Ben Langhinrichs

October, 2011
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Civility in critiquing the ideas of others is no vice. Rudeness in defending your own ideas is no virtue.


Wed 19 Oct 2011, 10:24 AM
From various accounts, it appears that abstracts for Lotusphere 2012 will be solicited soon. It seems wise to me to throw out my ideas and let people tell me what they think before I submit the abstracts. Here are the two I have been playing with. Let me know what you think.

I'd Buy That! From Concept to Commercial (BDD track)
Drawing upon the experiences of seventeen years as an IBM/Lotus Business Partner developing commercial business applications, this session will discuss how to determine if your concept is worth pursuing, how to manage its development from concept to software that works to software that will sell. There will be an emphasis on practical suggestions for going where the money is, making the buy decision easier, working with international customers and harnessing social networks to spread the word without breaking the budget. This session is aimed at small ISVs as well as consulting shops and individuals that would like to be in the product business.

Lotusphere Sessions Database - Infancy to XPages (BP track)
The Lotusphere Sessions database has been a fixture, albeit an unofficial one, for the past dozen years. In this session, we'll chart the progress and show how changes in Lotus Notes and Lotusphere are reflected in the design and content of the database. In addition, we'll show practical ways in which the database has adapted, including the addition of layers, the introduction of BlackBerry and other mobile apps, and the recent upgrade to use XPages and ePub. Innovations past and future will be described and demonstrated. Join us for this trip through the past and into the future as the Sessions databases reflects the changing nature of IBM Lotus Notes itself.

My plan is to propose the first session for just me, but perhaps have another speaker such as Tim Davis (who will be surprised since I haven't mentioned it to him) for the second. Do you find these interesting? Would you go? Any feedback welcomed.

Copyright © 2011 Genii Software Ltd.

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Wed 5 Oct 2011, 04:40 PM
A lot of people over the years have asked why Notes doesn't support PNG graphics. After all, PNG as a format has been used more and more in web applications, and it would be cool to support alpha-transparency and such in the Notes client. Unfortunately, it appeared that IBM was not listening.

Maybe they were listening after all. They simply weren't talking. After all, why not support PNG graphics, but make it very difficult for anybody to use them or import them? That way... actually, I have no idea why they would do it, but it appears they have. You can use PNG graphics as image resources if you manually force them to pretend to be something else. You can also use them natively if the rich text starts as MIME and is converted to rich text. Neither is easy or convenient. I am adding this to Midas to make it easy and convenient for people using that toolkit, but I may write it as an import filter as well, just to make it accessible to users. Why can't IBM do that? (No, it's not in 8.5.3 either.)

Let me give a simple example of how much difference it makes to use a PNG graphic natively versus imported and converted to JPEG. Over on OpenNTF, there are a series of company logos. I tried this on several, and all showed some degradation on importing, sometimes severe. Here is one obvious example:




Obviously, the native format (which is what Midas imports into) is more appealing, but it goes further than that. Let me take the same document and change the background to a patterned image:




That transparency is key. But don't tell anybody, or they might realize how powerful rich text is. We can't have that!

Copyright © 2011 Genii Software Ltd.

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