Domino2025 Jam: Toronto on Dec. 8

The Domino2025 Jam tour is coming to Toronto.  It’s on December 8, so you have a week to get registered before it happens.  The Jams have been organized by invitation.  So you need to sign up for the Jam before receiving the invitation for the event.

This is the only date in Canada.  Get out and have your say about the future of Notes and Domino, Verse, Sometime, LEI and the rest of the products included in the IBM/HCL agreement.

This blog post from Peter Presnell is a worthwhile read about the opportunity for Notes and Domino, and also makes a great argument that if you are interested in the tool you owe it to yourself and your company to show up and have an opinion.

Other known dates include the following:

Dublin, Ohio December 13

Brussels December 13

Chicago December 14

Dallas December 15

New York January 8

I know there is talk of hosting events in the UK, Sweden, Poland and elsewhere.  As I say, register for the Jam in order to be invited to the in-person Jams.  There is also talk of virtual events for those who cannot travel to the in-person Jams, but nothing has been published so far.

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C3UG Video Presentation: Phil Riand

At C3UG we have taken the step toward producing videos of our presenters for on-demand consumption.  This may end up taking the place of at least one of our in-person meetings during the year.  We’re not sure yet, so please let us know what you prefer.  I still think it is valuable to meet and share ideas in person, but as it is harder and harder to find a good time to schedule a user group meeting let alone have everyone take the time to make it out, the option of watching a video may be a better way to share that same information.

Our first video has just been posted to YouTube.  Phil Riand of Trilog Group joined us to give a brief demo of the capabilities of Darwino as an application modernization tool for IBM Domino applications.  Our announcement of the video is here.  Comments are open on the blog, so if you have questions for Phil please post them there.

If you have feedback about this approach, or have a topic you would like to hear more about, please send your thoughts to

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Windows 10 Crash Using Domino Designer – There is a Fix!

While I thought I had been thorough prior to writing my blog post yesterday about Domino Designer crashing Windows 10 after the Creators update, I’d missed the fine print.  This is to clarify what I missed and what you need to do as there is a fix available from Microsoft.  As it turns out, the post from Daniel was in fact correct.

What I missed, or rather, what I checked, was to make sure that my Windows updates were current.  I actually double checked by clicking to download any new updates, and Windows told me I was current when in fact I wasn’t.  Martin and his team at IBM in Dublin did some checking and then suggested I check again this morning.

As Gary points out, you have to manually download and install the correct KB inside v1703.

As I write this post I see that Microsoft has now made another version available, but note the highlight in the image below.  You need to look for KB4022716 as noted above.  And you need to install it manually.

Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 7.06.54 PM

Thanks go out to the IBM team for jumping on this and clarifying what is required to address this problem.  Happy coding everyone.  🙂

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Domino Designer Still Crashes After Windows 10 Creators Update

Current as of July 10, 2017.  I can reproduce a BSOD crash in Windows 10 while using Domino Designer.  This is with the v1703 update to Windows 10 that was installed during the last week of June.  Daniel Nashed reported that the crash had been addressed with the 1703 update, but it appears that the crash that was resolved was the one caused by customizations to the Notes client home page (ht to Howard Greenberg for the clarification).

To avoid the crash when using Domino Designer, DO NOT do this:

  • add a Computed Field control to your XPage/Custom Control
  • in Design mode, select the Value tab
  • change the value to be JavaScript and click in the edit panel
  • boom!

You can get around this by manually coding the SSJS using the Source panel instead.

I’m using Domino Designer 9.0.1 FP7 SHF143 and Windows 10 v1703 (in a VM on a Mac Book Pro)


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C3UG Webinar July 19

On Wednesday, July 19, the Cross Canada Collaboration User Group will be hosting a webinar starting at 12:00 PM Eastern time.  The webinar is scheduled for one hour.  We will have two speakers – abstracts below.

Registration is open, here.

Customer Case Study: CAP St-Barnabé – Alexandre Lanoue, SIA

The CAP St-Barnabé is a non-profit organization in Montreal offering an environment for people who have-not had luck in life to get back on their feet and find some assistance. It provides various services such as public housing, meals, refuge, social assistance and much more.

This presentations shows how IBM technology helped them to improve processes and offer better services using IBM Connections Cloud, IBM Verse and BOX.

Application Modernization with Darwino – Phil Riand, Trilog Group, IBM Champion

Darwino is a unique application platform endorsed by IBM to extend your Notes/Domino applications. It lets you incrementally enhance your existing applications while retaining your existing investment. It takes advantage of the latest technologies, from IBM and beyond. It delivers these capabilities to web browsers, mobile devices, report editors and desktop applications, including full offline access. Darwino rejuvenates your applications at your own pace, at the least cost. Come and see why it won the Hackathon at IBM Connect 2017!

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My Review of IBM Connect 2017

Some thoughts and observations on the recently completed IBM Connect 2017.  I think this is now 3 years in a row where I have left for home in a generally positive frame of mind, and in fact the last two have been quite positive.


