Monday, July 24, 2006

Lotus Notes 7.0.1 for Linux - More Information

It appears that my initial post was fairly popular! I wanted to post a follow-up with some Q&A, links and more information I have posted in comments.

Are there any IBM Technotes on this client yet?
Yes! Some were published this week:
Technote # 1242349 - Why is the IBM Workplace Managed Client installed during the Lotus Notes for Linux install?
Technote # 1242348 - Lotus Notes for Linux opens with a blank window immediately after install
Technote # 1242351 - What directories are created during the Lotus Notes for Linux install?

How do I get the software? - I simply downloaded the file from Passport Advantage Online as a customer. I am not a Partner. If you search by part number, the number is: CR41WNA. I cannot help you if you are unable to download.

I am receiving an error stating "Can not validate Mozilla version" - This is not referring to the version of Firefox. You will need to install at least the 1.7.12 build. The latest current build is 1.7.13 and it works. You can get it here. After updating Mozilla, you will also need to create the /etc/gre.conf file (as root) and make sure the user has access to the file before attempting the Lotus Notes install. More information was at my "teaser" post from earlier on Friday.

Tell us more about the client...
It's Lotus Notes for Linux! It's a fairly bold move for IBM - kudos for that! But...
I'm running a PIII 1.3GHz box with 768MB RAM. I believe it's the slowest Notes Client I've ever seen on a machine with these specs. On my home XP PC that's a PIII 1GHz with 384MB RAM my 7.0.1 client takes about 10 seconds to open (including login). The linux client takes over 20 seconds (think 25-30). This needs to be addressed!
I have always used KDE, but the Notes Client requires Gnome. I could not get the application to open at all in KDE but switching to Gnome worked great. Update: Peter posted in my other thread that Gnome libraries are required but you don't have to actually run Gnome. I didn't even have Gnome installed and had to load it from the discs, so that may be why it didn't work for me in KDE.
For those interested, there is a workspace, but I can't find a way to set it as the homepage. I can't find a way to set anything else as the homepage other than a "Welcome Page".
There is a LotusScript debugger, but when I run it the debug window just flashes continuously and you can't really do anything because it will not stay active. You can click the usual buttons but it continues to flash. Clicking "Continue" will allow the code to run and return focus to the client.
The menu is very flaky. Instead of always displaying the File, Edit, View... menus (like a standalone client would!!) sometimes it will just have File, Help. The File menu then only contains Close and Exit. The Help menu has "About IBM Workplace". The "About Notes" option is missing when it does this. You have to actually place focus in a Notes database for the menu to persist.
Note that I'm just on RedHat 9 (not Enterprise), so therefore it's somewhat "unsupported". I'm sure that will be to blame!

Is anyone else writing about it?

Warren Elsmore posted a link to a Wiki entry by Peter Hicks. If you need installation tips, please check this Wiki out!

Jack Dausman has posted a review as well as some thoughts on the client.

Volker Weber has asked whether or not this client is a joke! It's rather thought provoking with him posing the question as to whether or not this is beta code since the majority of the readme file contains "limitations" (or as we in the real world like to refer to them as: "bugs"). In my initial post I really tried to stay positive, but he hits the mark regarding the "stand-alone client" by stating:
If you unpack the zip file, you get a 170 megabyte binary with the Notes plugin, a 200 megabyte zip file — yes, another zip file — with the Workplace Managed Client and a 36 page readme.
He also notes that the user must copy the Notes setup binary to a specific directory. A tip to those wanting to make it a single command install - just put the proper binary in the correct directory inside the zip file. The extraction should place everything in the proper location. I will say, the Sametime 7.5 installer for Linux was very nice. Basically an unpack followed by a ./install...


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