Notes



  • someone close to me started a new job this week

    she's smart (IQ ~ 145), has several degrees, and has used PC's since the late 80's

    never had a problem with exchange/outlook

    in any case, after a week on the job she is practically in tears because she has to use this new thing called 'lotus notes'.
    she's actually thinking about leaving the job because she can't use it.
    apparently no one else there does either - it's a total mess

    she has no reason to hate it other than the fact that it is making her life a living hell.

    ibm sucks and it's products suck even more!

    over and out

     



  • @slashkev said:

    someone close to me started a new job this week

    she's smart (IQ ~ 145), has several degrees, and has used PC's since the late 80's

    never had a problem with exchange/outlook

    in any case, after a week on the job she is practically in tears because she has to use this new thing called 'lotus notes'.
    she's actually thinking about leaving the job because she can't use it.
    apparently no one else there does either - it's a total mess

    she has no reason to hate it other than the fact that it is making her life a living hell.

    ibm sucks and it's products suck even more!

    over and out

     



    Why is that company switching to a program that is demonstrably thus factually worse? Who does that?

    Why is IBM not dead yet?


  • We used to call it Lotus Nots in the last place we had to use it...
    That thing is a disaster, I've never met anyone who liked it except highly paid IBM Notes consultants brought in to build applications on it and fix problems customers were having (and I've a mind that they were under orders to say they liked it...).

    I'd not leave a job using it (I'm happy to have a job at all...) but I'd certainly take it into account if I had several jobs to choose from.



  • or "locust notes"



  • @slashkev said:

    she's smart (IQ ~ 145), has several degrees, and has used PC's since the late 80's



    Sounds to me like the tests used to evaluate her intelligence did little to test real-world abilities. Or you've missed a decimal point in there somewhere.

    Notes is great -- but it's a platform, not an application. It is perfectly possible to create horrid, unusable apps in Notes (as it is on any platform), and far too many people take advantage of that.

    I am a Notes developer/consultant, but I've never been highly paid. There are damned few people working on Notes who are. I have seen and sometimes even been able to fix horror stories the likes of which this site is meant to rip to shreds. It's not the platform's fault, believe me. One can write eminently usable, high-performance and platform-appropriate applications as well. But as with Access, it's that half-hour bodge job created by Murray in accounting that catches on and spreads to the enterprise. That's a governance problem, not a software problem.



  • which just proves my point that only Notes developers like Notes [H]



  • @jwenting said:

    which just proves my point that only Notes developers like Notes [H]

    Not quite. Users may like to complain about Notes, but if they're really using it, you can't take it away from them easily. And if you're really listening, the users are also complaining about every other application they use over the course of the day.

    I spend a lot of time developing applications for Notes because people want those applications. A platform choice like Notes may be a top-down directive, but the overwhelming majority of the application demand is bottom-up. Once users realise that it goes beyond the inbox, it's the people in the trenches who drive development. And they quickly learn that a collaboration space is not a shared drive/folder on the file server, and that e-mail just doesn't cut it for project communication with a dynamic team.

    I spend a lot of time fixing ol' Murray the accountant's work because his idea for a collaborative application, though poorly-architected and written mostly in write-only code, had gone beyond the bounds of the small worgroup for which it was created and spread to the enterprise. And while it is true that "throw more hardware at it" is a perfectly valid scalability plan for Notes and Domino, code that performs marginally on small data sets can be a tremendous resource hog when taken to the multigigabyte level.

    There is a reason why Notes and Domino has had double-digit growth rates for the last year or so, why there are more than 120,000,000 licensed users, and why there are more than 60,000 enterprises using the platform. It does things that no other platform has been able to do so far. It sucks, but not nearly as much as the alternatives.



  • Every Notes environment I had to work in everyone hated Notes and everything to do with it.
    Everyone that is except the people responsible for making the decision to purchase Notes, and they themselves never used it.
    They just published a tender to IBM for some new software and IBM responded with a new Notes application (of course, as it invariably "required" at least one new server on which to run the databases).

    That's the real world, from the other side of the high wall over which Notes is thrown into the departments that have to use it.



  • @jwenting said:

    Every Notes environment I had to work in everyone hated Notes and everything to do with it.
    Everyone that is except the people responsible for making the decision to purchase Notes, and they themselves never used it.
    They
    just published a tender to IBM for some new software and IBM responded
    with a new Notes application (of course, as it invariably "required" at
    least one new server on which to run the databases).

    That's the real world, from the other side of the high wall over which Notes is thrown into the departments that have to use it.



