Ben Langhinrichs

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January, 2019
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Civility in critiquing the ideas of others is no vice. Rudeness in defending your own ideas is no virtue.


Thu 10 Jan 2019, 03:38 PM
Continuing on from yesterday's post, I should emphasize that the best rendering in the world only works if the target supports the CSS and HTML that make up the page. When we are talking about email that goes outside of your Notes network, even to others within your company who may be reading on Gmail or Outlook 365 or a mobile device, not everything is supported that you might find in a web page on a modern browser. Therefore, when CoexLinks Fidelity renders an email to MIME to leave Notes, it has to build in logic to allow it to degrade gracefully and minimally.
 
All of the following except the first are rendered to MIME by CoexLinks Fidelity, and then sent out through the normal Domino channels. There are many other email clients or devices, but this should give a sense of what kind of degradations might be expected and how they are handled. As an example, in Office 365, the background of the table rows that are gradients is set to whichever of the gradient colors best contrasts with the text within. The PC Gmail and two mobile examples are all from the same email displayed in various ways.
 
When we can't make it perfect, we make it as good as possible. In all our products.
 
 
 
Notes client (rich text)
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Gmail on Firefox on PC
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Office 365
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Gmail app on Samsung J23 phone
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Email app on Samsung J23 phone
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In comparison, the ordinary Notes 10 MIME rendering is uniformly degraded across all mail 
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Tue 8 Jan 2019, 10:13 PM
I'm glad to see the Domino Jams taking place, but since not everybody will even move to IBM Notes/Domino 10 in the near future, note that this demo would look the same if run in Notes/Domino 7 or 8 or 8.5 or 9 or 10. And yes, you can rest assured it will work in HCL Notes/Domino 11 when that comes around.
 
The fact of the matter is, if everybody would stick to simple text in Notes, there would be no need for Genii Software's products. In fact, if everybody carefully built their rich text content with web rendering in mind, there would be less need for Genii Software's products. But there would also be little need for Notes. 
 
The fact is, people out there use all sorts of rich text constructs, thinking that whatever they create will keep looking the way it should. This sample was built around an actual customer issue from December, though I adapted it for demo purposes to be both generic and easy to visualize. The customer used the gradient colors for the title rows and had no borders except a table border. Easy enough to imitate, but not so easy for the Domino web engine to render. I am building demos showing this and other documents based on actual customer issues rendered for use in email, mobile apps, JSON, web apps, XPages apps. The results vary some, but in all cases, the Genii products come very close to rendering the customer's data the way it was built. (Note: this was not from rich text a person created by hand, but a rendered form, which is often the source of complex content.)
 
Can you spot the differences? If so, do you think your employees, partners, and customers might as well?
 
 
 
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Fri 28 Dec 2018, 10:25 AM
In the technology world, we tend to look at levels of adoption of new versions as some sort of important indicator of success. If a company releases a new version and customers are slow to adopt it, that is seen as bad. But depending on how the licensing works, it may or may not matter a lot to the software company. Aside from the extremes of 100% adoption (which means you can retire support for the old versiopn) or 0% adoption (which means you have stumbled badly somehow and may not keep customers for long), some number in the middle is almost as good as another.
 
Chart showing Android version adoption rates, stripped of all context because... does it matter?
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So, what about Notes/Domino? I know customers who are on 7.x, 8.5x, 9.x, and a very few who have started using 10.x. Even leaving aside the revenue from licensing, I know that the release of Notes/Domino 10 will enable some to stay on Notes/Domino 9 longer, as they know IBM/HCL (and soon HCL alone) will continue support. They may not move to ND 10 for a couple of years, or may skip it and move to ND 11 when that is released. (I know one customer that is moving from ND 7 to ND 10 in the next few months.) 
 
So, how much does the rate of adoption matter? Obviously, companies can't take advantage of new features and technologies, but businesses move slowly anyway. With luck (and good marketing), new companies may start using Notes. But does it matter if existing users move forward quickly? What is your opinion?
 

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Sun 23 Dec 2018, 04:43 PM
First, I want to thank IBM for the opportunity to be an IBM Champion in 2018. I've been curious about the program for a while, and I have a lot of good friends who have been champions for a long time, aand a few who are lifetime champions. That said, it hasn't been a particularly comfortable fit for me. I haven't had a single customer or potential customer comment on it in a positive way, and I've had three comment on it negatively, as it makes them think I am less impartial. I also find it a little hard to champion some of IBM's choices and decisions, though I am very pleased with their decision to bring on HCL to breathe new life into some of the products. That was smart.
 
I hesitated and hesitated about even trying again this year, but I thought I'd give it another try, Unfortunately, after the application, the further sale of Notes/Domino to HCL was announced, which looks like it will remove what little purpose there is for me to be a champion. So, while it never feels great when people turn you down, I was a little relieved to receive a letter saying that 2018 would be my only year as an IBM Champion.
 
So, congrats to all the champions, and may it serve your needs perfectly in the coming year. I'm going back to the sidelines. I'm glad I got a chance to see how it felt, and also glad it was just a temporary thing. My goals for 2019 have less and less to do with IBM, though they may have more to do with HCL.
 
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Thu 15 Nov 2018, 04:04 PM
My Short agents post yesterday was so well recieved , I thought I'd better elaborate on how JSON looks and works inside Notes/Domino when working with the Midas LSX. I'll probably post about this more in weeks to come, as there are a number of ways to use the JSON capabilities, and new integrations possible in Domino 10.
 
Since 1997, the Midas LSX has empowered Notes/Domino developers to create powerful, flexible, appealing applications. As the world has evolved and applications have moved to the web, then to mobile, then everywhere. the Midas LSX has had to evolve as well. For many years, Midas has been widely recognized to have the best rendering engine available, and has been built into many third party solutions. But as 'modern' has come to mean full stack, and as IBM and HCL have moved toward JavaScript and Node-RED and JavaScript frameworks, Midas has evolved along with them. This demo shows a small subset of the JSON capabilities that are now in the Midas LSX,
 
 
Try out the Midas LSX for yourself, and if you see a need in your organization, we can help get you ready for the integrations that IBM/HCL keep adding the product. It just makes sense.
 
Since I talked about regular football in my post yesterday, I thought maybe this post could engage in what amounts to Fantasy Football. Go ahead, vote on ideas like the one below at https://domino.ideas.aha.io, and dream big. But when you are done dreaming, why not try out the Midas LSX which is available right now in real life today.
 
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Wed 14 Nov 2018, 09:41 PM
When I say I still write LotusScript, I should include a disclaimer that my scripts tend to be under 30 lines long. Here's one that generates JSON for the documents in a specific view using MongoDB format and spits it out to the browser. All of nineteen lines long if you count the Dims and such. Before somebody says it, I know you can generate JSON with a special Domino URL, but you'd have zero control over the output, whereas I can change that one parameter to 'Saleforce' and get  a different set of JSON or to 'Domino' and get yet another. Or I can pick just a few items to include. Or include formulas or db lookups. Or change that to a GenerateCSV call and get a CSV stream. On top of that, any rich text which gets converted is high fidelity and intact, unlike the stuff generated by the Domino server natively. But otherwise, I'll acknowledge that it's pretty much the same thing as Domino Access Services if you'll acknowledge that the New England Patriots are playing pretty much the same game as the Cleveland Browns.
 
Anyway, short agents don't have to be short on functionality if you have Tom Brady the Midas LSX on your team.
 
(My apologies if you are not a U.S. sports fan and don't understand the analogy. I'm sure some of the Boston-based IBMers and HCLers could interpret for you.)
 
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