Ben Langhinrichs

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May, 2007
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Civility in critiquing the ideas of others is no vice. Rudeness in defending your own ideas is no virtue.


Tue 1 May 2007, 08:28 PM
On CNN tonight, it reports (with my emphasis in bold):
President Bush said Tuesday he vetoed a $124 billion war-spending bill that called for U.S. combat troops to leave Iraq in 2008, arguing that it replaced "the opinion of politicians for the judgment of our military commanders."
Wait a minute, isn't that the very essence of our representative democracy?  Despite the negative connotation of the word "politicians", these are our elected representatives (as is President Bush, of course), and it is their duty and responsibility to override the judgement of our military.  It is the duty and responsibility of our military commanders to do their best to uphold the policy and directives set out by the President and by Congress, not the other way around.

Copyright © 2007 Genii Software Ltd.

Tue 1 May 2007, 05:47 PM
In March of 1999, IBM released the brand new Lotus Notes R5.  It included many features, but the one I want to mention is "nested table" support.  For the first time, tables could be put inside other tables, down to a depth of 10 nestings.  In addition, R5 included the first, albeit relatively limited, NotesRichText classes.  But there was no support for nested tables.  

But what got me thinking about this?  It so happens that Andre Guirard posted an article in his blog today entitled Form design: rich text field in a table cell, in which he says fairly early on:
So, just in case, here's the official line on putting a rich text field in a table cell: don't.
He has various reasons, but one of them is:
It also limits your ability to program tables in the rich text, because when you save a document that contains a table inside a rich text field that's inside a table, it gets treated as a nested table. The NotesRichText... classes don't deal with nested tables, so they can't even see this one. If the code that operates on the document is in a view agent or server agent, you wouldn't think that would matter, since these methods of accessing documents don't care about the form design. But it does matter in this case, because when you edit and save the document manually, the table is flagged as "nested" in the rich text data.
So, here it is 2007, eight years after the addition of nested tables in Lotus Notes/Domino, and there is no sign of support for nested table in the NotesRichText classes in ND7, and no sign it will be added in Notes 8.x releases, which won't even be released until later this year.

Doesn't it seem like eight years and counting is long enough?  Doesn't it seem like too long?  Shouldn't IBM be adding this functionality rather than suggesting workarounds to avoid the problem?  Andre mentions DXL, but that is pretty lame support for an eight year old feature.

Meanwhile, over here at Genii Software, we spent months in 1999 working on support for the many rich text features in R5, and in September 1999, released Midas 2.0, with an announcement the day before it was released...
At long last, Version 2.0 of the Midas Rich Text LSX will be released.  Version 2.0 offers full support for Notes R5, with R5 specific features such as dynamic tabbed tables, support for nested tables and new R5 properties, as well as importing of native GIF and JPEG images.  In addition, support has been added for manipulation of fields on forms and subforms, thus allowing dynamic forms stored in documents or forms design utilizing the power of the Midas Rich Text LSX.

Version 2.0 will have support for Notes/Domino releases R4.5x, R4.6x and R5.x.  A new sample will be available showing design form manipulation, and old samples will be updated to show such things as sorting nested tables.
Notice that not only did we support nested tables within six months of the R5 release, we even supported sorting those tables.

Of course, if this were the only feature like this... but what about layers, added in October 2002 in Notes/Domino 6, but still no rich text support after five years (not even via DXL) in Notes 8, but supported by Midas within three months in Version 3.00.

Copyright © 2007 Genii Software Ltd.

Tue 1 May 2007, 12:22 PM
As many of our customers have noticed, we have not released any major releases for our Midas Rich Text and CoexEdit products in a while.  We have had many interim releases fixing specific issues and adding functionality that was important to individual customers, but we are long overdue for a production release for these products.  It was originally our intention to wait for Notes/Domino 8, but that is too far away.  Over the past few weeks, we have come up with the following plan for the two sets of products.

Midas Rich Text products (Midas Rich Text LSX, Midas Rich Text C++ API and @Midas Formulas)
We will release shortly a Version 3.70 for all three products, which will include all fixes and enhancements added over the past year, as well as wrapping in a few new features that seem important to get out to all customers.  All customers with Version 3.x licenses will be able to download and upgrade to this version at no cost.  This version is planned to be the last full version in the 3.x code stream, and the last to fully support Notes/Domino Releases 4.5x, 4.6x and 5.x.  Version 3.70 will therefore support Notes/Domino 4.5x, 4.6x, 5.x, 6.x, 6.5x and 7.x, but not 8.x   Only essential bug fixes will be added to the 3.x code stream after this release.

Within the next few weeks, we will release a Version 4.00 for all three products, which will include all enhancements and fixes from Version 3.70, but will remove some obsolete properties and methods and add some functionality important to Notes/Domino 8.x.  Version 4.00 will therefore support Notes 6.x, 6.5x, 7.x and, eventually, Notes/Domino 8.x.  It will include only partial support for Notes/Domino 5.x, depending on customer demand.

Upgrade discounts from Version 3.x to Version 4.x will be based on how recently the 3.x license was purchased and whether the customer is on maintenance.  If a customer is not on maintenance, the upgrade will be free if the 3.x license was purchased within 60 days, 15% of the current cost if the license was purchased between 61 and 120 days before, 25% if the license was purchased between 121 days and 180 days before, 40% if the license was purchased between 181 and 365 days before, and 50% if the license was purchased between 366 and 730 days before.  The days will be counted from when the request is made, not when Version 4.00 is released, so it may be in a customer's best interest to upgrade quickly even if the specific features in 4.00 are not required immediately.

CoexEdit
We are releasing a Version 2.0 Gold Candidate very soon which includes all fixes and enhancements added since Version 1.4.  Version 2.0 will support Notes/Domino Releases 5.x, 6.x, 6.5x, and 7.x.  Plans are underway to support Notes/Domino 8.x, but the specific version in which that will happen has not been determined.

Upgrade discounts are not relevant, since virtually all CoexEdit customers are on maintenance.  All customers up to date on maintenance will be upgraded at no cost upon request.  Customers who are not on maintenance would have to buy a new license to get the new release.

Copyright © 2007 Genii Software Ltd.