Ben Langhinrichs

August, 2005
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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.


Wed 31 Aug 2005, 01:09 AM
We Notes/Domino zealots have suffered a lot in recent years from rampant FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) spread by various Microsoft apologists, and we have been particularly annoyed by trolling in the various Notes/Domino forums.  A troll isn't really looking for information, and isn't really open to reasoned argument.  A troll simply wants to start flame wars and cause trouble.

Given this history, and with Notes/Domino 7 just released, many people in our Notes/Domino community may be just waiting for the inevitable trolls to start downplaying the accomplishments and spreading more FUD.  All well and good, but I'd caution you all to keep your Troll-O-Sensors set just a bit lower.  Just because someone asks a question about Notes/Domino, or even expresses a concern, doesn't make that person a troll.  It may just make that person a potential customer who has reasonable worries, or who has even been confused by the FUD being spread around.  But do you really think it is going to convince anyone that their worries are unwarranted by jumping up and down on them and screaming.  Not a chance.

The specific example which brought this up was on the (now) Notes/Domino 6 & 7 Forum, where an Imran Ashraf  asked about Notes Technology Risks.  Some of these concerns are legitimate, some are not, but all are quite plausible concerns that a company might have based on the press and analysis out there in the media.  What bothers me is not his list of questions, and he is asking people's opinions of these risks, not simply stating that they are facts.  What bothers me are the responses.

Aside from my response, where I actually addressed each perceived risk as best I could, here are the responses.

1) The first person asks if he is just "fishing for a batch of indignant objections?" and ignores all specifics and says these same risks would apply to any technology, which they certainly wouldn't.

2) Someone chimes in that he would "venture to guess that the is (a) MS developer" and derides that choice.

3) Another person piles on saying that these would mostly apply to any platform.

4) Finally somebody who is not a regular in the forum and didn't "get the memo" actually responds to a couple of concerns.

5) The last comment, thus far, is from another regular who asks, in a somewhat confrontational one-liner,  "Ok, you (-or your company) are entitled to your opinion, but why not get qualified advice from this group, or a consultant company?" and seems to ignore that that is exactly what the person did just do, and got fairly soundly blasted for doing.

Now, if this person is an MS developer (which his IP address suggests he is not), then everybody has just done exactly what he wanted by responding and drawing attention to the comments without refuting them at all.  If he is a potential customer, or even an existing customer, everybody has just made him feel like he has no right to ask any questions, but must unthinkingly remained devoted.  That tends to work... not!  Finally, anybody else reading the forum is likely to feel like the residents therein are a bunch of rude bozos who aren't willing to listen to any possible objections to their chosen platform, which would have the opposite of the intended effect, since it would tend to discredit their objectivity and make it more likely the questions being raised ARE legitimate.

So, all I can say is, let's show a bit more sensitivity when people ask questions.  It is a good and wholesome thing to ask questions, and also a good and wholesome thing to provide reasoned, intelligent answers which convince people you know what you are talking about.  That will better serve to bolster both our credibility and the reputation of Notes/Domino. in my humble opinion.  Sure, sometimes there will be trolls who ask questions in such a way that no reasoned answer is appropriate ("Senator, is it true that you have stopped beating your wife?"), but there are also people out there who have used Notes since it was a glimmer in Ray Ozzie's eye, and who may have questions that they would actually like answered.  Let's be aware of them as well.

Copyright © 2005 Genii Software Ltd.

Tue 30 Aug 2005, 01:31 PM
My wife's sister and family in Mobile, Alabama have returned from the shelter safe and sound, and their house is still intact after Hurricane Katrina.  They have no electricity, and it looks like it might be out for quite a while, but after last year's hurricanes they bought a generator, so they at least have a refrigerator and one fan (hardly enough in a muggy 105 degree heat).  They describe trees down and structural damage on some university buildings, but "better than being in Mississippi or Louisiana right now".

Copyright © 2005 Genii Software Ltd.

