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IBM Releases SashXB 63

IBM has released SashXB for the Open Source community. SashXB is Weblication Development Environment (a.k.a. the WDE), so you can use it to write "weblications". From the screenshots it looks pretty impressive, and there is a Lotus Notes Client included written with this tool. The license ig LGPL.
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IBM Releases SashXB

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  • Maybe you have to have had Bad Things happen to Linux in production environments too often, but is "sash" a bad name for a Linux tool? The only time I use sash is when Deep Doodoo Has Occurred. =/
  • Is this a environment to develop applications based on web technologies or to develop web application from other technologies? Also, in what way is it bound to gnome? Which gnome techologies are used in this soft? It's good to see IBM releasing lots of things for Linux. If only they were against software patents in Europe.... ;-)
  • by mirko ( 198274 ) on Thursday August 24, 2000 @12:30AM (#831905) Journal
    1. Lotus Notes Client is excellent to convince managers to let people use an alternative to Windows (I had this problem 2 years ago with a Fortune100 company).
    2. This and StarOffice confirm that Linux slowly gain acceptance as a desktop OS.
    3. LGPL is not bad in this case as IBM is a serious brand.
    4. Choosing Gnome is not a bad point though I hope WDE will be uasable under other environments, though.
    5. Now, I just want to see how clean the generated code is but until then: Two Thumbs Up, IBM!

  • > Lotus Notes Client is excellent to convince managers to let people use an alternative to Windows

    Absolutely! Not just managers though. I've pretty much got the go-ahead to use linux on my desktop at work now but the only reason I can't is the lack of a Lotus notes client. Notes client for Linux is good news for me. (although I haven't actually found a mention of a notes client yet on the site)

    To those who might suggest a notes client for windows running under wine. I tried that and it was good, but not good enough. (segfault when reading attachments)
  • The Sash project demonstrates a new class of application (we call them weblications) that go beyond the browser and showcases the integration of web content and the desktop.

    Yea, active desktop for Linux. No thanks, if my desktop were only as stable as my browser I wouldn't be able to keep Katie Holmes on the background.
  • Gee, this sounds cool, especially the Lotus Notes client! However, isn't there something important missing here? Such as a download link, where we can download all at once. Or are we supposed to get all files one-by-one from their CVS Web page?
  • I'm not an hard core developer myself but when "weblications" are concerned: don't we got Zope [zope.org] to handle these things allready? One of its main advantages is at least the fact that its totally independent because it uses a browser for its primary interface.
  • > To those who might suggest a notes client for windows running under wine. I tried that and it was good, but not good enough. (segfault when reading attachments)

    Exactly my problem too. And this bug has been reported by various people in the Wine bugtracking system for almost a year, and it still hasn't been fixed.

  • Exactly like my situation. I use Linux on my workstation aty my office, and am able to do most of the tasks with it, using staroffice. A Lotus Notes client for Linux would be great, although I haven't found it yet on the site. At the moment I use the notes client with NT with vmware, which works quite well, but a native client would be nice. I have also worked with the webmail interface, but that isn't very optimal either, since it depends on java, and the javavm of netscape seems to suck. (Is there a way to replace the javavm?)
  • by MartinG ( 52587 ) on Thursday August 24, 2000 @12:49AM (#831912) Homepage Journal
    I just found this on their mailing list:

    > Can anyone point to a coherent explaination of what
    > Sash can offer on Linux, and what it's parts are?

    This question is probably going to be asked a lot, so I guess we should
    start creating a FAQ somewhere.

    Anyway. This is of course by no means an official position on anything;
    these are just my thoughts.

    The Sash end-user gets:
    * Painless installation (no command line necessary -- straight from the
    browser to the [graphical] installer).
    * One-click uninstallation, with recursive dependency checking to prevent
    the removal of vital components.
    * A point and click interface for the execution and management of all of
    his weblications
    * Automatic updating of programs/extensions (this is in the works)
    * Tiny download sizes for native, fully functional weblications
    * Highly componentized infrastructure avoids bloatware -- a program only
    fetches and loads exactly what it needs to run.
    * Tight security controls every single thing a weblication tries to do

    The Sash developer gets:
    [from a structural point of view]
    * Rapid deployment and easy management of programs
    * Powerful native functionality without having to learn a new skill set
    (provided that he already knows JavaScript and HTML)

    [from a design point of view]
    * Ridiculously easy drag-and-drop design for his weblication's UI
    * Painless integration of UI with SashScript
    * A full-featured IDE which takes him from start to finish in creating a
    weblication, including:
    - syntax highlighting
    - syntax assistance (a la Microsoft's Intellisense)
    - multiple document/multiple window interface
    - Druids (wizards) which aid in the creation of any given action,
    or in the creation of the weblication as a whole

    I'm sure there are more features which I am missing right now.

