The I-Hate-Lotus-Notes club



  • Title says it all, who's with me?



  • What is lotus notes and why would you ever use it???



  • I remember Lotus Notes being big in the late 90s. When I say big, I mean big. If you had Lotus Notes skills you could command your own price. I remember being somewhat envious of the folks who had these skills...or rather, envious of the major <FONT color=#008000>$$$</FONT> they made.



  • <FONT style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #efefef">Oh yeah, nobody uses Lotus Notes anymore.</FONT>



  • Lotus Notes System Administration is the only thing I've ever been
    certified in.  It was pretty cool in release 3 (I think).  It
    was almost the original discussion forum software.  IBM spent
    $3,000,000,000 to buy Lotus just to get it.  Of course, that went
    up in smoke...[:^)]



  • Hey Katja: are you serious? You've never heard of Lotus Notes?

    Consider yourself very fortunate.



  • @CPound said:

    Hey Katja: are you serious? You've never heard of Lotus Notes?

    Consider yourself very fortunate.

    No, I was just kidding. I heard of it a few times. I have been fortunate to have never used it, though. It sounds like a real WTF product.

    Btw, didn't IBM buy Lotus completely?



  • Yes, IBM did buy Lotus outright -- and no, Notes is not a WTF product.
    It's just so-o-o-o different from everything else out there that it can
    be mind-boggling both to users and developers:



    ** It is more of an operating system than an application.



    ** It is built on an unstructured storage system (the NSF, or Notes
    Storage Facility) that (contary to current practice) stores local code
    and data in one place. While that may sound scary to devs on other
    platforms, it allows replicated remote use, shared-nothing clustering
    and deployment in a way that cannot be acheived yet on ANY other
    platform.



    ** Messaging is part of the package -- any database/NSF may send
    messages to any other. That allows a specialised database template to
    be used to create end-user email databases, which, unfortunately, is
    all that many users ever see of the product. We will take it as read
    that Notes for email alone is like buying Oracle to store Mom's
    favorite recipes on her home PC. Except that Notes mail is always up
    (unless your network is down), and that viruses are not a concern
    unless your users are in the habit of grantin explicit permission for
    viral code to run.



    ** Notes is secure, with built-in symmetric (secret key) and public key
    encryption. All code is signed, and may only execute when granted
    permission in an ECL. Everything is digitally signed. Knowing my
    password and username will get you nowhere (except when web access is
    permitted). Send me a virus, and I have to grant permission for it to
    run -- or detach it to Windows, where it can operate as designed. If
    you aren't supposed to see something, it doesn't exist from your access
    perspective, and nothing you can do can make it exist.



    ** RAD (and the rapid is something that someone who has never worked
    with Notes/Domino cannot truly appreciate) is part of the package. Yes,
    it is possible for people who aren't willing to learn good practices to
    create absolutely horrid applications. It's just not necessary. Good,
    fast, robust applications can be built on timeframes that would shock
    most of you.



    ** Notes is a rich client environment. Don't like the client? Turn the
    HTTP task on on the Domino server, and use the application over the
    web. Securely. Again, bad web design and slow sites are possible using
    Domino. Just not necessary. (I have built a high-use real-time web
    auction site on Domino, with no-one the wiser.)



    ** Within Notes/Domino, you can program using your choice of C, C++,
    Java, LotusScript (essentially a VB-like scripting language with a
    heavy object orientation), JavaScript and an immensely powerful
    list-oriented macro language. Don't like any of those? Access via COM
    or CORBA from your favorite.



    ** Domino supports "shared nothing" replication (the advantage of the
    common store you were cringing at a few moments ago). Clustering is
    merely frequent replication with a failover strategy. A Notes and
    Domino environment can have 100% uptime, provided you've taken care of
    the electrical bill.



    ** Notes (the client) runs on Windows and Mac, with Linux support to be
    introduced with the Lotus Workplace Rich Client. (Many more desktops
    were once supported, but how many people do you know running the Sun
    desktop these days?) Web access will allow anything that can run a web
    browser to run a Notes application (including mail).



    ** Domino runs on x86 Windows and Linux, Solaris, AS/400 (iSeries) and
    S/390 (zSeries), among others. No, you don't have to change any code or
    recompile anything. I have no idea what platform my current Domino
    servers are running on, and as a developer I simply don't care. I don't
    have to.