Tue 30 Aug 2005, 09:41 AM
The Gold release of Notes/Domino 7 is now available on Partnerworld and Passport sites.  Our goal is to have either new versions that work with Notes/Domino 7, or certifications that existing versions work with Notes/Domino 7, within fifteen business days.  This applies to our entire product line, CoexEdit, CoexLinks and the three Midas Rich Text products.

  

Tick tick tick...

Copyright © 2005 Genii Software Ltd.

Mon 29 Aug 2005, 02:05 PM
My wife's sister and family live in Mobile, Alabama, and I just talked to her from their shelter.  They lost electricity, then lost their generator (at the shelter), so they are sitting in the dark watching out a window at 100 miles an hour winds, tree and debris spread everywhere. They have a portable radio, but the radio stations have stopped broadcasting, one by one.  My sister is starting to get pretty worried about her home, since the last report she heard was that 30,000 trees are down in Mobile County, and since she keeps seeing parts of roofs blow by.

And all we can do is wait and hope.  At least I am glad they are somewhere safe and dry for now.  We'll all have to deal with the aftermath after the storm subsides.

Copyright © 2005 Genii Software Ltd.

Tue 23 Aug 2005, 09:06 PM
I don't usually go in for this sort of thing, but Libby and Rich started this idea.
The instructions are: Go to musicoutfitters.com, and do a search on the most popular 100 songs from the year you graduated high school. (You can do this by searching on the year you graduated). Bold the ones you actually like. (Understand that the word "like" in this case means, at the very least, "wouldn't immediately change the radio station from.") Pick a favorite. Underline that favorite. And Strikethru the ones you loathe. Italicize the ones you consider to be guilty pleasures. 


You have to bear in mind that I was listening to the Sex Pistols, Ramones and Talking Heads at this point, so the fact that I could find four that I actually liked surprises me.  Supertramp was a big favorite though.

1. My Sharona, The Knack
2. Bad Girls, Donna Summer 

3. Le Freak, Chic 
4. Da Ya Think I'm Sexy, Rod Stewart
5. Reunited, Peaches and Herb
6. I Will Survive, Gloria Gaynor
7. Hot Stuff, Donna Summer 

8. Y.M.C.A., Village People 
9. Ring My Bell, Anita Ward
10. Sad Eyes, Robert John
11. Too Much Heaven, Bee Gees
12. MacArthur Park, Donna Summer
13. When You're In Love With A Beautiful Woman, Dr. Hook
14. Makin' It, David Naughton
15. Fire, Pointer Sisters
16. Tragedy, Bee Gees
17. A Little More Love, Olivia Newton-John
18. Heart Of Glass, Blondie
19. What A Fool Believes, Doobie Brothers
20. Good Times, Chic
21. You Don't Bring Me Flowers, Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond
22. Knock On Wood, Amii Stewart
23. Stumblin' In, Suzi Quatro and Chris Norman
24. Lead Me On, Maxine Nightingale
25. Shake Your Body, Jacksons
26. Don't Cry Out Loud, Melissa Manchester 

27. The Logical Song, Supertramp 
28. My Life, Billy Joel 
29. Just When I Needed You Most, Randy Vanwarmer
30. You Can't Change That, Raydio
31. Shake Your Groove Thing, Peaches and Herb
32. I'll Never Love This Way Again, Dionne Warwick
33. Love You Inside Out, Bee Gees 

34. I Want You To Want Me, Cheap Trick 
35. The Main Event (Fight), Barbra Streisand
36. Mama Can't Buy You Love, Elton John
37. I Was Made For Dancin', Leif Garrett
38. After The Love Has Gone, Earth, Wind and Fire
39. Heaven Knows, Donna Summer and Brooklyn Dreams 

40. The Gambler, Kenny Rogers
41. Lotta Love, Nicolette Larson
42. Lady, Little River Band
43. Heaven Must Have Sent You, Bonnie Pointer
44. Hold The Line, Toto
45. He's The Greatest Dancer, Sister Sledge
46. Sharing The Night Together, Dr. Hook
47. She Believes In Me, Kenny Rogers
48. In The Navy, Village People
49. Music Box Dancer, Frank Mills 

