Lotus Notes/Domino Developers Wanted - Get Sponsored for Top Secret Clearance (U.S. Citizens Only)

03/23/2010

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UPDATED: I should have gotten clarification on this initially, but these positions are all in the Washington DC Metro area...

If you can answer YES to ALL of these questions, get in touch and I'll connect you to a recruiter looking to sponsor qualified individuals for Lotus Notes Developer jobs requiring high-level U.S. Government security clearance.

Q: Are you a Lotus Notes/Domino Developer?

Q: Are you a U.S. Citizen?

Q: [NEW] Do you live in the Washington DC Metro area?

Q: Are you interested in obtaining a high-level security clearance (including full scope polygraph)?

If you answered YES to all three four questions, then please contact me and I'll pass you over to my recruiter friend. It's worth noting that while going through the clearance process you will not have to quit your current job, so other than enduring a rather tedious and occasionally awkward application process, there isn't much downside.

Tab Mix Plus Compatibility with Firefox 3.6

03/18/2010

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External ImageAs long time readers may recall, I LOVE the Tab Mix Plus (aka TMP) extension for Firefox. Not only does it enhance the configurability and features surrounding Firefox tab functions, but it also offers better session management and now, apparently, also allows you to add additional useful toolbar buttons (e.g. Print). I have therefore become very sensitive to installing major Firefox upgrades right away, because I don't want to lose any Tab Mix Plus settings because of incompatibility issues.

After dismissing several nag messages lately from Firefox asking me to upgrade to version 3.6, I finally decided to install the latest 0.3.8.3pre.100318 Dev build of TMP on a secondary PC, and then upgraded to Firefox 3.6. The conclusion, it works fine for me, or at least i don't lose any of my open tab settings after restarting Firefox. Note that I am running Firefox on Windows XP.

It's possible that even the latest "official" release of Tab Mix Plus (0.3.8.2) will also be compatible with FF3.6, but I'm not going to perform any more experiments to find out. If you have tried this please report your results by commenting below.

Domino Designer 8.5 Tip: Where Working Sets Are Stored

03/10/2010

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Since I just had to go through the frustration of "losing" all my DDE working set information (after deleting the entire Notes\Data\Workspace folder to test a Notes client "fix"), I thought I'd share what I had to do to restore it all from the backup I took (see, I'm not as think as you dumb I am).

Disclaimer: Your mileage may vary. I have only tried this on an 8.5.1 Notes client running Win XP and make no guarantee that it will work for you, nor will I provide any support if you break something while attempting the following. You have been warned. That said, if you do back up the affected folders as you are told to, you should be able to recover if any problems arise.

Step 1: Shut down the Notes client (including Designer and Admin of course, if applicable) and make sure ALL Notes processes have turned off before proceeding. If you're unsure, reboot and don't launch Notes until Step 3.

Step 2:  For each of the following, make a backup of the "new" folder (and all contents) and then overwrite it with the "old" version (either from a backup or from a different system):

...workspace\.metadata\.plugins\com.ibm.designer.domino.ide.resources
...workspace\.metadata\.plugins\org.eclipse.core.resources\.projects
...workspace\.metadata\.plugins\org.eclipse.core.resources\.root
...workspace\.metadata\.plugins\org.eclipse.core.resources\.safetable

Step 3: Open Notes and Domino Designer and make sure your working set information has returned, and that all the links etc. work properly. If not, shut down Notes and restore the above folders to their original state until you either figure out why it didn't work or give up trying. If you learn anything new in this process that would help others, please say so in the comments.

Hope this helps.

iNotes Encryption Puzzler: How to Permanently Decrypt All Messages?

03/08/2010

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iNotes (aka Domino Web Access/DWA) has for a while provided us the ability to read and write encrypted email by attaching the user's Notes ID to a profile document named (what else?) $shimmerid. Any time the user opens an encrypted message in iNotes they are prompted for their Notes ID password. Well, not necessarily their "current" password but the password of the ID when it was imported into their mail file way back when. Anyway, it's a process that is a little kludgey, but works well enough and certainly achieves the goal of making it hard for people who are not you to read your extra special secret messages. Which is great until you *want* someone else to be able to read your extra special secret messages (e.g. your Admin Assistant, or maybe your corporate audit department). If we were all using the Notes rich client, this would be no big deal, but some folks *only* use iNotes. so it is a big deal.

So I need to figure out a way to permanently decrypt (i.e. save without encryption) all "encrypted" messages without involving the user logging into the Notes client.
 
Considering the ID file is (sort of) available on the server in the aforementioned $shimmerid profile document, it *should* be possible to achieve this by either a) utilizing an agent running on the server provided that the password of the stored user ID file is also stored in some form that the server can access, b) triggering a similar process when the user opens iNotes and enters their id password, or c) performing some other clever trick which you are going to share with us.

I've had some partial success by adding a webqueryopen agent (i.e. user triggered) that is able to *copy* an individual message in decrypted form but cannot save any changes to the current document if it is encrypted (which is kind of the point). The error thrown is "Cannot update note due to NOTE_FLAG2_NO_UPDATE being set" whatever that means. The copy approach is not a bad fall back, but does require the owner to actually read every encrypted message, which may not happen, at least not in a timely fashion.

The automated approach is obviously favored, and at the moment I am looking at the C API as my best hope of accessing that stored id file and using it to decrypt everything on a scheduled basis. The particular functions that appear to be most relevant are SECKFMOpen and SECKFMClose to access the id file and NSFNoteCipherDecrypt to actually do the decryption. I have been attempting to call these functions from within LotusScript but with little success so far (I am alas not a C API expert). Since the regular iNotes process to read encrypted messages apparently involves a server task, likely using these functions, you would think it ought to work.
 
So is there reason to hope for success in this endeavor? Have you been down this road only to see it dead end? Can the ID Vault's auditor functions be tapped programmatically? Do you have a better approach entirely? Your helpful thoughts are most welcome.

Mick Moignard: Has Word Hindered Collaboration?

03/05/2010

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I recently came across this most insightful of articles by our friend Mick Moignard that appeared nearly 5 years ago but is no less relevant today. As Mick points out:

Word's biggest issue is that it's designed purely to print paper. It exists to format content on to paper. It has a page-oriented paradigm. Word users are forced to think with a page-oriented and paper-oriented mindset. Word was not designed as an information exchange mechanism. All of its functionality is there to enable people to get words, in ever-prettier form, on to paper. And while paper is an information-dissemination tool, it's not a collaboration tool. Pretty much all of the functionality of Word is there to print paper, not to help me get the words I write to other people in a collaborative context.


Link: DominoPower: Has Word hindered collaboration?

Domino Dev Wiki Article: Manipulating Design Elements with LotusScript (or Java)

03/05/2010

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As much for my own reference as anything, I wanted to post a quick entry pointing to a tremendously useful article by Andre Guirard on the Lotus Notes and Domino Application Development Wiki about all sorts of clever ways to programmatically modify Notes design elements.

Great stuff Andre!

Link: Manipulating Design Elements with LotusScript (or Java)

(And now I can finally close that tab in Firefox that has been open for about a year )

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