Question for the experts …

Does anybody out there know, what IBM means with Apple Cocoa support?
Googling only gives the information, that there is Cocoa support, but not what it is all about. Nothing in the Domino 9 wiki either.
The only thing I can find are 4 .jar files with cocoa in the file name.
Lot’s of classes in there for eclipse, but as far as I can see, eclipse does not support cocoa yet and apple does not support the cocoa-java bridge anymore.
I can’t see anything that helps me to understand, what that cocoa support means.
Have you got any idea?

And Jeff said … another 20 years of Collaboration tools

Sorry about that, to all the FUD providers out there. Yesterday during the announcement web-cast Jeff told the world, that in 20 years there will still be some kind of collaboration tools from IBM. End of message. Notes/Domino isn’t going away, but since 20 years ago nobody knew what Notes would look like today, we just have to wait another 20 years, what it will be.

What was also interesting, for the first time, IBM said: „We have over 50’000 organisations running Notes/Domino today.“ Normally the numbers are either useless, for example the total number of seats sold until today, or they were half official or you found them somewhere, as if they were not important. Today they say it loud a clear and call the competition names. Amazing. Did they get new marketing guys? No, sorry the question is wrong. Does IBM have a marketing department now? Do I have to change my view of IBMs cash cow marketing regarding Notes? Boy, that would make me happy.
While 50’000 organisations must be a lot less than Microsoft has, it is on the way up, as far as I can see. But, the number is also relatively meaningless, because it does not give us anything to compare it with. Look at it from this side, if all the companies in Switzerland had their own mail server, with 50’000 organisations, IBM would have 14% market share. On a worldwide scale, 50’000 is nothing. But who cares. IBM was always about the biggies and only because Lotus had also small companies as customers, IBM had suddenly a bunch of SMB to deal with. By now, they should have been gone, as have the small partners and IBM can focus on their marketing schema, sending IBM reps to important CIO’s. OK, sorry, that was sarcastic. But until now, I can not make the feeling go away, that IBM has turned it’s back towards companies smaller than 5000 seats.
Otherwise, I get the impression, that something inside IBM has changed regarding Notes/Domino.

I thought I could not believe my ears … what happend at IBM?

I just finished watching the IBM Social Platform Launch broadcast. Despite some technical problems, the Q&A session was cut short and the screen showed „this presentation is over“, bugger that, I could not believe my ears when I heard at the end of the presentation Jeff Schick saying, don’t believe Microsoft and Salesforces FUD about Notes and Domino and IBM will help you to move from the LEGACY Outlook/Exchange environment to social business tools. Yeehaaaa. That’s more how I like it. After years and years of getting beaten over the head and not fighting back, IBM finally realised, that its competitors will not stop playing unfair¹. It’s nice to be considered as a gentleman/woman (oh, how I hate this political correctness, it makes writing so much less fun), but after a while, everybodys patience runs out. IBMs finally did now, apparently. It’s about time.
One can just hope, that now words are followed by action and IBM stops the drain of the customer base by doing some marketing.I missed Connections Documents. I like them a lot. Much nicer than Google Docs. Unfortunately for my work, I often need a tool that counts letters. If that was available in Connections Documents, I would use it a lot more in Greenhouse.

¹ But one has to admit, IBM invented FUD in the eighties and Microsoft mastered it in the nineties.


XPages Workshop … proudly presented by IBM

The last three days were packed with XPages. I had the chance to attend IBMs free XPages Workshop in Zürich (which is also available online, if you need it).
This was the second try to attend the course, the first time it was cancelled. I wonder why. Not enough attendees? Who knows.
First, it was worth it. If you are like me, who likes classroom work, it really helps to focus several days just on one subject and have people around who can help, should you run into problems (which we all did).But there are a few things I would change, if I had the chance. I feel, and I asked others if they feel the same, still a lack of basic knowledge. Things like, how the different elements work together why I have just done what I have done during the lab. While the labs are really good, the time you get to explore them is a bit short. I only made it through all of them, because I worked on them during not so interesting parts of the presentations. While traveling back and forth, I reread them, because there was so much more information to digest, than just the steps to make something work.
The presentation were packed with information. No way, I could read them, understand them and listening to the instructor. I do not understand why IBM still does not get it to do good slides. For Oms sake, IBM look at Apples presentations just once and do less, that would help more. There were several hundred slides and that dug into the time we had for the labs. Unfortunately the slides had seldom something to do with the actual lab (or I did not get it). They had the same subject but did not explain anything helpfull. It looked like slides for technical sales, not developers. Some slides, like the XPages road map, appeared several times. That did not make the job of the instructor any easier, who was obviously very competent, but could not share his knowledge due to the slides. His explanations were extremely interesting, when he diverted from the slides and talked about his experience.
We were a bunch of old farts. Quite a few of us were there, just for good old times sake. More than half of us, don’t do any Notes development anymore. Only two young apprentices attended the course (apprenticeship is a highly regarded form of professional education in Switzerland). Both from the same company. There is hope …
But still, the discussions during the breaks were always the same. Especially the smaller partners don’t see a bright light at the end of the tunnel and Connections isn’t an opportunity either. To complicated, too many servers for small companies and so on. Even truly yellow bleeders turn their back at Notes, sometimes just because applications they need and can afford, integrate with Outlook and not with Notes.

There is one thing, that did struck me suddenly. Why the heck didn’t we develop a bunch of different mail clients, when we were still ahead of the game. That could have been a USP. Use Notes and take the client (sorry, app or whatever .nsf is called today)  that fits you best and change whenever you want. There was once a Outlook-look-a-like client. We should have continued doing that. And do a good consumer client. Maybe I am obsessed with the idea, but droping Domino Access for Microsoft Outlook wasn’t very clever either. Imagine what we could do today with the REST services. Does not matter, if they use Outlook, but the Domino server would still be there and Xpages could nicely integrate with both clients (with a few quirks I suppose). NonSQL is in vogue today and who invented it?
Oh my, I am an old sentimental guy.