To begin, I participated in the hackathon that took place on Monday, organized by Alan Hamilton and Christian Guedemann among others, and sponsored by OpenNTF.  I have to admit that I was both excited and scared going in.  I was excited because it was an opportunity to learn new things, and do it with a certain time restriction, as well as meet new people.  I was scared because I might show up and not be able to make a contribution.  Well, it turned out that I had nothing to be scared about.  There were 7 or 8 teams, including one comprised entirely of people from Japan (who took 2nd prize).

We worked from 9:00am to 4:00pm.  The event started with a short pump-up speech by Jason Roy Gary who is leading the Connections Pink team.  He put us in the right frame of mind for the day: Have Fun, and don’t be afraid to Learn something New.  Inhi Cho Suh dropped by during the day to talk to each of the teams and learn a bit about what they were working on.

While we didn’t complete our project, it was a great experience, and is one I plan to repeat next year.  I highly recommend everyone give it a try.  It was well organized and well supported.  The only suggestion I have is to do a better job of promoting it in advance, and let people know what the proposed project topics are to generate more interest.  I expect that our team will continue to work on the project to finish it.  All projects were contributed to OpenNTF at the end of the day so we can all share in the work and innovation produced during the day.

OGS Announcements

This year I am an IBM Champion for the first time.  Champions were featured on the big screen at the OGS before and after the presentations, and it was really exciting to see my face on the big screen.  The OGS was presented in 2 parts, and overall the flow worked well.  The 2nd part was more technical and demo-focused, and as a long-time Notes guy, I was very happy to hear the focus on Notes and what IBM plans for its future.  I can recall recent years where we didn’t hear any talk of Notes and Domino in the OGS, and I am happy that those days are in the past.  Having said that, the modernization strategy that was announced (to use partner tools to build modernized apps) didn’t hit the mark for me, but generally the news was good in terms of future support and enhancements in the product.

The cognitive capabilities of Watson were featured of course, and this is the future of the product line, make no mistake.  The key is how it integrates, and how we as technology people can make use of the features of Watson.  We actually did some work in this area in the hackathon, so I got to see it up close.  It will be an area of focus for me as I learn new things this year.

IBM Connections Pink

The other big news was around the future of Connections.  The details around Connections Pink were made public.  First of all, version 6.0 of Connections will be released by March 31 of this year.  Pink is the next version of Connections, which will be a complete rewrite of the product from the ground up, without WebSphere, Java or DB2!  Jason Roy Gary told us at the hackathon that he has to personally sign off on any of his engineers wanting to use Java, and he’s a long-time Java developer.  If anyone thought they might be able to continue their technology career without venturing into the world of Node.js I am here to tell you that will not be possible.  It is an exciting future, making the product much more open and extensible, and of course with a healthy dose of Watson.  I am very interested to see it when it is ready.  IBM expects to be able to share pieces of the product before the end of 2017.

Design Thinking

At last year’s conference I tried something new and sat in on a Design Thinking session.  I was very happy that I did.  It is a great addition to the conference for IBM to share the approaches that they use to design their products.  The concepts are very simple and it helps to have some coaching from people who have done it before to understand the approach.  I spent time in the design thinking lab again this year and came away equally satisfied.  I came back the next day to just say how I appreciated the time and happened to be there when another attendee was asking about best practices in design thinking and if there were any web resources.  Before any of the IBMers could answer I jumped in with my experience and suggested he take the time to go through one of the exercises as having the personal experience would be far better than reading about it and trying to put it into practice on his own.  While the concepts are simple, the subtleties in the approach come through when you go through the process for real.  I can’t suggest strongly enough that everyone who attends the conference take the time to visit the Design Thinking lab.

Other Observations

Tuesday ended with the Australia party hosted by Ephox.  The pictures are on social media.  It was the best of the few that I’ve been to by far.  Another one of those things to put on your list of things to do if you’ve never taken one in.  The Wednesday night event, formerly at one of the theme parks in Orlando, was at the Exploratorium in San Francisco.  While it didn’t have the roller coasters of years past, the venue was fun, actually much larger than I expected, and provided good food, live entertainment, an opportunity to geek out on some fun science experiments, and also offer some quiet space to catch up with friends.

The Moscone Centre as an event location served well, but it was clear to many Lotusphere veterans quite quickly that we lacked the Dolphin fountain and lobby bar as a common area to meet people.  There were tables on the second floor of the centre, where the sessions were presented, that people could meet at, but that didn’t provide the place to sit and unwind after the day.  Even the Hilton gave us that last year.  While we did our best to make our respective networks know where we were meeting up after the sessions of the day, after the day was done you had to go elsewhere.  Also, for me anyway, while SF is in my time zone, I am not sure it is the right city to hold the event.  There were too many people from Europe who would have normally attended the event who chose not to.  I applaud the reasoning behind trying a new location for the conference, but personally I don’t think holding it in the tech capital of the US added anything.  Also, I am not a fan of Las Vegas.  Just sayin’.

