Ben Langhinrichs

March, 2015
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Genii Weblog


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


Mon 23 Mar 2015, 10:29 AM
A lot has been written about IBM Verse, positive and negative. Some articles and posts have applauded or derided technical details. Others have focused on social aspects and whether IBM Verse is properly engineered for different sizes and styles of organizations. Still more have focused on the competitive aspects, and whether IBM is capable of going up against Google's Gmail/Google Apps and Microsoft's Office 365.
 
But the questions I have are perhaps higher level.
 
#1) Do those of us in the IBM Partner community believe in Verse and want it to succeed? 
 
Mind you, I don't think this is a given, but am genuinely curious. Many of us have been deeply entrenched with IBM for a long time, and many of us have also been burned by IBM. So, aside from the horse race questions and the questions of what others will think, what do we think and want? Whether you are a naysayer or supporter for other reasons, would you want to support, sell and work with Verse if it were a success, regardless of whether you think that is likely? If not, the other two questions doesn't matter much. IBM won't succeed  without its community behind it.
 
#2) If the answer to #1 is Yes, what could we do to help make it happen?
 
Again, this is not an easy question. The raw truth is that IBM sucks at marketing and sucks at doing the things that make a new product easy to migrate to. It is inevitable that they will make missteps and cringeworthy ads and offer terrible tools to integrate with other products or allow people to migrate contacts in and out, or any of the standard things that one might hope for. So, if we do support it, and we do want it to succeed (again, an open question), what could we do knowing that IBM will drop the ball and do many things wrong? How hard would it be for us to write a better import for contacts? How much would it help if we picked up the ball with integration? I know we shouldn't have to do those things, but realistically, we might have to if there is to be a chance of this succeeding. The answer to this question could also be that nothing we could do would be enough. In that case, question #3 is moot.
 
#3) If between IBM and the partner community, we somehow pulled out a success, would IBM be able and willing to support it?
 
We can do a lot, but there's only so much we can do. We can build the tools that IBM should have, make the integrations we would hope IBM would have, craft the message that IBM can't seem to craft. But when all is said and done, Verse will only work if IBM actually supports it and its customers. If IBM wants to go straight from introduction phase to cash cow phase without ever going through the customer building and retention phase, the product is dead on arrival, and I fear that could be the case. I hope not, but there is little point in questions #1 and #2 if #3 is No.
 

Copyright © 2015 Genii Software Ltd.

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Mon 9 Feb 2015, 11:57 AM
In any language, fidelity matters, especially when the loss of fidelity includes the loss of important information. Even if you don't read German, you can see that the section titles are lost and large amounts of space left in their places with standard Traveler. Note, this is a different issue than the loss of section titles with the Notes client rendering which are totally lost. In this case, they simply don't appear because the text is white on a dark background and the section background is lost, though the effect is similar to the reader.
 
What may not be obvious to those who don't read German is that this is the announcement of a merger, and the names of the companies in the merger are only included in the headlines... which are not visible to the recipient without CoexLinks Fidelity.  The simple message is, fidelity matters in every language, and CoexLinks Fidelity can make it happen for you. Request an evaluation license and see for yourself.
 
 

 
 
 
 

Copyright © 2015 Genii Software Ltd.

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Thu 5 Feb 2015, 12:10 PM
I thought it might be useful to see a general overview of how the Genii Software products (current and future) work together and overlap. Then, my natural color blindness and lack of UI sensibility struck. I might have also eaten too much leftover pretzels and dip from our Super Bowl party,
 
So, for what it is worth, this is how I see the world. Welcome to my brain. The AppsFidelity part is coming very soon, but tentative marketing-speak blah blah blah at your on risk blah blah blah.
 


 
 
 

Copyright © 2015 Genii Software Ltd.

Tue 3 Feb 2015, 09:04 AM
I don't tend to spend much energy on certifications and such. After all, either our products do what you need them to do at a price you can afford, or you don't give a wiggly wombat whether we are business partners or whether our software is certified to zap bugs while it does the dishes.
 
