Ben Langhinrichs

September, 2011
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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 28 Sep 2011, 05:50 PM
Amazon made a bunch of announcements today. Details are all over, but here are the basics:

Kindle Fire - Flashy color tablet based on fork of Android. Pros: color=pretty, Android=apps. Cons: wifi-only=wtf, size=7", available=US-only $199

Kindle Touch 3G - Touch screen version of classic Kindle with 3G. Pros: touch=kewl, eInk=useful. Cons: touch=fingerprints $149

Kindle Touch - Touch screen version of classic Kindle with wifi. Pros: touch=kewl, eInk=useful, price=Nice!. Cons: touch=fingerprints, wifi-only=meh $99

Kindle Lite - Simplified, smaller version of classic Kindle with wifi. Pros: eInk=useful, price=Wow!. Cons: wifi-only=meh, size=small $79

Copyright © 2011 Genii Software Ltd.

Tue 27 Sep 2011, 09:11 AM
One question has come up frequently since I started talking about ePub support in Midas and our other products. 

Why?

It is a fair question which could be answered in a number of ways, but the simple answer is:

Reflowable

But is "reflowable" a real word? What does it mean, and why does it matter? If you look at Reflowable document on Wikipedia, there is an extensive discuss, but the first bit says:
A reflowable document is a type of electronic document that can adapt its presentation to the output device. Typical desktop publishing (DTP) output formats like PostScript or PDF are page-oriented, so are not generally reflowable (but see discussion below for PDF), whereas the world wide web standard, HTML is a reflowable format.

In short, reflowable means that the text will adjust to the size of the display available. A few years ago, PDF was the best solution for distributing content. It allows fairly good control over the look and feel to the reader, and it was assumed that people all had screens big enough to view the page. But recently, that latter assumption has been severely challenged. People may be viewing your content on a huge, dedicated monitor or on a tiny cellphone screen. That PDF which worked before is a pain in the neck on a small screen, where scrolling around becomes the only way to read the content. The reason is that PDF is not reflowable. It is page-oriented and fixed positionally. (Note: there have been recent changes to make it pseudo-reflowable and easier to extract to a reflowable format)

If you want content that works on a variety of different device sizes, consider ePub. In the Wikipedia article under, it goes on to say:
ePUB is a simple reflowable format that allows a single column with inline images, in many ways similar to a stripped-down HTML.

That's what reflowable means, and that's why we are supporting it.

Copyright © 2011 Genii Software Ltd.

Mon 26 Sep 2011, 02:25 PM
I mentioned this over the weekend on Google+ (follow me at http://bit.ly/blanghinrichs if you like), but wanted to share it with more of the Lotus community.

I am playing with some very new and exciting features for the Lotusphere 2012 Sessions database. Some will support the database in Notes, but others are there for enhanced mobile support. This is an example of the latter.  I added an agent to the Lotusphere 2011 Sessions db (which is all populated and thus handy for demos). The agent creates an ePub file (most popular eReader format) for all the documents in the db which are tagged with a particular tag, in this case xpages. I then open the file in Adobe Digital Editions, but it could be opened on the iPhone or iPad or Android phone or tablet using any standard eReader software.

Click on the image below to see the one minute demo. Get your ticket to Lotusphere to try the real thing in January.


Copyright © 2011 Genii Software Ltd.

Thu 22 Sep 2011, 08:11 PM



No, the database isn't available yet. I don't think IBM has even started soliciting abstracts yet, although I might have missed it.

Nonetheless, it's time to think about Lotusphere 2012. Not the abstracts and certainly not the travel. I never plan travel this early. Instead, I need to plan the Lotusphere 2012 Sessions database.

What new features should I add? Should I make my own Android app? Should I integrate with G+/Facebook/Twitter? What can I do that will wow and amaze people?

I've got some ideas, but I'd love to hear yours as well.

Copyright © 2011 Genii Software Ltd.

Wed 21 Sep 2011, 04:00 PM
In a world where Twitter and instant messaging and time pressure have shortened our patience and attention spans while the complexity and size of the web has led to longer and longer links, the use of link shorteners is inevitable and necessary. The problem is, those links are often gibberish, such as http://bit.ly/nHEwr4 (or even http://planetlotus.org/90e1ed). A customer may not feel very comfortable clicking on such a link, and certainly won't remember it.

But bit.ly (and probably other link shorteners) offers a partial solution to this problem. They allow you to customize a link. Do you think a customer would feel more comfortable clicking on http://bit.ly/nHEwr4 or http://bit.ly/CoexLinks? Both are significantly shorter than http://www.geniisoft.com/showcase.nsf/CoexLinks but both go there.

With that in mind, I have added some customized links. Feel free to use them if you ever recommend one of our products in a forum or on Facebook/Google+/Twitter:

Midas Rich Text LSX - http://bit.ly/MidasLSX
Genii Software homepage - http://bit.ly/Genii

In addition, I added a few personal ones:

My author page on Amazon - http://amzn.to/BenLanghinrichs
Savage Fire ebook on Amazon - http://amzn.to/SavageFire
My Google+ page (feel free to Circle me) - http://bit.ly/blanghinrichs
My Comfy Chair review blog - http://bit.ly/ComfyChair

Try any of these if you like, and feel free to use them (they are easy to learn). If you add your own for your own products/websites/etc., let me know, as I'd be curious whether others find this useful. As a tip, though, don't try http://bit.ly/Transformer which seems to go somewhere very nasty.

Copyright © 2011 Genii Software Ltd.

Thu 15 Sep 2011, 01:08 PM

You've gone to the sessions, read the blogs, followed the tweets, and generally watched in awe as Gabriella Davis, Thomas Duff and Marie Scott have demonstrated their amazing mad admin skillz. You may have even read the Sametime 8 Essentials book that Tom and Marie wrote.

But now you can order the comprehensive, up-to-date IBM Lotus Sametime 8.5.2 Administration Guide that you have been hearing about.

You won't get it right away. But you will get it the very moment it is available. Be ready. Order today. Even if you just want to pay back these three excellent individuals for all the information they've offered all of us, do it now and send this to the top of the tech charts.


When it is available on Amazon UK and Amazon DE, I will update this post.





Copyright © 2011 Genii Software Ltd.