    Yeah, this sounds terribly hokey, but it's actually true. We've created a
    sample text editor, a web browser, even a simple Lotus Notes mail client
    (as demos), each in about an hour, start-to-finish.

    Man, I really do sound like a salesman ;).

    As for parts, perhaps that's for another email. There are two main parts:
    the runtime, which runs the weblications, and the WDE (development
    environment) which aids developers in writing weblications. For more info,
    check out the README.* files in the source tree...


  • They have now ported this, the domino server and the notes client.

    Now if they would just port over SmartSuite then we would have an office suite as good as microsoft that corportate management already know and use.
  • While I am extremely happy at the release of a Notes client for Linux, and one that may evidently be customised and adapted I see IBM front-loading their efforts.

    I would like to see more thought put into the work during and after the release.

    For Example:- The downloadable Linux Domino Server does not provide instructions as to what commands to run to execute the server setup in the readme.

    I have no problem reading and following documentation and I do not think that anyone would complain of bloating if they put the relevant text files with the download.

    My point in short is that they would get much better market penetration if they set their documentation sites at the competant rather than expert.
  • by Carl ( 12719 ) on Thursday August 24, 2000 @01:10AM (#831916) Homepage
    As someone on Gnotices noted http://news.gnome.org/gnome-news/96696453 2/ [gnome.org] SashXB is under the LGPL, but it uses Mozilla and Xerces which are under the NPL/MPL and the Apache license. These licenses are not GPL compatible!

    This might not be a direct problem for SashXB since it is under the LGPL but it might be a problem for pure GPL programs in GNOME that want to use parts of the libraries that it depends on.

    Should GNOME really include parts that are not GPL compatible?

  • Is there a "SashXB for Dummies" or something somewhere? Do you really have to use bloody JavaScript for these applications? That would be a nightmare, come on, I want a decent language ...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    watch http://sash.alphaworks.ibm.com/
  • Mozilla is now Dual Licensed - MPL and GPL..

    Check before you post..
  • Then, go ahead and fix it! Or if you can't fix it yourself, give a money prize for the one who will do the job for you.
    This is open source, man.
  • Are we jumping the gun here?

    The link has no mention regarding a Notes Client, and when I last used Notes last year (4.6.3) the Windows client was a very complex piece of software. It is unlikely that a fully featured Notes Client will be included, more likely something to interact with the web publishing features of Domino.

  • In a tech world where "Open Source" is the latest catch phrase, I know that I for one am glad to see IBM actually treating open source as it was meant to be treated. IBM has given Linux and Open Source much more credibility in the eyes of coporate IT than us geeks ever could. Kudos to IBM for a job well done. I think many other companies should take a lesson from this.
  • I can't see anything mentioning a Notes client on developerWorks. Can someone point me to the relevant page, as I can go to the PC team and suggest a Linux desktop trial.
  • Mozilla is now Dual Licensed - MPL and GPL..
    Parts of Mozilla are dual licensed.
    Plans are underway to release as much of the code as possible with dual licenses.
    This relicensing hasn't actually happened yet.
    Check before you post..
  • Are we jumping the gun here? ...when I last used Notes last year (4.6.3) the Windows client was a very complex piece of software
    I think most people associate Notes with the email functions it provides, without understanding the database client side to the software. Notes is very complex, it's just that most companies don't use it to anywhere near it's full extent.

    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.
  • I have not seen the source but when did that stop a slashdot post (-;


    can you say "yeah baby"

    NOTES is one of the programs that large companys insist that you have on a platform before they even think about puting it as a client/end user solution

    Linux now has it !!!

    yeah rock on IBM

    I thought tho that they where going to be java client
    if the client is open source then things like Kmail/Kwhatever and Evolution can connect to the domino world

    this is a good thing people !

