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Blogsphere in Notes 8: How To Get URLs Working in Rich Text Posts


After upgrading earlier this year, I discovered to my frustration that in Notes 8, unlike earlier versions, any http:// URL entered into a rich text field is automatically converted to a URL hotspot upon save. While this can be very convenient in some cases, it became a real hindrance to blogging because of the way Blogsphere translates Rich Text posts to MIME. As Blogsphere users (should) know, anything in a Rich Text post with double square brackets around it will be interpreted as passthru html. Suffice it to say Blogsphere got pretty confused when trying to sort out hotspots inside passthru html. Something like this:

http://www.blogsphere.net/" title="This is sort of what that mess would look like" target=_new>This is sort of what that mess would look like

At first I banged my head on various (formerly) flat surfaces looking for the "mystery setting" at the field, form, database, and global preference level. There had to be some way to turn this behavior off, but I couldn't find anything. Surely this wasn't just a "functioning as intended" thing?

Finally after reaching out to Mary Beth Raven, a breakthrough.

Dr. Raven (yes, she has a Ph.D.) checked with her team at Lotus Notes 8 Design HQ, and it turns out I'm NOT crazy! Here's what came back from her query:

What changed during 8.0 development is, we never used to persist these hotspots to disk.  They would be auto-generated during document load, but not saved during document save. That was changed about a year ago, to actually generate the link if the editor is saving the data as MIME/HTML.  This would be the case if we are sending mail to a user who wants MIME or the field in question is set to save it's contents as MIME/HTML...

However, as 8.0 progressed, it appears someone else didn't care for this new behavior, so an item called $DontAutoProcessURL was invented and if this item is present on the note in question and is set to '1' (text), we won't generate the URL hotspot either.

In other words, just add a field called "$DontAutoProcessURL" with a value of "1" to the form, and no more funky hotspots. In the case of Blogsphere, the form in question is the "SYSTEM - MIME Convert" form, and just to make sure the field is a single value, I made the formula @Implode("1").  The next release will have this fix, but in the meantime you can DIY:

A picture named M2


1 - Kevin, this is GREAT news. Thanks a lot for sharing.

I just wonder why the Domino Blog template don't use this feature.

Thanks again

2 - Because it's a well kept secret. Emoticon

Just google for $DontAutoProcessURL or search IBM's websites, nothing besides Kevin's publications.


3 - THANKS! Great post, solves a problem that has been bugging me for a while

4 - This had been driving me nuts when trying to insert links. Although the simple, and probably better, way is to just create a normal URL Hotspot. That way you can control whether it opens in a new window or not, too.

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