PermaLink Still grumpy about Notes 8.502/03/2009 11:34 PM
When it runs, 8.5 is cool.  When it doesn't, it's a royal PITA.

I'll start this off by saying, I do love Notes 8.5. Domino 8.5. Everything about their specs is amazing and useful.

However, like a lot of things, sometimes the implementation is what trips stuff up.

I've already commented elsewhere about a minor but annoying behavior in the Mac 8.5 client installer: basically, it does a CPU ID check to make sure you don't do anything insane, like try to install the Standard version on a PowerPC Mac. Problem is, when it checks, the check should be specifically for a PowerPC ID string, and only if it finds it should it bitch at you. Instead, it seems to check for very specific Intel CPUs and barfs if you have something it doesn't expect, and wrongly thinks that therefore, you must have a PPC. Nope. While Declan has suggested a useful way to edit the preflight script to bypass CPU checking, I think the logic in the installer should do exactly as I describe: look for a PPC and then bail out, rather than looking only for specific Intel IDs and bailing if it does not find them. Since I have a perfectly serviceable Intel chip -- a 1.6Ghz Atom -- in my perfectly nice MacBook nano, which started life as an MSI Wind, this is kind of a sore point with me.

Bigger problems, though, have been awaiting me when trying to install the gold 8.5 client code on my work machine. It's a very ordinary HP desktop, plenty of disk space and RAM, and it ran both beta 1 and beta 2 with no complaints. However, it simply refuses to run the gold code properly and doesn't give me much information as to why it hates life. I've opened a PMR with support, of course, but I'd really, really like to know what its problem is.

Here's what's been going on.

Beta 2 has been on this machine for a good long while (like, since the day 8.5b2 was out on the servers). It ran nicely, ran alongside a Notes 8.02 client I used for everyday work. Switch between then, no problem.

The day came to install the gold code. I removed the 8.5b2 completely, and hid the 8.02 by zipping it all up and removing the directory. And when I say, "completely," I scoured the damn thing. Uninstalled, removed the directories, removed every temp file on every drive, removed every registry entry that even mentioned IBM or Lotus, cleaned things out good. The install ran, the client got to the configuration stage and... went away.

Just went away. Notes.exe ended, leaving nlnotes.exe and ntaskldr.exe orphaned and dormant. Worse, it ran only in Basic mode, and Eclipse never ran for an instant.

I am puzzled.

Just as a reality check, I reinstalled the Beta 2, and of course it ran perfectly.


Suggestions are welcome, but remember, I've already opened a PMR, and I have almost certainly already tried the suggestions you're likely to make. 28 years in this business makes you wily when it comes to forcing code to do things it doesn't seem to want to do.

My next trick will be to install it on a virtual machine at home, one with an absolutely clean, fresh install of XP. Start it, run it, configure it, then zip the whole damn directory tree up, burn it to a DVD, unzip the whole thing to an identical place on the work machine, and then get all pissed off that it won't run.

And yes, I am more than willing to blame our effed-up workstation config at my day job, but I've always been able to work around this in the past and am mostly annoyed that I can't beat the thing into submission now.


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2. Turtle02/04/2009 11:33:21 PM

As I expected: in VirtualBox on the MacBook nano, 8.5 installs and runs perfectly. I guess it's the effed-up workstation configuration and security/rights policy on my workstation at my day job, but at least now I have a surefire workaround: run 8.5 in a virtual machine!

Yeah, I know that's stupid, having to run a non-effed-up XP environment in a VM on a truly-farked "real" XP workstation, but such is my dedication, that I'll probably do it. I just cannot keep my hands off XPages.

Yep. It's that important. All hail XPages!

3. Turtle02/04/2009 04:59:04 PM

Trying out your suggestion, Nelson. Can't hurt.

Oh, and in case anyone from the team that builds the Install Wizard is listening in: an app that takes six minutes to install should not take SEVENTEEN MINUTES to uninstall! Particularly when it's not even removing everything!

4. Matt White02/04/2009 03:38:53 PM

When I've had trouble with the client I have got into the habit of deleting the "workspace" directory in the Notes\data directory. It doesn't actually delete the workspace, but tidies up Eclipse and makes it recreate a lot of its files. YMMV but worth a try and it does no harm if it doesn't work.


5. Aaron Becker02/04/2009 09:30:09 AM

This may just sound stupid but I seemed to have the same problem with installing the gold release. I uninstalled everything but when I ran it the splash screen would come up then just disappear! I would killnotes, restart, try again but nothing would get it to run. I was trying to figure out what was going on and had started the client when I got called away from my desk. When I got back notes 8.5 was running. It was over a half hour later so I am not sure how long it took to start up. After getting through that first long start up now it runs fine. Starts up fast. I am not sure what it was doing the first time.

6. nelson morris02/04/2009 12:07:49 AM

add enable_early_authentication=0 to your ini - see if that works. 8.50 might not have yet some of the fixed in CCH3 for 802.

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