Notes/Domino 14 Fallout

Dec 15, 2023, 11:53 AM

  1. AbstractCompiledPage, Missing Plugins, and MANIFEST.MF in FP10 and V10
  2. Domino 11's Java Switch Fallout
  3. fontconfig, Java, and Domino 11
  4. Notes/Domino 12.0.2 Fallout
  5. Notes/Domino 14 Fallout

Notes and Domino 14 are out now and, as I discussed back in June the big deal for me is the move to Java 17. This also came with a refresh of the Eclipse innards, from Neon (circa 2016) to 2021-12 (circa, uh, 2021). The Eclipse update is welcome, but so far it's been less impactful than the Java update - at some point, I'll want to see if some of the current-era Eclipse plugins work here, but that's for the future.

In the mean time, there's a bunch to know, so let's get to it! I've broken this one down into "critical" and "less critical" sections, since this post will likely have a similar life to my target platform one.

Critical To Know

ndext

I mentioned this in June, but an important thing to know about Java 17 is that "jvm/lib/ext" no longer exists. Fortunately, Notes and Domino have long had a secondary location for this sort of thing: "ndext" in the program directory. Any JARs in this folder are available at runtime on both platforms, and so the quick fix is to move anything you had in "jvm/lib/ext" to "ndext".

...but.

When it comes to Notes, there's a distinct difference between "available at runtime" and "on the build path". While Java agents here are fine - they modified the editor to include "ndext" in the build path - there's no such accommodation for XPages. So far, the best workaround I've thought of is to add any such JARs manually to the JRE definition in Eclipse's preferences:

Screenshot of Designer's JRE preferences, showing the addition of an ndext JAR

When doing this, there's a huge caveat: do not just add everything from this directory to the JRE. Most of it will be redundant, like the SWT stuff, but some will be actively harmful, in particular "jsdk.jar". That's an even-older Servlet version than comes with XPages, and including that will cause Designer to think that methods added in Servlet 2 aren't present. Only add the JARs you're extending it with.

Ideally, this will be remedied one way or another in the future, but for now we'll have to do this to account for it. The silver lining may be that it's a good impetus to OSGi-ify your dependencies if possible.

Poi Remains

This isn't new, but it's worth mentioning while we're on the topic of "ndext". Since Notes 11, the client ships with an old version of Apache Poi, but this is painfully distributed right in the JVM and not at the OSGi layer. Newer versions of Poi 4 XPages deal with this, but it's important to know that, while Poi is in Notes, it's not in Domino. If you write agents using these classes, or add them to your JRE and use them in XPages, you'll also need to deploy them to Domino.

Java Policy Location

This one's more of a note, and it's reiterating something from June: the location of "java.policy" and (if you add it) "java.pol" changed since Java 8. They used to be in "jvm/lib/security" but they're in "jvm/conf/security" now. They work the same as before, as does putting a file named ".java.policy" in the Domino user's home dir, so the other characteristics haven't changed.

sun.misc.BASE64Decoder

Back in Domino 11, the move from IBM J9 to OpenJ9 meant that some IBM internal forks of Sun internal classes were no longer available. The most notable of these were the BASE64 classes com.ibm.misc.BASE64Encoder and BASE64Decoder. These were very popular to use in the pre-Java-8 days, before java.util.Base64 existed, and so it was worth noting that they were gone then.

Well, sun.misc.Base64Encoder has now met a similar fate - it's probably still in there somewhere, but it's no longer accessible by user code. If you haven't made the switch to java.util.Base64, do so now.

Target Platform Bug

This is another note, but this classic bug that's been with us since 9.0.1FP10 is... fixed, I think! I'd thought at first that it remained, since the Target Platform config still just lists the Eclipse home dir, but installing and using an XPages library seemed to work properly without further change. Good!

