Genii Weblog

Barbarians are not at the gate

Mon 3 Nov 2003, 05:26 PM

by Ben Langhinrichs
I must admit I'm getting a bit tired of the paranoia in the Domino community over Lotus Workplace.  At the UK Admin-Developer conference, Bill Hume spoke about Workplace and some of the plans, and I again had the odd feeling that IBM has pulled a reverse Trojan Horse on us.  Imagine you are in an embattled city, and your enemy pulls up a humongous, villainous monster horse with fiery eyes and dark smoke coming from its nostrils.  In abject fear, you open the gates to surrender and the horse rolls in.  Fearing the worst, you fall to your knees and await sure death, when you hear an odd creaking noise and open your eyes to see dancing girls with garlands in their hair dancing out of the horse and handing out flowers to everyone.

OK, maybe it isn't quite that rosy, but the more I hear about Lotus Workplace, the more I think it may be like IBM buying Lotus the first time.  Doom and gloom, and the savior of the dream, all in one fell swoop.  I am not sure even IBM planned it this way, but rather than slowly fading into obscurity, as Notes/Domino has threatened to do a few times over the last few years, Lotus Workplace may be breathing new life into collaboration.  Along with Microsoft finally, belatedly, getting the idea that collaboration might be worth something, IBM has gotten the idea that they might have an ace in the hole with Notes/Domino as part of their Lotus Workplace vision.  Sure, they are a bit clumsy about expressing it, but I think the barbarians at the gate might be just what we needed.  Invite them in, fellow Notes/Domino advocates, and see if they don't bring some flowers for us all.

Copyright 2003 Genii Software Ltd.

What has been said:

65.1. Thomas Duff
(11/03/2003 08:27 PM)

I agree wholeheartedly with you, Ben...

I'm just having a hard time seeing Ed prancing out of a horse with garland in his hair... Perhaps because he doesn't HAVE much! LOL!

65.2. Joe Litton
(11/03/2003 11:03 PM)

"...they are a bit clumsy about expressing it..."

THAT is, I think, the crux of things. I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but I'm also not the rustiest. It took me a fair amount of reading, web presentations, and in-person visits from IBM'ers to finally understand that Domino WILL live on for quite some time, and that, as you say, Workplace looks to be a very, very good thing. Perhaps it's taken so long for me to grasp this because it seems to be our nature as a species to fear change, as much as I would prefer to think that I embrace positive evolution.

I now see Workplace (and the whole Portal and WebShere initiative) as offering me and other Domino developers a great way to leverage our existing deep Domino knowledge with new Java skills. I think your assessment is correct and the analogy is wonderful.

65.3. Ed Brill
(11/03/2003 11:36 PM)

I know it has taken time for the story to solidify enough to make sense. That's the nature of the journey. We set a destination, didn't tell you what route we were going to take, where we were going to stay overnight, and what things we'd see along the way. And maybe expected a little blind faith that this was a compelling package for you to journey with us on :)

BTW your title for this blog is funny, as one of the IBM SW-related magazines is doing an upcoming issue with "Barbarians at the Gates" as a theme.

65.4. Wild Bill
(11/04/2003 08:39 AM)

Yup - couldnt agree more. Lets stop whining about the negatives, and enjoy the positives.

---* Bill

65.5. Carl
(11/04/2003 07:31 PM)

Well I am a believer that the latest WorkPlace will do for Notes what the original WorkPlace did for SmartSuite.

Someone had to disagree with the rest of you :-)

65.6. Rob Novak
(11/10/2003 07:00 PM)

Good summary and helluva metaphor, Ben. While the dust settles and Domino developers and admins realize they still have their jobs, I'll be diving deep into Workplace to write an article on the thing. Might even install it.<g>

65.7. Axel Janssen
(02/18/2004 04:41 AM)


mi problem with workplace is the following:

a colleague of mine tried to install the server and the installer told him that he needs 4 parallel CPUs on his box to do so.

Companeros: Who the hell runs a computer with 4 parallel CPUs?

please comment.

regards Axel

a coll

65.8. Ben Langhinrichs
(02/18/2004 04:56 AM)

This is a major, major problem with Workplace. I don't know whether IBM will correct this, or can, but unless it is changed, Workplace is not going to go far. Fortunately, IBM has a world class option to fall back on... Notes/Domino, and I am glad that they are back in the strategic picture.