IBM is curious to know if the conference should go back to the 4-day format.  Without consideration of cost, I whole heartedly vote that it does.  Three days, with the loss of what we will call day 0 to the President’s Day holiday in the US on this particular weekend, just felt like there wasn’t any time to see and do the things I wanted to see and do.  It normally feels that way when it is 4 days, so removing a day the past couple of years has hurt in my opinion.  While there have always been conflicts, this time they were even greater than in years past and it really sucked to miss out on some important sessions.  Also, for the first time, Gurupalooza had hardly anyone in the audience.  Unfortunately it was up against the lunch hour.

Another good idea that was a frustration last year and continued to be a frustration this year was the Expo Engagement Theater, located in the Expo hall.  The idea of half hour presentations, with a casual atmosphere is a great idea, and I sat in on a few.  Unfortunately having the “theater” situated right next to the noisy Expo hall with mesh walls and big open doors let in too much crowd noise.  It’s a good idea that should continue; it just needs some improvement.

Many of the people I talked to didn’t like the food.  Personally I was fine with it.  While we ate with recyclable plates and utensils, and the lunches were more of the salad and sandwich/wrap variety, I liked how much fruit was available and was never hungry.  Admittedly, the food in the past few years has been excellent, and this was a step down from that.

Finally, IBM switched the mobile app for the event to an app called ‘IBM Events’.  I found that it worked well.  One of the fun features was a game where you could score points for building your network, using social media to share what sessions you were seeing, and providing feedback on the sessions you attended.  Anyone who accumulated more than 1000 points was entered into a draw for 3 Apple TVs.  I never heard who won, but it was fun to play.

There was no announcement about next year’s conference, but clearly based on the questions being asked at the end of the event IBM is considering what to do.  As many have guessed, it may turn out that we will be combined with other IBM conferences as we’ve seen in the past.  In fact that specific question was asked and the response was minimal.  As was the case after last year, we will likely find out the fate of the conference at Engage in Belgium in May.  Wherever it is, it’s now more about the people than the technology for me, although the technology is important, so I look forward to seeing everyone again in 2018.

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Posted in Collaboration, Conferences

2016 Looking Back

Taking Russ’ lead, and following up on something I’ve wanted to do for several years now, here is a quick summary of 2016 for me, personally and professionally.

January 2016

  • launched the most comprehensive XPages project I’ve ever built, excellent learning, especially using the OpenNTF Domino API
  • started my 50th trip around the sun
  • awesome little riding vacation to Palm Springs with Sandi and friends
  • began a year of helping a less forunate member of my family as his mother (my cousin) passed

February 2016

  • daughter #1 turned 20
  • daughter #3 would have turned 14
  • said goodbye to a special little girl who only made one trip around the sun
  • met with friends and colleagues in Orlando for Connect 2016, spoke with my colleague Delores who was on stage for the first time after 20-something trips to Lotusphere herself

March 2016

  • completed my 25th year of coaching hockey, my last for a while
  • 1 year since my Mom passed

April 2016

  • celebrated my wife’s birthday
  • attended a memorial for my cousin – cancer strikes again

May 2016

  • daughter #2 turned 18
  • Dad turned 77
  • attended a memorial for a very special uncle – yes, cancer

June 2016

  • attended Social Connections in Toronto and reprised our presentation from Connect
  • daughter #2 graduated high school with several scholarships in tow – very proud Dad
  • saw the completion of a renovation to our basement with a beautiful live edge mantle on a newly rebuilt fireplace
  • the hockey world lost Gordie Howe

July 2016

  • annual vacation to Christina Lake with the family, some beautiful bike rides

August 2016

  • harvested about 180 heads of garlic from my garden – sadly I didn’t dry them properly so the crop isn’t as nice as years past
  • completed my 7th Ride to Conquer Cancer in honour of my cousin and my uncle

September 2016

  • sadly watched as our yellow sphere ate itself up over the future of Notes and the lack of direction from IBM, and in spite of that continued to build meaningful applications using Notes and Domino for my customers
  • both daughters began post-secondary education
  • marked the 8th year since Brynne passed
  • initiated efforts to restart the Canadian Notes user group

October 2016

  • poured a small foundation in the back yard that will become my smoke house
  • bucket list vacation to French Polynesia, madly worked out to shed some weight before the trip and got down to my lowest weight in 27 years
  • Brytek wrapped it’s 7th year in business with our busiest of the last 5 years, with a significant sale of ProjExec and growth in the IBM Collaboration space with our customers

November 2016

December 2016

  • hosted the Cross Canada Collaboration User Group with the help of a lot of people
  • attended a memorial for a family friend, another young man gone too soon
  • named an IBM Champion for the first time
  • celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary
  • snow for Christmas! lots of snow – our first white Christmas in 6 years
  • received a very thoughful gift from my daughters for Christmas – my kids get me
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