Andrew Pollack's Blog

Technology, Family, Entertainment, Politics, and Random Noise

Notes from Day 1 at LotusSphere!

By Andrew Pollack on 01/26/2004 at 11:58 PM EST

Well friends, its been quite a day for me. I spent a good part of it working in my room on NCT Search, and thanks to a little help from the guys at Brightline in finding where Tomcat had referenced my servlet, I am incredibly pleased to report that I've completed the heavy lifting and successfully built my first real serious Java application -- and its a multi-threaded servlet no less. Having that thing run successfully is a huge relief. I didn't quite make my personal deadline of getting it done and pretty in time to be live at Brightline's booth -- but it runs and I'll try to get it published up there tomorrow after my talk.

By the end of next week (well, maybe two weeks), this very blog will be serving data through a servlet on a Brightline installation. Congrats to them, by the way. They're showing 1.0 gold code here on the show floor. I can tell you folks, it works. It gives you a way to add servlets, jsp pages, and java beans to your Notes tool kit without having to add a server or worry about huge overheads in memory and disk space. Its not quite plug and play yet -- but Jim Wilson says he'll listen to my thoughts about getting past that. I'm looking forward to working more with them, because I'm sold on this thing. Its leading me to do more with j2ee -- not as a replacement for Domino, but as an enhancement to it. Just the other day they shared with me some plans, and are now showing (I think) an easy to use object that lets me use the session authentication of the user making the request when I access the Domino server -- resulting in 100% fidelity in security and output. I haven't had a chance to try it yet, but I'm itching to.

Now the stuff you care about -- the Opening Session.

The Good first:

Patrick Stewart was the guest, and did a fine job. I know a lot of people were enthralled. Hearing him do Henry V was amazing.

The message is finally clear. The Notes client continues. The work in Designer continues. Eclipse as a workplace platform is a real thing -- though still very very early. To me, it sounds great. Its like a high fidelity echo of many of the things I've been screaming into the void that was the previous technical and marketing management at IBM/Lotus.....So of course I think its the right direction. Essentially, take advantage of the 100 million plus clients out there, and use Designer as the path to surface new technology through the client to the user base. Lots to get excited by here. It is clear that there is finally renewed recognition that owning the mail market is important as a path to show your stuff. Personally, I think they have a LONG way go with some of that stuff, but having a healthy, strong, Notes client will give them a place to prove their point -- if they ever can.

Ambuj Goyal's closing remarks -- taking direct shots at the body of Microsoft -- were fantastic and on target. They were real body blows, well delivered. I think he should have stopped there, perhaps his last couple of sentences which I think were aimed at the legion of smaller competitors who call themselves notes replacements should have been ahead of the Microsoft ones, because the close of the Microsoft ones were profound.

Finally, ending the list of "good" was seeing a hint of a Notes application being displayed in an Eclipse based client. Sadly, there is more to say about this in "the bad".

The Bad:

Death by Slideware. There were more slides and talk than anything else, and frankly I found most of it incomprehensible. The sad part, is that the vision being laid out is one I like -- very much. Yet even though I'm aware of the vision and approve of it, I could barely follow the endless slides. I was tempted (albiet only briefly) to cut my wrists and exsanguinate quietly in my chair to get out -- yet the promise of actually SEEING some of this stuff kept me hanging on to the very end. Ambuj, who is truly a brilliant man by all accounts and by my own limited observations, gave a speech so full of polysyllabic industry marketing non-speak that I doubt the text of the speech would have made it through my spam filter due to the ratio of dictionary to non dictionary words. I was reminded of a Palm Pilot application I once saw, that randomly generated three word "consulting" phrases like "multiphased transitional hierarchy". The phrases were random, but SOUNDED like they meant something. Here I was sitting in agreement with what he was saying, and yet totally unable to appreciate it. Remember from Pink Floyd "The Wall" album "Comfortably Numb"? ".....your lips move, but I can't here what you're saying. Your words are only coming through I waves."

That all interesting Notes rich text bit we saw in Eclipse for like 20 seconds at the last 10 minutes seemed kinda fishy. Several little birds tell me its not even close to fully baked yet, and what was supposedly a live demo was actually running as demoware -- most rumors point to embedded active-x.

