Ben Langhinrichs

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E-mail address - Ben Langhinrichs






June, 2004
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Civility in critiquing the ideas of others is no vice. Rudeness in defending your own ideas is no virtue.


Mon 7 Jun 2004, 10:50 PM
No, I'm not talking more about Non-disclaiming disclaimers again, nor am I talking about silly disclaimers such as those found here
This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the named recipients only. If you have received this e-mail in error do not open or copy it but return it to us. We cannot accept liability for any loss or damage sustained as a result of software viruses.
Sure would like to know how you read the disclaimer without opening that one.

No, I am talking about the erudite, polished and eminently legalistic disclaimers which people in corporations often want to add to their e-mails.  And don't tell me to "get Notes 6", because many of the issues people have with disclaimers are every bit as present in Notes 6 or 6.5 as they are in R5 or R4.

So, what are the requirements people have that make this so difficult.  I am not an expert, but I have done a bit of research, and here are some of the more obvious issues, expressed in quotes from the Notes 6 Gold forum and Notes 4&5 Gold forum:
I'm trying to append customised (per person) signatures containing our company logo to outgoing e-mails.
We would like Bob to have the option to choose which email address he sends out with and to attach a different disclaimer depending on the email domain/company chosen.
Is there a way to add a disclaimer to all email, internal Notes mail and external SMTP mail.
I have modified the mail router box design notes, to, include an email disclaimer, but if the email goes back and forth, the disclaimer will continue to append at the bottom, end result being, 4 disclaimers all at the bottom of the email. There is the signature field, but I would rather stay away from appending a disclaimer to each users preferences, where they can undo, change, etc. 
Has anyone solved the issue of adding disclaimers to mail messages when the users are sending external messages in mime format? The disclaimers work fine with Notes Rich Text, unfortunately 70% of my population is using MIME with HTML signatures.
Hi, this article was very interesting for me - what I'm looking for is to add a kind of business card below the body text (same thing you did with the disclaimer) where the infomation like telephone number etc. comes from the NAB using dblookup.

And to counter any suggestion that these are old or stale questions, you don't have to look back further than this afternoon to get: 
Is there any way wherein SMTP can be configured to sent disclaimers and avoid sending disclaimers for mails specific to some mail-in/id?
 
So, what are some of the universal themes and requirements expressed here?
  • Customize for different groups - It should be possible to have different disclaimers for different groups, and perhaps even for the same person when acting as part of different groups of roles.
  • Logos and graphics desired - It should be possible to place a logo or graphic inside the disclaimer text, which there must be either rich text or HTML.
  • Appear before reply history - It should be possible to place the disclaimer at the bottom of the current message, but before all the replied to history.
  • Control over internal and/or external addresses - It should be possible to declare that disclaimers will only go to external addresses, or only to internal addresses, or to both, or even different disclaimers to internal and external addresses.
  • Should work with rich text or SMTP (MIME) messages - It should be possible to define a disclaimer which can be added to any message, whether it is in rich text format or MIME format, without losing the format.
  • Variable content inside disclaimer - It should be possible to define a variable, such as $(Name) or $(PhoneNumber), which is instantiated based on the person's person record.
  • Single disclaimer per message - It should be possible to check the existing message to make sure the disclaimer is not already there, and avoid repeated disclaimers.  It should also be possible to check that the repeated disclaimer is not buried inside a reply to history before determining whether to add it again.
  • No mailbox changes - It should be possible to add disclaimers without modifying the mailbox template.
  • Not modifiable by end users - It should be possible to enforce disclaimer placement without allowing manipulation by end users (e.g., signatures can be altered).

OK, that is a pretty long list.  What if you could get a product like that?  Would you be interested?  What if you could participate in a beta for a product like that?  Would you be interested in that?  Send an e-mail to .

Copyright © 2004 Genii Software Ltd.

Mon 7 Jun 2004, 09:56 AM
There has a been a minor brouhaha going on between Ed Brill's "personal" blog and various others, including Volker Weber's thread on vowe.net.  The essence of the issue is captured by Volker's comment:
Ed Brill has two blogs. One is private, one is hosted by IBM prominently linked from the Lotus home page. I would argue that the private blog is not private and the IBM blog is not a blog. I will not try to define what blog is, I just don't perceive it as one.
Interesting perspective, but I think Volker is being a bit judgemental and a bit silly, even if he is right.  Of course, Ed's blog isn't entirely personal, but who would expect that?  Everybody carries an agenda into their blogs, and Ed's is at least fairly transparent.  The general idea of a "business blog" is usually to put a human face on a business, and Ed does that well.   The lotus.com "blog" doesn't work quite as well, because it is too closely connected to the "faceless corporation" to have a very human face.

I like Ed's personal blog.  I think the lotus.com blog is better in concept than reality, and won't miss it terribly if it goes away, but I fully expect and hope that Ed will continue to be positive about Notes/Domino and other IBm offerings on his blogs.  I go there expecting it, and am pleased to get as much perspective from a business source as Ed can reveal given the pseudo-personal slant.

Copyright © 2004 Genii Software Ltd.