Another reason why I will always like Domino and Notes more than …

… other mail clients, because of the things I could do with it.
Once I translated the OpenNTF mail client to German and I added some features, like views with different categories. Sent and received for the same email address for example. I liked that much better than having to sort things manually into folders. Unfortunately, they broke with the Java views. I never figured out how to make them work with more than one categorisation.
I hate folders, but the big advantage of the Notes folders are, documents can reside in different folders. I had a function for my mailbox that added the same mail to different folders and left it in the inbox.
Or the integration of mails into Notes based CRM systems via embedded views. I used that on several CRM systems I either worked on or developed from scratch. Some people didn’t even use their mailbox anymore.
With what other mail client can you do that?

Why I will always like Domino and Notes more than …

… Outlook and Exchange

A few years ago I was at a partner conference about virtualization (yes, I can do that, too) and we where sitting in the bar. A few business partners with beer, so the stories started to flow. I was the only one that used and administered Domino, everybody else was Exchange. One after the other shared their horror stories. Completely f… up databases, crashes all over the place, backups not working, mails lost in the thousands. You name it, they had it. All I could do was listing, because my horror stories with Domino couldn’t compete in any way with theirs. The worst I had was a very slow Domino, because somebody (head of IT) sent a very funny .ppt file to everybody in her address book. It would have finally made it through, but the rest of the company could not wait another 3 or 4 hours. It was around 2003 and internet connection was still a bit slow. Otherwise I can not remember ever having to panic with a Domino server. Some crashed once in a while, but I never those ugly situations as my Exchange colleagues.

# Domino 2025 Jam – When hope rises and falls

My dear colleagues,
The Domino 2025 Jam is over and now what? We certainly get an interesting roadmap presentation soon and many of us will have hope, that this will change the tide, the game, turns the train around or whatever metaphor you like. I personally don’t know what to make of it. Many really good ideas popped up. Some of them multiple times. Some of them were pretty old and still hot. What raised my (right) eyebrow a bit were the many requests for basic functionalities in Verse. But these are details. I would like to look at the big picture.

I have had unanswered questions about the whole IBM/ND situation for years.

Why does IBM refuse to do even basic consistent end user marketing?
This discussion has been going on as long as I can think of N/D, but I want to know, why IBM does not want to do it. What is so bad about 101 of marketing? N/D wasn’t beaten by Outlook/Exchange because the later was any better, it was beaten through marketing. Aggressive marketing, I give you that, but IBM had all the time and resources to react to it, but never did. Why did IBM let this happen? Many things come to mind when thinking about it, but speculation does not get me the answer. So I ask you: Why?
PS: I don’t think advertising at airports is of any use. Painting the cabin of the airplane yellow and writing IBM Lotus on every available surface might help.

Why does IBM refuse to listen to the user?
The user-experience of N/D was never outstanding. It was OK, but many little bugs, limitations and peculiarities haunted N/D for years or are still there. The design is not modern anymore and some things are clumsy. Outlook has been used as a stand alone mail client forever, why wasn’t IBM capable to do the same? Technical reasons? Security comes to mind, but that could have been achieved differently.
What is it, that makes IBM think, the user is not the most important person in the N/D environment?
PS: No, I don’t think developers and administrators are the right persons to gather and filter the opinion of the end user.

What? No app store? In 2018?
That is also something I never understood. N/D is predestined for an app store. That should have been an app on the welcome page. What is it, that makes IBM not to want easy money? I would have tons of apps in there. Not everything needs 100 hours of consulting (Don’t get me started on the online buying experience of IBM. I’d rather have a teeth pulled. Why is nobody fixing this). Why is there no app store?
PS: Yes, I know that this may be a headache for administrators, but isn’t it all about making the life of users easier?

Looking at the big picture that forms in my mind about the last year, I don’t see a confident IBM. I had technical problems during the online jams. I had problems with the idea jam. Some videos I saw were not the quality one expects from IBM. Things feel sometimes clumsy, amateurish. What is going on inside the N/D group in IBM?

The HCL deal. Whatever I read, there is no convincing explanation, why HCL should be any better as IBM in writing code. Strategy and marketing (see above) will stay with IBM. How deep the strategy for the design goes is anybodies guess, but for me – sorry – that smells like cost cutting. But I should not jump to conclusions, therefore I ask you, what is the point of the HCL deal, if not cost cutting?
PS: The ex-IBM-now-HCL-developers might have more air to breathe, but what comes after the initial vibe?

The Idea Jam itself. Why is IBM doing this again and again, only to get the same answers every time. They vary only on particular problems, but not at the bigger picture. It has been like that for years. And every two years, when the general manager changes (and often the structure where we find N/D for the next two years), we get a hype and we all hope this time everything changes for the better. What is IBMs strategy for the next five years?
PS: Still, was a good idea, but why does IBM now hide the jam? Any secrets in there? Should we just forget it was there?

So, if you find these questions interesting, I would be very much interested in interesting answers to them.

And as a final note, I don’t know, if you all have the same impression as I do, but my gut feeling tells me, not everything will be great again.