Thanks to IBM and HCL our community received updates today, fresh right from the latest and greatest user group conference called Engage. I wasn’t able to attend this year - which I strongly regret. Today’s webcast somehow brought some insights about the upcoming release of IBM Notes and Verse - and I am slightly encouraged - but not full yet. Anyway, the speakers Gabriella Davis, Ram Krishnamurthy and Andrew Manby updated us non-attendees with the latest stuff. Thank you for your efforts!
During the session we were presented to the next generation of a Notes client - somehow. It’s pre-alpha right now and so we shouldn’t be too disappointed on how it looks. What does it look like? Like Notes 4.5. The „features“ presented are unexpected, at least for me.
I saw a wild workspace with smaller tiles (called „chicklets“) and weird background images. To simulate the feeling just use panagenda’s Notes client background changer and select the worst image you can find on the web - voila. The tiles now are white and the labels are not completely rendered within the tiles. Texts appeared outside the tiles and were unreadable upon the the background image. A thing that was promised to be fixed.
Workspace tabs look like Chrome tabs (or the ones from Notes 4.x). Colors can be customized to the bone - a feature I never missed so far.
I really doubt that the Notes client is the one to go for the next years, but hey, if HCL got resources for it, let them go. They seem to have those resources for other „products“ like HCL Nomad (Notes native apps on iPad) and HCL Spaces (yet another weird and chaotic looking Frankenstein „all-in-one-slack-watson-workspace-notes-client-with-mail“). At least I appreciate HCL’s energy to try out new stuff. A bit of fresh air that was missed during the past years.
Notes Mail & Calendar
Again we saw some screenshots of the new features for the end user regarding mail and calendar. Color, new views and actions like „invite others“ (I already blogged about it). Nothing that personally struck me as I am not using the client for C&S anymore.
I don’t like Verse how it is now but the upcoming features are promising. New calendar views with a new combined calendar inbox, realtime freebusy search for invitees and customizable views for the inbox. One thing still missing is the possibility to import ICS files directly from a mail to a calendar. This is something I miss the most and any other web-based mail client can handle since…. forever. When do we get this, HCL?
There was just a little new presented. The most features dealt with client setup. The important state was that version 10 can be updated right from FP10. This is for the client and the server as well. For the client update you just use the policy based client update mechanism. Did you install FP10? One thing I heard during the days was that the quality assurance for FP10 was „not as good as it should have been“ - I can confirm that. FP10 was a disaster.
TLS is now enabled by default, JVM memory properties can be natively setup via notes.ini (we had this for the heap size before) and additional settings found their way in the configuration document regarding calendar sync to other systems like Outlook. So, goodbye, IMSMO? It smells like integration.
Sametime mobile is now supported even with the Sametime basic entitlement on Domino with your current license. I wonder why Sametime still is a thing in times of Watson Workspace (plus).
Of course there will be more features in the beta of Domino 10 once it’s delivered in June like the Node.js and Loopback integration.
I am bit torn about the future of Notes and Domino. For the server I hope the best to become a modern and updated platform. For the client I hope it’s going to be deprecated soon like some of the features we learned in the past like Composite apps, RSS feeder and Embedded Experience. Yes, this won’t be developed further / cut off in the next release - eat this (and I knew it from the beginning…)
XPages weren’t covered in today’s webcast but I saw the tweets and presentations over the past days. They are still alive but won’t be improved or pushed further. They had their time and are still a great way for RAD but other techniques like gRPC, Node.js and Loopback are state of the art now. The product just did not survive the vast speed technology took over the past 3 years.
Some of us also didn’t. Me included.