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How to correctly setup SVN plugin in Lotus Domino Designer


Jul 28, 2015

How to correctly setup SVN plugin in Lotus Domino Designer

Working with Lotus Domino and SVN plugin, there are some tips that you can't ignore. I'll explain this case that could drive you crazy if not detected

This tip isn't a brand new discovery, but it might help because, IMO, isn't sufficiently warned by Lotus Domino Designer documentation.

If you work with SVN integration for Designer, you know that there are three players in the game:

"on-disk" project is how Lotus Domino sychronize design elements from local server to remote SVN server.
  • .nsf database on server
  • database on SVN server
  • local "on-disk" project


On-disk representation is created by SVN plugin via DXL tool: with binary DXL every bit of a classic Notes design element is preserved without compromise.

The problems start when you have to manage conflicts ("merge").

If you try to compare the code between two conflicting elements, the disadvantage is the DXL data is not human readable (binary), and therefore you cannot use the "Compare tool".

Classic Notes elements like forms can have very complex design definitions (imagine a form with many nested tabbed tables, various complicated hotspots, images here and there, and so on) and it’s simply unknown if every bit of these elements has an appropriate representation in DXL

Binary DXL tool can be disabled through the  Source Code Enablement for Designer plug-in (SCE) in (File Preferences in Domino Designer)

In this case SCE plug-in uses human readable DXL code, so it's possible use the "Compare tool" and you even might change design elements by simply editing the pure DXL code.


Concerning to my personal experience, I disabled the option to make some merging tests, and accidentally left this option disabled.....this is evil!

In fact, it was found that pieces of form code was completely removed, methods inside Java Script Library result duplicated and so on. That's because, avoiding binary DXL preference, the on-disk synchronization is "at a loss".

Sure, at this point it wasn't easy to go back to the reason of the problem.

So, my advice is: don't disable this option, NEVER!!

And IBM, please, tell more about the risks involved in doing operations like these :-)


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