50. The Devil Went Down To Georgia, Charlie Daniels Band 
51. Gold, John Stewart
52. Goodnight Tonight, Wings 

53. We Are Family, Sister Sledge 
54. Rock 'N' Roll Fantasy, Bad Company
55. Every 1's A Winner, Hot Chocolate
56. Take Me Home, Cher
57. Boogie Wonderland, Earth, Wind and Fire
58. (Our Love) Don't Throw It All Away, Andy Gibb
59. What You Won't Do For Love, Bobby Caldwell
60. New York Groove, Ace Frehley
61. Sultans Of Swing, Dire Straits
62. I Want Your Love, Chic
63. Chuck E's In Love, Rickie Lee Jones
64. I Love The Night Life, Alicia Bridges
65. Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now, McFadden and Whitehead
66. Lonesome Loser, Little River Band
67. Renegade, Styx
68. Love Is The Answer, England Dan and John Ford Coley
69. Got To Be Real, Cheryl Lynn
70. Born To Be Alive, Patrick Hernandez
71. Shine A Little Love, Electric Light Orchestra
72. I Just Fall In Love Again, Anne Murray
73. Shake It, Ian Matthews
74. I Was Made For Lovin' You, Kiss
75. I Just Wanna Stop, Gino Vannelli
76. Disco Nights, G.Q.
77. Ooh Baby Baby, Linda Ronstadt
78. September, Earth, Wind and Fire
79. Time Passages, Al Stewart
80. Rise, Herb Alpert

81. Don't Bring Me Down, Electric Light Orchestra
82. Promises, Eric Clapton
83. Get Used To It, Roger Voudouris
84. How Much I Feel, Ambrosia
85. Suspicions, Eddie Rabbitt
86. You Take My Breath Away, Rex Smith
87. How You Gonna See Me Now, Alice Cooper
88. Double Vision, Foreigner
89. Every Time I Think Of You, Babys
90. I Got My Mind Made Up, Instant Funk
91. Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough, Michael Jackson
92. Bad Case Of Lovin' You, Robert Palmer
93. Somewhere In The Night, Barry Manilow
94. We've Got Tonite, Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band
95. Dance The Night Away, Van Halen
96. Dancing Shoes, Nigel Olsson
97. The Boss, Diana Ross
98. Sail On, Commodores
99. I Do Love You, G.Q.
100. Strange Way, Firefall
 

Copyright © 2005 Genii Software Ltd.

Mon 22 Aug 2005, 03:12 PM
The hardest thing about selling a product is often communicating its purpose to people before they know they need that purpose.  If you do it successfully, they flock to buy the product when the need for that purpose arises.  If you don't do it as successfully, you are lucky to have them happen upon your site by accident, which is a much more iffy proposition.  For example, yesterday, I received an e-mail from a potential customer:
We're looking for a way to compare 2 fields (plain or rich text) and somehow highlight the differences (by changing the font, fontstyle, using a highlighter, etc.), as opposed to just saying they're not the same.  I saw on your website that you have something called "contextual hypermatching" and wondered if that might do it, or if the Midas Rich Text LSX provided that type of functionality in some other way.  Do you have any ideas?
The good news is, this customer had the basic assumption that our product might be able to solve a problem with rich text - a darn good assumption, if I may say so myself.  The bad news is, the customer had no idea that we specifically addressed that particular functionality.  We have obviously NOT communicated this feature as well as we have communicated HTML generation or MIME e-mail generation or dynamic table generation.  People come to us for those purposes, but tend to stumble on us for rich text comparison.

I don't have any great answer as to how to change this (or I would have implemented it long ago, but I will point to a couple of blog entries that clearly describe this functionality, in case you are a reader who is scratching your head in puzzlement right now:

The rich text has changed, but how? - best place to see exactly how this works from the outside, from how it looks
Top 10 Ways to use Midas - #10 - good place to see what the code looks like

In addition, these are links to the on-line demo and the downloadable sample for Review It!, which demonstrates the feature:

Review It! on-line - This is an on-line demo which gives a simplified version of a rich text comparison
Review It! sample db - This is a downloadable sample with which you can try the feature out for yourself

Copyright © 2005 Genii Software Ltd.