The Ugly:

What we did see of Portal continues to confirm to me that there is no value that I can see in it. It seems with great effort, they have almost recreated the magic that was in Notes -- but version 2.1. Listening to someone tell ME that there is this concept of "Roles" and that different people might need different parts of an application, or different capabilities within one is frankly a joke. All the people I spoke with (admittedly I get to hang with the cool kids these days, and they tend to be a pretty bright bunch) were laughing or angry about that. We were repeatedly told that these applications could be easily assembled, and no developers were needed. One brilliant young lady who shall remain nameless did a little clapping each time to make the subtle point that nobody joined in on that. Personally, I made good money all through the 90's fixing bad v3 Notes applications that were built from the Notes templates by folks that didn't need programmers. If that's the plan for portal, its like the "Consultants Perpetual Employment Act" so I'm all for it. Meanwhile, Portal/workplace/whatever its called showed that it can surface Domino web applications through a portal on the browser. Hmm... Magic. It showed Domino WEB applications in a BROWSER. Wow. I was stunned. Can anyone say "iframe"? Well, I frames don't move data between them -- but frankly Portals only do that with simple data in demos.

That pretty much sums up the opening session. This year's LotusSphere is a celebration of the existing product. Its confirmation that nobody is going to take away our favorite Teddy Bear. Its also a great chance to catch up. There are SO MANY things built into the product now that we've not even explored yet -- LotusSphere this year is a great chance to see some of them. I sat in on Gabriella Davis's presentation today. She's a Penumbra member and partner with the Turtle Partnership. Gab was brilliant as always, and showed up the built in Tivoli server analysis tools that frankly I've never even taken a second look at. All I can say is WOW! Very powerful stuff. I suggest downloading her presentation -- make sure to get the color version so the slides are included.

Tomorrow at 10:30 I'm doing a presentation on "Best Practices with the Admin Client" -- or some title close to that. Its BP107 for anyone who cares. The focus is on all us old guys who still make new replicas on servers from the workspace, and have never even set up the certificate authority for the admin client. Maybe we still have to go to the server room to fix a PANIC: server error (or do so via terminal services or pc/anywhere). Well all those things are a thing of the past, so I'm going to look at the newer, hipper, cooler way to do those things.

I'm off to bed, tonight's Penumbra suite party was great fun, but I'm very tired.

There are  - loading -  comments....

By Ben Poole on 06/23/2004 at 11:21 AM EDT
With regards surfacing Domino apps in portals, this has already been done all around the world. Certainly we've done it at my place, and rocket science it ain't. Yes, an iFrame can do it, but so can Domino-generated HTML brough directly into a page wia a JSP or servlet. It's not hard. Now, some proponents of all this new stuff bang on about how the Domino data remains "in context" when placed in a portal. Well, URLs can be automatically modified with Javascript etc. so that they remain "in context". Again, it's not a biggie. So, I too remain sceptical re portals :-)

Other Recent Stories...

  1. 01/26/2023Better Running VirtualBox or VMWARE Virtual Machines on Windows 10+ Forgive me, Reader, for I have sinned. I has been nearly 3 years since my last blog entry. The truth is, I haven't had much to say that was worthy of more than a basic social media post -- until today. For my current work, I was assigned a new laptop. It's a real powerhouse machine with 14 processor cores and 64 gigs of ram. It should be perfect for running my development environment in a virtual machine, but it wasn't. VirtualBox was barely starting, and no matter how many features I turned off, it could ...... 
  2. 04/04/2020How many Ventilators for the price of those tanks the Pentagon didn't even want?This goes WAY beyond Trump or Obama. This is decades of poor planning and poor use of funds. Certainly it should have been addressed in the Trump, Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Reagan administrations -- all of which were well aware of the implications of a pandemic. I want a military prepared to help us, not just hurt other people. As an American I expect that with the ridiculous funding of our military might, we are prepared for damn near everything. Not just killing people and breaking things, but ...... 
  3. 01/28/2020Copyright Troll WarningThere's a copyright troll firm that has automated reverse-image searches and goes around looking for any posted images that they can make a quick copyright claim on. This is not quite a scam because it's technically legal, but it's run very much like a scam. This company works with a few "clients" that have vast repositories of copyrighted images. The trolls do a reverse web search on those images looking for hits. When they find one on a site that looks like someone they can scare, they work it like ...... 
  4. 03/26/2019Undestanding how OAUTH scopes will bring the concept of APPS to your Domino server 
  5. 02/05/2019Toro Yard Equipment - Not really a premium brand as far as I am concerned 
  6. 10/08/2018Will you be at the NYC Launch Event for HCL Domino v10 -- Find me! 
  7. 09/04/2018With two big projects on hold, I suddenly find myself very available for new short and long term projects.  
  8. 07/13/2018Who is HCL and why is it a good thing that they are now the ones behind Notes and Domino? 
  9. 03/21/2018Domino Apps on IOS is a Game Changer. Quit holding back. 
  10. 02/15/2018Andrew’s Proposed Gun Laws 
Click here for more articles.....

pen icon Comment Entry
Your Name
*Your Email
* Your email address is required, but not displayed.
Your thoughts....
Remember Me  

Please wait while your document is saved.