Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Die Notes Die

We are transitioning from lotus notes to Outlook today. Most of the guys here are done with it. Only its is hassle if you want to import your older mails from notes to Outlook. But you can always open notes to browse them.


Anyway, Notes is an awful mail tool and I am glad its off my back. There is a whole community out there which will swear by it, people going gaga over its security. But the point remains, it is the least user friendly software I have worked with. Everything with Notes should feel like an ordeal, so at the end of it, you have a misguided sense of achievement. Customization, setting simples rules, archiving etc can be done, but IBM has made sure that you don't get there easily.


Notes also tries too hard to curtail M/S's power as the most widely used OS. There are whole lot of notes databases, which you can access through using your Notes Client. These databases cater to everything from mails, issue logs, repositories, techincal forums, directories, the works. Basically wanting the corporate user to use it for all his needs. This approach makes it excessively clunky and monolithic. Even when it crashes (and it does with as much frequency as Outlook), it gives itself unnecessary importance and asks you to restart the machine, else it won't work. For God's sake, you are just a mail client! (To circumvent this idiotic command, people use an application rightfully called "Die Notes Die"!). Have you used Lotus Notes web version? Well, by the time it displays the inbox, you could be on Yama's "To-do" list.


If the by-product (and stinking one at that) of building secure applications is going to be severly restricted use, then whats the whole point? I would rather take the Microsoft way, where in you build a system making user friendliness the priority. This may lead to some security loopholes, but then you go about fixing them. Just because its Microsoft, people are wont to bashing anything and everything they do. I won't want to use Microsoft applications to cater to financial or military systems, but most of us are not into rocket science, are we?
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