Another corker in Notes 6.5.3

Well really, this is simply too much!

Screenshot: Domino Designer 6.5.3 won't let me edit design elements intended for web access!

So there I was looking to do some design work on a web database. I’ve gotten used to the increased incidence of red boxes in this release of Notes, but this latest error message is simply too much. Grrr!

I make extensive use of a common development technique in Domino, whereby the coder creates two instances of the same form: one for the Notes client, the other just for web access. The Notes client uses the form hidden from the web, web clients use the version hidden from Notes. A simple trick, and it works a treat (I’m often amazed at how many people don’t realise they can do this).

But Notes isn’t supposed to hide the damn thing from the Designer client! As far as I can tell, the only option is to remove the relevant hide flags, make my changes, then set them back. What a PITA.

Sorry to rant about Domino. I try not to do that here too much, but you know, sometimes it gets on top of a poor wee coder…


  1. Hey Ben -- I've been thinking about this type of problem reporting quite a bit in the past couple of weeks. I noticed a posting where someone had a problem with one of the technologies the company I work for created. I forwarded the link to a friend that works on the product and didn't really think much about it.

    Then, in school, I have two Microsoft people on my project team and we have been joking with "When you get in tomorrow, will you code up something to make Windows secure?" type of jokes.

    It has gotten me to thinking about the power of blogs to influence changes at big companies. For a company like IBM/Lotus or Microsoft, I think you would have to report a bug to get real action. The programmers don't have time to work on all of the bugs assigned to them, let alone find new bugs written in blogs. I wonder if they have any idea that people are using the "same name form" trick and that they might have broke it?

    It would be handy to have the phone numbers or e-mail where we can report bugs. What is the process for IBM/Lotus? Do you _have_ to open a support call to report it? Would it get the right or any attention if you reported it on Notes Net?

    With open source and small companies, it seems to be the opposite. They tend to look more aggressively for people talking about their products on blogs.

    Hmmm…maybe this is just interesting to me? ;-)Michael Braly#
  2. OK, hiding it from Designer would be just plain stupid. Argh!Ben Langhinrichs#
  3. No, you raise a valid point Michael!

    To be honest, I raise this sort of thing from time to time on here as a form of therapy ;-)

    Raising a call with Lotus requires that you have a support contract with them. My organisation has such a thing, but of course the relationship is buried somewhere deep — I’ve lost the will to trawl through our internal process to get this reported.Ben Poole#
  4. More investigation: the issue appears to be limited to forms with web-only sub-forms in them.

    Re-setting the hide attributes of an affected form doesn't help, which means I'm locked out of some forms altogether. I've found that the locking happens for forms which are restricted to web use so long as they contain references to sub-forms which are similarly constrained.

    You can test this yourself by creating a web-only form and then embedding a sub-form in it which is hidden to the Notes client. As you save the form you'll get the error above, and the sub-form doesn't get linked in. Obviously my stuff was already done, hence the error.

    Good eh?Ben Poole#
  5. This problem exist on 6.0.4 and eariler with error : "Special Database Object cannot be located" when inserting a subform by Create > Resource > Insert Subform and select any subform that is "Hide design element from .. Notes R4.6. or later clients".

    If you search LDD for "Special Database Object cannot be located" there a quite a lot of entries..There is even a Tech Note Technote 1139133:


    The error message has been changed in 6.5.3 by the looks of it. Which is slightly more helpfull but does not actually solve the problem. :-\AJP#
  6. Thanks AJP, I hadn’t come across that. On a related point, got to love those IBM URLs eh? I cleaned up the link BTW - my template isn't very flexible when it comes to naming anchor refs, sorry about that :-) Ben Poole#
  7. I had to check the URL, I thought I'd pasted the URL twice.!!AJP#

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