    ** Applications written for Notes version 1 will still run -- unmodifed
    -- in the Notes 6.5 .3 client (current release). They will also run in
    the Notes 7 beta, the Notes 8 client -- whatever that may be, and in
    Notes 9 (a version that has already been committed to). If there are
    Notes 10, 11, and 977 coming down the pipe, every bit of code I have
    ever written will still run (unless I used undocumented hacks to get
    where I was going). Could some of it stand refactoring to take
    advantage of psychotronic input transducers in version 115? Probably --
    but nothing has to be changed at all to keep it working as it always
    has. No other platform can claim anything like that kind of
    record/promise.



    Yes, the Notes client can seem clunky -- it is a big chunk of code. It
    follows its own UI conventions, most of which have been around longer
    than the platforms it runs on. There are things it definitely SHOULDN'T
    be used for. But for "information" storage and retrieval (as opposed to
    atomic data), collaboration, workflow and messaging, there is nothing
    out there to match it. MS has tried an failed several times to get even
    a subset of Notes capability into its environment. Oracle has also
    failed to measure up, as have Novell and even IBM (with the new
    Workplace Collaboration platform). It's one of a kind, and until you
    know what kind it is, you'll probably go around starting threads like
    this one.



    Notes email users who migrated from other platforms tend to miss the
    zippy, lightweight client. Users who are forced to migrate off of Notes
    after using it for awhile are usually disappointed to find out that all
    they get is email. Mailing Word docs and spreadsheets around is no
    substitute for a real collaboration environment.



  • But what is Lotus Notes exactly? An overblown email client??? I mean, really.

    It sounds a lot like what Novell Groupwise is (trying to become). It started off as an email server/client and then mutated into something cumbersome and difficult to maintain. Trust me, I know.

    It's the whole MS Access mentality. You and I know Access is good for maintaining that small collection of personal DVDs, but corporate management believes it should handle high-traffic/high-volume internet transactions in a disconnected client/server fashion. WTF.

    People approach Lotus Notes in the same way I'm sure. Everyone should just get a copy of Outlook and be satisfied.



  • It's a monster to use.
    [url=http://digilander.libero.it/chiediloapippo/Engineering/iarchitect/lotus.htm]Check
    out Lotus Notes' UI hall of shame entry[/url]. Today is the last day of
    my internship and I'm glad, because I'm no longer going to have to use
    this piece of crap. [N]



    You can say it takes a long time to get used to it, but it's very
    powerful... Well, it's near unusable. Nothing can compensate for that.
    I hate Lotus Notes.



  • That entry is several Notes releases old, and is only relevant if
    you're working for an outfit that hasn't upgraded in, um, a while. In
    fact, two FULL version releases have come and gone since then, both
    having a completely different "base UI" from the old workspace, and a
    third is due out this year. The Notes UI is different from a Microsoft
    product (not nearly as different as many of the graphics packages I've
    used over the years), but the hall-of-shame entry does little more than
    demonstrate that the idiot who wrote the piece (a) didn't have a clue,
    (b) wasn't aware that F5 doesn't universally mean "refresh", even if
    you only consider Microsoft's own product line, and (c) did I mention
    he didn't have a clue?



    Even a superficial reading of the article shows that the guy used Notes
    for nothing but email, and didn't "get" the platform. Funny -- a lot of
    what was in Notes mail even then have become featured enhancements in
    Microsoft's Exchange/Outlook 12 vapourware. Perhaps if you'd taken the
    time to figure out the client (instead of expecting it to be a
    do-nothing piece of <ahem> like Outlook), you might have
    discovered that you can get a lot more done with a lot less work.
    There's 10MB of help documentation and examples to show you what's up,
    and "Dummies"-type books that can help you use the power that's there
    if Help->Help Topics is too many clicks for you.



    Ever tried a full-text search of your mail (including attachments)? Are
    you on a bad network segment? Work in local replicas and save
    bandwidth. Don't like the views you're provided? Make your own. (In
    Notes 6 and above, you can drag 'n' drop the columns around to suit
    your tastes and hide the ones you don't need, in addition to having the
    ability to create private views in any database you have Reader or
    higher access to -- something that's been there since I first saw Notes
    in V3.) Does your prefered mail client give you IM presence awareness
    in your inbox? Notes has been doing that since release 6.5, and I can
    add awareness to ANY application by simply adding a special field type
    to a form or checking an option in a view column.



    Are there problem areas? Of course. Any non-trivial application is
    going to have bits in it that could have been done better -- and
    Iris/Lotus/IBM have had a pretty darned good track record of fixing
    problems without breaking anything that's gone before. And there's the
    fact that anyone with a Domino Designer client, Designer-level access
    and half a brain can tweak the UI of any application, including your
    email. The base Lotus templates are designed for multi-platform and
    i18n and have to provide as smooth a transition as possible for
    long-time users in version upgrades. Except for the base client code,
    though, EVERYTHING in Notes is completely customisable -- it's all
    "open source" (there's a "hide design" option for ISVs, but Lotus
    doesn't use it, nor do most internal or contract devs).



