ShortURL - a link shortener for Domino

Monday, November 26th, 2012
It's hard to fit a long URL into a Tweet or and it can be unsightly to paste it into Facebook.  For example this URL would use up 119 characters of a Tweet:!OpenDocument

For this reason, many people rely on URL shorteners, such as to provide a simple alias. The resulting URL above comes out as: a total of 20 characters shortened from  from 119. Not bad!

The concern I have always had using public link shortening services is what happens when they shut down. Since many of these services are free to the user, they expect to monetize their service with ads, etc. The problem is have no guarantee they will be here in 10 years, or next year, or tomorrow.

I have looked for Open Source URL shorteners and found several that could be implemented by a web savvy programmer. Of course, being partial to the IBM Domino stack, I hoped to find a solution I could run in Domino.

Today, on a quest to find something else, I serendipitously stumbled across ShortURL for Domino. It's a free download by Dieter Stalder, the founder of STDI Consulting.

Less than 5 Minutes later I had the database on my IBM Domino Server serving up URLS. Since I already have a short domain name ( I decided to use that for starters but I plan to add it to all of my domains.

Here is what that 119 character URL at the top of this post looks like when I run it through my URL shortener:

The ShortURL app does not generate an unfriendly alias. I can create any unique alias I want.

While this is certainly not a polished app it does the job. It would not take much to enhance this to provide a web interface and to autogenerate and validate links. There may even be an xPages app by now.

In any case, now, I can shorten URLS without concern that the service will go away. And, because it is built on Notes and Domino I can extend the features to suit my needs.

Are you using ShortURL or a similar tool for IBM Domino?

A customer called me with a question I could not immediately answer. After spending a few hours testing various scenarios, I concluded that the Notes for Mac client does not consistently refresh views.


User opens a view and runs an agent or script that will change a field value - let's say the "categories" field.

On the Windows version of Notes, the user can do this and immediately see that the view gets refreshed. The new data is shown in the view.

If user opens the same Notes application on the Mac version of Notes and repeats the process, the view remains static until he either exits the application and reopens the view or he manually selects View\Refresh.

This causes confusion for Mac users of Notes because what they see in the view does not reflect the changes they have just made - at least not until they manually refresh the view.

The desired behavior of course is for the view to be refreshed - just as it is in the Windows version of Notes.

What's strange is that we are using the same code for both clients and the code calls a view refresh.

As far as I can tell, this appears to be specific to Mac version of Notes, but I'm open to other ideas....

Any ideas?

P.S. Using Notes 8.5.3 for Windows and for Mac with all fixpacks.