IBM blog template in Domino 7.0.2

by Volker Weber

Paul tries the new template. This is the default layout. Looks ... blue.

Another screenshot which shows where the stylesheet needs help after the fold.

CSS needs some help


In fairness, it is very easy to manipulate, with well commented CSS files. But I am thinking of moving to it. This is the one that comes with the product - so I can use my site to show customers what can be done "out of the box"

You know what the kicker is now Volker.... My test site will get more hits then my real f**king site as you linked to it!! :-)

Paul Mooney, 2006-10-03

Nice logo in the upper right corner. We are going to be talking with Steve Castledine tomorrow morning. Anything you want us to ask him about the template?

Bruce Elgort, 2006-10-03

I already chatted with him today. The lack of documentation on how to configure/setup the 702 product is the only issue I have noticed. He is already working on technotes for IBM and his site.

Paul Mooney, 2006-10-03

Speaking of 7.02, it looks like IBM still doesn't know how to create clear screenshots.

Eric Garneau, 2006-10-03

come on Volker .. thats all you can say about it? Have you tried it out?

I have 2 client sites and 2 public blogs (Jeff Eisen and another coming soon) running the new template and it rocks. Steve did a killer job moving this to a IBM supported template

John Head, 2006-10-03

John, John, chill :o) Volker has not said anything that isn't factual. It does look very blue!

Just as well it's my favourite colour. Anyway, good job Steve!

Ben Poole, 2006-10-03

I like blue ;)

Steve Castledine, 2006-10-03

Seriously the template is a basic thing to get started and to make it easy to jig around. Art class was cancelled at my college.

The real power with the template is the ability to get your corp designers to change the css, html and images to suit your standards etc.

All the changes can be done without any modifications to the template design.

Steve Castledine, 2006-10-03

Steve, you took some free open source designs from Wordpress and made them available for Dominoblog. Do you have done the same for the new template?

Volker Weber, 2006-10-03

John, since you are running all these blogs, you may want to change the CSS so that the article runs the same width as the banner at the top and the bottom. Would look much nicer.

Volker Weber, 2006-10-03

Volker - yes i will. There are obvious open source/license issues with distributing the Wordpress etc based designs with the Domino distribution.

But there is nothing to stop anyone using them after market - just you will not be able to download them from IBM, they will be a community thing.

Steve Castledine, 2006-10-03

I wouldnt want to muck with Steve's default template ... :-)

seriously, your right ... its on my todo list

John Head, 2006-10-03

Is there an upgrade path from the ProjectDX templates - backwards compatability?

Bruce Elgort, 2006-10-03

Anybody working on an "Import from Blogsphere" feature?

Volker Weber, 2006-10-03

That was asked at the ILUG.. Answer then was "no"

Paul Mooney, 2006-10-03

What about the web based editor - seems a little bit simple to me. Bold, Italic and Underline aren't exactly power tools :)

@Steve - any plans to add some of the rich features back that were in the DominoBlog editor so that users can easily add links, images etc?

Colin Williams, 2006-10-03

Anybody working on an "Import from Blogsphere" feature?

How much you paying? :-D

Talking of Blogsphere, anyone seen what Declan's up to? v3 is looking very nice; it's gone all MovableType on us!

Blogsphere v3 - New features so far

Ben Poole, 2006-10-03

I forgot to add that on my test blog, it took just 20 minutes to create my own blogs look and feel - not bad given no documentation so had to work out what went where.

There is no doubting that this is a very clever tool from Steve!

Colin Williams, 2006-10-03

Colin, re the editor, I believe Steve made use of TinyMCE? The TinyMCE documentation isn't that great, but basically it has different themes: simple, advanced, etc. You may find that switching theme (by tweaking the relevant argument in the init() call for the editor) does the trick?

Kind of depends how far IBM went in locking it down ;o)

Disclaimer: I don't have Notes 7.0.2 Actually, I don't have Notes 7 full-stop. I could well be talking out of turn, or out of my arse:

(a) your call and; (b) don't sue me.

Ben Poole, 2006-10-03

Ben is right about TinyMCE -- which IBM chose not to distribute in the IBM blog template. I know Steve will chime in here, but he does have more plans for this area in future releases. But hey, it's blue.

Ed Brill, 2006-10-03

@Ben - nope I don't think its there anymore...see this entry on my blog for what it looks like out of the box.

Colin Williams, 2006-10-03

"web editor"... folks USE NOTES! ;-)

Alan Lepofsky, 2006-10-03

I'm sure an 'Import From BlogSphere' agent could be coded up fairly easily and vice-versa, if anybody wants to write one and needs any background info on how the fields in Blogsphere might map to those in IBM Blog then give me a shout and I'll see what I can do.

