Ben Langhinrichs

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May, 2020
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Civility in critiquing the ideas of others is no vice. Rudeness in defending your own ideas is no virtue.

Fri 29 May 2020, 04:22 PM
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I've noticed a couple of people in very different conversations talk about the idea of "round tripping" data, moving it from Notes rich text to HTML or MIME and then bringing it back. Often, this is described more specifically as moving it from "Domino to Mongo DB" or from Notes to SharePoint or simply from "the client to the web". Fundamentally, these all mean more-or-less the same thing. The internal format is Notes rich text. The "external" format is HTML or MIME, and even the MIME is really just HTML packaged differently.
In both conversations where it was mentioned, round tripping was treated as if it were a special case, unusual and not of interest to most Notes/Domino users.
This is simply not true. Round tripping happens every day, and it happens without any special coding or effort. Two of the simplest examples:
1) Send an email to a colleague outside of your domain. After that person replies, reply back. You've gone from rich text to MIME to rich text (again) to MIME (again). Two round trips.
2) Staying entirely in a Notes client, any version including Notes 11, saving a document with a rich text field set to "Store contents as HTML and MIME". Then, open it up to read it. For bonus points, make a change and save it, then open it again. You've gone from rich text to MIME to rich text to MIME to rich text again.
But so what? Obviously, Notes allows you to store content as HTML and MIME, so it must understand it. Right? 
Watch the video. All I do is save three documents with rich text fields stored as HTML and MIME, then reopen them. That's it. Watch the chaos which ensues. Then, tune in next week as I start to show the different ways Genii Software has found to make that round trip more pleasant and productive. Because we could all use a pleasant round trip right about now.
(I skipped the audio on this, but the captions should tell you what you need to know. I used HCL Notes 11.0 for this demo.)

Copyright 2020 Genii Software Ltd.


Tue 19 May 2020, 02:16 PM
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When creating videos and demos and blog posts, I always have to ask myself how long is long enough and how long is too long. But the question turns out to be a trick, because there are no unladen users. Everybody is too busy, too distracted, and too absorbed with their own issues. Unladen means not carrying a load. If you only focus on users who are not carrying a load, you are focusing on nobody at all.
Having said that, people probably do have a need for your software or services or whatever. Year after year, people buy our software, so we're clearly not only focused on the unladen. The difficulty then is knowing what load they are carrying, and how your software or services or whatever can lighten that load, or make it more productive or profitable.
So, while I strongly believe in brevity and most of my videos are 3 minutes or shorter, the real question: how you can get and keep the attention of a laden user? Clickbait headlines and dimmicks are good for getting attention, and lousy for keeping it. Information dense articles and videos are good for the thoroughly engaged, and lousy at engaging. Storytelling is fairly effective, but your story has to hit the mark quite closely, as distracted users often won't extrapolate to their own issues if the one being solved is not very, very close to a match.
Do you have ways you get and keep attention? If you do, how long do you assume the attention span will hold out? Obviously, the more your offering is exactly what people will need, the more likely they are to stay around to hear the pitch, but what do you do when they don't recognize that it is exactly what they need?

Copyright 2020 Genii Software Ltd.

Thu 7 May 2020, 10:50 AM
Idea: HCL should update documentation of Domino limits
For years, I maintained a fairly popular Domino limits feature on our website. (It is still there, and people still access it, but I have made it more difficult to find as I couldn't figure out how to reference changes made in the "fixpack years", when limits could change in a fixpack.) I could update it for Notes/Domino 10 and 11, but why not vote for this idea and convince HCL to do it properly?
Note: This is not my idea. I just saw it, and think it is worth supporting.
Click on the idea above or this link to head over to vote for it.

Copyright 2020 Genii Software Ltd.