Sunday, 29 January 2012

Lotus Notes 8.5.3 on Mac OSX - Not playing ball

I'm an inveterate hacker, in the traditional sense of the word, and cannot resist fiddling with technology, often failing to obey the rule "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" :-)

At some point on Friday, I fell into that trap, whilst "playing" with Lotus Notes 8.5.3 on my Mac, running OSX 10.7.2 Lion.

Having "faffed" about with one particular configuration file: -

/Applications/Notes.app/Contents/MacOS/rcp/plugin_customization.ini

I got into a situation where Notes Standard ( as the "full fat" Eclipse-based client is called ) wouldn't start.

No matter how many times I tried to start the client, it would come up, get as far as the desktop e.g. showing my inbox, the sidebar etc. before dying.

No errors were being displayed, and this problem persisted past a reboot ( yes, even Macs need a reboot from time to time ).

I even went as far as to manually start Notes from a command line: -

$ /Applications/Notes.app/Contents/MacOS/Notes

but to no avail.

Whilst I could start Notes Basic ( the old pre-Hanover client that we know and love as nlnotes ): -

/Applications/Notes.app/Contents/MacOS/Notes -basic

Standard didn't want to play ball.

I even tried starting Notes in "debug" mode: -

/Applications/Notes.app/Contents/MacOS/Notes -debug

but, again, no dice - nothing obvious was being displayed.

Having plead for help on Twitter, @JimCasale quickly came to my aid, first suggesting that I check out the "workspace\logs" directory.

On the Mac, this is located here: -

/Users/david_hay/Library/Application Support/Lotus Notes Data/Expeditor/Applications/logs

I cleared down the content of the ./logs folder: -

$ cd /Users/david_hay/Library/Application Support/Lotus Notes Data/Expeditor/Applications/logs
$ rm -Rf *

and then re-tried to start Notes, but again the same symptom resulted, and there appeared to be nothing obvious in the logs.

Jim then suggested that I cleared down the "workspace" folder.

Again, on the Mac, this is located here: -

/Users/david_hay/Library/Application Support/Lotus Notes Data/Expeditor

so I took Jim's advice: -

$ cd /Users/david_hay/Library/Application Support/Lotus Notes Data/Expeditor
$ rm -Rf *

That appeared to do the trick - the next time I started Notes, it started and stayed running.

I did find that I had to go back through the process of setting up Notes, similar to that seen after a clean installation e.g. storing credentials for Sametime, Connections etc. but that's a minor inconvenience ( to be quite honest, prior to Jim's intervention, I was looking at a clean reinstallation anyway ).

PS I did note that my Sametime 8.5.2 client appears to have disappeared ( leaving me with 8.5.1 which doesn't give me Sametime Unified Telephony ), but that was also easily rectified.

Kudos (™ Darren Duke) to Jim, much obliged for his kind support.

PS I did find this section of the IBM Lotus Domino and Notes Information Centre to be of use: -


On an Apple® Mac OS X® system, the default installation directories are as below:

• /Applications/Notes.app -- Notes product and binary files installation directory
• /Applications/Notes.app/Contents/MacOS/ -- Notes Java™ code installation directory
• ~/Library/Application Support/Lotus Notes Data/Expeditor -- Notes workspace directory
• /Applications/Notes.app/Contents/Resources/English.lproj/Data -- Shared data directory
• ~/Library/Application Support/Lotus Notes Data -- Data files directory for each user


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