Notes 8 Beta Preview

Not long ago I started work on a prank. The idea was a mock-up screenshot of a Notes 8 beta that I would say I'd somehow managed to get my hands on. I soon got bored of messing about in Fireworks and got no further than the image below (click to enlarge):

notes 8

Beyond hoping that it would be funny to wind you all up there was a message in there too - this is how it should/could look. It's still rough round the edges and I never got round to adding the features I'd like to see, but the idea's there.

Anyway, it spent so long sat on my desktop that I've been beaten to it by Lotus, who've announced "Hannover". There are screenshots, of which this one:

Looks good don't it!?

Of course looks aren't everything. What will the new features be for the developer? Will they have gotten rid of all the issues? Making it look nice is a step in the right direction. But, if there's anything like the same number of annoyances then it will continue to be a thorn in my side. If only they would listen/talk to me. I could really help them make the Designer an all-round decent tool. In fact I'm sure we could all help.

So, now they've announced "Hannover", am I any less confused about the future of Lotus software? No! I've still got no idea what's going on and remain blissfully ignorant, while beavering on with Notes 6.0...


    • avatar
    • Brett
    • Mon 27 Jun 2005 05:57

    With “Hannover” we’re expanding the Lotus Notes programming model in a way that allows components from other applications — or components created with J2EE or other development tools — to run within the Lotus Notes client, surrounded by the core Lotus Notes collaborative capabilities. In so doing we’re enabling a brand new class of Lotus Notes business applications.”

    This comment seems interesting and spotting a screenshot with a graph in it looks promising..Would be good to get some good charts, gantts, and visual widgets without relying on the yucky applet / java support in the currently releases..

  1. Whats with all the new interfaces being basic clones of Microsoft Office 2003? Far, far, far too much blue.

    And all those windows and stuff - seems to be too complex just for the sheer heck of it to me.

    Bah, I say.

  2. No lah!

    Good move....

    My personal bet: R7 will see the end of the standalone Domino Designer. R8 Designer will be an Eclipse plug-in (I hope) or a Rational Developer plug-in (Eclipse superset, I guess). Finally a class browser, a superior code editor, a world class debugger.

    For the UI: head over to Eclipse 3.1 and learn RCP. And that doen't stand for "Real Cluttered Programs". Can't wait to get started.

    :-) stw

  3. I'm really looking forward to the Eclipse-based tools. My only concern so far -- I hope there's still a robust @Formula language for "power users". They shouldn't need a computer science degree to create simple applications. That's a strength in Lotus Notes today!

  4. I agree with Jake. There is a slew of usability improvements I'd like to see in Designer, yet every time Lotus announces what's coming in the next release (R7 now and I imagine the same when R8 beta is under way) all they talk about are changes to e-mail and calendaring. Groan!!


  5. We can start a European Contest: Most weirdest IBM announcement regarding Workplace in our respective countries.

    Here's german candidate

    (my own translation from vowe interviewing Ambuj Gojal, published in a german it-mag):

    VW: Are you going to integrate eclipse in notes or is it the other way round? At least, Eclipse is a framework for itself?

    (this is a weird question, but now answer--> :-))

    Gojal: You mean, what will be the container and what the Component? We still don't know. Should a view be a notes view and eclipse is the interaction-mechanism. Or shall Eclipse show the view and notes provides the data. Both is possible. The team works on both solutions. Its the result that matters: You are going to be able to run existing notes-applications out of the box.


  6. Gojal's reply is encouraging in one sense: that they are endevouring to achieve the "right" solution.

    Referring to the improvements in e-Mail, Cal, etc. I think it's a bit late to get serious in this area. If only they had got really serious with ND6 and marketed the hell out of it as an e-Mail and Cal solution. Whilst the subject is dull the reason for picking Notes usually starts with its e-Mail functionality.

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Written by Jake Howlett on Mon 27 Jun 2005

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