    I do however have, how shall I say, bad experance with javascript
    hope it turns out ok
    (BTW where is the source to the notes client as I cant see it anywhere !)


    john jones

    (a deltic so please dont moan about spelling but the content)
  • Yea, active desktop for Linux. No thanks

    I hope they don't mean the desktop as in root window, I assume they mean client applications.

    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.
  • Do you really have to use bloody JavaScript for these applications? come on, I want a decent language

    Then use one.
    I think the point of this whole thing is to capture people who really use HTML, Javascript and XML (see mozilla [mozilla.org] developers) for most of their functionality. Don't assume that everyone wants to learn C (or whatever you consider to be a decent language).

    Can I say that on /.?

    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.
  • Don't get too excited yet... I have yet to find any info on a Notes client on their site. If anyone can find the specifics, let me know. Notes would rock of course, there I could put linux on my workstation...
  • Source code is a mere transformation of ideas into something a computer can understand. If you truly understand the ideas, the code should write itself.
  • In reality IBM could not care less about OSS. Since they are a hardware company and if something helps sell more servers they they are all for it.
  • by m2e ( 215374 ) on Thursday August 24, 2000 @02:44AM (#831932)
    I found it. But don't be too excited.

    Sash Notes Mail Client [ibm.com]

    Sash Notes Navigator [ibm.com]

    Carlos Mail Alert [ibm.com]

  • I think it was a demo notes mail client, not the full fledged notes client.
    I've don'e some notes application development with lotus script and there is a lot there. Notes is not a simple port.

    I don't think Notes 5 is available for anything but windows (4.6 was available mac,win, AIX).

    The fact that there was an AIX version may bring hope that they can get a linux one, although notes seems to be turning into domino (server) with a web browser front end.

    Disclaimer, Its been about a year since I used Notes, its been off my radar.
  • Actually, it is *NOT* a Lotus Notes client, which would be too hard to implement using only HTML and Javascript (eg replication)... It is only a Lotus Notes Mail client, and this is only a subset of the Notes' capabilities...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The terms "Druid" and "Weblication" both make me a little ill. Even MS spells out "Web Application" in reference to Visual InterDev.
  • Thanks, you have just solved one of my greates linux frustrations! It works great..
  • Going off on a tangent here -- I'm pretty sure that SashXP has nothing to do with active desktop, I'd love to have a Gecko-enabled root window in X, it'd mean I could get rid of a lot of the other annoying things I put up with for the sake of there being nothing else available.

    Replacing desktop icons with links would make my day. The icon system in gmc is an ugly kludge. It'd be great to be able to code functionality directly into the root window using simple tools like HTML, Javascript and style-sheets. A couple of tricks with mouse-overs and layers, and you could do write your own application launch menus. A basic <EMBED> API, and you've got yourself a way to swallow apps into the root window in the way we normally do with docks or panels.

    With ten minutes, and without having to learn some obscure C++ API, I could write a little bit of code that popped up the current slashdot headlines when I clicked on an image on my desktop.

    That'd be cool.

    Charles Miller
  • Actually SashXB uses Gecko, not Mozilla (for the unaccultured, Gecko is the layout engine of Mozilla).
    I don't know whether Gecko is among the GPL'ed parts of Mozilla though.
  • Followed by a very close second with their Global Services. OSS allows custom solutions to be built for the customer that can sometimes be impossible with Closed Source Software. Customer happy, IBM happy, open source developers happy.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Zope does not serve quite the same purpose as SashXB. SashXB is essentially a way for web developers, of whom there are a lot, to write the same type of software written by C/C++ hackers, of which there are relatively few. This means writing regular desktop software with technologies like HTML, XML, and JavaScript, with a minimum of additional training required for those already familiar with these technologies.

    SashXB weblications have the same amount of access to your desktop as any other application - you could have a weblication running in your GNOME panel, for example. Of course, scripting combined with access to user data can be an unpleasant combination as Melissa and ILOVEYOU demonstrated, so SashXB includes a sophisticated security manager. The idea here is that SashXB checks each and every operation performed by the weblication to ensure that it has been authorized by the user.

    The big advantage to this? The Lotus Notes demo client took under an hour to write.
  • If you bothered to look at the link and delve down through the site, you'd notice that there isn't a Linux Notes client, just some interfaces into either Domino or an existing Notes client exporting it's data elsewhere.

