Ben Langhinrichs

September, 2014
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Genii Weblog

A true dilemma

Fri 22 Feb 2008, 01:49 PM



by Ben Langhinrichs
For many years, I have made sure to use the same Notes client version as most of my customers, and just switch to other client versions for various tests and support issues, etc.  This always makes it difficult to know when exactly to switch.  To make this a bit easier, I usually use something different on my laptop than on my main development machine.  So, currently, I am using Notes 6.5.3 for most regular e-mail work and checking forums and that sort of daily task.  I have Notes 7.0.2 on my laptop for the same sort of purpose.  Obviously, both machines have multiple other versions as well, but those are the ones I use for regular tasks.

The problem is I have Notes 8.0.1 envy.  I can't possibly argue that the majority, or even a significant minority, of my users are on 8.0.1, although a significant minority are at least somehow using 8.0.0.  But I don't want to wait.  I want widgets.  I want Symphony.  I want LiveText.  I want them now.

What is a responsible developer to do?  I guess I could switch on my laptop, but I don't use it quite often enough.  I think when I come back from Germany, I'll switch my main desktop, and the heck with my customers.  If they aren't all scrambling to get 8.0.1 by now, I don't know what's wrong with them anyway.

Copyright © 2008 Genii Software Ltd.

What has been said:


693.1. Charles Robinson
(02/22/2008 11:38 AM)

I use VMWare Workstation for this. :-) The main install is going to be upgraded to 8.0.1 this weekend, but I have VM's for each customer with their versions. I don't deal with the number of customers you do, but that's one way to handle it. You can have a Notes 6 VM and a Notes 7 VM, since you can easily run multiple versions of each. :-)


693.2. Karsten Lehmann
(22.02.2008 11:46)

As a developer I always want to have the newest and hippest software on my machine - to be one step ahead the customer and get to know new technology in daily life. So I'm already on 8.0.1 in Windows and 8.5 Beta in Mac OS X for both company and private mails. Another reason for my switching to R8 was that I never liked the style of


693.3. Karsten Lehmann
(22.02.2008 11:49)

As a developer I always want to have the newest and hippest software on my machine - to be one step ahead the customer and get to know new technology in daily life. So I'm already on 8.0.1 in Windows and 8.5 Beta in Mac OS X for both company and private mails. Another reason for my switching to R8 was that I never liked the style of clients before R8 very much (I'm a java guy and developing in Java for Notes clients below R8 was no real fun). My Notes usage for private things began with R8. It replaced Outlook there. :-)

P.S.: Your comment function should escape "less" characters. I used it in my first posting for "clients before" R8.


693.4. Ben Langhinrichs
(02/22/2008 11:55 AM)

Charles - Yes, I should use VMWare, but I seem to be allergic to it. Someday... In any case, I can run all the different versions, but there is usually one which I "live" in.

Karsten - While I understand your point, I am not a developer in the same sense. I do no consulting or anything similar, so it is usually more important that I amgoing through the same experience they are. I don't want to assume a feature or function they don't have. Similarly, my machines are generally not the latest, fastest or best equipped, because otherwise I might make assumptions based on what I experienced that they couldn't reasonably expect.

That's why it is a dilemma, I guess.


693.5. Mike Amberg
(02/22/2008 01:45 PM)

I too have 8.01 envy ... I am a developer on 7.02, but the company is still on 6.5x and it could be a very long time before I can use 8.01, even though were licensed ... I think you should start a support group were we can vent our frustrations


693.6. Karl-Henry Martinsson
(02/22/2008 02:30 PM)

@Mike: 6.5x? Lucky you, I am still on 5.0.12 (with some clients now on 7.0.2), and all my development is in R5...


693.7. Neil Agate
(02/22/2008 07:43 PM)

What Charles said - VMWare !!!

@Karl-Henry ... very sad !!!


693.8. Tony Palmer
(02/24/2008 05:39 PM)

@Neil&@Charles is right - you can't beat VMWare, it makes maintaining multiple versions of clients and server easy. Need a version 7.0 Domino server to test upgrading to 8.0.1. CTRL+C then CTRL+V - then upgrade. All you need is enough disk space and enough ram.


693.9. Kevin Pettitt
(02/24/2008 07:59 PM)

I just ordered more memory to max out the 2GB RAM in my 3-yr-old ThinkPad just so I could start playing with VMWare. I'm not quite ready to splurge on a MacBook Pro so hopefully this setup will prove zippy enough.

As for your dilemma Ben, I completely empathize. In the past I have delayed upgrading my main machine for fear of becoming spoiled. I'm afraid that I'll find developing on the old version so unpleasant as to compromise my sanity, and most of my clients have typically been at least 2-3 years behind.

I think the fear is significantly diminished now though, as long as you're at least running 6.5. The enhancements to the dev environment from 5 to 6.x were pretty huge, particularly the @Function rewrite. Most of the enhancements since have not been quite as profound (not counting composite apps), so I find there are few things I REALLY miss when having to write code for 6.5 or 7.0. The key here though is that it is relatively safe to code USING Designer 8 even though the code needs to run on 6.5/7 clients.

In short, I say go for it since the risk to your sanity is much less than it was 5 years ago.