But we have been quietly setting up to support resellers for CoexLinks Fidelity, and it only seems fair to them to have some spiffy IBM certification since they don't have the advantage of my rapier sharp wit and winning smile to convince customers to part with their hard earned money. Thus, I went through the steps and got a listing for CoexLinks Fidelity in the Global Solutions Directory, and then applied for the Ready for Social Business mark. To their credit, IBM was very thorough about this, and I had my online meetings and did the dog-and-pony show with a friendly gent from IBM. Today, I got an email that we have been approved, along with links to a bunch of legal obligations about the size and spacing and so forth, which mostly seem to indicate that we shouldn't try to confuse you in any way that this is an IBM certification, and not some sort of endorsement or anything.
 
So, with all appropriate fanfare, and giving lots of space to reassure the lawyers...
 
 
TM

Copyright © 2015 Genii Software Ltd.

Thu 29 Jan 2015, 02:46 PM
Paul Withers made an interesting comment to me today on Twitter (see below). Below that, see a portion of a slide from one of these sessions, ID106. Finally, see my video, First Test of Midas in Notes browser plugin recorded, released the first day the browser plugin was available publicly. The interesting thing that these three together point out is that IBM acted as if it could simply kill the king and eliminate the monarchy, but instead just had to replace it with another king.
 
Among the great strengths (and terrible curses) of Lotus Notes (aka IBM Lotus Notes/Domino, aka IBM Notes/Domino) has always been its versatile rich text. Not simply in documents, but forms, views and everywhere else, rich text is the underpinning of Notes and Domino. In Tolkienian terms, it is the king under the mountain. (Note: only I would ever describe rich text as "royal" without adding "pain in the ass" after that. I know, I know, it is hardly king of the heap for anyone but me, but it still supports tens of thousands of applications at many large companies, and supporting it pays my kid to get through college. Enough said.)
 
So, while IBM is happily proclaiming the end of Notes, all they have really done is put out Notes 7 (without Eclipse) and bundled it into a browser window. Same functionality. Runs LotusScript the same way. Support Notes and Notes mail the same way. Even supports addins such as the Midas LSX... because it is the same thing under the covers. The king is dead - long live the king.
 
Someday, Notes will go away entirely. It may be another decade, but when IBM has sessions about the "browser plugin", they are still supporting the monarchy that they despise so righteously. And on the bright side, we get away from Eclipse when we run Notes the browser plugin, which has been a dreadfully heavy load to bear.
 
 


 
 


Copyright © 2015 Genii Software Ltd.

Wed 28 Jan 2015, 09:46 AM
A question which you could pose at Ask the Developers and Product Managers is why the following email, sent internally via Notes to another user in the same domain, looks as bad as it does if that user happens to be reading from their mobile device or iNotes? Why hasn't this been fixed? Why can CoexLinks Fidelity do this without access to the core code when Domino and Traveler cannot within the core code? And if IBM can't, why not work out a deal with Genii Software to make it happen?
 
Of course, that might be rude and would probably be futile. So, while you are sitting in the Ask the Developers and Product Managers session, ask yourself why you would wait for IBM to fix something customers have complained about for a decade? Why not just try CoexLinks Fidelity today (or as soon as you get back from the conference)? Fill out an evaluation request, and it can be waiting for you when you return to the office. (After that, just for fun, try to find all the differences. Answer at bottom. Or if you would rather watch videos...)
 
 
Sent from IBM Notes 9.0.1 client to an internal user in same Notes domain
 


 
 
 
 
Read by the recipient on a mobile phone
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Read by the recipient in iNotes 9.0.1 (without CoexLinks)
 


 
 
 
Read by the recipient in iNotes 9.0.1 (with CoexLinks)
 


 
 
 
 
Differences to find
  1. Images from image resources lost (Traveler only, but iNotes if not on same server)
  2. Drop shadow on table
  3. Dotted border on table including spacing inside border
  4. Differentiated cell lines before each list and at bottom
  5. Checked and unchecked items show differently
  6. Text font size matches precisely (and adjusts dynamically on mobile device)
 
 
Just a few of the issues that  CoexLinks Fidelity fixes in both internal and outbound email. Have you filled out that evaluation request yet?
 

Copyright © 2015 Genii Software Ltd.