Ben Langhinrichs

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Genii Weblog

Domino is used by, you know, actual business people

Tue 22 Oct 2019, 09:39 AM



by Ben Langhinrichs
I must admit, there are times when I obsess too much about obscure little bugs in features that most people don't use. I own that. But then there are times when issues comes up that are absolutely standard business practice that are still FUBAR, and that makes me angry.
 
HCL, and IBM before it, are businesses. Corporations. They are supposed to understand basic business practices, even if they can't always relate to developers or ISVs or whatever. I could make a top ten list of Stuff Business People Use, and the list itself would include lists. Because business people like:
 
  1. Lists, and those lists often include:
    • Bullet items
    • More bullets
    • So many bullet items, it makes your eyes bleed
  2. More lists with (you guessed it):
    • More frigging bullets
 
That is how the business world communicated in the 1980s, and it is how the business world communicates in 2019. 
 
So, I was hardly surprised when someone from HCL responded to a question in the beta forum using Lists and Bullets. But take a look at the red circles I added. See anything wrong with this (besides the fact that the table looks like it was created in 1997)?
 
 
Inline JPEG image
 
 
Why would the numbered list jump from 1 to 4? Even if the bullets were weirdly counted as numbered list items, it should jump to 5, but chances are excellent it was meant to jump to 2. Because I don't have access to the beta forum as a Notes database (sob!), I decided to reproduce this in 9.0.1 (my main development machine), and see if this was a real problem or something odd about how the HCL person created it.. It isn't an exact match because I don't know what they did about spacing or whatever. But still, it is a basic numbered list with a nested bullet list. No special indentation or anything.
 
Inline JPEG image
 
 
Then, I switched to my web browser and looked at the web version.
 
Inline JPEG image
 
 
Sure enough, the same exact issue. I was curious whether this is something our AppsFidelity product fixes, so I turned it on and looked at the same document.
 
Inline JPEG image
 
 
Of course it works. (In V11, as well. Oh, and 8.5.3, too.)
 
The question is, of the various rendering engines in Notes/Domino, how many do this right and how many do it wrong? If you migrate data out of Notes, will you screw up nested lists without realizing it? If you mail nested lists to your customers and tell them to look at item 6, will they realize you really mean the item now showing as 13? 
 
Of course, if you use the Midas products or AppsFidelity products or CoexLinks products, you can rest assured that your data will remain intact. Because after all, actual business people expect that.
 
 

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