  • "But what is Lotus Notes exactly? An overblown email client??? I mean, really."



    No, it isn't. Email is a side-effect of Notes, not the primary goal.
    Notes is/was the original BBS. The "canonical" Notes application is the
    discussion database -- main topics with hierarchical reply threads. The
    data store is document-based (not tabular). Messaging/email is part of
    the deal, yes -- I can send your database a document (doesn't have to
    be an email memo, it can be a complex compound document including
    code), and you can read that document, reply to it, forward it to
    someone else, etc. Or I could simply send you a link to a document that
    lives in another database, or a view in that database, or what have
    you. Your "mail account" is just another Notes database to which only
    you have access. (You can grant access to others, and there is
    necessary adminitrative access from the servers and local Notes
    administrators. Don't want the admins reading your mail? Use the
    "encrypt incoming" option to apply 128-bit public key encryption.)



    Notes has bugger-all to do with "the Access mentality". Notes is
    scalable to enterprise-level, global applications out-of-the-box. It
    always has been, since the beta of version 1. "Throw more hardware at
    it" is an actual, honest-to-goodness REAL solution. It works for
    125,000 users at pricewaterhousecoopers who definitely do not use it
    just for email. It works for 1468 of the Forune 2000.



    There are things, as I said, that Notes/Domino should likely not be
    used for. It isn't tabular/relational, so pointer math is out. That
    means that handling vast volumes of well-defined atomic data is not a
    good idea. Notes isn't transactional -- you can redact your changes,
    but you can't  undo/uncommit them, so don't use it for your
    international banking system.



    Think documents. Think knowledgebases. Think meetings taken out of
    real-time. Think process flow. Think forums like this one, but with the
    option to add whacking great amounts of metadata. Think wikis and
    blogs, which have been part of Notes since the beginning, only we never
    gave them kewl names -- a wiki is just a bunch of main documents and
    editor access for all, a blog is author access for the "audience" with
    restrictions against creating main topic documents. Think bug tracking,
    signoffs and accountability. Think all of those things, scalable to
    hundreds of thousands of concurrent users worldwide for any
    application. Think writing such an application in five days -- well,
    almost, since you'll probably want to leave early on Fraday afternoon.
    (Yes, applications can take longer to write, but the majority of apps
    I've written come in at well under 100 hours from requirements
    gathering to deliverable. Dealing with statelessness on the web is the
    hard part.)



    In SQL terms, think of a database where everything is equally
    searchable and all of the columns are varchar(16384). (Items can be
    "wider", but they would be stored as rich text, which is sort-of-like a
    referenced store.) What could you do if you had a platform that could
    efficiently handle data like that? (It's the mentality that a
    relational store can do the same thing that has been the downfall of
    every "Notes killer" that's ever been foisted on the market.)



    The only real problem with Notes is that too few people "get it".
    Combine Exchange, Sharepoint (plain or portal), VSTO/Smart Documents,
    SQL Server, AD and whatever else MS throws at you, and you still can't
    quite get to where Notes has been since the beginning.



    Overblown email client? Only if your aren't actually using Notes for its designed purpose.



  • @Stan Rogers said:

    Think forums like this one, but with the option to add whacking great amounts of metadata

    I like that comparison since the software used for this forum is a true WTF too for people who use a FireFox webbrowser. I have to use IE with all it's security leaks just to post this message with above quote... But okay, I'll stop complaining about this forum now. [;)]



  • Maybe "like this one" was a bad example 😉



  • Hey Katja, you mentioned using the Firefox web browser. It is my browser of choice, but get this...I don't use it. (Here comes the WTF...)

    What happened was this. I installed so many of the Firefox extensions (because they are so absolutely cool) that the browser won't even open anymore. You could say I have extension overload. Don't get me wrong, Firefox will open occassionally...but it's so bogged down with trying to load my bazillion and one extensions that it hangs most of the time.

    The WTF is that I am an all or none person. I'm either going to use Firefox with all of the extensions I like, or not at all. I'm not going to go through and piecemeal it. I'm not going to sift through all of those extensions (which would take hours) to determine which ones I absolutely need. Sorry, it's not happening.

    So, until I get a GB of RAM on my PC or Firefox has better extension management, I will continue to use Internet Explorer. It's less secure I know, but check this out...it's faster!

    A true WTF.



