Genii Weblog

Hello World and the IBM 0.2 Web Vision

Tue 16 Nov 2010, 05:44 PM

by Ben Langhinrichs
It is time once again for me to chide IBM gently about its vision, particularly when it comes to the fancy new web editor used with xPages.  CKEditor is a great editor, with lots of good features, but you don't put lipstick on a pig and expect it to be a lady.

Imagine a new customer, or potential customer, who wants to see that fancy 8.5.2 discussion template that IBM touts.  I will play the role of that newbie. My reaction may be slightly exaggerated, but is this a really surprising scenario?

Me: Let's see, I think I'll create a brand-spanking-new discussion database with 8.5.2.  Here it is in the Notes client without any documents at all.

New but empty discussion database

Me: Let's add a document in Notes.  Hmm, what should I say? How about 'Hello, World!', that's original.  I'll put it in 24 pt Comic Sans MS.  So attractive!
Hello World created from Notes

Me: That was fun, but let's see that spiffy new xPages version on the web.  I'll just create the same document from there.  Nice interface!
Hello World created from web

Me: OK, let's see how that looks back in Notes. Ooh, I am sooo excited.
Notes with both documents showing

Me: Wait a minute! Where's my nifty font? Why does it look so small?
Web document with wrong font and size

Me: I'll check the attributes. Why is it 18pt Default Serif. I've been robbed! I want my Sharepoint!
Attributes shown in Notes as 18pt Default Serif

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What has been said:

916.1. Peter Presnell
(11/16/2010 11:15 PM)

Great timing Ben. I'm presently documenting test cases to identify the gaps between the Rich Text editor in the Notes client and that offered by the current version of XPages. I'll add the above with the expectation we can find a solution.

916.2. Patrick Kwinten
(11/17/2010 07:13 AM)

I want my Sharepoint! - no you don't!

916.3. Lance Spellman
(11/17/2010 02:48 PM)

@Peter What release will you work that into the GA schedule?

916.4. Bob Balfe
(11/17/2010 03:12 PM)

This is a tough argument. Do you think customers will be using both Notes and Web interfaces or would they standardize one or the other?

What if the CK Editor was the default editor everywhere?

916.5. Ben Langhinrichs
(11/17/2010 03:23 PM)

If a company were to just use the web, the interface (as far as it goes) would be fine. CKEditor is a good editor, although IBM could stand to think a bit about the settings they use.

But the discussion database is explicitly meant to be a coexistence database. The template is named "Discussion - Notes & Web (8.5.2)" and mentioned in presentations as a way to use both. If you are going to sell it that way, and IBM has gone to a lot of trouble to make it work on both sides, you should make sure that at least some of the text features actually work.

The really irritating thing is, some of these could be fixed in the configuration file that comes with CKEditor without any loss to the editor. IBM just didn't bother to test it and try. That is simply bad business.

916.6. Mark Hughes
(11/17/2010 08:01 PM)

ckeditor kills the page on an iphone and ipad btw(on 8.5.2), and richtext does not work on those devices in the traditional way, you cant type in them.

That is how i came to understand the issues surrounding all this, and have been frustrated to say the least