During a recent (forced) restore of my ThinkPad the other day, I was forced to do a repair reinstall Windows XP Pro. This XP repair reinstall reverted IE 8 back to IE 6 (the default for XP Pro). Anyway that promptly and utterly broke IE. "Not a problem", says I, "IE sucks anyway, and this will be one less hole to worry about". Anyway I use Firefox or (more and more) SeaMonkey.

So on I went, IE-less and more the happier for it. After the restore of the laptop with Acronis and then the reinstall of XP, I went and opened Notes. All emails from internal STS Domino users rendered fine. But any email I viewed from an external source, HTML or otherwise, showed a blank body. With that I fired up iNotes and the external emails rendered fine. Client or PC issue then. Basically any MIME email showed no body content.

I reinstalled the client. No joy.

Humm, could it be a rendering issue? Down the rabbit hole we go. I checked my Lotus Notes client preferences, and it was set to "Use the browser I have set as the default for this operating system". So, it should be using FireFox to render the external email right? Wrong!

It would appear that the Lotus Notes Eclipse client is using IE to render emails on Windows XP. Once I reinstalled IE 8 (and subsequently fixed IE in the process), voila, external emails rendered as expected.

So, I have one of the (potentially) most secure collaboration platforms in the world, but it uses IE to render HTML emails? Even MS have stopped doing that (they now use the MS Word rendering engine as it has less security issues than IE). I mean, is this really the intent? Are Notes users unsuspectingly opening themselves to IE security hacks?

Does anyone know an Eclipse hack to force Eclipse to use another browser?
Darren Duke   |   March 22 2010 03:49:38 PM   |    851  8.5  8.5.1  lotus notes    |  
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Comments (14)

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1 - Rich Greaves       03/24/2010 10:18:06 AM

I'll be interested to hear of a way to change this. It seems the Default System Browser for windows is IE even if I specify that the default browser is Firefox... I've always thought this was strange.

Check out this: http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?ca=kb&rs=899&uid=swg21282102

R8 certainly renders better without this disabled but if you have any IE issues you'll have problems rendering HTML email.

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2 - Mikkel Flindt Heisterbwrg    http://lekkimworld.com    03/24/2010 10:39:50 AM

You right that it's a potential security problem but maybe worse it's also a competetive problem as the core of Lotus Notes is controlled by a big competitor. Relying on the browser in the OS might be a support nightmare but then supply a rendere based on webkit. Anything else than relying on your biggest competitor.

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3 - Darren Duke    http://blog.darrenduke.net    03/24/2010 10:47:13 AM

Ah-ha. Rich found the technote I'd been looking for. Thanks for that. What I don't get is why IBM doesn't just bundle the Mozilla engine with Notes and have done with it.

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4 - Darren Duke    http://blog.darrenduke.net    03/24/2010 10:59:54 AM

And, not surprisingly the rendering looks pretty bad. I immediately set it back to *shock, horror* IE. In IBM's defense I can see why they wanted to get out the rendering engine business, but IE? Really? Again, why not just bundle engine Mozilla or at least make it user and/or admin selectable.

I'll do another post later today comparing and constrasting the rendering.

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5 - Mark t Hughes    http://hughesconnect.com    03/24/2010 11:09:00 AM

how do you think x-pages work in 8.5.1 client, it is an old version of mozilla though

I wish they used webkit instead.

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6 - Darren Duke    http://blog.darrenduke.net    03/24/2010 11:09:48 AM

But NOT for email, where most users live, and where the majority of security attacks are sent via. I suppose there is now hope, that with XPLN (Xpages in Lotus Notes) having Mozilla that IBM will re-evaluate the email rendering decision too. Time for an IdeaJam me thinks.

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7 - Albert Buendia       03/24/2010 2:46:56 PM

Darren, interesenting post and also thanks to Rich by posting the IBM link.

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8 - Rod Stauffer       03/24/2010 4:05:12 PM

This issue (Notes standard on Windows rendering HTML email with IE) goes back to the putting Notes in Eclipse. Eclipse Standard Widget Toolkit uses a specific browser on each platform, and on Windows, it's IE:

{ http://www.eclipse.org/swt/faq.php#browserplatforms }

In more recent versions of SWT, Mozilla is an option:

{ http://www.eclipse.org/swt/faq.php#howusemozilla }

Hopefully makes that option available in future versions of Notes.

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9 - Rod Stauffer       03/24/2010 4:08:01 PM

Final line should have read:

Hopefully IBM makes that option available in future versions of Notes.

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10 - AsH       01/07/2011 3:51:40 PM

Thanks! Disabling this feature worked for me!

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12 - ibm laptops    http://www.ibmt40laptop.com    07/26/2011 6:41:29 AM

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13 - ibm laptops    http://www.ibmt40laptop.com    08/25/2011 2:29:55 AM

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14 - James Duff       11/19/2012 3:33:18 AM

Not sure if this has already been said but 852 has this option;

File> Preferences> Basic Notes Client Preferences area > Additional

Options> Disable Embedded Browser for MIME mail.