While I had fun at Lotusphere showing demos of the iFidelity beta, there was one question I kept getting after the initial enthusiasm: "But does it handle inbound fidelity?" Now, I have to tell you that handling rich text to MIME (i.e., outbound fidelity) is a difficult mess, but handling MIME to rich text is a horrible, sticky, nasty pile of steaming difficulty, so my gut reaction was to say "No way!" Obviously, because CoexEdit is a successful product, I have most of the inbound engine already, but most and all are very different.
Unfortunately, the customer is always right, and after more repetitions of "the question" from beta testers, I knuckled down and started to work. Now, I am glad to report that while it may never be as complete as outbound fidelity, as of Beta 2, iFidelity will be able to handle inbound mail fidelity as well. To give you an idea of what that means, take a look at Peter von Stöckel's latest test results, iFidelity - Test 4. The core problem is that while iFidelity may make the mail look better in Gmail, when it gets back to Notes, it doesn't act better. The person sending a tabbed table isn't going to be thrilled about a reply or forward with a pseudo-tabbed table. The person sending a section expects a section back. Even if the other email client can't handle tabbed tables or sections, that is no reason why a reply or forward to a Notes user who has iFidelity should not get the full experience. For that matter, if a person in Company A uses Notes and a person in Company B uses Notes, and both have iFidelity, there is no reason why the emails shouldn't come through like this too.
Email as created in Notes client, destined for Gmail (using iFidelity outbound rendering)
Email in Gmail as it is read
Reply in Gmail, destined to go back to Notes client
Reply received in Notes 8.0.1, without the new iFidelity inbound rendering
Reply received in Notes 8.0.1, with the new iFidelity inbound rendering
That's right, a completely recreated, working tabbed table.
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Tags: Lotus Notes