Friday 27 May 2011

So what have you done in the last 12 months that you are proud of?

I am back from UKLUG and I am now in that period of slight anti-climax that comes before work starts again and normal life kicks me with that 18 hole Dr.Marten steel toe capped boot of reality right in my professional nuts.

Many were the chats at UKLUG and mighty was the craic. Geekness with a heady after note of nerd lay heavy in the air. Mind you that could have been Bill Buchan who was perhaps a tad heavy on the baked beans at breakfast.

Having watched the great and the good do their stuff, having seen the very brave sponsors do their thing and show off their products I am once again enthused and dare I say empowered. The other side of this coin is if I am now enthused and empowered what was I before? Taking a long hard look at my output I am forced to ask myself, what HAVE I done recently that I am actually proud of?

I have circumnavigated the corporate globe trying to pass my enthusiasm for a way of working that while Domino centric basically when all said and done is not so much a method but the simple act of sharing just, when all said and done, sharing and I should NOT have to teach adult people how to share!

I have created several applications that users both love and sometimes despise. I have enacted corporate policies over which I have little control or input but take all of the ire and blame that they generate. I take this flack with some level of professional courtesy most of the time ... but sometimes the toys get lined up alphabetically and some poor sod standing next to my pram gets the whole toy box turfed out onto them in glorious technicolor WITH subtitles AND fully biological accurate diagrams for those poor of understanding.

So whither my new enthusiasm and where to use my empowerment? In a year's time will I be able to create a [UL] list of all those things I am proud of and display them in a glowing neon font here on my blog or will I once again be listening to Mahler and feeling just a tad discomfited that another year has slipped by?

Let's be fair now, I am not all depressed and gloomy about this state of affairs :) I am reflective and a little disappointed in myself and this will probably prove more useful than anything else I picked up at UKLUG.

So given that I have found use in my cogitations on this subject I pose this question to you all - What have you done that you are proud of in the last year?

Wednesday 25 May 2011

UKlug 2011 -raw chilies and refrigerated underpants

Well it's done!
Another Lug is in the box... And by all accounts it was a good one :)

So some thoughts from the comfort of terminal 3 Manchester airport ... Most importantly I learned an invaluable life lesson Never let a colleague order you 5 raw chilies at an Indian restaurant and then eat them ... No matter how much you enjoy it at the time, certain parts of your anatomy south if the belly button will thank you in the morning and Manchester airport does not have underpant freezing facilities!

However that aside uklug,what can one say? I have now been involved with the organization of 2 I and 2 UK lugs and with each one I come to a deeper understanding that herding cats is actually a doodle, organizing geeks on the other hand is best done only when you gave access to a dark room, soothing music and a supply of krispy creme donuts and / or Tunnocks teacakes.

Team building on the persistent Skype chat will only work if you sing the 'tigger song' at least once a call.

It is possible to make Eileen Fitzgerald (@eileenfirzy) speak at such a high frequency that bats get confused.

Giving a session with Mr Frank Doherty (@fsdoc) is both a pleasure and a privilege as he is a gentleman and scholar and an admin ranked in the dominoyesmaybe top 10.

Talking of Mr Doherty , his daughter Rebecca who foolishly volunteered to be one of the reception desk possee and checkin maaasive (aka Kitty's Geek Herders and freestyle extreme clipboard team) is amazing! If you are having an event invite her along ,she is fantastic and should do really well in her chosen career of hospitality management! Well done Rebecca!

The sessions were well attended and from what i heard very well received again another triumph directly related to the quality of experts and their desire to share with the greater community!

To all the foreign folk both attendee and speakers thank you so much for coming we really appreciate it. Some of you came from a very long way away and I hope the jet lag was worth it .. I suspect it was.

A big shout out to Warren and Kitty Elsmore without whom there would be no Uklug and without their good humour and organisational skills chaos and tears would result.

Oh for all those who volunteered for 'Moon the Mooney' on Tuesday afternoon this has been postponed until the next lug when participants are reminded that clean underwear is required aand in order to add the 'blast' to adminblast you must have had beans for breakfast!!

Another thing of note was that having that tornado of yellow tinted enthusiasm Mat Newman (@matnewmann)in the same bar as Bill Buchan (@u235) and myself did nor trigger the apocalypse but did result in a 'timtam-slamgasm' that could have destablised the space time continuum, we have dispatched Mark Myers (@stickfight) into the rift that ensued to recover Tom Duff's (@duffbert) spectacles and Francie Tanner's (@akafrancie) luggage.

So .. The sessions are over the beer has been quaffed the sponsors have been quizzed about new releases and prices and Big Firm Tony and Tim Clark has eaten an acre of naan bread. That's it for another year, thank you all for coming and I am already looking forward to seeing you all again next year

Tuesday 3 May 2011

Making a CHECKBOX field align nicely on a Domino form

I was asked by my padowan in Austrailia today how to ensure that a multi colum CHECKBOX field on a Domino web app form can be made to line up properly.

There are several methods of doing this, however given the requirements that my padowan had this is the solution I gave her.

If you look at the RAW code that the domino server produces for a CEHCKBOX element you will notice that it created a [LABEL] envelope that contains the [INPUT] tag and the option's text. Depending on the number of columns you have defined on the field there will also be a [BR] tag inserted after that number of [LABEL]s have been placed on the form.

So how do we force the HTML and CSS to our will?

Well the first thing to do is work out how wide your [LABEL] set needs to be to incorporate both the checkbox itself, a margin, and the text label. Once we have this information we can work out how wide a container that will hold the columns needs to be, lets say 6 columns where each [LABEL] is 155px wide.
x155 = 930px. So we now know that a container for the SELECT needs to be a minum of 930px wide.

So I create a containing [DIV] for the field and syle it to be 930px wide
I place the field in the containing [DIV], the number of columns can be set to anything as it will be ignored
I create CSS that sets [BR] display to none , effectively turning it off
I then create CSS rule for [LABEL]s inside the containing [DIV] so they are BLOCK and of a known width

So the code looks like this :-

 Resulting in a display of the CHECKBOX like this all nicely lined up in the browser window

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