    Everybody is wrong about Notes, after all we have a Notes developer's word for it that it is good.



  • @Quinnum said:

    @jwenting said:

    Every Notes environment I had to work in everyone hated Notes and everything to do with it.
    Everyone that is except the people responsible for making the decision to purchase Notes, and they themselves never used it.
    They
    just published a tender to IBM for some new software and IBM responded
    with a new Notes application (of course, as it invariably "required" at
    least one new server on which to run the databases).

    That's the real world, from the other side of the high wall over which Notes is thrown into the departments that have to use it.



    Everybody is wrong about Notes, after all we have a Notes developer's word for it that it is good.


    Lots of "everyone" being thrown around there. That's usually not a good indicator of a well-researched or supportable statement.

    And I've got to say that it must have been one HELL of a big and chatty application if it required another server. I've run several hundred non-trivial apps on a dual-proc PIII with 4GB RAM and a rather ordinary RAID 10 disk subsystem (along with user mail). Extra servers were to localise access for far-flung offices, since replication traffic between locations is much more efficient than individual user requests between offices (or to a central farm). And that provided failover as well. So either the IBM team was blowing smoke up your ass, or you're trying to blow smoke up mine (and everyone else's).


  • @Stan Rogers said:

    @Quinnum said:
    @jwenting said:

    Every Notes environment I had to work in everyone hated Notes and everything to do with it.
    Everyone that is except the people responsible for making the decision to purchase Notes, and they themselves never used it.
    They
    just published a tender to IBM for some new software and IBM responded
    with a new Notes application (of course, as it invariably "required" at
    least one new server on which to run the databases).

    That's the real world, from the other side of the high wall over which Notes is thrown into the departments that have to use it.



    Everybody is wrong about Notes, after all we have a Notes developer's word for it that it is good.


    Lots of "everyone" being thrown around there. That's usually not a good indicator of a well-researched or supportable statement.

    Let's try some more, with declarations by users (not notes devs y'see) that note sucks:

    That seems like quite a lot of hate for a program that supposedly doesn't suck...



  • Or this one from the Interface hall of shame: http://homepage.mac.com/bradster/iarchitect/lotus.htm

    We wish we found IBM's Lotus Notes a long time ago. This single application could have formed the basis for the entire site. The interface is so problematic, one might reasonably conclude that the designers had previously visited this site, and misread "Hall of Shame" as "Hall of Fame". Lotus Notes 4.6 contains almost every example of inefficient design illustrated thoughout the entire Hall of Shame site.

    What follows is an introductory collection of some of the myriad of problems with the application. As we fortunately no longer use Notes, we encourage you to let us know which aspects of Lotus Notes have caused you difficulty. Of course, we recognize that some visitors may disagree with our assessment of particular features of the application, and we invite your feedback. Comments can be sent to feedback@iarchitect.com.



  • @masklinn said:

    @Stan Rogers said:
    @Quinnum said:
    @jwenting said:

    Every Notes environment I had to work in everyone hated Notes and everything to do with it.
    Everyone that is except the people responsible for making the decision to purchase Notes, and they themselves never used it.
    They
    just published a tender to IBM for some new software and IBM responded
    with a new Notes application (of course, as it invariably "required" at
    least one new server on which to run the databases).

    That's the real world, from the other side of the high wall over which Notes is thrown into the departments that have to use it.



    Everybody is wrong about Notes, after all we have a Notes developer's word for it that it is good.


    Lots of "everyone" being thrown around there. That's usually not a good indicator of a well-researched or supportable statement.

    Let's try some more, with declarations by users (not notes devs y'see) that note sucks:

    That seems like quite a lot of hate for a program that supposedly doesn't suck...



    Try a Google comparison against "Exchange sucks", "Outlook sucks" (or, for that matter, "Word sucks"). Notes gets off rather easily in comparison. And yes, Notes sucks -- but since its the only application in its space, there's nothing to compare it to. And discussions of poor local development or how bad the circa-1996 interface is/was ("is", since there are some shops that haven't upgraded since VERONICA was still giving Netscape a run for its money) are hardly valid. I doubt that there are many end users of any application who use only a small subset of the applications features (that is, people who have no desire to learn anything) particularly like the programs they use. I have actually witnessed people putting together Excel spreadsheets using a calculator and doing the math manually. Do you suppose that folks like that think that Excel is a nice program to use, or that electronic spreadsheets in general solve any problems?


  • @Stan Rogers said:

    Try a Google comparison against "Exchange sucks", "Outlook sucks" (or, for that matter, "Word sucks"). Notes gets off rather easily in comparison.