    Moderators, moderate all this Notes client stuff down, please!

  • by Noctrnl ( 110574 ) on Thursday August 24, 2000 @03:54AM (#831942)
    From where I sit, it looks like IBM is into Open Source for a couple of reasons. First of all, it brings their applications to Linux, which we all know doesn't hurt anything at all. It also makes their products much more stable, and in general, better. Secondly, IBM has lost alot of ground on Notes. Microsoft Exchange has taken alot of market share away from them. I'd say IBM has done it to regain some market share, and at the same time, take away from MS. I don't think IBM is after revenge, but they'd be dumb to just give in to competition.
    Personally, I don't care what their motivation is. I think the opening of it's applications (and other technologies as well, i.e. JFS, AFS, et. al.) is a good thing. While it helps them to possibly keeps what footing it has left, it also gives a great deal of credibility to the Linux and Open Source movements. I don't see how this could be bad, even if it is LGPL.
  • i'm speculating here but i think it could be easily done..

    write an app that use the root window (like xsnow) embed gecko, and load your desktop page..

  • Next IBM should be a PHP and Perl debugger in this thing and make it really super fantastic. The only editor that makes any sense for PHP development lately is nedit (syntax highlighting) or vi (but "Terminal too wide!" drives me crazy on Solaris). Will IBM be nice and add debugging for the two most widely used server side scripting languages? :)
  • There isn't even a Unix Notes client anymore. Hasn't been one since 4.5. There is no Notes client other than W32. Even the server admin console is on W32 regardless of server platform so if you have a Unix cluster hosting Notes you can no longer run the console off, say the control workstation. There have been lots of complaints about a Linux client or any *nix client but that's just the way it is. Lotus/Iris decides these things based on how much money, time, people they have to spend on development. Understand that the reference platform for Notes continues to be NT/2000. Everything else comes from that. "Special" server ports like some flavors of Unix and Linux and S/390 are not handled by Lotus at all but the party line is held by all, and all client direction is centrally controlled. Your better off just running VMWare compared to waiting for the mystical mythical Linux Notes client to arrive - because the king is dead, the ship already sailed to Avalon and it isn't coming back.
  • I really see the application/applet/web site merging into this Webplication thing. I am a Java developer and I write middleware CORBA infrastructure for our app developers. Every time a new application comes a long a standalone application is written, then perhaps an applet, and then maybe a web page backended by JSP or Servlets. If you think about it, the piece in the middle tier is really doing the *exact* same functionality for each of these pieces. Each of these pieces is just a presentation layer. I'm had thoughts in my head about how these things could merge. I have a set of classes that enable a standalone application to seamlessly double as an applet (it detects its environment and reacts accordingly) making life much easier for the developer. But that doesn't really supply the web page aspect of it. What one could do is use some of the GUI/HTML mappings to use pseudo-widgets in the middle-tier code to make it easy to map a GUI to HTML. But that just presents more work. What really needs to be done, and I see it happening now, is that the *client* must have a _standard presentation layer_ for all applications, distributed or not. I think Mozilla, and SlashXB are the signs of this. Now, I don't have to think about writing standalone applications, or applets, or a web page. Using a unified presentation layer, the same middle-tier logic object can feed all these clients no matter where they are, with *identical* user interfaces. Needless to say, this is cool.
  • by JWW ( 79176 )
    If you're running Notes5 you could try using its webmail feature. It's pretty cool, but lacks some fo the features of the full client. I have gotten it to work from a browser in Linux.
  • I use Notes under Wine. To get around the attachment problem, I mail the mail to my account on my Linux box and read/detach the attachments with Mutt.
  • Get your Notes Admin to revert the webmail template back to 4.6.4 - which does not use Java Applets to render the webmail interface. As a side benefit, it is much, much faster. [ Lotus is working on an improved mail template. ]
  • They have not ported the whole Notes Client. See the Lotus Notes DOLS product for a much more interesting strategy. [ Yes, Windows only.... currently, but ??? ] It is a browser plugin that implements much of the notes client, such that you can replicate Notes databases to your desktop and access them while offline.
  • Mitchell Baker, the attorney who manages the Mozilla project, is working to get as much under the GPL as possible. In some cases, authors have to be contacted and have to sign something, which can take time. In the end, anything that can't be dual-licensed will have to be written out.



