IBM Connections Dev Update to V5

As per this blog by Gab Davis, customisations in connection V5 is not the same as V4.5

Now that is expected with just about any software upgrade though a list of upgrade requirements/changes for customisations just as there is for administration would have not gone amiss,

The nearest you will get is this blog by Paul Godby (which is very useful)

It gives a lot of excellent details, I personally found that the major changes between connections CSS v4.5 and v5 were ones of extra granularity caused by catering to the dynamic widths on the content (do not forget that your widgets will no longer be fixed width) and spruced up side menu in V5, so you should find that adding extra elements to your existing CSS rules will solve 90% of the problem the upgrade brings

In additional to the details provided by Paul, its worth noting that the open social widget standard seems to have been quietly dropped and iwidgets are back in favour (the basic open social widget wrapper for an XPage no longer works)

So where you might have had a basic open social widget XML of

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
            title="Example title"
            author_email="" height="800" scrolling="true" width="450">
    <Require feature="dynamic-height"/>
    <Content href="<Computed Value>/content.xsp" type="url" view="canvas" />

you will most likely go back to the iwidget version of

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
<iw:iwidget name="WelcomeTabAdministrator" xmlns:iw="" iScope="htmlWidget"  supportedModes="view" mode="view">
<iw:content mode="view">
       <iframe src="<Computed Value>/content.xsp" scrolling="no" width="450px" height="800px" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe>

The good news is the SSO works just fine in the iwidget.

W.T.F. they made me an IBM Champion and a C-API tip

It would seem that truth is stranger than fiction and the truth is that I have been made an IBM champion

Now as I understand that you only get to be an IBM champion when you are recommended by people who can provide good reasons for you being one, I reckon I know who sponsored me for it and I would like to thank the 4 criminals that I believe are responsible…. its your fault

So this means a number of things

  1. I will be more respectful on my blog …… hahahahahaha!
  2. I will have to post more articles…. Groan
  3. I will have to post more USEFUL articles…. Groan x 2
  4. I have access to the rest of the IBM champions who turn out to be smart arses †

Ignoring that stuff it does mean that if I am luckily enough to work with the turtles again this year, there will be 3 IBM champions on the team ( Gab Davis , Mike Smith and me) which will really rock hard for clients.

† Here is an example of the IBM Champions solving a problem quickly

Mark Myers: here is an oldschool challange for IBM champions: where do you find a complete listing of the notes exceptions, and I don’t just mean the 3XXX and 4XXX ones, I need the 5XXX and 6XXX as well (in particular I want to confirm 6408 and find out what 5631 means)

Julian Robichaux: Mark, are the numbers you’re looking for in decimal or hex format?

Julian Robichaux: if they’re LotusScript, try running this agent and checking the codes in the resultant CSV file:

Julian Robichaux: that’ll give you up to 3FFF in hex. In the API headers, that used to be the highest valid return code.

Mark Myers: not sure, just returned as an int, but that is a good point

Julian Robichaux: iirc (and it’s been a while), numbers higher than 3FFF were just bitmasked to indicate where the error came from (client or server, or something like that)

Mark Myers: ok

benedek.menesi: Well 5631 would be 15FF in Hex which is a valid error code and stands for “Cannot handle the import file. Check file name and file password”

Mark Myers: Oooooooooooooooo that would match the problem

Julian Robichaux: and 6408 is Wrong Password

As I said smart arses, shame they are nice as well

Christmas Trainset 2014

In their current house my parents decided to do a train set instead of a huge Christmas tree and each year it grows a little bit see this blog,

this year the top been expanded and a bunch of new bits have been added



My Dad received a personalised carriage as a gift from work colleges and decided to turn it into a restaurant car


a lot of wires and a lot of work with tweezers


A new farm and a new farm shop have also been added (with lot of wires)

Here is a video of it in motion

Bloody Android Kit-Kat and SD Cards

I’m a bit late with this one, but it has only just bit me* and I still feel it’s worth a blog entry.

So basically with Android 4.4 (kit kat) Google decided to do something about the “all or nothing” nature of the security of the Fat32 file format used with most SD cards, because any given program can write anywhere it likes on an SD card plugged into your phone/tablet and that is a bad thing right?

Actually in my opinion its only bad in theory, because I and lots of people like me use the SD card as general data storage for music/movies/pdfs and the like so we WANT all programs to reach them.

Google however disagrees and have locked the whole sodding card down, so that a program can only access the one directory they own, no general directories any more….WTF!!!

(To get a more balanced less ranty description plus the background thinking that went into it read THIS post)

Thankfully what the stupid vendor taketh away,the hacker community giveth back and we can over ride this ill thought out setting.

  1. Firstly we have to root the phone, which might be a deal killer for a lot of us, if it is you might have to end up moving all the “common data folders” you want to use into the single folder that your app has access to. (for dropsync this is /Android/data/com.ttxapps.dropsync/files (see their blog for details)
  2. If/Once you have decided that rooting is an option, you have to decide how, now I’m not a windows user (except when it comes to client VMware machines) so I really did not want to use one of the windows only tools, I used which is just an unsigned .apk that you install and run on your phone (yes I know but its no worse than an unknown .exe installed on your desktop), you should now have a rooted device (it worked perfectly on the 2 tablets I tried it on)
  3. Now Install and run “NextApp SDfix” from ,this lovely bit of software will revert the rights of the card to what you want, but does need root access to run.
  4. Now both of the previous programs say your don’t need a restart but I found that any program that ran as a service i.e. dropsync needed to be restarted for the change to take effect (just reboot)

You should be back to what you were now (though I would be a bit more paranoid on what you install from now on as the rooting makes you more vulnerable to nasty programs if they get on your device)

Going forward I would personally like it if Google would either allow a developer option to turn this off (just like they do for unsigned code), or a better solution would be to have “public” folders that allowed the traditional fat32 access from any program.

*in that, it does not apply to my main phone as that is a nexus 5 with no SD cards, and my tablet vendor has only just updated their firmware