  • It IS faster, especially when rendering dynamic content. That's always
    kinda ticked me off. Personally, I still prefer Firefox. The tabs and
    JavaScript Console would be enough that even an old skinflint like me
    would pay for it (Opera is too badly flawed in too many ways to be
    worth the money). The "Web Developer" extension/toolbar is all I've
    added, though. I've never had a reason to install stuff like Pornzilla.



  • Just fyi, I never installed anything like Pornzilla.

    I may have installed a Bulgarian CD website redirector, but that's about it.



  • Yeah, I know. Am using IE now to access this site but I prefer FireFox since FireFox has Sage in it, allowing me to use RSS feeds from all kinds of sites. I also have the NetScape and Mozilla webbrowsers installed, just for fun. I've considered to install Opera too but why pay for a browser when there are so many free ones...



  • Now that's offtopic 😛 I noticed some errors in Javascript console the
    other day concerning the quotation bug, maybe Alex should have a look
    at it.



    Oh, and Stan -- I hate using Lotus Notes. Isn't that enough? Does it
    take a bunch of theoretical arguments to prove that it doesn't suck? I,
    a regular user, think it sucks. It's a hell to use, and it's just...
    inane. If you disagree, I'm sure you have some great theory to support
    your opinion, but I just don't share it. I'm not willing to dive into
    help files to do the most basic things. Those things should be clear.



  • @Katja said:

    I've considered to install Opera too but why pay for a browser when there are so many free ones...




    Opera is available free.  They go on too much about the ad box...
    it's not at all obtrusive.  OTOH, I see no advantage over
    Firefox. 



    I have a bunch of browsers to isolate various problems with our
    website.  Especially since our designers seem to be determined to
    Javascript it to death.[8o|]



  • @aapopfriets said:

    Oh, and Stan -- I hate using Lotus Notes. Isn't that enough? Does it take a bunch of theoretical arguments to prove that it doesn't suck? I, a regular user, think it sucks. It's a hell to use, and it's just... inane. If you disagree, I'm sure you have some great theory to support your opinion, but I just don't share it. I'm not willing to dive into help files to do the most basic things. Those things should be clear.

    Keeping in mind that this site is dedicated to laughing at, razzing, and otherwise making fun of people who were too damned lazy or stupid to RTFM, that's pretty much an inane statement, don't you think?



  • I really dislike Opera for those ad boxes. I either pay for having them
    removed or they have to stay in there... Neither option is an option
    that I like, thus I refuse to use Opera. I don't care if these ads are
    big or small or whatever. What I dislike is that Opera, to retrieve the
    latest ads, is contacting their own services and sends god knows what
    kind of information about me to them. Who knows? Perhaps Opera is
    keeping track of the sites I visit and it might adjust the ads I
    receive for this browser behaviour. It's almost spyware in my opinion...



    Of course, with FireFox, Netscape, Mozilla and IE you can't be too sure
    that those versions do not contain any spyware but at least they aren't
    as open about this espionage as Opera. Opera needs to contact its
    servers to retrieve new ads and at least that is already information
    about me... Namely the moments that I start Opera...



    I  HATE Opera anyway...



  • I prefer to hate Opera for its horrible CSS support. Ad boxes don't
    bother me nearly as much as block-element background colours that
    colour outside the lines. While Opera has gotten better since the
    execrable version 6, it still pains me to report that there is someone
    out there amking Microsoft's CSS standard support look really, really
    good by comparison.



  • @Katja said:

    Of course, with FireFox, Netscape, Mozilla and IE you can't be too sure that those versions do not contain any spyware

    It's terrible when browsers come prepackaged with spyware. That kinda sucks.



  • @Stan Rogers said:

     aapopfriets wrote:
    Oh, and Stan -- I hate using Lotus Notes. Isn't that enough? Does it take a bunch of theoretical arguments to prove that it doesn't suck? I, a regular user, think it sucks. It's a hell to use, and it's just... inane. If you disagree, I'm sure you have some great theory to support your opinion, but I just don't share it. I'm not willing to dive into help files to do the most basic things. Those things should be clear.

    Keeping in mind that this site is dedicated to laughing at, razzing, and otherwise making fun of people who were too damned lazy or stupid to RTFM, that's pretty much an inane statement, don't you think?



  • @Stan Rogers said:

     aapopfriets wrote:
    Oh, and Stan -- I hate using Lotus Notes. Isn't that enough? Does it take a bunch of theoretical arguments to prove that it doesn't suck? I, a regular user, think it sucks. It's a hell to use, and it's just... inane. If you disagree, I'm sure you have some great theory to support your opinion, but I just don't share it. I'm not willing to dive into help files to do the most basic things. Those things should be clear.

    Keeping in mind that this site is dedicated to laughing at, razzing, and otherwise making fun of people who were too damned lazy or stupid to RTFM, that's pretty much an inane statement, don't you think?



