Genii Weblog

More evidence of a stacked deck

Wed 7 Jan 2009, 01:47 PM

by Ben Langhinrichs
Doing a bit more investigative work, I noticed a blog that mentioned another site Campaign Monitor's Guide to CSS support in email clients (2008).  It happened there was a response to that blog post from Matthew Patterson of the Email Standards Project, and he commented:
Just so people are aware, Campaign Monitor is the driving force behind the Email Standards Project too!
So, why mention this?  Because in that guide linked above, here are the groups of clients tested

Desktop Clients

Inline JPEG image

Web Clients

Inline JPEG image

I'm not going to dignify the results by copying them here, but needless to say Notes did not come out well.  But doesn't it seem a bit idiotic and biased to compare Entourage 2008 with Notes 6?    Doesn't it seem a bit ridiculous to include AOL Web and not iNotes?  I'm trying to remember not to see overt malice when it might just be ineptness, but Notes 6.5, Notes 7 and Notes 8 had all been released before this was published, as far as I can tell from the dates.

This is the reason why we need more Notes evangelists, to prevent these sloppy comparisons which then get quoted without critique.  Unfortunately, it is also why IBM needs to get its act together and fix both the public perception and the actual technology to the best of its ability.  The sad fact is, there are serious, real and recognized rendering issues in Notes 8.5 that IBM should have, and could have, addressed back in Notes 6, and then these comparisons wouldn't be so frequent.

Copyright 2009 Genii Software Ltd.

What has been said:

753.1. JP Liggett
(01/07/2009 01:12 PM)

This outlook example is exactly on point.

If this can work with DAMO, is it so hard to take some existing code/setups and let notes users click on "update outlook" links?

This issue is replacing the "I use outlook at home" issue that notes evangelism has worked against for years.

I hope IBM can study this and provide a solution. Even if they have to pay some websites to put a "update notes calendar link", that could be a start.

753.2. Alan Bell
(07/01/2009 15:01)

the trouble is there is quite a barrier to entry to giving Notes a fair test. For someone familiar with testing most applications it is download then keep hitting return to all the questions until it is installed, instant gratification. Notes needs a Domino server to play with, it is a complete PITA for a novice to get to grips with. Now this isn't a big criticism of Notes. I don't think it necessarily has to be a lot easier to pick up and test, but IBM could be more proactive about helping people who get it wrong to get it right.

753.3. Ben Langhinrichs
(01/07/2009 03:30 PM)

Larry C - You are spot on that one huge issue is IBM's lack of successful proactive work with the "big systems" to ensure that there is an Export to Notes for every Export to Outlook, and similar public, visible signs that Notes is out there.

Alan - I would agree completely. It is not easy to get a "test system" up and running with Notes and Domino, even though it is fairly easy to install either one. The trouble is the learning curve involved in setting all the myriad options and picking the right names, etc. etc. IBM may even have test centers, I don't know, but something needs to be done so industry analysts and others, such as these folks who are really just in the business of selling email campaign software and so fly under the radar screen, can test and verify things such as this more easily.

753.4. Wayne
(01/08/2009 04:23 AM)

I agree that IBM/Lotus need to get these issues resolved. Hire someone to focus on HTML rendering and get it done right. They did it with the lotusscript engine, they can do it again.

On another note, though, this cry for IBM to get the notes *mail* client into the hands of consumers is misdirected. The *Notes* client is too sophisticated for the average consumer,and it makes no business sense to dumb it down when there are dozens of competing mail clients out there.

I think they would be better off making Notes a better *desktop* development tool. That would encompass most small and very small business, encourage experimentation at the collage and university level and get word of mouth marketing at a level IBM has probably forgotten exists. *Then* you will get other companies putting *export to notes* buttons on their web pages.