That's Weird

Nov 9, 2011, 9:35 AM

Tags: xpages domino

Yesterday, I started working on a small sidebar widget app using an XPage, after finding out that XPages can now (as of 8.5.3) be used in the Notes sidebar in the same way that Forms could before. It's quite a simple page, very Twitter-like: one text input field and then a list of posts. However, even though it's very simple, I ran into two annoying bugs quickly.

The first of them is a Schrödinbug. I set up some code in the "onClientLoad" event to start a setInterval to do a partialRefreshGet on the list of posts, so it would keep itself up to date:

<xp:eventHandler event="onClientLoad" submit="false"> <xp:this.script><![CDATA[ setInterval(function() { XSP.partialRefreshGet("#{id:messagesPanel}") }, 2000) ]]></xp:this.script> </xp:eventHandler>

Simple, right? But I started getting errors in the status bar, along the lines of somethingorother not being defined. That's... odd. So I swapped over to Safari, figuring it'd be some XPiNC-specific thing, but I started getting similar (albeit more specific) errors there, along the lines of:

TypeError: 'undefined' is not an object (evaluating '_166.formId')

Huh. So I tracked it down and the problem was in the code called by partialRefreshGet, where "_166" is the name given to the second (optional) parameter. It makes sense when seeing it - though the code is supposed to fail over when it doesn't work, I can see why the browser would throw up its hands when you try to get a property of an un-provided parameter. But this has worked before! Just looking around on the web, you run into plenty of examples that leave out the second parameter. But sure enough, when I changed the line to XSP.partialRefreshGet("#{id:messagesPanel}", {}), it started working great. I can only think that this is either some 8.5.3-specific bug or some weird thing I managed to do in my code... but there's not even really enough code to mess up.

The second bug is still annoying, and it's somewhere in between a bug and a security feature of Firefox/Gecko. Basically, while you can call the .click() method on a button in client-side JavaScript in Gecko, it doesn't behave exactly like clicking on the button. Specifically, I have a CSS-hidden button that executes the actual action of creating the message document from the text you type in, and I want it to happen when you hit enter. The button itself works great - if I have it show up, I can type, click, and it executes the action and partial-refreshes the list of posts. However, if I hit enter, which uses the .click() method, I get an error about not being able to refresh that part of the page, but then it forces a full-page refresh and still works. So it's KIND OF clicking it, but not quite.

I'm not sure what to do about this one. I looked up a couple things online about trying to emulate the actual click event, but with no better results. I could do a REST service on the page, but I don't want to have to roll out the Extension Library to everyone in the company. Maybe I'll look into sending along the data in a XSP.partialRefreshPost call and eliminate the button entirely. We shall see.

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