back to article The last time El Reg covered IBM Domino we used a chisel

The last time The Register covered IBM Domino, we rode to work on a brontosaurus and wrote the story with a a chisel. Imagine our surprise, then, to learn that an upstart named Sapho still thinks it can turn a quid with product for the venerable Lotus-Notes-derived messaging-and-apps platform. Sapho's an integration play that …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It actually seems like Domino/Lotus is one of the few ancient platforms which is rapidly being replaced.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Some of my clients are not using it for email, it is there only for the programs develop for it. I know also some car dealers who use it because the car companies (Toyota?) interfaces with it.

      Then again one of my clients hired a new CTO/admin who decided to move from Exchange to Domino, probably because he's familiar with it from earlier gigs. Mind boggles.

  2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    "The company assumes that modern workers dislike using enterprise software and/or can't be bothered to CTRL-TAB between different SaaS applications, so lets users consume the resulting stream of notifications in either a Facebook-like feed or in their preferred messaging app.

    Well, as much as it bothers me to say so, they do have a point.

    Facebook was founded on February 4, 2004 - 13 years ago. So for anyone in their early-to-mid twenties* it has been around "since, like, forever". And for the majority of the not-so-tech-savvy, using Facebook has been their first (and formative) time using software and a computer. Years before they realised (or not) that a smartphone is a computer and all the apps on it are software.

    * I seem to remember this age group being called "twens". Is that still a thing?

  3. jake Silver badge

    The last time I covered Notes ...

    ... (in a support role, that is) was just before IBM bought Lotus. I don't miss it a bit.

  4. frank ly

    That's not a brontosaurus

    Anyway ........ A brontosaurus? You were lucky!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That's not a brontosaurus

      well, yes .. but with an attitude like "we rode to work on a brontosaurus and wrote the story with a chisel.", the author is far more than qualified to become a lead feature writer on modern thought for the Daily Mail?

      [Although brontosaurus is a complicated word .. ]

      1. Simon Sharwood, Reg APAC Editor (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Re: That's not a brontosaurus

        Oh c'mon, we're not allowed to have a bit of fun with the headline? Here's how my brain worked on this one. I learned about the fact Sapho was doing its thing for Domino, which just isn't news. But the fact a company still thinks there's an opportunity to be had targeting Domino was news, so I found a fun way to present it.

        That's not attitude. It's a gentle and amusing way of introducing the story.

        Oh and I despise the Daily Mail.

    2. gypsythief

      Re: That's not a brontosaurus

      No, it's a Chilesaurus diegosuarezi, also known as the Platypus dinosaur due to it's odd collection of features.

      When Captain John Hunter first sent descriptions and drawings of the Platypus back to Europe he was accused of having faked it: that he had stitched a duck's bill to a beaver.

      Now we have Sapho stitching a "micro-app" onto Domino, so perhaps the choice of dinosaur wasn't a bad one after all.

  5. Hans 1

    I still come across it occasionally, it is a tool, gets the job done.... have not worked on it in over a decade, used to like its client much more than Outlook 2002, mind ....years ago, agreed ...

    [Darling, where is the silex? The fire's gone out ... we don't want the monster from Redmond eating our first born ....]

  6. Trixr

    I'm always feeling Sappic

    Ugh. At least they have an API now, though. So pipe the data out of the crappy application and set up a decent one. As for the email functionality, at least no-one's trying to resurrect that (keeping it running in zombie mode is something else).

  7. alexmcm

    Loved Notes

    I bloody loved Lotus Notes, though I think it probably peaked about Notes 4.6, I loved having all the databases on different tabs, the whole thing was a joy to use. I'm not being sarcastic, I thought it was a brilliantly designed system way ahead of it's time, which was only reinforced when my previous employer got rid of it and replaced it with Outlook and a whole load of fiddly, slow web based apps.

    I know it's cool to make fun of old software, but Lotus Notes, Lotus Agenda, and Lotus Improv were 3 bloody amazing programs, and look at what the standards are now: Outlook, OneNote and Excel. What an enormous leap backwards.

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Loved Notes

      Down voted for saying you like something, have an up vote (I am a fellow Outlook hater).

    2. Jay 2

      Re: Loved Notes

      Still using Notes here, now on 8.x. I can't say I liked 4.x much as it was a bit of a jump from Oulook when I joined the company. The good thing about 4.x was its mail client (or at least here) was so stupid it wouldn't know what to do with any dodgy attachments.

      I've got used to it over the years, so it really doesn't bother me much. People newer to the company usually gripe. Every few years we get a new CTO who wants to replace it with Exchange/Outlook and apparently "there is budget" for such a thing. But they always seem to overlook that Notes is a lot more then email/calendar and so even if we did move all those handy databases/apps would still need somewhere to live...

    3. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Loved Notes

      It's sad when modern software is such complete and utter shite that Lotus Notes can be held up as a far better design (which is was)

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

        Re: Loved Notes

        I very much liked the interface in 8.0.x (Although at the time it was very resource heavy compared to 7.0.x and a few users commented on the Calendar being inferior in 8.0x mail template). To me it felt like they had taken a proper look at the UI and made it into something more usable whilst hiding the 1990's interface of old. I am a person who prefer tabs within an application rather than separate windows, so obviously I loved Opera. Never got to use 8.5.x webmail (I can't remember what IBM renamed Domino Web Access to in that release) as I thought tabbed email in the browser would have been very handy.

  8. Rande Knight

    It's still good, but died because no one understood it

    Everyone loves to hate Lotus Notes because it's a crap and bloated email program.

    And that's the problem right there - it's not an email program.

    It's a workflow program that can do email. And it does workflow really well and fast. Used a non-relational database yonks before they became popular. Never had the Y2K problem. Did foreign characters natively before Unicode existed.

    A common problem with trying to get rid of it is : "Yes, we can replace that with Java-Oracle using Spring for £500K" "But, but it only cost £80K to start with and £40K in maintenance since!" The answer is of course, to phase out and close that division of the company so no one higher has to answer that question.

    1. Stevie

      Re: It's still good, but died because no one understood it

      I found the plethora of teenytiny iconized buttons that confronted me on every screen to be confusing and annoying.

      And no Y2K problem? You are aware it is 32 bit architecture aren't you? In another 21 years you're gonna see all sorts of argh! thanks to the libraries of stuff still floating around in spite of all the hardware upscaling and en-niftifying.

      And before you say "not possible" I'd like to point out (again) that I was roundly mocked and laughed at when, as a trainee, I asked whether we should be sticking the century into our database back in 1978, because "everyone knew" the programs wouldn't still be running 22 years later ...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's still good, but died because no one understood it

        "I found the plethora of teenytiny iconized buttons that confronted me on every screen to be confusing and annoying."

        I feel the same way about the ribbon bar in office today, not to mention your average sharepoint page.

        1. Stevie

          Re: I feel the same way about the ribbon bar

          Me too.

  9. Bluto Nash

    Wait, wut?

    "The company assumes that modern workers dislike using enterprise software and/or can't be bothered to CTRL-TAB between different SaaS applications"

    Do we no longer ALT-TAB between apps, or has everything now gone wibbly-webby and stuff?

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