Ben Langhinrichs

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January, 2009
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Genii Weblog


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


Tue 6 Jan 2009, 03:24 PM
Ed Brill directed me to this website, and it is interesting, but they clearly don't seem to understand Notes that well, as they mostly focus on IMAP/POP3 mail.  Regardless, their points about rendering (which relate to inbound MIME messages rather than outbound rich text messages) are generally accurate and interesting for both prior versions and MIME to rich text conversion.  What I found most fascinating though was to compare their evaluation of Lotus Notes 8 and Microsoft Outlook 2007 side by side.

Honestly, the results look awfully similar, with many of exactly the same problems.  There is a difference though, which is mentioned prominently on the website.  The Lotus Notes 8 comparison is only for Notes 8 in IMAP/POP3 mode, used by about 10% of Notes/Domino users, and as they clarify here (with their emphasis)
As you can see in these partial screenshots, the Domino server version renders much closer to our Acid Test. IBM tells us that almost 90% of their customers are using Lotus Notes 8 with Domino Server, which use Internet Explorer for HTML email rendering when viewing emails. This is great news! Your subscribers on Notes may be getting a better experience than previously thought.
I wish they would now do a proper review of Lotus Notes 8 or 8.5 with the Domino server.

There are a bunch of comments already, but perhaps a few of you could stop by and let them know you would like to see that as well.

IBM Lotus Notes 8 in IMAP/POP3 mode (weblink)Microsoft Outlook 2007 (weblink)


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Tue 6 Jan 2009, 02:25 PM
One question which I have gotten repeatedly since I started discussing rendering issues in my various recent posts is whether CoexLinks only deals with outbound rendering (Notes rich text to MIME), or whether it also helps with inbound rendering (MIME to Notes rich text).  The answer I tend to give is "It could, but I don't know whether it is worth it."  I thought that rather than answer everybody who asks individually, I'd throw the question out to the huddled masses, yearning to read clear messages...

Given the enhancements to inbound email rendering in Notes mail, is there still a compelling reason/need to render MIME into rich text?  Please note the wording I chose, because the Notes mail system DOES NOT render MIME to rich text in Notes 8/8.5.  Instead, it displays MIME using an Internet Explorer embedded component.  While that may see to be a trivial distinction, anyone who has tried to edit a heavily MIME formatted e-mail message, or forward it or reply to it, will have discovered the difference.  For example, I get an email newsletter from my local grocery store that lists (presumably) yummy treats I may be enticed to buy.  Look at the two images below.  The first is rendered by the IE component in the Notes 8 mail.  The second is rendered in rich text after the MIME conversion.  I trust I don't have to point out the differences.

But the question remains: is this a deficiency worth fixing?  Are people worried about responding to or forwarding formatted e-mails and looking stupid, or is that such a small issue that the annoyance factor of installing a client software component for CoexLinks would not be worth it?  Any thoughts?

MIME email rendered by Notes mail IE component

Grocery store circular in MIME


MIME email rendered by Notes MIME to rich text converter

Grocery store circular in rich text converted from MIME

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Tue 6 Jan 2009, 09:36 AM
I have been working on a new banner ad to use with CoexLinks 3.0 and its MIME rendering engine (see a few of my recent posts for details).  Some of you maye have seen an early version I created for Volker's blog, but with some excellent suggestions from my partners in Penumbra, I have adjusted the banner ad a bit.  I'd be happy to hear any feedback on whether this seems to communicate the message "Better outbound email rendering using CoexLinks 3.0 no matter which version of Notes/Domino you use", and also any opinions, whether of the "Wow, I love it" or the "Ick, I don't like it" variety, and also any suggestions from all your smart folks.

CoexLinks with better rendering for Notes


Update: Modified slightly again to eliminate confusion about versions.

Alternative CoexLinks with better rendering for Notes


Update: Added Nathan's version (above) as an alternative.  What do people think of this?

Copyright © 2009 Genii Software Ltd.

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