Ben Langhinrichs

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All your base are belong to 8.5.1: MIME rendering

Thu 27 Aug 2009, 04:52 PM

by Ben Langhinrichs
As part of my testing for Notes 8.5.1 (Managed Beta 8 Refresh), I am simply re-doing earlier posts on email rendering with the Notes 8.5.1 beta to see if it has has improved matters.  My original post actually used the beta of Notes 8.5, so one might expect some improvement. since then.  Ironically, it looks worse, but this is Gmail's fault.

Translation can be funny, as when a Japanese game producer included the immortal words "All your base are belong to us!" as a translation of something that made much more sense in Japanese (I hope).  Translation, or any data conversion, is far less funny when it makes you look bad.  With Notes/Domino 8.5 due out in the not too distant future, I want to show a few different examples of how Notes/Domino 8.5 (beta) still translates poorly when sent outside to your customers and friends.

Part 1: Formatted e-mails sent to the Internet

It will come as no surprise that e-mail sent from Notes does not look the same as e-mail sent from other e-mail systems.  IBM is bashed about this all the time, and has been for a decade.  The really surprising thing is that so little improvement has been made in the past several major versions of Notes/Domino.  Let me show you an example that came directly from a customer to me several years ago.  The text has been made generic, of course, but the table has otherwise been left alone.

1) E-mail as it appears in Notes 8.5 (beta) 8.5.1 (beta refresh 8)

Original email in Notes 8.5.1 (Beta #8)

2) E-mail in GMail after being converted to MIME by Notes 8.5 (beta) 8.5.1 (beta refresh 8)

E-mail in Gmail after rendering by Notes 8.5.1 (Beta 8)

2a) & 3) Skipped steps that were redundant for this example

4) E-mail in GMail after being converted to MIME by iFidelity

5) For comparison, here are just the tables from Notes.  Compare with the tables from iFidelity above, and see how all annotated issues are addressed.

Original Tables

Conclusion: Notes 8.5 (beta) 8.5.1 (beta refresh 8) does little better at sending e-mail with full fidelity than it did in Notes R5.  iFidelity will allow your mail to go out looking the way you created it, not as translated by Japanese video artists might translate it.

Copyright 2009 Genii Software Ltd.

What has been said:

853.1. Craig Wiseman
(08/27/2009 10:38 PM)

NOTE: IBM Lotus Notes/Domino 8.5.1 is prerelease code and there are no guarantees from IBM that the functionality presented or discussed will be in the final shipping product.

853.2. Ben Langhinrichs
(08/27/2009 11:22 PM)

@Craig - Thanks. I thought about adding that, but since I am not talking about features or functionality, but rather misbehavior, I could also have added,There is also little likelihood at this point that the weaknesses shown will be addressed in the final shipping product., but decided not to do so as it seemed a bit snarky.

853.3. Craig Wiseman
(08/27/2009 11:37 PM)

You might get the impression that my tongue was near my cheek when I posted that.


853.4. Ben Langhinrichs
(08/28/2009 12:30 AM)

Yes, I rather guessed it might be.