Of course once BlogSphere V3 is finished you won't want to switch :-)

Declan Lynch, 2006-10-03

Alan, if I have learned one thing well, then it is to not use Notes for anything published as HTML.

Volker Weber, 2006-10-04

Declan, you can write an "Import from IBM Blog" then. :-)

Volker Weber, 2006-10-04

Volker, I've been using DominoBlog for years now, as have many other, and only creating content from my Notes client. No one has reported issues with the HTML yet.

Alan Lepofsky, 2006-10-04

Steve and Declan, I'd suggest you both write agents for "Import from Moveable Type", "Import from Blogger", "Import from MSN Blogs/Live Spaces", etc. ;-)

Alan Lepofsky, 2006-10-04


Are you able to easily upgrade your blog to the IBM template?

Bruce Elgort, 2006-10-04

Maybe I am reading too much into the comments, but is it really an upgrade?

Volker Weber, 2006-10-04

Alan if you can convince somebody at IBM to create a perfect richtext to HTML convertor then you would be making life so much easier for developers who want to write web apps in Domino. Untill then the need for an external web editor is a high priority as the current method of converting richtext to messy html/mime and then having to clean it up is a pain.

I might write an import from IBM Blog script at a later stage but for now I'm working hard on getting BlogSphere V3 perfect.

Declan Lynch, 2006-10-04

Declan, thank you for showing the difference between a developer and an evangelist. :-)

Volker Weber, 2006-10-04

Bruce, I don't have any control of that. PSC hosts my blog, so I guess I will be upgraded when they are ready. Volker, just curious, do you have anything positive to say about this? Anything? Anything at all? Including the blog template in 7.0.2 is a great move by IBM, and Steve has done fantastic work. Do you not agree? I'm pretty surprised by your reluctance to comment on even one single feature positively. True, you've not said anything that is "incorrect". Yes the template is blue. No IBM did not include a set of skins. However, providing a supported out of the box blogging template to our Domino customer base is a move I would have expected you to be more positive about. You're independent and this is your personal blog, so of course I don't expect anything unfairly slanted towards IBM (nor should anything be), but at a minimum it would be nice to read some balanced comments from you. Just my $0.02. Some of your readers may agree, some may not.

Alan Lepofsky, 2006-10-04

Alan, I am still looking. So far I have seen that Steve had to remove a lot of stuff that seemed quite useful.

But don't worry. I have the head IBM cheerleaders commenting here.

Volker Weber, 2006-10-04

@Declan, IBM don't need to create one, they just need to buy one ;)

Colin Williams, 2006-10-04

Lest anyone think Alan and I are the same cheerleader, I think Alan's main point is that for a large majority of customers, their experience with the IBM blog template will be their first experience with Steve's work. As such, it doesn't matter much what was "taken out" (and so far, you only have two examples, one of which will be supported through other means). It matters more that for the first time, Domino has a native weblog capability, and a proven and flexible one, at no additional cost. Presumably there's something good to say about that, since many other bloggers have already done so in just the first two days that it has been available.

Go IBM! Rah Rah Rah!

Ed Brill, 2006-10-04

While it may true that some useful things have been removed, it's also true that some people complain Notes is too complex :)

Stephen hood, 2006-10-04

@Colin, you tell him! Seriously, I should probably get a copy of 7.0.2 and integrate CoexEdit with the blog template. I'll look into doing that, as it should be fairly simple, and would give people flexibility.

@Alan - Of course they should use Notes, but sometimes you are on the road without a laptop, and you just have to blog, and shouldn't you be able to pop into an internet cafe and still interact with your blog software effectively?

Ben Langhinrichs, 2006-10-04

Do I hear an OpenIBMBlog project on OpenNTF?

Bruce Elgort, 2006-10-04

An IBM Blog Themes project on OpenNTF would be a cool idea.

Richard Schwartz, 2006-10-04

@Ben - I'd love to see such a thing! Count me in for some beta testing ;)

Colin Williams, 2006-10-04

Ben, I'll have Notes on my USB drive with me! :-) But of course you should be able to also create/edit via the web. My post was intended more to be fun, as everyone was only mentioning web editting, while one of the best things about the IBM Blog template is that it works in Notes! Most of the popular blogging software is web only. Lotus ups the ante by providing you locally replicated, offline, full-text searchable access to your blog! As you can see in my blogs posts, which are all created from the Notes client, they can have lots of rich text, embedded jpgs, embedded animated-gifs, urls/links, code snippets, attachments, etc.. and they all work just fine. I guess Steve knows how to code some magic!

Alan Lepofsky, 2006-10-04

@Alan - I code almost all of my posts in the Notes client as well, and I certainly prefer it to a web editor, but there are contexts where it is nice to be able to use a browser. I do understand your point, and agree that it is great that IBM has a blogging solution "out of the box" that supports the Notes client.

