Monday, November 3, 2008

A New Job - and how to debug javascript in IE

I've been very quiet, because I haven't spent much time on-line in the last month.

It's not so much that I haven't been using a computer but a new job has meant some other priorities in the initial few weeks.

My new job is in many ways similar to my last one - Notes & Domino development. However my new job involves no admin or support work. While I didn't mind the admin work which was strategic - involvement in upgrade or roll-out planning, etc, I don't miss the day-to-day fixing mail routing / reviewing DDM alerts etc.

Other big advantages of my new job:
1) It's closer to home, so travel time is 1/2 hr to 1 hr less per day
2) The standard work day is shorter (7.5 hrs instead of 8 ) and
3) I now catch public transport to work so my husband has taken over the school / kindergarten drop-off and pick-up duties.

All this has meant more time for the family, and less stress on me.

My previous employer was strictly a Notes / Domino shop. The new employer is a larger professional services company, of which the IT consulting group is about 20, with a Notes & Domino team of 2.

Technically, my first challenge with the new job was learning how to drive Outlook. Yes, I have gone over to the dark side. At first, I found it shiny and new, and liked it a lot. It was quick. In Notes, I was nearly always running with the latest beta version, and my last laptop had exceeded the 'you have tweaked too much please re-build me now' stage that Windows XP seems to reach every 2 years or so. On a shiny new laptop with nothing else installed Outlook flies by comparison. And I like changing the color of my calendar entries, little things like that.

But I really miss my conversation threads. And Sametime. My new employer has no live chat services or similar services at all. And I don't like the way you have to turn off the reading pane on *every* folder individually. And the search is pretty ordinary - I don't think attachments are indexed, but I'm not sure.

Actually I miss Notes 8 altogether. The projects I have worked on so far have been general Notes client work for a customer with version 7 and changes to a web app for a customer with 6.5.

What is good is that the company has a strong .Net team and I'm hoping for a little cross-polination: sharing of javascript tools and libraries, standard approaches to UI, things like that.

Latest technical tip: I finally found out how to debug properly in IE. I usually build and debug in Firefox with Firebug, but the web app I was built for IE only, and some of the code was working fine in FF but not IE. So after much searching I found this page which explains how to use Visual Web Developer Express (free version) to connect to IE. It's a pretty awesome debugger. One thing I did find using VWD with Domino is it doesn't automatically recognise javascript libraries referenced from the jsheader on Notes forms. All you need to do to make it work is add a foward slashes and a script tag at the top of your script library and it then works a charm.

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