Re: Notes wasn't a bad idea.
The availability of RDBMS's on cheaper servers was NOT what doomed Notes. Lotus Notes is not a RDBMS and never has been. It was a multitude of things but it was never an RDBMS.
It provided (for the time) a reasonably flexible way to manage data and documents that didn't require knowledge of SQL (or low level set oriented languages), it allowed people to build quite simple looking but complex document and data flow systems that worked pretty well (for the time).
The reason for the Egyptian interface was that the developers wanted to avoid anybody learning anything about the password whatsoever, including the length of the password. It was a simple and clever way to make things difficult. It never took off and annoyed users.
The main thing that I disliked about it was that it was single threaded, the interface rewrite in Java was dog slow and it didn't do anything that well, though it was adequate (for the time) for what it did do. It tried to be too many things to too many people and failed on all accounts.
I used it for nearly 20 years on and off and I had a soft spot for it, sometimes the soft spot was a swamp at the bottom of the garden, but I wrote a number of applications that were quick to write and did what they needed to do and only took a few hours. Were they pretty? No, Did they do the job? Yes.
I'll be slightly sorry to see it go, but I won't shed a tear.