Ben Langhinrichs, 2006-10-04

A few things:

The template has always had a parser which takes the rich text html and gives it some adjustments - so things like font tags are taken out etc. This parser has configuration options so you can leave them in if you wish. This way compliant html and xhtml are possible (template has an xhtml switch so system generated html is also compliant). This is why alan has never had any HTML problems because he wouldn't know that the system has been looking after it for him.

I simplified some workings within the system such as the "HTML Template" structure to make it easier to explain to customers. So replacing my software directly with the IBM template does not directly upgrade. You need to switch around a few templates first. I will be writing some code for this to automate it.

The rich text editor was pulled because it was TinyMCE and open source - the license would not work well with IBM (ie forcing them to open source notes if I remember correctly - but I may be wrong). So that was pulled. I wanted to use Dojo to replace the component but we had deadlines for shipping code and at the time Dojo had not been approved for use - this is something I can correct for future versions.

There is code within the tempate which allows rich text editing backwards and forwards between notes and the web editor - although I wish Tiny was still in use as you would see how well this works!

Things have been very busy of late but I plan to put more themes together and will make them available for download. I will be writing some code to help manage/distribute these.

Steve Castledine, 2006-10-04

Thanks, Steve. You are doing quite some magic there.

Volker Weber, 2006-10-04

Phew, already a long discussion and I only spotted it now. I deployed the new blog template on my own blog with no clue how it worked and hacked away at it for about half an hour to get my own scrappy homemade banner and stylesheet on it (and get rid of a bit of the blue... more of a white and grey plain old person I'm afraid). As I said before, the template is just lovely piece of Notes Art, worthy of True Respect. I'm waiting for a user manual before I fix everything that is still broken, as it would just take too much time trying to figure out what to tweak where.

These are the only problems I had to date, apart from the first one hopefully all could be solved with the manual, which I hope is coming soon:

Notes redirect has a problem with question marks when redirecting, so if you are migrating from a Wordpress (or perhaps other) blog to DominoBlog, you can kiss redirects from current subscriptions goodbye. Big problem, especially as a lot of people are dead keen to move to it, and for a busy blog, that is just a dead end as you will loose all hits on your popular links (especially if linked externally and you have no control updating them) and if subscribers don't bother to update their rss feed url's, you'll just loose a couple of subscribers also, at least for quite a few days/weeks.

I can not get GreatNews to feed a specific post's comments from the DominoBlog (perhaps my own stupidity). Anyone else getting that on other feeders, perhaps?

Had problems loading attachments - seems you may have problems working on local doing some of the functions, and must be connected to the server.

In the meantime, I'm eagerly awaiting some redpieces on how to customise the interface, add plug-ins and just Do Stuff with the new DominoBlog. It is really a great piece of software.

Adeleida Bingham, 2006-10-04

Adeleida, we should have talked last week while in London and seen what could be done to move or redirect and work with some of the issues.

Chris Miller, 2006-10-04

I think it's great that IBM is shipping a blog template. As Ed said, this will be many people's first time to host blogs. For the unitiated this is a good way to get them started and I'm glad to see Lotus make that move.

My one negative comment on this is I would have liked to have seen more documentation available when it was released, both for using and customizing the template. I appreciate Steve working on technotes, but unfortunately if it's not in the help.nsf that ships with Domino most people aren't going to know it exists.

Charles Robinson, 2006-10-04

@Chris: Damn, yes... of course. I'll send you more details on the redirect problem this week, if you could help out, it would be great. Thanks for picking up on it.

Adeleida Bingham, 2006-10-04

@steve, about TinyMCE and open source:
TinyMCE is released as Open Source under LGPL (different from GPL), so if i understand correctly the terms, you can link from a closed (not open-source) application to TinyMCE but you can't incorporate TinyMCE into your code without open-sourcing it: you may not be directly forced to opensource lotus notes but you maybe forced to opensource your blog template and maybe, with a domino effect(!), becouse your template is "incorporated" into Domino distribution, you maybe conseguently be forced to opensource Domino. BUT i think you may *support* (officially or not) linking to TinyMCE as-is or released as a "port" (of tinyMCE, i mean: incorporated into a notes DB) on openNTF.

Giuseppe Grasso, 2006-10-12

Any reason we could not use the editor from DWA ? It's not Xinha (sp?) but it's got a little more than b, i, u.

David Bell, 2006-10-14

Guiseppe... that sounds like the GPL to me. I think the LGPL is less restrictive, in that TinyMCE would count as a "library", i.e. a component rather than a be-all and end-all. In which case, if I understand the license correctly, IBM could have used TinyMCE without having to open-source the whole template.

It could be that IBM have a policy not to use anything other than Apache Software License 2.0 (for example)

Ben Poole, 2006-11-12

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