Java Compiler Level

This is a fiddly one. Though Designer uses Java 17 by default now, it has the ability to compile down to older versions for past compatibility, such as running on a pre-14 server. Java agents have had their own way of dealing with this for a while, though it seems like maybe they default to Java 8 now, which is good. With XPages, it seems like it's a little less obvious.

From my experience, this is what I've found:

  • Existing projects may have a specific compiler setting specified (similar to agents in the above-linked post) and so will remain as Java 1.8
  • New projects seem to use the active workspace setting, which will matter
  • Upgrades of Designer in place will keep the default compiler level for the workspace at 1.8
  • A fresh installation sets the compiler level to 17

This is all... fine. It'd be nice if it was a little more obvious to the developer (like if it was controlled by the xsp.properties setting for minimum version), but this is more or less the Eclipse way of doing things. We'll just have to be aware for a while of these settings and their interactions when developing for pre-14 deployment. If you're targeting an older server, you should make sure that you go to Project Properties for your NSF and set the Java Compiler level to fit:

Screenshot of the Java Compiler settings for an NSF

Less Critical

Alright, that covers the big-ticket stuff, but there are a few more things to know.

Java Deprecation Warning On HTTP Start

This one is documented, though oddly in the "no longer included" page: when you start HTTP on Domino, you'll see a message like this:

WARNING: A terminally deprecated method in java.lang.System has been called
WARNING: System::setSecurityManager has been called by lotus.notes.AgentSecurityManager (file:/C:/Domino/ndext/Notes.jar)
WARNING: Please consider reporting this to the maintainers of lotus.notes.AgentSecurityManager
WARNING: System::setSecurityManager will be removed in a future release

This is actually totally fine. As it says, the whole SecurityManager apparatus is gone in future versions, but Notes and Domino still use it for agents (and, unfortunately, XPages). While I long for the day when I never have to think about it again, this is a reasonable-enough compromise for 14 as a "transitional" version in its Java journey. So... you can ignore this and not worry.

"Java Main Sources" and "Java Test Sources" Working Sets

If you use Working Sets in Designer, you may notice two entries not of your creation:

Screenshot of the 'Select Working Set' dialog in Designer 14

These showed up in Eclipse somewhere along the line, presumably to make it easier for people to select those types of projects without manually managing their working sets. Designer inherits this and HCL didn't remove them, but you're free to delete them if you want.

"AbstractCompiledPage cannot be resolved"

This is another one that came up back in 9.0.1FP10 and it's still here, but it's less of an issue: every once in a while, when building a project, Designer will complain about the AbstractCompiledPage class not being found. In my experience, this only shows up temporarily during a build, but it's worth noting that, if it does stick around for you, a Project - Clean should fix it.

JAX-B and CORBA

After Java 8, a few Java EE components were removed from the normal JRE distribution in favor of developing them in Java EE, then Jakarta EE. JAX-B is one of them (now Jakarta XML Binding) - we don't normally use this directly, but it comes up sometimes, either directly (likely as one of the other old-timey BASE64 workarounds) or as a dependency. It shouldn't matter in Designer, but, if you're writing Domino-targeting code outside Designer, you may need to be aware. One way or another, you should add this as a dependency - in a basic case, you can add "jakarta.xml.bind-api.jar" and "jaxb-impl.jar" from "ndext" to your build path.

Similarly, CORBA support classes ("org.omg" stuff, usually) used to come with the JRE and now don't. To work around this, HCL did what I've done in the past and included "glassfish-corba-omgapi.jar", in their case putting it in "ndext". If you're using Notes.jar with Java > 8 outside Designer, you'll need this one too.

Conclusion

I think that covers it for now. Considering how much changed with Java from 8 to 17, this could have been a lot rougher, though I fear that some of these workarounds will plague us for a long time.

In the mean time, I'd appreciate it if you vote for this Aha idea to keep Domino on a good Java update cadence. It'd be a shame if we sit on 17 right up until the very end of its life, as we did with 6 and 8, in part since these multi-version moves are more painful than single-LTS updates.

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