Ben Langhinrichs

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July, 2009
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Civility in critiquing the ideas of others is no vice. Rudeness in defending your own ideas is no virtue.

Thu 30 Jul 2009, 10:44 PM
There are some stories which make me thank my lucky stars I didn't decide to go to law school.  This particular story, on, starts:
A Boston, Massachusetts, police officer who sent a mass e-mail referring to Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. as a "banana-eating jungle monkey" didn't intend to express bigoted views or cause pain, his attorney said in a statement Thursday night.
Nah, how could you possibly think that referring to a black Harvard professor as a "banana-eating jungle monkey", four times in all, was possibly expressing a bigoted view?  But my favorite line comes a bit later in the article.  You can almost predict it, and still it astounds me:
Marano said Wednesday that Barrett's comments were taken out of context.
This is the catchall excuse for anything anyone says that they shouldn't (although sometimes it is said by people with good reason as well), but can you imagine trying to keep a straight face as you explain what context would justify this offensive and racist stereotyping?

Yup, I'm glad I didn't go to law school.  Can you imagine defending this guy?

Copyright 2009 Genii Software Ltd.


Thu 30 Jul 2009, 09:55 PM
Committees, especially committees setting rules and standards and such, can be dreadfully tedious and time consuming.  Unfortunately, they are necessary, and we are all extremely fortunate to have the people on the OpenNTF Steering Committee putting in that tedious and time consuming work for our benefit.  Done right, these rules and protocols and license schemes and systems will make OpenNTF even more productive and useful for all of us.  From what I can tell, they seem to be doing it right, or as right as possible.  In many ways, it is a good sign to see people leaving the committee, because a committee that is doing nothing is no problem being on.  It is a committee that is fighting to make its way through the process that drives people away, sometimes because the tensions in the group get high, but often because people leave when they simply cannot spend that much time on the project.

So, thank you to the members of the OpenNTF Steering Committee, Vince Schuurman (Chairman), Nathan Freeman, Ludwig Nastansky, Justin Hill, John Head, Brent Peters, Scott Johnsen, to the past members who took part in the process earlier, and to all those Alliance members and others who are supporting the process.  It may feel like a long slog, but we appreciate your staying on track.  Best of luck as you continue fighting the good fight for all of us.

Copyright 2009 Genii Software Ltd.


Thu 30 Jul 2009, 04:53 PM
Today we released iFidelity Version 3.0a and iFidelity Gateway Version 3.0a.  The features/fixes include (in no particular order):

  • Image resources, both local (same database) and remote (different database), now sent image parts included in the MIME.
  • Background images on table cells, using both local and remote image resources, now supported on Outbound
  • Computed image resources supported for both images and backgrounds
  • Margins inside nested tables now accurate whether percentages or absolute
  • Improved handling of padding and spacing around images and tables, both inbound and outbound
  • Modified HTML for Lotus iNotes to avoid preprocessing which strips some attributes
  • Outbound messages optimized to read better in Outlook 2007
  • More accurate calculation of line spacing on inbound mail
  • Enhanced recognition of colors in various formats, including malformed formats from Outlook 2003/2007
  • Handling of "monotype" and other semi-standard Outlook features
  • Recognition of partial CSS attributes which override general ones (e.g., border-left even when there is a border)
  • Handling of larger images on outbound mail (very large images were truncated)
  • Added names to outbound content parts to allow better parsing when returning inbound
  • Faster memory recovery of allocated chunks
  • Support for inline binary encoded MIME parts
  • Improved support for multi-byte characters in hotspots
  • Better spacing of text/html MIME part  to account for GMail oddities
  • Recognition of some MS Word conditionals to allow better processing of email from Outlook 2003/2007

That may seem like a lot of items, but with well over 50 companies using iFidelity now, we have had the chance to be exposed to a lot of scenarios.  I would expect the list of bug fixes to go down over time, but as we are taking a "perfection is only almost good enough" approach for now, there will still probably be a couple more releases with lots of minor issues addressed at once.  In addition, there may be a few changes necessary to optimally handle new external software, such as Lotus Notes 8.5.1, Microsoft Outlook 2010, Internet Explorer 8, and so on.

Note: When I checked, only the Windows version of iFidelity and iFidelity Gateway were actually updated on the website, so I'll be off to see where the Linux and AIX versions are.

Oh yes, the free license.  I'll repeat our offer to IBM Business Partners who sell or work actively with Lotus Software: a free iFidelity server license to use so that emails you send, or receive in either iNotes or the Notes client, can be rendered with the highest iFidelity quality.  You just have to ask (before we end the offer) by filling out the iFidelity BP Order form.  And for you customers, feel free to try out the free evaluation license.

Copyright 2009 Genii Software Ltd.