Genii Weblog

Forward compatibility

Tue 8 Jul 2003, 10:53 PM

by Ben Langhinrichs
One of the truly amazing things to me about the Notes C API, and in fact the whole Notes/Domino product line, is the amazing forward compatibility.  I recently came across an old copy of my @YourCommand Toolkit written for R3.3 and compiled with the R3.3 C API.  I had a test database from back then, so I tried running the database unchanged on Notes 6.0.0 (which is what I have on that machine), and it ran perfectly.  (What I do find a bit funny is that the code sorts a table in rich text, something that Lotus still does not include in Notes 6.x)

That is pretty amazing when you come to think of it.  API programs running three to four major versions after they were written.  Why doesn't Microsoft support that kind of thing?

I thought of a demo that would be fun to show at Lotusphere at my booth.  I would recompile my new @Midas Formulas to work with the earliest version of the Notes C API I could find.  Anybody know if R2 supported db drivers?  Then, I would have a machine set up with every major version of Notes from the earliest to the ND6.5 beta, and have @Midas Formulas do its stuff in each version, all with the same DLL.  Possible?  I don't know, but it would certainly be a good advertisement both for the forward compatibility of the Notes product and the Midas engine.  Heck, I might even use @Midas to create a rich text field in R3.3, for example, and then show the same rich text in each of the subsequent versions of Notes.  The trick would be, I could use features that would show up in each subsequent version, such as collapsable sections in R4, anchor links in R4.6, tabbed tables in R5 and layers in Notes 6, all created from R3.3 and showing just what they can in each version.  Would that be weird?  More important, would it make people buy @Midas or just make them think I was nuts?  That is the hard question I always have to ask myself about marketing. <grin>

Copyright 2003 Genii Software Ltd.

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