QuickTip Video: Grouping your opened tabs in Lotus Notes

This quick tip shows how you can group opened tabs in the Lotus Notes client.  This is just a preference in the preference panel!

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plugin_customization.ini and Eclipse preferences

After reading the post from Mich I figured I would add another little hidden gem to the discussion.  While this is not a comprehensive list of what settings can go in that file, it should explain why that list is so elusive.

plugin_customization.ini is actually a file that can be used to set any Eclipse preference on startup.  Given that, the settings that can go in there are basically whatever preferences any plugin sets.  So, do you want to know where those settings are persisted in the client?  In the Notes data directory follow this path:

workspace.metadata.pluginsorg.eclipse.core.runtime.settings

That directory contains all of the “.prefs” files for each and every plugin – ie. each one of those files is a preference store.  They are readable to the human eye in a text editor so crack one open in your favorite text editor.

Here is how it works;  we will use the preference setting Mich mentions in his post:

com.ibm.notes.branding/enable.update.ui=true

The format of the entry is this:     <plugin id> / <setting> = <value>

So if you look for the file “com.ibm.notes.branding.prefs” and open it you will see all of the Eclipse preferences this plugin supports.  Usually these can be controlled by the Application | Preferences panels but some are only set in code.  Just depends if you want users changing them or not.  Here are the contents of that file (com.ibm.notes.branding.prefs):

#Fri Aug 27 15:16:57 EDT 2010
enable.update.ui=true
eclipse.preferences.version=1

One more thing to keep in mind.  Policies can also enforce preferences.  So if you change this file and put a preference that is controlled by Domino Policy it will be changed immediately when you launch the client.

Creating your own preference panels in Lotus Notes

I was going to write up a nice article/tutorial on this but I knew it has been written about many times over.  Not too mention it is in almost every Eclipse book on the planet.  Many Notes developers still do not realize that most of the extensibility in Notes 8.x is really just plain old Eclipse extensions – preference panels being one of them.  Eclipse.org is always the place to find the best small articles, this article is specifically about preferences – the store and the user interface.

The following tutorial post by Raja is also a great start in learning this stuff.  So if you want to create Eclipse plug-ins for Lotus Notes make sure you check out what is available in the online community.  I found this article by searching “creating an Eclipse preference panel extension” in Google, unfortunately it was found on the second page, near the bottom.  So in short, I think this stuff is very hard to find and this kind of information is most likely not included in the Notes 8.x documentation.  Your best bet is to search Eclipse.org!

Introduction to Eclipse Plugin Architecture

Code Snippet: Getting a components preferences

Making your components data driven is a key area of composite applications.  This gives the assembler the ability to change the characteristics of your component at assembly time.

Getting a components preferences