiple email accounts in my opinion and is a feature that has been in Outlook for years.
I also blogged about it several times, even offering a download here on my blog for those not familiar with OpenNTF. Between the two sites the utility was downloaded over 7,000 times. Now, according to Mat Newman, it was announced in a session yesterday at IBM Connect that this function will be part of Notes 9.0.2! Here is the tweet in case you missed it:
So, I will leave the utility out there for those still on 8.x and 9.0.1 for a bit so don’t worry, it’s not a total rest in peace statement but it’s coming. I had been contacted by the Notes dev team earlier this year and was actually excited this function was going to be put into the product. While the Mail Rule Utility was not a huge effort to support, I would infrequently get enhancement requests, some install issues, etc. Unfortunately I have found the open source concepts on OpenNTF is not truly “open source” as no one else really contributes to the authors projects.
In ending, I really do thank everyone for all of the kind words over the years and the dozens (probably more) of great emails stating they loved the plugin. Thank you, because that is what makes open source worth it!
You can read about the Mail Rule Utilities on the original DeveloperWorks article here.
The Attachment Viewer 2.0.1 for Lotus Notes is now posted on this site. I fixed a couple of problems reported and it looks like the Microsoft Office Converter EXE is now behaving a bit better. From the original post (click here), you may need to install the inter-op libraries for your version of MS Office in order to use it. You need to be running at least Lotus Notes 8.5.2 for this update.
Drag this to My Widgets in Lotus Notes
I need some help testing this out. After playing around a little bit with C# and the MS Office integration API’s I was able to compile an executable that calls out to MS Office to show Documents, Presentations, and Spreadsheets. The architecture is pretty straightforward, the attachment viewer calls out to an executable to have the file converted to HTML and then the document is shown in an iframe in the viewer. I have seen some minor issues and thankfully no crashes.
This version is also Dojo enabled and currently needs to have internet access in order for it to work since I pull Dojo 1.5 from the Google CDN. You will notice the Dojo toolbar and the different view modes – Film Strip, Slide Show, Thumbnails:
- If you have a 1.0 version of the attachment viewer installed, please make sure you uninstall it first.
- Once you have the older version installed you can drap and drop the icon below to your My Widgets panel to have the new Eclipse plugins installed.
Drag this to My Widgets in Lotus Notes
- You may also need to set the preference for the viewer under File | Preferences:
Once I get some good feedback I will be posting the binaries and sources to the OpenNTF project.
Some known issues:
- The thumbnail view does not show the last image as a thumb
- Sometimes the MS Office link is broken, a restart or shutting down MS Office may be needed.
In advance, thanks for all of your feedback and interest in this project!
As a community, the Lotus community is very strong. We all get involved with things like OpenNTF, blogs, tweets, etc. One place I see Lotus fall short is getting involved with the many technologies our core Lotus products use – like OSGI, Eclipse, CKEditor, and Dojo.
If you are doing any plugin development for Lotus Notes then you need to check out the OpenNTF project Java UI API Exerciser. The project is a pretty good reference and usage of the Java API’s we will be talking about at Lotusphere. The tool can also be used to inspect documents, views, etc and the different properties each of them have in the Eclipse world.
After reading this post today and seeing some of the responses from the Eclipse community it would be interesting to hear from IBM customers and partners on whether or not they use or even know what EventAdmin is! I have written about EventAdmin many times and have even contributed a project to OpenNTF for a composite application bridge but in general I don’t see the technology widely adopted or understood even. I created this poll, it is stated a little different that the blog post to get more specific responses.
There is an interesting post over on Alex Kings site – he is a plugin developer for WordPress. The conversation makes me wonder about other open source initiatives like OpenNTF. I know many people across the community contribute amazing material to OpenNTF and I have often wondered if it was maintainable. I know that every thing I contribute either in an article, blog post, or on OpenNTF will have some level of “support” in the future. It may be days, weeks, months or even years but an email, a question, or a enhancement is inevitable. I would have to say if you are not an open source enthusiast and simply do it because you love it or you in fact do “get paid” enough through donations then your interest over time supporting free enhancements and upgrades will diminish. I do think many people, especially in the Eclipse and Lotus communities contribute to open source for many other reasons – building a community, promoting a technology, or just polishing skill sets. Many, like myself, have a vested interest in seeing the community or technology grow so it creates more opportunities in the future – that to me is the essence of open source.