  • by kel-tor ( 146691 )
    a lot of poster's here wanting a notes client too! I have the domino server on a linux box, but am still lacking the 'client' the 'designer' and the 'administrator,' which is just plain annoying, Iris. But an IBM project may have a 3rd party solution for me (IBM didn't buy Lotus or something, right?). Anyway, hoody-hoo!
  • While I agree with just about everything you say (unfortunately, because I would love to see a linux-Notesclient) - but for the console : in the linux version of domino, you get cconsole, which can be used to access the server admin console. It's probably available on the other Unix-Domino's.
    My suspicion is that there will never be a Notes Client R6 and that IBM/Lotus will switch the lot over to a Java-based system (witness the Web-ified mailtemplate in R5 and DOLS as hints of things to come). That is probably also why they don't put any effort into developing an R5 client for Unix/Linux.
  • by RobM ( 10671 ) on Thursday August 24, 2000 @06:48AM (#831954) Homepage
    Well, there are a couple of things to consider:

    1 - The idiotic individual that was Lotus President and that steered Lotus in the direction of Microsoft has been removed (he cheated on his military and academic careers, IIRC)

    2 - Wine works GREATLY. I've been using the Notes Client with it for the last 8 month, and with the 20000801 release virtually all problems are solved. I'm sure IBM could try a Wine port of their Windows client, but even without that things seems pretty good.

    As far as this new technology is concerned, the announce is too sketchy to understand what is it, and I have no time to spend on the study of such a thing. Seems to me, however, that is a way to use HTML/web to assemble application based on native components (Win32 on Windows, Gnome on Gnome), so it won't give us windows components/applications via browser.

  • IBM actually makes more money selling software than any company in the world. (Through stock option tricks, M$ loses money selling software, and makes bucketloads selling stock) IBM simply doesn't want to waste it's time on $60/copy client software and client operating systems. The real money is in the mega-buck server software. Think about it, what would you rather support:
    A) One zillion badly-built, non-standard PC'S, with similarly badly configured OS's? (at $60/copy) OR
    B) Ten thousand badly-built, badly-configured, servers at many kilo-bucks per copy, per year.

    And oh yes, services to maintain and run all those servers. If bits run through it, IBM wants to sell it to you.

  • Zope does not do the same thing as Sash. To present a slightly different cast on Sash: Sash is a scripting environment for Linux, where you can wrap any piece of code up in a component, and make it available for scripting. This is done using Mozilla as a frame, for providing both the basic componentry (through XPCom) and the UI frame wrapper. Zope is very much a server side beast. It allows you to use scripting on the *server* side of things. Sash is sort of a client counterpart. Something like Zope serves applications to a Sash client, which then executes those applications on the client machine.

  • I'm working on it.

    I'm an IBM guy, who's been drafted to do some
    Sash related work. I'm currently getting started
    on enabling other scripting languages to work within
    the Sash framework. Give me a couple of months,
    and we'll probably have Perl and Python support.

  • Wow, you've just invented Win98.

  • I'm digging through Gnome, here [ibm.com] and here [ibm.com] and I haven't seen word 1 about Lotus Notes. Where's the real link? Or did you just make this up?
  • The fact that there was an AIX version may bring hope that they can get a linux one, although notes seems to be turning into domino (server) with a web browser front end.

    There was also a Solaris version. As someone who still is doing Domino development/administration, I can say you're right. The idea of a Domino server and only web-based front ends is the direction Lotus is going. It's their plan.


  • Full console or just a subset of the console via the command line? The admin client IS a Notes client
  • Fer Gawd's Sake, do we really need to coin a word as stupid as "weblication"? If I put my resume on a job site, have I "weblied" for a job? Cripes, this market-ooze makes me want to puke.
  • I thought that Gecko was one of the bits also available under gpl, but after further investigation [mozilla.org] that doesn't seem to be currently true.
    There is quite a bit [mozilla.org] that is dual licensed though and I'd guess that Gecko is one of things they'd concentrate on GPLing first as it is rather central to the whole thing.
  • Oops, I spoke too soon: the bug is fixed in the 20000821 release... well sortof. Doubleclicking on the attachment no longer works, however rightclicking on the attachment pops up a menu complete with View/Detach/Launch. Both View and Detach work now!
  • The following link has a document stating that they managed to create a not es client [ibm.com] in about an hour.

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"