Lotus Notes and OS X 10.8.x Mountain Lion

by Volker Weber

This technote contains questions and answers pertaining to installing and running IBM Lotus Notes on Apple's OS X 10.8.x Mountain Lion.

Life became somewhat complicated when Apple introduced a note taking app called "Notes". Instead of just overwriting an existing (IBM Lotus) Notes application in the apps directory, the OS X installer moves it out of the way to a "/Applications/Lotus Notes" folder. This leaves a bit of a mess behind.

IBM has now decided it's best to call the app "Lotus Notes" instead of just Notes and move it back into the /Applications folder. They are providing an "Interim Fix 1 for Notes 8.5.3 Fix Pack 2" to move the files and adjust the installation log.

At the same time IBM also provides an updated installer, that installs Notes as "Lotus Notes". Starting with Notes 8.5.3 Fix Pack 3 this fix is going to be merged into the regular distribution.

Unfortunately the Lotus Notes installer is still unsigned and will fail to pass Gatekeeper security if that is active. IBM is "evaluating" Retina display support for future Notes versions. That is a much bigger issue since Notes makes use of Carbon APIs which do not support Retina display resolutions.

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During the birds of a feather session for Mac Dev at Lotusphere 2012, IBM announced that they will port Lotus Notes from Carbon to Cocoa in 8.5.4 (one of the reasons, Symphony might not be included, IBM dev needs time/resources for this), but I'm not sure if that will also mean Retina support in a future version.

BTW those different installation paths for Lotus Notes are a PITA for third party developers, because the path to the Notes program directory needs to be listed in the info.plist file in the app bundle (to be able to talk to the Notes Java API).
And an enduser or customer cannot change this plist file, because that would break the developer id signature on the app bundle.

That means that third party developers need to provide app bundles for

/Application/Notes.localized/Notes.app (Notes.localized gets displayed as "Lotus Notes" in Finder)
/Application/Lotus Notes.app

Fortunately, more and more solutions move to browser based solutions and only require Lotus Notes/Domino on the server.

Karsten Lehmann, 2012-10-05 01:21

Thanks, Karsten. Excellent comment.

Volker Weber, 2012-10-05 08:47

I think IBM is still torn with what to call the app. I just downloaded the new part number version. During the install the "Important Information" notes still say that the app will be installed to Applications/Notes.app. Looks like someone forgot to update the read me file in the slipstream version.

Steve Medure, 2012-10-05 14:24

We've got a fourth install path on the Mac:
IBM Notes 9 beta is installed at "/Applications/IBM Notes.app".

Karsten Lehmann, 2012-12-13 23:21

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Hubert Stettner on Lindt :: Oh yeah at 20:20
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