Ben Langhinrichs

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December, 2004
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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.


Tue 7 Dec 2004, 11:06 PM
I have long been frustrated by the inability to demonstrate the full functionality of our Midas Rich Text products in on-line demos.  Even though there are some cool things you can show on the web, it is hard to get past the sense that it could be smoke and mirrors, since with a sufficient amount of code, you could manage to make all sorts of things work with pure HTML.  The harder thing to accomplish is fast, simple rich text manipulation in a Notes client, and that is what Midas excels at.  I have addressed this limitation by encouraging people to request an evaluation license and download Midas.  Obviously this has worked, as many, many downloads and subsequent sales have proven over the years, but it still bothers me that a certain number of people aren't going to request the license, download the software, download the samples and try it out.  But what could I do?

Well, one thing I could do that hadn't really occurred to me until today was to open our server up to anonymous Notes connections (locking all other databases down very carefully first, of course), and modify some of our samples to use RunOnServer to run the Midas script from the server.  In this way, people could open the database or databases from a Notes client, try out the functionality in its most gee whiz worthy mode, and never have to install anything.  No samples downloaded.  No software downloaded.  No evaluation license necessary.  I could disable replication, but I probably wouldn't need to, since they would not have designer rights and couldn't push design changes back up.  If you wanted to go further, you could still take the next step and request a license.

What do you think? Would you be willing to open a database up from a vendor site to run a remote demo?  Would you be worried about malicious code?  Would it feel easier than downloading and installing software on your own machine?  Are there security issues I haven't thought about?

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