  • AAARGH. And each time, just when I click the 'post' button, I panic and
    try to stop posting in time. Futile. And this forum'll be damned if it
    showed me my post after hitting the back button. Hell no, who cares
    about long, important replies someone types. We don't need discussions
    on a discussion board.



  • You're right. And I should point out that Notes (and it's web side,
    Domino) would be perfect for this sort of thing. But then, you would
    have known that if you had ever used it for its intended purpose....



    (Yeah, that was a cheap shot, but you left the door open.)



  • How about a I Hate GroupWise (blissfully haven't used it for 8 years now!) or:

    I Hate WORD! (oh please, oh please, oh please)

    I Hate PhotoShop

    --



    The things I'd do to Word if it was a carnate being. I think I'd spend nearly all of my free time hassling it. I wish it was a type
    of entity (rather than just 1 member of its species) so that I could
    hunt it down and then have fun picking off its relatives and children.

    --



    I'd sooner get rid of Word than spam!



  • Groupwise has been around for 8 years?

    Wow...



  • <FONT face="Courier New">what about trying maxthon :)</FONT>



  • Anyone know where I can find NON-IT info to convince my company management to dump Lotus Notes - such as studies of the lost productivity compared to Outlook?  Any comparisons of the total number  of Lotus Notes users compared to other programs?  I need all the non-IT ammoI can get.  I HATE Lotus Notes.



  • @kungphury said:

    Anyone know where I can find NON-IT info to convince my company management to dump Lotus Notes - such as studies of the lost productivity compared to Outlook?  Any comparisons of the total number  of Lotus Notes users compared to other programs?  I need all the non-IT ammoI can get.  I HATE Lotus Notes.

    would probably be easier to find info/examples to get them to switch the other way...



  • @Stan_Rogers said:

    Yes, IBM did buy Lotus outright -- and no, Notes is not a WTF product.

    OK, this guy was gone before I was here, but... undefined



  • @Stan_Rogers said:

    Within Notes/Domino, you can program using your choice of C, C++,Java, LotusScript (essentially a VB-like scripting language with aheavy object orientation), JavaScript and an immensely powerfullist-oriented macro language. Don't like any of those? Access via COMor CORBA from your favorite.

    And are the same APIs available in all these languages? I've never seen stuff that completely supported Java and C++ at the same time.
    Also, tell me more about that macro language.



  • @Katja said:

    <P></P>
    <P>I like that comparison since the software used for this forum is a true WTF too for people who use a FireFox webbrowser. I have to use IE with all it's security leaks just to post this message <EM>with</EM> above quote... But okay, I'll stop complaining about this forum now. [;)]</P>

    I use firefox and this forum works just fine, what's your problem?




  • That apostrophe's easy to miss, right? I remember when I was catching up on all the holiday stuff, marvelling at how there was so much discussion on Dec 14, and then nothing for the rest of the month.


  • Banned

    @marczellm said:

    I use firefox and this forum works just fine, what's your problem?

    I am considering replying to this but have a feeling I will get a woosh badge by doing so.


  • SockDev

    @marczellm said:

    I use firefox and this forum works just fine

    😆 I can't keep a straight face…

    But seriously, you do realise that post is over 10 years old, and it talking about Community Server, right? 😛



  • @RaceProUK said:

    I can't keep a straight face…

    Glad to be of service.

    @RaceProUK said:

    But seriously, you do realise that post is over 10 years old, and it talking about Community Server, right?

    Looks like I'm TR undefined I blame not the apostrophe, but the fact that here in Hungary the year never follows the month.



  • undefined is going on here. Posts from yesterday followed by posts from 2006?!


  • SockDev

    Yeah, this import script has clearly never been tested; this is all basic shit that would have been caught otherwise.



  • @RaceProUK said:

    Yeah, this import script has clearly never been tested; this is all basic shit that would have been caught otherwise.

    It's been tested twice this weekend 😆


  • SockDev

    I meant tested on a system that isn't Live 😛



  • @RaceProUK said:

    tested on a system that isn't Live

    How would that have helped? (Those posts from 2006 weren't here yesterday).


  • SockDev

    @Buddy said:

    How would that have helped?

    They'd have found all these silly bugs before flooding the live forum with garbage? 😛



  • Yeah, but that wouldn't have found this bug, is what I'm trying to say here.


  • SockDev

    …got me there…



  • @loopback0 said:

    undefined is going on here. Posts from yesterday followed by posts from 2006?!

    That is truly awesome. I'm glad I got in and necro'd when I did.


  • area_deu

    Isn't almost everything written backwards in Hungary?


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