    Notes Sucks versus Exchange Sucks, notes wins with 6,330,000 results versus 4,670,000
    Notes Sucks versus Outlook Sucks, notes wins with 6,330,000 results versus 1,350,000

    Only Word beats Notes with 13 million results, and it shows a hellish number of false positive ("Microsoft Word sucks" only yields 4 million results), and even then Notes is the only one with whole websites dedicated to show how much it sucks.



  • @masklinn said:

    Only Word beats Notes with 13 million results, and it shows a hellish number of false positive ("Microsoft Word sucks" only yields 4 million results), and even then Notes is the only one with whole websites dedicated to show how much it sucks.



    Likely the recent meme -- although I'm not seeing anything like the numbers you're seeing. I mean nothing like at all -- only the Outlook hit count is within a factor of four for unquoted strings, and quoted strings are nowhere near what you got. Considering that "word", "notes" and "outlook" are all common terms in everyday use outside software branding, and that there are indeed words that suck, outlooks that suck and notes (both of the musical and written variety) that suck, a full quoted brand search might be more valid (such as that done by the admittedly biased Richard Schwartz here).

    People who live in email and use Notes exclusively for that will tend to dislike Notes. People who live (or would like to live) in collab spaces and are forced to use Outlook/Exchange are going to be equally miffed. Users who "get" Notes (and it's up to folks like me to enable that) wouldn't be without it. The initial purchase of Notes is almost always top-down (as is the decision to go with any enterprise system), but the growth of Notes as an application platform withn an enterprise is almost always bottom-up. But folks need to know what's there before they'll ask for more. Once they start asking and receiving, they never stop.

    Oh, and did you get a feel of the UI on the dedicated hate site? Accessible? Standard? Or maybe something put together by someone who speaks from an orifice at the wrong end of his body?



  • @Stan Rogers said:

    ... (such as that done by the admittedly biased Richard Schwartz here).

    Lovely link on the "here", what? Try this URL:

    http://www.rhs.com/web/blog/thenewblack.nsf/d6plinks/RSCZ-6LULZA



  • @masklinn said:

    Only Word beats Notes with 13 million results, and it shows a hellish number of false positive ("Microsoft Word sucks" only yields 4 million results), and even then Notes is the only one with whole websites dedicated to show how much it sucks.

    And if you filter out the results inspired purely by politically correctness forcing the author to shout "Microsoft XXX sux" for any given value of XXX the figures are far lower still for Microsoft products.



  • theres a utility that lets you use Outlook to connect to the Notes server. i almost went mad at my old job where we used notes...

     

    imagine the looks of jealousy from your cow-orkers when they see you using outlook! :D





  • @pbounaix said:

    sorry, that link is: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=8EBBBA59-5F17-4E52-8980-C4F0DFA92D65&displaylang=en

     

    its called lotus notes connector



    For anyone who actually wants to use Outlook (and that's only practical for the mail application in a Notes system), please AVOID the Microsoft connector -- it's buggy as hell and only supports ancient versions of Notes and Domino and older versions of Outlook. IBM Lotus offer Domino Access for Microsoft Outlook (DAMO), which is much more stable AND works with recent releases of both Notes and Domino and Outlook.

    Again, it's really a mail-only solution (or, rather, mail and C&S, which is a combined app in Notes) -- you'd still need to use the Notes client to access what Notes is really all about (collaborative apps that reduce and eliminate the chances that critical data are locked away in some asshat's mailbox). And if you have UI gripes, it's not Notes' fault -- it's the application developer who needs a talking to.

    On that note, see this article by Michael Sampson of Shared Spaces:

    http://www.shared-spaces.com/blog/2006/01/

    You'll have to scroll to get to the article "Whose fault is it when collaboration software sucks?" -- Michael publishes "This Week in Collaboration" as an all-of-a-piece newletter.


  • People still use notes?  Wow.



  • @Albatross said:

    People still use notes?  Wow.


    Only about 120,000,000 of them (and growing). And I personally expect to see that number go up -- the next client version (an Eclipse/SWT-based client platform) will not only run on just about any desktop (Win, Mac, Linux -- anything that'll run Eclipse), but will also allow IBM Lotus to basically redo the UI for major components (mail, etc.) from scratch. Oh, and it will also run any existing Notes apps without requiring any changes to existing code -- no migration, no rip 'n' replace.

    Folks who are basing their opinions on other people's experience of out-of-date versions really ought to check things out for themselves. And people who are stuck using 10-year-old software can't blame the vendor. How many of you are still running Windows 95 at work?


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